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Aaron Sanchez

Eat Here Now


August 14, 2015

The New New Orleans
By Abigail Gullo

Photo by Chris Granger

Photo by Chris Granger

Welcome back to reality, my boozy companions. Now that it’s time to begin thinking about Tales of the Cocktail 2016 (you know you’re already contemplating that seminar you want to submit) and joining 25,000 of my closest friends who come to New Orleans to celebrate my birthday every year I figured I’d highlight some of the newest places you may have explored a few weeks back or bring them to your attention so you don’t miss out next July!

Here is your yearly roundup of places to check out while you are here in the Crescent City.

First though, let us not bury the lede…I am in a new place! I’m settling in nicely to life on the other side of Canal; my barspoons and I have have taken up residency at Compere Lapin in the Warehouse District (Compere Lapin 535 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130
504 599 2119 Compere Lapin is the title of a West African folk tale that became Briar Rabbit; like the rabbit (more on that later) the restaurant’s menu is a food journey to New Orleans that begins from the Caribbean, where our chef is from. Chef Nina Compton was a finalist on Top Chef New Orleans and won fan favorite.

Photo by Sara Essex Bradley

Photo by Sara Essex Bradley

Originally from St Lucia, with a stop in the kitchen of Miami’s Scarpetta, Chef brings all the French Creole influences of her island mixed with exquisite Italian technique and of course local Louisiana flavor. Crispy pig ears, conch croquettes and curried goat with plantain gnocchi have been stand out dishes; but it is all so very delicious.

Of course it couldn’t be New Orleans without a world class cocktail program…and we have literally World Class bartender Ricky Gomez running the good ship Lapin. Ricky is native Nola and was on the opening staff at Cure before heading to Portland and becoming America’s first Diageo World Class Bartender. The bar program is exciting and inventive; there’s carbonated coconut water on tap for the Jerez Highball with sherry and absinthe, Martini inspired sippers like the Noontide with celery and pear brandy, and a King-worthy TCB Sour. All the cocktails pair so well with our fresh raw bar, crudo and the dishes coming from our extremely talented kitchen. And our pastry chef does our breakfast goodies too, so stop my Old No. 77 hotel for a key lime pie donut or blueberry hand-pie with some of the best coffee in New Orleans from Tout La, our lobby coffee shop. It is just the jump start you need to get going to those morning seminars!

Working in a new neighborhood means exploring more neighbors! We are home to the classic Swizzle Stick bar at Cafe Adalaide, Cochon and Butcher (best Muffaletta in town!) and of course, Mother’s and the World’s Best Baked Ham is right across the street.

Cochon by Chris Granger

But we have some new comers too. Mexican is hot right now and the John Besh and Aaron Sanchez collaboration Johnny Sanchez has all your agave needs along with tacos galore! Besh restaurants are famous for their happy hour programs and Johnny Sanchez is no exceptions with great deals of tacos and pitchers of margaritas. Save room for dessert as pastry chefs Kelly Fields and Lisa White are some of the best in the business.

As a matter of fact, just after you left town they opened a new pastry shop called Willa Jean in the Warehouse Districts’s new sub-neighborhood, The Paramount. Wood fired pizza, a Company Burger with boozy milkshakes and the Rouses are all located here so when you pick up supplies at our local super market chain, you can fuel your day with the best food Nola has to offer.

Speaking of one stop shopping, back in the new Marigny or St Roch neighborhood, we have a Nola foot court to end all food courts. The St Roch Market opened this year to great fanfare and some controversy this year. This traditionally poor neighborhood was a food desert for some time post-Katrina. Now with the rapid gentrification of this neighborhood, the St Roch Market became a beacon, and a bit of a target. Putting politics and gentrification theory aside, get to St Roch and go hungry (2381 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 (504) 609-3813

Photo courtesy New Orleans CVB

Photo courtesy New Orleans CVB

Inside the breezy bright turn-of-the-20th century warehouse are local vendors offering coffee, fresh juice, oysters, Creole, Korean and African cuisine. Go to the Mayhew Bar for a cocktail, and get a dozen bivalves from the Curious Oyster stand next door then pick up some local made products like Cocktail & Son’s Syrups from Max Messier ( and Tonic and Bitters from El Guapo’s Scot Maddox (, both bartenders turned entrepreneurs!

