According to NOLA Defender, yesterday was a big day for Freret Street's new Southern eatery High Hat Café, which got a visit from a bunch of big-name chefs, plus Treme writer Lolis Eric Elie. Chip Apperson, who co-owns High Hat with Adolfo Garcia, played host to Tom Colicchio, Wylie Dufresne, Eric Ripert, David Chang, and Alfred Portale, the first four of whom paid a similar visit to fictional chef Janette Desautel's restaurant in the first season of Treme.
In keeping with the café's MO, Apperson served the mega-chefs a standard Southern meal?meaning catfish and hush puppies, barbecue shrimp, stewed chicken and the like?and apparently Ripert especially liked the barbecue shrimp, totally "eating with his fingers" like a regular person. Which is big news, as Apperson put it: "He [Ripert] runs maybe the greatest fish restaurant in the world, and he’s in here sopping up barbecue shrimp." Well done, High Hat.