Gage turned shrimp and grits, a meal traditionally served on a plate, into hors d’ouevres by deep-frying the grits into patties and topping them with a single shrimp and remoulade sauce.
Photo: Erin Kelleher Photography
Buffet tables were set up throughout the three floors of venue with Southern fare such as cheddar cheese grits, barbecue beef brisket, and cornbread served in iron skillets.
Susan Gage served a beet and blood orange side salad in large clear standing bowls on each buffet table.
Gage took inspiration from the Lee Brothers cookbook, which the chefs spoke about the following day at a hosted luncheon, for her Vidalia onion tart with an herb pastry crust served on the buffet tables.
Tabasco onions and barbecue sauce accompanied the barbecue beef brisket.
In addition to buttered biscuits, the buffet tables held cornbread served in cast-iron skillets.
For the desserts, Willen kept it to quick bites that could be easily eaten while mingling. The menu included unusual treats such bourbon balls, incorporating one of the South's liquor staples.
The only dessert requiring more than one hand, yet still served in small portions, was butterscotch pots de créme topped with salted caramel and créme fraiche.
Salted-caramel brownies were the only dessert served for chocolate lovers.
The classic New Orleans praline—made with sugar, butter, and pecans—provided another easy-to-eat sweet.
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