For 318 Restaurant Week 2019, Whisk Dessert Bar‘s Chef Blake Jackson is partnering with Real BBQ and More‘s Harvey Clay for a one-night-only dinner called Where There’s Smoke, 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 19 at Real BBQ and More. These two culinary professionals specialize in dramatically different styles of cooking. Clay is an old school pit master with more than 40 years of experience slow-smoking pork, beef, chicken, and turkey. Jackson, who also owns Drake Catering, has a well-known knack for combining popular Southern cuisine and fine dining. Their skill sets perfectly complement one another, and should make for a really fun, uniquely local dining experience.
The four-course menu for Where There’s Smoke includes smoked catfish hush puppy croquettes, Caribbean-style smoked jerk pork served with black garlic and plantain mofongo and pickled papaya red onion relish, brisket and sausage-stuffed ravioli served with Real BBQ rub, brown butter, fresh manchego and green onion relish, and “bananacotta” and scratch ‘Nilla wafers served with smoked salt caramel and vanilla bean gelato. Tickets are $50 each and may be purchased here. As of March 8, 2019, about half of the tickets for this event have been sold.
I asked Jackson which dish he’s most excited about serving on March 19.
“Honestly, the brisket ravioli is going to be top-notch,” he said. “But that banana panna cotta…it’s this new take on banana pudding, which is such a classic when it comes to barbecue.”
Just the thought of a homemade ‘Nilla wafer would be enough to send me scrambling to purchase tickets, but I’m hosting a 318 Restaurant Week dinner at The Petroleum Club on the same night. If anyone wants to save me a homemade ‘Nilla wafer, that’d be just fine.
Here’s video of my conversation with Chef Blake Jackson: