May 21, 2022, Philadelphia – On Saturday, May 21, the Philadelphia Chaîne held a unique “Sea to Table” dining experience … a traditional Louisiana Crawfish Boil and Oyster Fest! Chef Paul Marshall is a dear friend of the Chaîne, who over the years has hosted several dinners for the Philadelphia Bailliage, including our 2020 “Dinner of the Year!” What many of our members didn’t know, is that Chef Paul is from Sulphur, Louisiana and worked at the world-renowned Commander’s Palace in New Orleans!

Every May, Chef Paul hosts an annual crawfish boil for his close friends. Last year our Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Leo Levinson and his wife Lynn were fortunate to receive an invitation. After much begging and pleading, our Bailli Paul Koulogeorge and Chargé de Presse, Eliav Barr, got to tag along. What a special feast and what a unique treat! Leo and Paul immediately started making plans to repeat the event for our entire Bailliage in 2022. This was the most unique event of our season!

Cooking Crawfish.

FOOD: The event was a casual afternoon on the farm, dining outside on Chef’s beautiful and historic Half Hill Farm property in Malvern, Pennsylvania. There were multiple food stations before we moved to the garden to sit down for the traditional New Orleans crawfish boil.

Stations included an “Oysters & Rosé” table where guests enjoyed Barataria Bay Oysters on a half shell, served in a kayak filled with ice and topped by Oysters! Other stations included natchitoches meat pies (a 300-year-old New Orleans tradition), crawfish pies, cochon du laid boudin and, of course, homemade desserts.

Dame Yan Jin and Officier Paul Schulze.

Guest Lynn Levinson and Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Leo Levinson.

While we enjoyed our food stations, we had the opportunity to watch Chef Paul prepare the crawfish boil, which includes crawfish, Andouille sausage, potatoes, corn, onions, garlic and Chef Paul’s special blend of authentic Cajun seasoning. Chef has special equipment that allows him to cook the meal outdoors, for all of us to get to enjoy the experience.

One long table was placed in the garden and covered with disposable tablecloths and Chef then covered the table with crawfish! No forks, knives or plates were provided because guests use their hands to dig in and feast. Trust us, this was a LOT of fun and a little messy.

Finally, guests ended the afternoon with Chef Paul’s homemade banana pudding and brownies with vanilla bean ice cream.

WINE: This was a BYOB event. The price of admission was $100 a person plus a bottle of wine! Nothing fancy (this is a down home crawfish boil). We asked our guests to bring a bottle of Rosé, Dry Riesling, Muscadet, or Sancerre or a similar wine that goes with a boil. Chef provided a New Orleans favorite, iced cold Louisiana Abita amber beer!

Featured photo: Chef Paul Marshall feeding a Louisiana Oyster to Vice Conseiller Gastronomique, Leo Levinson.

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