When Mardi Gras celebrants gather here in the nation’s capital next week, they’ll be treated to some of Louisiana’s finest cuisine. Peter Sclafani, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Ruffino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge, has been invited to prepare two of his signature seafood specialties for the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans Mardi Gras Ball in Washington, D.C., for the second consecutive year.
On January 31st, Chef Peter will prepare his original butter poached Louisiana oysters with crème fraiche, pickled red onions, spherified cucumber caviar and micro cilantro for the Oyster Fest at the Acadiana Restaurant downtown. The next evening, guests attending the “Louisiana Alive” dinner at the Washington Hilton will experience Sclafani’s sensational Crawfish Cheesecake. The dining events are sponsored by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board.
“We’re honored to be welcomed back to share some of our favorite dishes with our friends in Washington,” said Sclafani. “We’re especially pleased to have this chance to remind everyone that Louisiana seafood is completely safe to eat and, once again, is some of the best seafood available anywhere on the planet.”
Sclafani is the only Baton Rouge chef invited to cook at this year’s Mardi Gras Ball in Washington.
“New Orleans gets all the attention because they’ve done such a brilliant job marketing their chefs and their famous restaurants,” continued Sclafani. “But we think Baton Rouge deserves its fair share share of the spotlight too, since so many outstanding chefs are pushing the culinary envelope here now.”
A third-generation chef, Sclafani is widely regarded as one of the finest and most innovative chefs in Louisiana, if not the entire country. He was named “Restaurateur of the Year” by the Louisiana Restaurant Association for an unprecedented two consecutive years (2010, 2011), Baton Rouge’s Chef of the Year in 2004 and the city’s Marketer of the Year in 2011.
Chef Peter won two Fleur de Lis Culinary Awards gold medals at the prestigious 2012 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, after scoring a gold and silver at the 2011 event. Ruffino’s was the only restaurant from Baton Rouge to receive such an honor.
Sclafani is showcasing his Crawfish Cheesecake at “Louisiana Alive” to highlight the crawfish chapter in Ruffino’s upcoming cookbook, “Seasons of Louisiana.”
“Our customers have begged us to publish a cookbook for years, and we’ve finally made it a priority,” said Ruffino’s Co-Owner Ruffin Rodrigue, who manages the front of the house and operations for the Italian-Creole fusion restaurant. “When Seasons of Louisiana comes out this summer, we think food critics across the country will develop a new appreciation for Baton Rouge cuisine.”
Rodrigue and Sclafani have also been invited to be part of the Mystick Krewe at the black tie ball to be held at the Hilton on Saturday evening, Feb. 2.
For more information on Ruffino’s, visit www.RuffinosRestaurant.com.