New Orleans-Born, Vietnamese Chef Anh Luu Will Pair Caribbean Creole Favorites with Caribbean Street Food and a Variety of Cruzan® Rum Cocktails
PORTLAND, Ore. (August 10, 2015) – Known for its New Orleans cuisine served on small plates, tapas-style, and its Asian/Cajun menu created by the restaurant’s New Orleans-born, Vietnamese chef Anh Luu, Tapalaya will host its final dinner, the Cruzan® Rum Spirit Dinner, in its Summer Spirit Series on Monday, August 17th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the restaurant. Showcasing Cruzan® Rum from St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Tapalaya is hosting a Caribbean-themed dinner celebration. Located on Portland’s NE 28th restaurant row, Tapalaya is the city’s first-and-only restaurant to serve New Orleans cuisine as small plates. Tapalaya, which is a combination of the words tapas and Jambalaya, offers its contemporary Cajun/Creole tapas and its Vietnamese-inspired special dishes at dinner and Brunch. For the Cruzan® Rum Spirit Dinner, the restaurant will be transformed into a global, street food scene, serving Caribbean Creole favorites, Caribbean Street Food, and Cruzan® Rum cocktails. The Cruzan® Rum Brand Ambassador, Michael Anderson, will be on-site to offer samples of and educate diners on the natural ingredients and unique distillation process of the various rums being offered.
This festive, high-energy event will feature various food and drink stations, live musical entertainment provided by Tropical Breeze, a three-piece steel drum band, and dancing. The event includes dinner, live music, three different rum cocktails and two rum samples, for $37 per person. Gratuity is not included.
Cajun/Creole cuisine originated in Louisiana and blends influences from Spain, France, West Africa and the Caribbean, along with some Italian and Irish influences as well.
“The happy, joyful vibe of New Orleans, with its Caribbean influences, complements the fun, island vibes of Saint Croix, and we’re excited to celebrate the two for our final spirit dinner of the summer,” said Tapalaya Owner Chantal Angot.
The Cruzan® Rum Spirit Dinner will feature some of Tapalaya’s signature Caribbean Creole favorites paired with select rum cocktails. The menu includes the following:
- An Oyster Shucking Station;
- Tapalaya’s Signature Crawfish Boil; and
- Caribbean Street Food.
Anderson, the Brand Ambassador, will be on-site, personally pouring three specially-curated, rum cocktails and offering two rum samples for the dinner, and he will be actively engaged with the guests, describing the flavor-profiles of each of the rums.
Tapalaya’s spirit dinners have each highlighted one of New Orleans’ main regional culinary influences. Previously this summer, Tapalaya hosted a Jim Beam® Bourbon Spirit Dinner in June which was a Cajun dinner, and a Stone Barn® Brandyworks Spirt Dinner in July, which was a classical French dinner. And, this Cruzan® Rum Spirit Dinner is a Caribbean dinner.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cruzan-rum-spirit-dinner-and-summer-party-tickets-17647265446.
Born to Vietnam War refugees in New Orleans, Luu and her family evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. With their home under 15 feet of water, Luu’s family moved to Portland, Oregon but Luu remained in Louisiana to attend school and work in several top New Orleans restaurants. She later moved to Portland to join her family and attend the Western Culinary Institute. Subsequently, Luu was hired as Second in Charge at Tanuki, Chef/Owner Janice Martin’s izakaya. Following Tanuki, Luu was hired as Head Chef at Tapalaya in May 2013.
Located at 28 NE 28th Avenue in Northeast Portland and serving lunch Monday through Friday, dinner and Happy Hour daily with live New Orleans music on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, Tapalaya serves contemporary Cajun/Creole cuisine sourcing many fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood from local farms and farmer’s markets in Portland, the Willamette Valley and Vancouver, Washington. Gluten-friendly, vegetarian and vegan options are offered and classic menu items include Red Beans & Rice, Jambalaya, Po’ Boy Sandwiches, Crawfish Etouffée, Barbeque Jumbo Gulf Prawns, Blackened Catfish and Beignets. Tapalaya offers a full bar, wine and beer. Signature cocktails include the Hurricane, Uptown NOLA and Sazerac.
Tapalaya is a contemporary New Orleans tapas restaurant located in Portland, Oregon’s NE 28th Restaurant Row. Inventive Cajun/Creole tapas prepared with locally-sourced ingredients from the Pacific Northwest are made from scratch with love. Born in New Orleans, and raised by her Vietnamese parents, Chef Anh Luu has introduced new menu items that are infused with the Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients from her culture, heritage and childhood. Portland’s first-and-only restaurant to serve New Orleans cuisine as small plates, Tapalaya offers contemporary Cajun/Creole tapas along with a Vietnamese-inspired special menu. Small plates are perfect for sharing and pairing in a fun and relaxed atmosphere with cheery, New Orleans funk décor, set to a funky beat. The restaurant offers live music every Tuesday and Thursday and Happy Hour every day. Owner Chantal Angot has been proprietor of Tapalaya since its opening in November 2008. A combination of the words tapas and Jambalaya, Tapalaya is located at 28 NE 28th Avenue in Portland. Lunch is served Monday through Friday, dinner and Happy Hour are offered daily and Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations or more information, please call (503) 232-NOLA (6652) or visit www.tapalaya.com or www.opentable.com.
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