You know what people do not talk about very much in this city? Dessert. Someone is always yammering on about étouffée, gumbo, poboys, cookouts, and crawfish, but never speak a word about desserts (besides bread pudding and snowballs). Which does not make New Orleans the best environment for sugar junkies like myself. I mean we just got a REAL candy store built in the River Walk like yesterday. However I have a feeling that this month’s professional Renaldo Daniels is about to change the dessert game.
New Orleans native Renaldo Daniels began his chef journey by watching his grandmother and mother in the kitchen. They taught him the basics of southern cooking and guess what? He did not run with it. He went to college to get a marketing degree at the University of New Orleans and University of Lafayette after hurricane Katrina. It was not until he was forced to cook for himself in college that he awakened his natural talents and desire for cooking. “When I moved out to Lafayette I needed to eat. I didn’t know what to do, so I got on the stove and started playing around. I started with drunken apples. I watched a lot of Food Network and I started to make my own jams…..served it up and people loved it,” said Daniels. After a while Daniels decided to attend culinary school at Delgado Community College.
Post culinary school for Daniels has been an experience. More recently Daniels worked at Liberty’s Kitchen for the 2013-2014 school year as an instructor and production cook. He spent time teaching New Orleans at-risk students about cooking, knife cuts, food lines, customer service, and basic manners. Daniels noted that he felt this was a wonderful opportunity to give back to our community. So when questioned on what he thinks about the black professional community in New Orleans he said, “To be honest it’s a little rough, rough for a lot of years. It’s the reason why a lot of black professionals have left the city and to establish themselves else where. Mainly because getting started from the ground up is extremely difficult.” However, despite his beliefs, Daniels was still able to open his own catering business called Savor the Moment, LLC.
So I know you are all on pins and needles wondering how Daniels is changing the dessert game I mentioned earlier since Savor the Moment is a catering company. Well it all started with drunken apples! Daniels has created his own line of alcohol infused ice cream called Vice Cream. Flavors such as Peaches and Cream (peach vodka), Bananas Foster (rum), Pralines and cream (pecan liqueur), My Sherry Amore (cream sherry wine), Drunk and Chocolate (red wine with chocolate flavors), etc. The ice cream has about a 5% alcohol content which means no taste for the kiddies….unless you are that parent, because Daniels claims that you can get a bit of a buzz if you eat enough. No worries, Daniels will allow NOBP guest to test that claim at our next professional meet-up.