Leslie Turk

St. Francisville chef wins top Culinary Classic honor

by Leslie Turk

Scott Varnedoe of Varnedo's Carriage House Restaurant at the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville took home top honors at Monday's Acadiana Culinary Classic. Held at the Cajundome Convention Center, the competition is a benefit for Stuller Place.

Varnedo won a Gold Medal and Best of Show, a $10,000 prize, for his Bayou Best dish -- a bacon wrapped pork loin stuffed with rabbit, wild mushroom, foie gras and sausage. Described as an elegant yet casual fine dining restaurant, Varnedoe’s Carriage House opened in late 2005. After Hurricane Katrina, Varnedoe relocated to New Roads from New Orleans.

Other gold medal winners were Brian Berry, executive chef of Sodexho at UL Lafayette, soup and salad categories; Laci Boothe, chef at Shorty's Restaurant at Cypress Bayou Casino, bread; Calvin Cormier, sous chef at Prejean's, vegetable; David Laszczak, executive chef at Cypress Bayou Casino, poultry; Reynold Landry, executive chef at Opelousas General Health Systems, meat/veal and dessert categories; Darrell Harris, chef of Culinary Productions, finfish; and Scott McCue, executive sous chef at Cypress Bayou Casino, shellfish.

About 35 chefs entered dishes in 10 categories (most submitting multiple entries) for the 24th annual competition, sponsored by the Acadiana Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.