Louisiana chefs took over Music City this week to promote tourism in the Bayou State.
The event allowed adventurous diners to embrace Louisiana's cuisine and culture at restaurants across Nashville, Tennessee.
"With this campaign, we're hoping to market and promote Louisiana tourism by showing them the No. 1 reason for them to visit: our food," said Laura Cating, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Travel Association.
"We want to use this as a jumping off point and say, 'Here's an area that appreciates good food and has good flavors, and now that you've tasted it for yourself, you have to come and experience this place that has really developed the culinary scene.'"
Louisiana by Nashville included an invitation-only preview event Monday and a culinary experience for the public Tuesday.
Participating Louisiana chefs included:
- Chef Lyle Broussard of Jack Daniel's Bar & Grill at L'Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles
- Chef Madonna Broussard of Laura's II Cafe in Lafayette
- Chefs Cody and Samantha Carroll of Sac-a-lait and Hot Tails in New Orleans and New Roads
- Chef Russell Davis of Eliza Restaurant in Baton Rouge
- Chef Justin Ferguson of BRQ in Baton Rouge
- Chefs Keith and Newly Frentz of Lola in St. Tammany
- Chef Jeffery Hansell of Oxlot 9 in Covington
- Chefs Alex Robertson Mancuso and Jon Gimber of Miss Kay's Eats & Sweets in Monroe
- Chefs Michael Stoltzfus and Kristen Essig of Coquette in New Orleans
- Chef Kevin Thompson of Cadillac Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar at Golden Nugget in Lake Charles
- Chef Ryan Trahan of Blue Dog Cafe in Lafayette (who was also named the Louisiana and American Seafood King of 2018)
Some Nashville chefs teamed up with the visiting Louisiana chefs to create a special, collaborative menu for the Tuesday dinner service.
Others simply showcased Louisiana cuisine for the evening.
"In Louisiana, good food is just part of what connects us to our diverse heritage, and we want to bring this experience to the people of Nashville," said Doug Bourgeois, assistant secretary for the Louisiana Office of Tourism, in a press release. "Nashville may be known as Music City, but it's also a foodie city. We want to encourage food enthusiasts from Nashville to come to Louisiana and experience our chefs, seafood and culinary traditions first hand."
This isn't the first time Louisiana chefs have taken over a city.
Similar promotional events have been held in places such as Birmingham, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; and even New York City.
These culinary experiences increase travel to Louisiana from these markets, according to Cating.
Tourism organizations use data, such the zip codes visitors use when booking Louisiana hotels, to determine the effectiveness of promotional events.
“Anytime we can share our food and chefs with other parts of the United States it’s a win-win proposition," said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser in a press release. “Our ultimate goal within our Office of Tourism is to attract more visitors to Louisiana — and sometimes, we have to go where the visitors live in order to entice them, to showcase our people, our culture and, of course, our delicious food.”
Louisiana by Nashville was held in partnership with Garden & Gun Magazine as part of the Louisiana Culinary Trails marketing effort by the Louisiana Travel Association, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and 18 convention and visitors bureaus from across the state.
Louisiana Culinary Trails offers travelers the opportunity to take a self-guided road trip with flavorful stops in eight regions of the state.
Learn more by visiting LouisianaTravel.com/culinary.