Acclaimed Louisiana chef to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for Beard Foundation

Acclaimed Louisiana chef to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for Beard Foundation

POSTED: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 4:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 4:04am

Scott Varnedoe, acclaimed executive chef of Stroube's restaurant in Baton Rouge, will prepare the James Beard Foundation's annual Thanksgiving Dinner in New York.

"Thanksgiving with a Southern Twist," as the holiday dinner is called, will be held at the Beard House in the West Village on Nov. 22 at 6 p.m.

The menu will include traditional Thanksgiving fair with a Louisiana spin. Among Varnedoe's touches are fried and compressed sous-vide turkey breast and thigh with oysters, Andouille sausage and sage cornbread soufflé, and duck, turkey and foie gras meatballs.

The James Beard Foundation promotes the culinary arts by honoring industry professionals and providing scholarships and educational opportunities for aspiring chefs. It also frequently hosts dinners featuring selected chefs at The Beard House.

"I'm humbled and extremely honored," says Varnedoe who grew up in Baton Rouge. "The James Beard Foundation represents the very best of the culinary world, so I'm excited to represent Louisiana's exquisite food and culture."

Varnedoe has played a key role in making Stroube's a prominent part of Baton Rouge's distinct food scene. The city has witnessed an explosion in the number of restaurants in recent years along with the opening of the nation's first Viking Cooking School Outdoors.

He learned the basics of kitchen management at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge under one of his role models, famed Chef John Folse. During his time with White Oak, Varnedoe traveled throughout the country, serving numerous celebrities and public figures.

His career includes stops at several noted restaurants in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, among other markets. A frequent participant in cooking competitions, Varnedoe's innovative dishes and imaginative flavor pairings have garnered top awards at virtually every level of the culinary industry.

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