By Susan Langenhennig, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on March 05, 2013 at 2:49 PM, updated March 05, 2013 at 4:08 PM
Purloo explores Southern foods at weekly pop-up dinners, Dishcrawl comes to New Orleans, and other dining events
Chef Ryan Hughes (Photo by Dinah Rogers, The Times-Picayune / NOLA.com)
It will be a few more months before Chef Ryan Hughes settles into his permanent kitchen at Purloo, the new restaurant set to open inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum’s new building on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. In the meantime, Hughes has been hard at work building a fan base for the restaurant’s Southern-focused food.
Hughes has been holding Purloo pop-up dinners, exploring culinary traditions across the South, from Texas’ Rio Grande region to South Carolina’s lowcountry to Louisiana’s Cajun culture.
The next dinner is set for Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Creole Gardens Guesthouse and Inn, 1415 Prytania St. It will zero in on coastal Alabama, with dishes such as cornmeal-fried Alabama eastern oysters, black-eyed pea and edamame “caviar” and curried crème fraiche; apple, pickled kabocha pumpkin and endive salad; Fudge Family Farms’ grilled pork loin; sweet potato cupcakes and pecan divinity.
Seating at the dinner is limited to 50 people, and reservations fill up fast. The cost is $55 per person. Cocktails are served at 6:30 p.m. in the patio, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. For reservations and information, call or text 504.430.1840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Purloo, Hughes gets to interpret Southern food with French techniques. He’s a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C., and previously worked at Johnny V’s and Café Degas restaurants.
Other upcoming themes for the Purloo dinners include Southern soul food on March 13; a literary-inspired menu on March 20 in honor of the Tennessee Williams Festival, with author readings before each course; and foods of Appalachia on March 27.