This year’s Burgers and Burgundy benefitting DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS) maintained its posh and tasty reputation at the home of Steve and Anne Stodghill on Friday, October 19. Chef John Tesar, due to compete on Season 10 of Top Chef this fall, headed the event once again.
Guests, with cocktails in hand, enjoyed burgers, wine, and specialty cocktails poolside from the likes of Tiffany Derry (Private Social), Michael Sindoni (Charlie Palmer), Scott Romano, Patton Robertson (Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck), Ross Demers (Ocho Kitchen + Cocktails), Dan Landsberg (Dragonfly), Samir Dhurandhar (Nick & Sam’s), and of course, John Tesar (Spoon Bar & Kitchen).
After sampling sliders, I was left asking – not longingly – but all the same, “Where’s the beef?”
Chefs Sindoni and Robertson served lamb burgers. Chef Derry’s short rib burger with char siu pork was a crowd pleaser. By the time I made it to her station to try a burger, they were all gone, which tells you something. Chef Tesar served a catfish sloppy joe slider with shrimp that was incredible and reminiscent of Louisiana shrimp creole. The slider was stuffed with lump catfish meat and whole shrimp tossed in a sweet and tangy sloppy joe sauce.
Chef Tesar said he hoped guests would remember his non-burger and he got his wish.
Candice Peters, an attendee said, “Leave it to John to create the one thing that doesn’t remind you of any burger you’ve ever tasted.”
As the event neared a close, I asked what makes Burgers and Burgundy a successful event and DIFFA chair member, Jim DiMarino said, “It’s the validated chefs who are passionate about the cause and the food they make.”
He’s right. Chef Tesar doesn’t know it, but my family is going to be trying my own version of his catfish sloppy joes this Thanksgiving.
Tiffany Thomas is a 22-year-old from Shreveport. She graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, LA. She enjoys writing, cooking, shopping, and eating.