A Taste from the Canvas

by Walter Pierce

The Outreach Center's Palates and Pâté event offers edible art. The Outreach Center's Palates and Pâté event offers edible art. By Kari Walker

Friday, Nov. 1, 2013

Photos by Robin May

CChef Peter Sclafani of Ruffino's on the River

Chef Holly Goetting of Charley G's

Art inspires the senses, and for chefs participating in this year's Palates and Pâté, art brings alive ideas to experience through taste and smell.

This will be Charley G's chef Holly Goetting's seventh year participating in the event benefiting the Outreach Center, and she will present a classic Louisiana dish of turtle soup inspired by artist Carl Groh, whose painting is a silhouette of an oak tree on a bayou, so naturally Goetting thought of bayou delicacies like turtle and alligator. The soup's dark, toasted roux and hint of sherry reflect her vision of how the tree's shadow would taste if edible. "I draw inspiration from my surroundings, whether it's from a new place I have visited or by tweaking an old recipe," Goetting says of her soul-stirring dish. She enjoys the challenge of returning again this year to create a dish that will raise money for a deserving organization while meeting new faces feasting on hers and other chefs' dishes.

Ruffino's on the River is a newcomer to this year's culinary fundraiser, and chef Peter Sclafani hopes diners see his vision created through Jill Tauzin Broussard's painting, "Sweet Synchronicity." "The painting made me think of a sunset overlooking the Vermilion River while sitting on the patio of Ruffino's on the River. With the changing weather, we have seen more ducks on the river, so I immediately thought of serving duck," Sclafani says. He's preparing duck and foie gras agnolotti - agnolotti is similar to ravioli - and he's stuffing it with a Chappapeela Farms duck and foie gras mousse, served with roasted duck jus, pistachios and microgreens.

"The Outreach Center plays such an important role in the local area and the Lafayette community has been so supportive of us as a new business, [so] it was a natural for us to participate," says Sclafani.

The artwork that inspired Goetting's and Sclafani's dishes will be auctioned off during Palates and Pâté on Nov. 14, along with exotic vacation getaways to Italy, Costa Rica, Hawaii and even an African safari. To see the art and taste dishes like these or others from Social, Jolie's, Village Café and more, contact the Outreach center at (337) 237-7618 or [email protected] for tickets to the event at The Victorian in Broussard.