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Shreveport Derby Day – The Food and Drank EXCLUSIVE

Sunday, March 19, 2017 is a day I will never forget. A friend and I were at Rhino Coffee Downtown having some girl time and playing catch up. As I was sipping on my glass of Prosecco, owner Andrew Crawford walked in and we spoke. After our initial greeting, he uttered seven words that shattered my world that day, “There won’t be any oysters this year”. I IMMEDIATELY knew what he was talking about. There was no question about it. Andrew had just burst my Shreveport Derby Day bubble by letting me know that I wouldn’t be feasting upon chargrilled oysters this year.

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If you’ve been following my Shreveport Derby Day shenanigans, you know that since year one, my diet has consisted of chargrilled oysters and cupcakes. Sure there’s always a spread of other things to eat, but what better combo to have than oysters and cupcakes? I have taken this upsetting news to heart y’all. I’ve been causing a social media stink about my disappointment. You’ve seen it! Y’all have texted and messaged me about it. I have taken this so seriously that I confronted this year’s caterer, Blake Jackson of Drake Catering in person at Wine and Swine! I walked up to him with my plate of chargrilled oysters and said “Take note of how Jason Brady and Wine and Swine do an event!” Who does that? Obviously me. Blake shrugged and told me that I hadn’t even given him a chance to tell me what was going to be on the menu for this year. Who cares about your stinking menu Blake! *In my Veruca Salt voice* I want oysters and I want them now!  Y’all this is serious business to me. For the record, I am cracking up laughing as I type this for you all. Who knew that I would get so emotionally attached to some OYSTERS! Blake was right though. I hadn’t given him a chance to tell me about the menu. I was so focused on what wasn’t going to be there that I wasn’t even considering what was.

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Photo courtesy of Casey Habich

Yesterday I sat down with Blake at Drake Catering to hear all about his not so stinking menu for Shreveport Derby Day 2017, Presented by Landers Alfa Romeo FIAT.

Here it is for you EXCLUSIVELY on

Entree Station:
Quail and Grits
Domestically raised quail grilled and finished in a bacon, Mission fig demi-glace served over stone ground grits with roasted corn and fire roasted jalapenos

Blake said he wanted to produce “one big over the top dish” and this was it for him. It was a no brainer to go with quail for him because it is a Southern bird with great, tender meat. The addition of the Mission fig demi-glace is what puts this dish over the top.

Entree Station:
Peach Pepper Pork Tenderloin
Overnight brined pork tenderloin seared and finished off in house pepper jelly glaze with fresh peaches served slice over a bed of sweet potato hash (caramelized onion, shallots, sweet potato)

With this dish, Blake wanted to make a lighter, figure friendly dish. It is a complete nod to Prepared Nutrition, his meal prep service.

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Seafood Station:
Shrimp Ice Sculpture Display with Seared Tuna Nigiri (Casian Twist)

If you’ve been to or even seen pictures of previous Shreveport Derby Days, you know that the ice sculpture surrounded by shrimp is always a big hit. Blake decided to bring this back using gulf shrimp that he had to order three months ago.

In addition to the shrimp, Blake decided to show off his Casian (Cajun/Asian fusion) flare with a twist on a style of sushi. Nigiri style sushi is traditionally a slice of raw fish over pressed vinegared rice. Blake will serve seared tuna over a rice pillow drizzled with a cane syrup eel sauce with a Tabasco Sriracha Mayo on the side.

Dessert Station:
Mint Julep Cheesecake
Traditional cheesecake base with mint buttercream and bourbon caramel drizzled on top

Mini S’mores Cup
Chocolate cup base filled with house made graham crackers, house made marshmallow whip toasted with a blow torch.

Rosemary and Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies

To put the amount of food that goes into Shreveport Derby Day into perspective, Blake has ordered over 1000 quail, over 240lbs of pork loins, 400lbs of gulf shrimp, 45lbs of Ahi tuna, 40lbs dry stone ground grits, 60 gallons of milk, 60 gallons of chicken stock, 20lbs fresh mission figs to feed 1000-1100 people. That is A LOT of food!

From Blake’s as the caterer, the organizers behind Shreveport Derby Day, and now my own viewpoint, this year’s menu will give a great new experience for everyone on the food front.

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I’m still SLIGHTLY salty about the oysters AND cupcakes, but I can’t wait to try all of this delicious sounding food that is being prepared. As Blake told me, things change and I just need to get with the program. LOL! He is super excited to share his cuisine with everyone as well. “We’re pulling out all the stops as far as just doing top notch gourmet quality food and I think if for nothing else, just to come fill up on awesome grub is worth a ticket.”

In addition to the fantastic food by Drake Catering, Whole Foods Market Shreveport will have a cheese and fruit station. Though their menu is not finalized, Community Liaison, Jessica Madison said the station will be filled with cubed cheddar, pepper jack, and Colby jack, a Brie wheel with fig spread, gorgonzola and fresh strawberries and grapes.

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Since we are talking about the food of Shreveport Derby Day, it’s only right that we talk about the DRANK. Jason Brady and Wine Country Bistro are once again handling the bars at the event. Eight bars will be stocked with Great Raft Brewing Beer, Mint Juleps, Lily Roses, and Sparkling Wine. For Shreveport Derby Day pros like myself, the new addition of sparkling wine is not only interesting, but exciting. I started this off with telling y’all that I was sipping on a glass of Prosecco. Now at Shreveport Derby Day I can sip on several glasses of sparkling wine while nibbling on some Peach Pepper Pork Loin and Rosemary and Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies. Sounds like a winning “diet” to me.

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This year’s Shreveport Derby Day is sure to be fantastic and one you should not miss. Do you have your ticket yet? Click here to buy them TODAY!

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