Saying the name Commander’s Palace conjures up images of a quintessential New Orleans experience. Expert service, classic south Louisiana cuisine and an extensive wine menu are all part of the allure.
So when the famous Big Easy restaurant started hosting virtual wine and cheese parties on Zoom during the COVID-19 shutdown, it became an opportunity to stay connected with loyal customers and make a small profit in the midst of a financially trying time. The “shows” have become incredibly popular and well-produced over the weeks, according to Times-Picayune food writer Ian McNulty.
“It has become a rollicking weekly variety show of food and wine, equal parts gourmet and goofball, more Jimmy Fallon than Robert Parker,” McNulty says in a recent piece. “There’s a cast of recurring characters, ongoing bits, a house band, a ‘roving reporter’ for surprise satellite appearances around town, cameos from local celebrities, ever-changing guests and a dedicated audience watching week to week.”
Participants pay around $100 for three bottles of wine, two cheeses and access to the call. And it’s become so popular that winemakers from around the world want to take part.