When New Orleans chef-partner Dominique Macquet tried to envision a four-course menu for an upcoming festival showcasing the food and wine of Argentina, he didn’t have to pore over dusty cookbooks or scroll around the Internet. He simply had to ask the three talented young chefs working beside him.
Since opening Dominique’s on Magazine, Macquet has been relying on Agustin Echazarreta, Pablo Guarna and Brenda Howlin to make his blend of tropical New Orleans flavors focused by French technique truly sing. And since Macquet himself visited Argentina as a guest chef from New Orleans some years back, it seemed high time to let them cook the foods of their homeland. The resulting celebration begins this evening.
“I am every bit as impressed with the young talent I see in Agustin, Pablo and Brenda as I was by the cuisine and the people of Argentina,” offers Macquet. “The three chefs are great additions to my staff here, and I count on them to do their jobs remarkably every day. This special menu is my way of saying thanks, and also of spotlighting the rich melting pot of Spanish colonial tradition and vibrant immigrant creativity that connects New Orleans to Buenos Aires.”
The special menu, titled A Taste of Argentina, will be available at Dominique’s on Magazine 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The price of the four courses is $38, not including tax and gratuity. To reserve, call (504) 894-8881.
The menu (with wines selected by Dominique’s on Magazine sommelier Lisa Deragon available at an additional $15) begins with Perilloux Farm young eggplant escabeche with parsley-garlic crouton, preferably served with a glass of Dominique’s brut sparkling wine. The second course is a choice of a homemade parrillada tasting of sautéed sweetbreads, chorizo and morcilla sausages with chimichurri and crispy potatoes or homemade traditional empanadas of Morgan Ranch Wagyu beef with braised Vidalia onion, and local Silver Queen corn and red onion confit. The suggested wine for the parillada tasting is Mil Piedras viognier, for the empanadas Martino malbec.
The evening’s main course offers a choice of grilled Morgan Ranch wagyu steak with roasted local Irish potatoes, grilled marinated calabasa and Malbec jus (paired with a Graffigna cabernet sauvignon) or pimento-dusted flounder on saffron and roasted vegetable rice pilaf, cucumber and Creole tomatoes relish with lemon-thyme beurre blanc (La Florench chardonnay). Dessert is vanilla flan with dulce de leche and toasted almond Chantilly (Olivares dulce monastrell).
Before joining the kitchen brigade at Dominique’s on Magazine, Echazarreta trained in Buenos Aires at the Instituto Argentino de Gastronomia and then worked at such restaurants in the capital as Rosa Negra and Lola. Guarna learned the basics of kitchen, pastry and bakery at The BUE Trainers in Buenos Aires and also took private courses with such chefs as Fernando Trocca and Fernando Orciani. His work experience includes stints at the Rosa Negra as well as at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. Howlin, who prepares the desserts at Dominique’s on Magazine, also studied at The BUE Trainers before working of the Los Notros Hotel in Calafate, Argentina, the Esplendor Boutique Hotel in Buenos Aires and Lupta Restaurant in La Canitas.
Dominique’s on Magazine is located in a lovingly restored Creole shotgun cottage at 4729 Magazine St. in New Orleans. The restaurant’s website is www.dominiquesonmag.com.