If you are keeping in the French Quarter, we have some great new spots that have opened up in the last year. Salon by Sucre is an upstairs lounge with Storyville inspired cocktails and full tea menu. Downstairs at Sucre is a candyland of color and taste for a quick pick me up of gelato and coffee…and maybe some signature macaroons thrown in a box too (622 Conti,

Next door to Sucre, we finally have our famous Vietnamese cuisine in the Quarter with the 9 Roses Cafe. An extension of the famous West Bank spot, come here for restorative Pho, and bright Bun and summer rolls with local pork and shrimp (620 Conti

Chef Alex Harrell left Sylvain to open Angeline in the old Stella space on Chartres street. And homage to his mother, Angeline has the comfort food you crave after a long day of tasting and drinking, all in a refined setting with perfect technique.

Photo courtesy of Angeline

Photo courtesy of Angeline

The bar program is sherry and mezcal heavy, so it’s a cocktail nerd’s delight! This is a great place to stop for dinner before making your way to dance and jive on Frenchmen street (1032 Chartres St.!

Photo courtesy of Angeline

Photo courtesy of Angeline

Good coffee is a must and why not do some vintage barware shopping while you are at it? Arrow Cafe on North Rampart street is also a bike repair and vintage shop (628 N Rampart St.). Jane pulls the best espressos in the Quarter, hands down. And she pairs shots of espresso with lime cordial, tonic syrup and good Topo Chico for refreshing pick me ups that fuel my trips to the gym and work. You can rent a bike next door, and pick up some cool Bike Nola t-shirts from Dashing Nola and some vintage martini pitchers from Nola Drift. (Full disclosure, my dog Ronnie Magic is the mayor here and these ladies have been kind enough to do doggie day care while I run errands in this hot Nola sun.) The sense of community here in Nola is what makes it so very special. And I am so lucky to have this community in my life looking after me and my little dog too.

Marin Tockman (right) with her friend Julia and her new Public Bike at arrow cafe

On the next block, at 700 Rampart st, is a new bar called the Black Penny. They have an extensive selection of beers and some great spirits. The bar wraps between two spaces and the white leather banquets make this a cool place to sip on some suds right across from Louis Armstrong park and the legendary Congo Square.

And or course there is the long awaited Latitude 29 from Beachbum Berry. Believe the hype (and order the Tiki room service if you can). I pretty much have my own stool at the bar here and worked my way through the extensive tiki drink and food menu within a month of their opening. Luckily, the talented rooster of bartenders create their own drinks for Happy Hour, so I have always have something new to try (321 N. Peters Street!

Next time you’re in town please come and visit me at the Rabbit (open a week and we already have a term of endearment for our Compere Lapin) and I will toast to good friends and good cocktails here in the city of New Orleans!

Photo by Chris Granger

Photo by Chris Granger

Don't Miss


December 19, 2011

The gift that just keeps giving
By Francine Cohen

This holiday season there are plenty of gifts exchanged; some awful that you can’t re-gift them fast enough, and others so perfect only you could have picked them out yourself.

MOZO shoes are that one gift you’ll be glad you gave yourself; so stylish and comfy that nobody else (but another chef/bartender/server/manager) would understand the bliss you feel knowing you’ve stopped the pain in your back and your feet before it even had a chance to flare up.

MOZO brand President, Stuart Jenkins, explains why his team of shoe designers and engineers from the Deckers Outdoors ( – the parent company who also brought us TEVA and UGG) partnered with chefs Chris Consentino, Macus Samuelsson, and Aaron Sanchez to design these new shoes for those who spend their working hours in the back and front of house. He says, “Why is it that someone should be spending 8-10 hours a day on their feet without having the benefits of comfort and sustainability of comfort? We would like to think we can make any 8 hour shift better than it has been in the past.”

He continues, “Our shoes feature The Uniframe design which includes MOZO’s trademark gel insoles and slip-resistant outsoles, as well as side vents that aid in moisture and heat management. MOZO offers durability in cushioning, traction, support and craftsmanship and has certified slip-resistant outsoles through a unique Spider Traction™ compound. The exclusive TripleFit System™ lets users customize the volume inside their shoe by a half size, larger or smaller. The one thing this line of product brings to the industry is that they are extremely light weight while offering proper cushioning and insoles and construction. MOZO gets people out of sneakers and puts them into traction for safety.”

