An Ode to the Ampersand (and how it makes food taste better)

Shrimp & Grits is on the menu for Bal Masqué on October 3rd!

Shrimp & Grits is on the menu for Bal Masqué on October 3rd!

There are things in this life that are undoubtedly better when standing alone. But as we are writing this very post, we can’t think of one. If you’re a fan of milk, we’d be willing to bet that you think it tastes better with a cookie. Spaghetti by its lonesome? The thought of this hallowed noodle dish without meatballs is almost heartbreaking. Don’t even get us started on peanut butter.

At Bal Masqué on October 3rd, we’re happy that two famous food couples bound in holy matrimony by the ampersand will be on the menu. Classically southern and delicious in every interpretation, we needed little convincing to add them to the savory spread for the evening.

Famous Southern Duo Dishes

First is a mashup of southern-coastal fare: Shrimp & Grits. Sweet and briny gulf shrimp are the most perfect sea creature to sit atop a pillowy serving of cheese grits. The recipes vary from cook to cook including tomatoes or perhaps a rich broth simmered with wine. Or maybe even addition of spicy heat from andouille sausage…but one thing is always constant: the shrimp & the grits. Perfectly paired, this is a special occasion dish that we can’t wait to dive right into at Bal Masqué!

Crispy, savory with a drizzle of sweet, Chicken & Waffles is equally tempting. Less mainstream than shrimp & grits, this dish is quickly making its way on to the southern menu roster of all-stars. Delicately fried chicken is the perfect balance for the slightly sweet and bready texture of waffles that everyone loves. At Bal Masqué this dish will be reinvented as a slider with special sauces for dipping.

Don't miss the Chicken & Waffle sliders at Bal Masqué.

Don’t miss the Chicken & Waffle sliders at Bal Masqué.

We know that the ampersand itself has no magical culinary ability to transform a dish into something more special than its components. The genius behind these culinary duos is that someone long ago put them together. The rest is food matrimony history. Regardless of the ampersand’s involvement in the matchmaking, we tip our hats to you, Ampersand. Thank you for taking a simple sautéed shrimp a reason to celebrate. And thank you for keeping the breakfast waffle out way past its bedtime to meet up with hot fried chicken.

These and other great dishes are on the menu and artfully catered by Fete Catering for Bal Masqué on October 3rd. Tickets are available at SRQBALMASQUE.COM. 

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