Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

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Creole Tomatoes

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

When we travel, our souvenirs naturally include something regional to eat or drink. Our last trip to New Orleans, we picked up Cat Daddy Moonshine, Ryals Goat Roast and Creole Tomatoes. Lucky for us we drove, so it was much easier to carry these treasures home.

Now, I know what to do with the Moonshine, not sure how to fix the goat (any ideas out there?), and the Creole tomatoes just epitomize the essence of summer. Eric and I brought home about 6 of these Louisiana beauties, akin to heirloom tomatoes, and have been enjoying them in the yummiest BLT sandwiches you can possibly make.

Those Gorgeous Creoles - Photo Courtesy of Jason Perlow

Can you grow them where you are? Well, it’s a little late in the season, but you (and I) can always plan for next year. Here’s some info about them from Gary Ibsen’s Tomatofest website:

The Creole was developed by LSU around 1956. An heirloom developed in Louisiana for hot, humid climates. This variety has a very loyal following. Yields 3-inch, round, firm, red fruit with a lots of juice and delicious tomatoey flavors with good acidity.

All I know is that sounds like we could grow those here in the hot Georgia summers. I’ll be purchasing the seeds for next year and hope mine grow as big as they do in Bayou country.

So, if you are anywhere near Louisiana soon, pick up some Creoles. You will be tasting summer!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Justin Timberlake – Summer Love

Cochon – New Orleans

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

New Orleans is one of my all time favorite cities in the world. It’s French, it’s American, it’s wild, it’s beautiful.

Also, the food is some of the best you will ever taste.

Although I was there writing an article about The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, and the article won’t run until October in Design Is Magazine, I still wanted to share some of our weekend there with you.

Friday night found us at Cochon, the city’s palace of pork. And what pork they have! Eric and I ordered most of the appetizers and set out to have ourselves a taste treat.

Let me share with you!

Cochon Is Open and Ready For You!

You Have Got To Join Us Inside!

For The Love Of New Orleans

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Louisiana, home of creole and cajun cooking, southern mansions and the unbreakable spirit of New Orleans. They have seen hard times, yet always bounce back with graceful resiliency. From Katrina and now the BP crisis, you might be wondering how the Paris of North America is faring.

They are faring quite well, thank you. And you should go and see for yourself. Party on Bourbon Street, enjoy the Garden District, listen to some down home music in Faubourg Marigny and don’t forget the beignets at Cafe Du Monde. With New Orleans only a 7 hour drive from Atlanta, you could be there in no time.

The Party Never Stops!

I have been in contact with my friends in New Orleans, Char Thian at the Ritz-Carlton and Kelly Schulz with the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. who tell me that all is well in their fair city and the best way to support it is to come and visit! Now, how many other ways can you give back by eating the country’s best cuisine and drinking up a storm? Only in New Orleans.

Take a look at this link. Honestly, the time has never been better to support New Orleans and have a dang good time in the process. The folks there are the friendliest anywhere and that food…OMG, that food. I am dieting right now in anticipation of my visit at the end of July. Can’t wait to drink sazeracs and eat all the luscious treats at Galatoire’s Friday lunch. You can even walk around with that Pat O’Briens Hurricane, as they encourage drinking and walking. But please grab a cab or a fab street car if you need to go further than your feet will take you.

But if you can’t get there right now, our own Pacci, in Atlanta, is supporting the cause with “We Cook While They Clean”.

We are very proud to announce that we will be joining the relief efforts in the wake of the devastation caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill with our “We Cook While They Clean” fundraiser.

Beginning Wednesday, June 23, $1 from every seafood dish on our lunch and dinner menu will be donated to the Gulf Relief Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to providing relief to the fishing community of the Gulf Coast and their families. For more information on the Gulf Relief Foundation visit   “We Cook While They Clean” will continue until fishermen are back in their boats.

You could even plan to go down on July 30 – Aug 1, when I’ll be there. I would be happy to meet you at Tujagues for a evening of tippling. Come on down!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Buckwheat Zydeco – On A Night Like This

Young Chefs of the SE – Installment II

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

6/24/10 UPDATE – This dinner has been postponed due to the issues in the Gulf. Please send your prayers, karma and best thoughts to the lovely residents of New Orleans.

