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Chef Roland's - Flying M - Blue Ribbon

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Ragin' Cajun

Yet another popular catering truck is busy setting up permanent shop. Chef Roland's Cajun Cuisine and BBQ has acquired the former Gloria's Mexican Restaurant location on Boise Ave. and Chef Roland Joseph has been busy working to renovate the building in anticipation of an opening date in the next two weeks. Best known for the hour-plus wait that people endure each year at Soul Food Extravaganza to get a bowl of gumbo or jambalaya, Joseph is the sole proprietor of Chef Roland's and a Louisiana native who received his culinary education in New Orleans. Joseph has been in Boise for six years with a stint as the Boise Rescue Mission's chef before opening up his catering company.

"Rev. Roscoe kept telling me to get a place and call it Chef Roland's. So I did," laughs Joseph. Three and a half years ago, Chef Roland's catering company opened off Glenwood Street and Chinden Boulevard, and after two Garden City locations and one on the Bench, the Boise Avenue location will be Joseph's first Boise foray into the restaurant business.

"I have a great following here in town," says Joseph, who has big plans for his new restaurant. His entire menu is made from scratch, including the boudain sausage—a Cajun favorite made from pork, vegetables and rice that he says is nearly impossible to find outside of Louisiana—he plans to start making. Also on the menu are Cajun and soul food favorites like fried catfish, BBQ brisket and ribs, but, says Joseph, lunch will be quick service for the short-on-time crowd, while dinner will be a more upscale affair with tableclothes and menu choices like crawfish etouffe and shrimp creole.

Chef Roland's Cajun Cuisine, 1221 E. Boise Avenue, 208-867-8075. Catering truck opens Monday, Dec. 17 outside the restaurant.

The Elsewhere Menu

The land of the Purple Bean has given we mortals yet another reason to sing its praise and continue our daily offerings in absolute adoration with its "Flying M for Elsewhere" menu (a simple concept more commonly known as a to-go menu). Don't be fooled. A to-go menu may seem like a perplexing move for a business model designed around the concept of take-away food, but this is take-away in bulk. Like a whole pan of coffeecake or a dozen of those angel bars. Get almost all of the M's scratch-made in-house edibles and a few gallons of coffee or tea to take elsewhere. No time for holiday baking? Pass off a batch of the M's no-bake cookies as your own at Monday morning's meeting. Give the gift of the M's banana bread. But whatever you need your goods for, be sure to order for pickup 48 hours in advance.

Flying M Coffeehouse, 500 W. Idaho St., 208-345-4320.

The Art of Wine

The quality of the work on the inside of a wine bottle is as important as the quality of the artwork on the bottle's label. This month, Blue Ribbon Artisans hosts a show of French artist Rene Peyrou's work from wine bottle labels from throughout France. A collection of limited edition prints and vintage wines will be on display, as will original paintings, which will be offered for sale. As you peruse the show, Blue Ribbon will also supply the wine, cheese and pastries from its artisans. A walking tour and appetizers are scheduled Thur., Dec. 13, and on Thur., Dec. 20, Blue Ribbon hosts a dinner in honor of the exhibit's closing.

Blue Ribbon Artisans, 1441 N. Eagle Rd., Meridian, 208-855-5858, BlueRibbonArtisans.com.

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