Bravo’s Top Chefs Visit the Hotel Monteleone

The Hotel Montleone, one of New Orleans’ historic hotels, and home to Tales of the Cocktail, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Carousel Bar. The Royal Street landmark is famous for its literary connections.


Literary greats have haunted its halls for decades. Tennessee Williams was a frequent guest, Truman Capote often quipped that he was born in the Monteleone (his mother was living there at the time, the hotel staff got her to Touro Infirmary where he was actually born). Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Winston Groom, Richard Ford and Rebecca Wells have all been guests as well. Hemingway, Williams and Capote were known to do their share of writing while sitting in the Carousel Bar.

spinningAn Old Fashioned going for a spin at the Carousel Bar.

There once was a cocktail called the Monteleone, its recipe lost in time. To celebrate the bar’s 60th anniversary, the hotel held a contest for folks to come up with a recipe for a new version. The winning contestant would receive a free 4-night stay for Tales of the Cocktail.

Final judging was held May 22. The top 5 cocktails were judged by four of the chefs from season five of the Bravo network’s Top Chef reality TV show. Mr. and Mrs. Cocktail (Paul and Ann Tuennerman) MC’d as show winner Hosea Rosenberg and chefs Jamie Lauren, Leah Cohen and Jeff McInnis tasted the entries.

hosea_tuenermannsMr. & Mrs. Cocktail with Top Chef winner Hosea.

Top Chefs Jamie, Leah, Hosea & Jeff give each other a toast as the judging begins.

It was a great time, with champagne served to all the visitors, who got to sample the entries as well. Nolanotes dropped by, as did Blackened Out, a NOLA foodie blogger who had submitted his own cocktail to the contest, which, alas, was not a finalist. After the judging, we retired to the Carousel Bar ourselves to do a little judging of our own of a couple of rounds of Ramos Gin Fizzes. Then to the Greek Fest later that evening, but that’s another post (from last year).

Brian Robinson of Arlington, Virgina’s concoction was the winner. Here is the winning recipe (courtesy the Hotel Monteleone):

Monteleone Cocktail

2 oz Rye Wiskey
1 ½ oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
½ oz Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur
2 dashes Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
Splash Ginger Ale

Shake ingredients and strain into a julep cup or cocktail glass with crushed ice. Garnish with orange slice.

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2 Responses to Bravo’s Top Chefs Visit the Hotel Monteleone

  1. […] Top Chef season 5 stars Jaime Lauren, Leah Cohen, Jeff McInnis and winner Hosea Rosenberg were in New Orleans judging a contest to pick a new drink for the legendary Hotel Montleone’s Carousel Bar. The winner was the “Monteleone Cocktail,” a combination of rye whiskey, elderflower liquer, ginger liquer, orange bitters and ginger ale. [My Big Easy Life] […]

  2. jean crabtree on March 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    while looking for a recipe using Elderflower liquer, I came across the Hotel Montleone’s –naturally, this would be the ONE – We Love N.O. and we were at your hotel- the last time, when the super dome re-opened after horrible Katrina, and your saintly Saints played – it was my birthday – Sept. 25th. and as usual, we had a glorious stay at your wonderful hotel & enjoyed your city to the max!!!! THANKS FOR THE RECIPE

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