Ruffino’s Featured at 2018 Washington, D.C. Mardi Gras Festivities
What’s Chef Peter Sclafani up to this weekend?
Preparing his signature, succulent Gulf Shrimp and Grits for the gathering hordes at the annual Mystick Krewe of Louisianians Washington, D.C. Mardi Gras -- the biggest celebration of the state’s Carnival culture beyond its borders. A huge part of the festivities is, of course, the food, with chefs from the Bayou State showing off signature dishes using Louisiana’s unmatched local bounty.
Sclafani and Ruffino’s co-owner Ruffin Rodrigue have participated in past Washington Mardi Gras balls, but this year is special. The team was invited by 2018 D.C. Mardi Gras King and Raising Cane’s CEO Todd Graves, a great friend of Rodrigue’s and huge fan of Ruffino’s Restaurant. Graves was chosen to serve as king by Sixth District Congressman Garret Graves of Baton Rouge, who wanted to showcase the best of the Capital City.
“It’s an honor for us to be back in D.C.,” says Sclafani. “This is an opportunity to participate in one of the greatest celebrations of Louisiana culture in the country.”
Sclafani and his team will prepare 200 pounds of tender jumbo Gulf shrimp and accompanying mounds of creamy mascarpone polenta made from Bonnecaze Farms’ small batch ground cornmeal. Sclafani adds mascarpone cheese and whipping cream to make the polenta silky smooth, and Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses for a savory punch. The polenta is the perfect bed for plump shrimp sautéed with chopped tomatoes, tasso, dry white wine and Sclafani’s favorite herb, fresh thyme. Each bite is a delectable medley.
Not headed to D.C.? No worries. Shrimp and Grits is a mainstay on Ruffino’s Sunday brunch menu.