The company marketing Jazzman rice, developed by the LSU AgCenter, brought a group of Louisiana chefs to the July 1 field day at the Rice Research Station in Crowley, La., to show them where the rice originated.
Lamar Berry, public relations consultant for Jazzmen Rice of New Orleans, said the outing was a chance to familiarize the chefs with rice farming.
“They serve our product in their restaurants, and we want to bring them out to see where Jazzman was developed,” Berry said. “Chefs tend to want to get out there and learn about these things.”
Matthew Beaudin, L’auberge Casino in Lake Charles chef, originally from Virginia, said it was the first time he had seen rice growing.
“I really wanted to see the agriculture here,” Girard said. “I really wanted to see the rice and crawfish farming.”
George Chin, president of Jazzmen Rice, said sales of the company’s product are increasing, and several grocery stores have it on their shelves, including Rouse’s, Winn-Dixie, Associated Foods and Brookshires, in addition to a California Asian supermarket. “It’s moving real well,” Chin said.
This fall, he said, the company will start selling brown Jazzman. “It’s going to have a good aroma, and it will be much better than regular brown rice.”
He said restaurants are already eager to try the brown rice.
In addition, a potential new variety of aromatic rice is under development by Xueyan Sha, LSU AgCenter rice breeder, and it has stronger aroma than Jazzman. Sha said the chemical that results in the aromatic quality is three times stronger in the line being developed compared to Jazzman.