This Friday (June 25th) you have the opportunity to experience another spectacular dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta.  The guest chef for the evening will be Sue Zemanick of Gautreau’s in New Orleans. Chef Zemanick was the winner of New Orleans Magazine, Chef of the Year Award and one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Top Ten Best Chefs.  Considering that New Orleans is one of our country’s foodiest cities, I call this big news.  Believe me, I was at the first series’ dinner with Chef Adam Cooke of Blackberry Farms and I was blown away.  I can only dream of what Chef Zemanick is cooking up for Atlanta.  And at $85 per person, this is truly a steal. You may make your reservations through Open Table (remember my post about Open Table here? Go – get your credits!)

Chef Sue Zemanick

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Buckwheat Zydeco – Hey Good Lookin’

The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of The Southeast

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Just when I think life can’t get any better, I turn a corner and a wonderful surprise pops up. Yesterday was one of those days, but instead of one surprise, it was twelve in the form of the amazing Public Relations staff of the Southeast Ritz-Carlton Hotels.

It was my genuine pleasure to attend a special media luncheon as the guest of Sandra Ryder, Area Director of Public Relations, Atlanta. When I arrived at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, I was greeted warmly by each staff member I encountered. They embody the epitome of hospitality.

The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead

Find Your Next Vacation Spot Inside

Birthday In NOLA – Final Installment

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Our last day in New Orleans was off to a slow start. We had a quiet breakfast on a patio in the French Quarter and just moseyed around town on foot. The sky was grey and the day was misty. I didn’t even take any photos.

More Last Day Fun After The Fold

Birthday In NOLA – Lucky Day Three!

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Day three in New Orleans was the greatest and….it was my actual birthday, so even better!

Eric and I arose fairly early and caught the trolley to The Trolley Stop Cafe for brunch.  And since it was my birthday and I could do anything I wanted, I ordered a blueberry waffle and a crab cake. Both delicious. Eric ordered the eggs, toast and bacon. Also yummy.

After brunch we wandered around the Garden District and enjoyed all the beautiful homes. The architecture in New Orleans really is fantastic and refreshingly without a whit of snobbery.  Then we hit Magazine Street for some shopping. Such fun.

First Stop - Brunch At The Trolley Stop

More Birthday Fun After The Fold

Birthday in NOLA – Part Deux

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Our second day in New Orleans my sweet Eric woke up early and decided to take a walk while I got pretty for the day. After primping, I walked out to find him and we met at Harrah’s. Mr. Perfect was armed with cafe au lait and fresh beignets from Cafe Du Monde.  We walked down to the river and had an impromptu picnic breakfast while enjoying the tugboats.

A Wonderful Way to Start Our Day

More Day Two Fun Next

Birthday in NOLA – Day One

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

For my birthday this year, my perfect husband took me to New Orleans for quite the celebration.  Eric booked a sleeper car on Amtrak, so we could try a different mode of travel. Great idea. Our compartment was so big we turned on our iTunes and danced, we watched movies, we played cards and just generally had a ball. It only took a bit longer than driving and we had nothing to do but sit back and enjoy ourselves. It was just like Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North By Northwest. All aboard!

Our Car Was Just Like This One

For More Birthday Fun Click Here

A Hurricane for Ida

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
Because Nothing Beats a Fruity Drink

Because Nothing Beats a Fruity Drink

The rain and wind that a hurricane bring are never welcome.  They make driving or going anywhere a total bear.  Once, in Tampa, I catered a birthday party for my very special darling, John, in the middle of a hurricane.  And it was a pool party. We practically floated in the car to the party.  But party we did and John had a great birthday.

It seems as if Hurricane Ida has just been downgraded to a tropical depression. So you won’t be depressed, like Ida, I thought I would share the recipe for a hurricane drink. Because I am going to New Orleans for my birthday in February and I have Louisiana on the brain.

Traditional Hurricane Recipe:


  • 2 oz light rum
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon simple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon grenadine
  • Garnish: orange slice and cherry

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a Hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

Enjoy with a piping hot bowl of gumbo or jambalaya.  And listen to some fun zydeco music. You can’t go wrong with some zippy zydeco. A couple of those hurricanes and you should be dancing your tail off! Click on the link below to get you moving to the music.

Zydeco Music

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez, y’all!

xoxo, Patti