[All photos Michelle Nicholson]

Former Momofuku Chef Pops-Up at Mister Mao's

07:43 September 28, 2023
By: Robert Witkowski

Mister Mao's hosts Ggoma Supper Club's four-course dinner Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Beyoncé who?

While throngs of people swarmed the Superdome to see the pop singer Wednesday night, September 27, Uptown foodie fans packed Mister Mao's for a quieter evening with Celebrity Chef Tae Strain, who thrilled patrons of the culinary arts with a pop-up, four-course dinner showcasing seasonal and ingredient-forward New American dishes. The former Momofuku chef and current Chef/Owner of Ggoma Supper Club in Baltimore served two seatings, the first at 6 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m.

Mister Mao prides itself on creative "inauthentic" global cuisine and presents this wildly popular guest chef pop-up series to provide a unique gastronomic journey by world renowned chefs from across the U.S. This night Chef Tae Strain was ceded control of Mister Mao's kitchen for two seatings at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The 8 p.m. Wednesday night dinner service, priced at $68 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), delighted diners with the following menu:

First Course

Stone fruit and Armenian cucumbers and peanut sambal

—Steenburg, sparkling Savingnon Blanc, South Africa

Second Course

Gulf shrimp with lamb sausage and charred eggplant

—Tipsy teahouse with Bourbon, karade, mint, hibiscus, cinnamon

Third Course

Poussin with curry rice and "Green Sauce"

—Kloof Street, old Vine Chenin Blanc, South Africa

Fourth Course

Watermelon-yuzu granita with marshmallow mousse & coconut crumble

—St. Agrestis Amaro, Brooklyn

The dishes were served with a wine pairing option. Guests were surprised with an amuse-bouche fritter with a sweet topping to jump start taste buds.

The dishes that followed had innovative combinations, often with ingredients that complemented or tempered the acidic fruits while adding sweetness to the savory, most notably the first course where tomatoes complemented the stone fruit and tempered the peanut to allow a fish sauce to enhance the flavors of the dish.

While many craft cocktails were suggested on the menu, including Daddy Issues (Bourbon, amaro, combier, cherry), Uncle Butthead (mezcal, amaro, lime), and Baby One More Thyme (gin, Pimm's, thyme, lime, bitter orange, aquafaba), the Honey Gold (Mash House rum, fig, Thai spice, baked apple, and turmeric) was selected at the 8 p.m. seating to start, with an espresso martini to close the evening

For future pop-up celebrity chef events, contact Mister Mao located at 4501 Tchoupitoulas in New Orleans' Uptown neighborhood, or follow mistermaonola.com and @mistermaonola on instagram

[All photos Michelle Nicholson]

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