With the intent of creating shoes that are made to mold to the foot and let it breathe, a critical element during active and lengthy shifts, Jenkins and his team set out to make a shoe that is not only functional but also fashionable and fits the lifestyle. He explains why, “When I watched through the trade shows and looked at the shoe exhibits I saw what people were making and you had two choices, black or white. It seemed to me that the product the shoe industry was offering was out of touch and there was a huge misstep between the market and the products it was being offered. There was no real choice, no sense of performance, no artisanship, no inventiveness. Yet when you talk to the chefs and observe their culinary style you realize that they are athletes, creators, and perfomers, and they do all this under tremendous pressure.”

Chris Consentino of Incanto (, Boccalone ( and Offal Good ( knows a little something about pressure Continue Reading…



June 2, 2010

Three INSIDERs can win tickets to Gourmet Latino Festival Seminars

What do you know about the Mezcal trail, the foods and national spirit of Brazil, and the wines and cuisine of Chile? Just enough so that you’ve whet your appetite and want to know more, or are you so knowledgeable that you bleed Pisco and make tamales in your sleep?

Whatever your level of expertise with the food and drink of Latin America you won’t want to miss out on the chance to win tickets to this weekend’s Gourmet Latino Festival.

We’ve got three pairs of tickets to give away for the following seminars (one pair per seminar, details on winning after the jump):

Pairing Perfection: Chile’s Top Wine Regions Paired with Classic Chilean Dishes
With Chef Jacques Gautier, Fred Dexheimer and Jorge Perez
Saturday, June 5, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Mezcal Trail: Travel Through the Seven Regions of Mezcal With Chef Roberto Santibañez and The Liquid Chef Junior Merino
Sunday, June 6, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Feel the Spirit of Brazil and Crank Up the Heat with Brazilian Food & Cocktails!
With Author/Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, Olie Berlic, Vicente Bastos Ribeiro and Steve Luttmann
Sunday, June 6, 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

This celebration of Latin culinary traditions and culture offers up a lively and tasty educational seminar series featuring food, cocktail and wine luminaries discussing and sampling authentic Latin dishes and drinks, as well as their interaction and cultural significance.

“I’m very proud of the level of the chefs, cocktail experts and sommeliers who are participating in our seminar program,” said Steve Olson, aka wine geek and beverage ambassador of the festival. “Moreover, it’s quite unique that the beverage and culinary sides will be presented simultaneously, as an organic whole, in all of our seminars. In the Latin world, the two always go hand-in-hand and we are thrilled to honor this tradition and provide this complete experience to New Yorkers and visiting out-of-towners.”

The festival and its seminars benefit Continue Reading…



May 22, 2010

A first for the socially and taste conscious
By Darren Atkins

New York is no stranger to a festival. There is the German festival, the Italian festival, the Greek festival; even Gay and Earth Day festivals. However, the Gourmet Latino Festival ( at The Astor Center in New York City (, June 4-12, is the first of its kind. Emphasizing the spirit of the Latin people and their zest for life, culture and history, the festival celebrates this spirit through an exploration of Latin gastronomy and a social awareness of Latino food production. Throughout the week innovative Latin chefs, mixologists and taste masters will showcase their talents through the flavors and culture of Latin America and delve into the flavors and passions that have helped shape a community.

Gourmet Latino festival director Karen Uribe says, “At this festival, there will be many different events from grand tastings, to seminars and talks, all of which are about celebrating Latin culture and really trying to get people to see the diversity and different nuances from countries including Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay.”

The cuisines of these countries will shared through the talents of many Latin culinary experts who are lead by Chef Aaron Sanchez Chef/Owner of Centrico and Paladar restaurants in New York, and Steve Olson, beverage expert, savant and principle in the firm aka Wine Geek. Sanchez, who grew up in the kitchen of his mother, Zarela Martinez, recognized as the foremost pioneer for introducing and promoting Mexican food to North Americans, couldn’t help but appreciate the need his fellow New Yorkers to have a clearer understanding of Latin food. He comments, “Finally the time has come, where I think enough chefs are creating distinctive styles of their food, for us to create an event that’s just not some homogenized regurgitation of food that’s been done and done before.”

Distinctive Latin spirits and beverages are also on the menu as featured mixologists Junior Merino, Giuseppe Gonzalez and Andrew Seymour will be showcasing spirits and wines that have been preserved in Latino tradition. Sanchez continues, “You can’t have food without a great spirit or wine, Continue Reading…