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Bud & Alley’s Hosts Charity Dinner with Chef Donald Link

Posted on May 01, 2014 in Bud & Alley's , Chef Donald Link , May-June 2014

Chef Donald Link, along with Bud & Alley’s restaurant, will host a charity dinner benefitting Food for Thought, a charity based in Santa Rosa Beach. Photos courtesy Link Restaurant Group

Family-style menu features recipes from Link’s new cookbook: “Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything” By Zandra Wolfgram

Serving renditions of Gulf coast and classic Southern cuisine have been a hallmark of Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant for nearly 30 years. So when the opportunity to host a dinner with Chef Donald Link — one of the most illustrious chefs in New Orleans known for his putting a creative twist on Southern coastal cuisine — founder/owner Dave Rauschkolb was beyond thrilled.

“We have long admired his fresh approach to Southern classics and look forward to serving our guests an expertly prepared dinner that will help a deserving local cause,” Rauschkolb says. “Hosting special dinners like this personifies our mission of celebrating good food, good people and good times. By design, I love family style dinners; it’s all about gathering together and eating wonderful food and drink with great family and friends.”

The dinner will be held on Thursday, May 8, starting with cocktails at 7 p.m. in the Herb Garden with dinner to follow on the downstairs porch overlooking the Gulf.

The four-course dinner, served family style, puts a delicious twist on classic Southern cuisine. The culinary adventure begins with blue crab beignets with white remoulade, pork rillion with onion jam and cheddar bacon gougeres. The first course includes Beach House ceviche and grilled royal reds. The second course features braised lamb with lemon & olives, white beans with tasso and fresh mint couscous. Lemon blackberry tart and McGaw’s chocolate cookies offer up a sweet ending to a creative take on Southern classic cuisine. Select wines will be thoughtfully paired with each course.

Recognized as one of New Orleans’ preeminent chefs, Link, who was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Louisiana Restaurant Association in 2012, has peppered the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans with several distinctive restaurants over the course of the past 13 years. From Herbsaint, his first restaurant, which helped to earn him a James Beard award for Best Chef (South, 2007) to Cochon, opened with chef-partner Stephen Stryjewski, where he serves up authentic home-style Cajun and Southern cooking, to Pêche Seafood Grill, which opened just last year.

For Link, this special event is a welcome chance to ‘come home’ to the coast. “I have spent most of my life vacationing on the Gulf coast and have seen the evolution of Gulf coast dining,” he says. “After the rush of touristy spots along the coast it’s now a new world of great chefs and restaurants like Bud & Alley’s doing local-based cuisine. I’m thrilled to be cooking with Chef Dave Bishop and be a part of what is happening at Bud & Alley’s. Even though I live in Louisiana, the Florida coast has always been a second home to me.”

Tickets for the event are $125 per person, including tax and gratuity. All dinner guests will receive a complimentary, autographed copy of Link’s recently published cookbook, “Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything,” which unearths the region’s best local recipes and serves up tales spun in Link’s distinctive voice.

The event is made possible with generous support from the Seaside Institute’s Academic Village.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Food for Thought (foodforthoughtfl.org), a charity based in Santa Rosa Beach formed in 2010 by Tiffanie Shelton to help fight local childhood hunger. Its small volunteer-based team provides backpacks filled with easy-to-make meals so children can focus on their development and education, not where the next meal is coming from.

Only a limited number of tickets will be sold for the Donald Link dinner. To purchase tickets, email elijah@budandalleys.com or call (850) 231-5900. For more information on Bud & Alley’s, visit Bud & Alley's online.