An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Meet Alon Shaya

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015, 10:03 am in Chef Interviews, History, Restaurants | 1 comment

Alon Shaya Headshot (3)

Alon Shaya is having a very good year. He’s just won the James Beard Award in the Best Chef South division. This on the heels of opening his newest restaurant (his third in New Orleans), Shaya. I regret to say I have not yet had the chance to dine at Shaya.  I had hoped to celebrate my first Passover seder in many years of not cooking for a client, there at the invitation of a NOLA buddy, but unfortunately, the night of the seder happened to also be the first day of the French Quarter Fest, and I had a house guest who had come to the...

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Road Trip: El Paso, New Mexico and a Lunch Stop in Tuscon, AZ

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015, 2:41 pm in Personal Reflection, Restaurants, Travel | 0 comments

Pasco's Braised Beef Nachos with Veggies

  It‘s a long haul between San Antonio and El Paso on the western edge of Texas, and I’m staying on the western edge of El Paso. After the 8 1/2 to 9 hour drive, all I want is a quick bite and a comfortable bed in a cool hotel room. As I’m staying on the western edge of the city – and because I’ve picked a spot right off the Interstate – my dining options are limited. There’s a Chickafil (can’t do that) across the street in one direction, and a Chili’s in the other. I opt for the Chili’s – a bonus? I had a gift card for...

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Road Trip: Second Stop – San Antonio, TX

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015, 2:14 pm in Restaurants, Travel | 3 comments

Papas Bravas at Ocho

  San Antonio is a very Latin city with a river running through the heart of it and a beautiful shaded riverwalk on either side of the river. While it was too hot for me to do the typical sightseeing things – like visit the Alamo – the pooch and I really enjoyed our walk and extended sit under the lovely ancient cypress trees along the Riverwalk in the early evening. I am staying at a motel just across from the Market Square, a little bit like Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, but more spacious and less crowded –...

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Road Trip: First Stop – Lafayette, LA

Posted by on Aug 1, 2015, 2:47 pm in Personal Reflection, Restaurants, Travel | 1 comment

Oyster Trio

Photo Courtesy of Alan Stark via Creative Commons   What is it about road trips? It’s a very American phenomenon. Many well known American literary figures have written while driving across the country – F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck are top of mind. Steinbeck wrote that “every American hungers to move”,  which in his opinion is due to our being descended from those who moved to form America. Two iconic books of my generation – Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and  Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance...

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Race, Southern Food and an Upside Down Peach Pecan Pie

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015, 1:40 pm in Personal Reflection, Recipes-Sweet | 2 comments

Upside Down Peach Pie

  Last month was quite an extraordinary month in America. Confederate flags came down in at least one Southern state, and its days are clearly numbered in many other places. Here in New Orleans, our mayor made this statement: “On this day, let me, as the chief executive officer of this government, in this city, that at one moment in history sold more slaves into slavery than anywhere else in America, apologize for this country’s history and legacy of slavery.” And there is  serious talk of replacing New Orleans’...

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10 Things You Must Do When Visiting New Orleans – Part 2

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015, 2:42 pm in Travel | 3 comments

Cubano Sandwich from Cochon Butcher

Comments I received after posting the first part of this list makes me realize even more so, how difficult it is to pick just ten must-do’s about New Orleans. In fact, I struggled with my number 10 spot – it was almost a tie (and as it is  I’m giving you many options within one), and there are so many also-rans. So, like I said before, this is my list for today, and it’s just a snap shot in time – although there are at least one or two of these things that I suspect would be on my list at any moment in time. I...

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10 Things You Must Do When Visiting New Orleans – Part 1

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015, 2:58 pm in Travel | 6 comments

Beignets at Morning Call

I have been asked many times for suggestions of what to do when visiting New Orleans. There are so many things to do in this romantic, haunted, musical, literate city, of course, that’ so different from any other American city, and where tourism is the number one industry. I’m sure everyone who’s spent any time here would have their own list of favorites – and mine may change from time to time, as well. But as of this and my next entry here, this is the list I submit to you – with not a single over the top,...

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BLT with Shrimp Salad – and Green Onion Ranch Dressing

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015, 9:31 am in Recipes-Savory | 3 comments

BLT with Shrimp Salad

  A couple of years back a regular client of mine requested that I add another salad to her summer lunch party menu. This client threw several parties a year, and usually liked to serve 3 or 4 salads on the buffet. One or two salads, like the Caesar, always made an appearance, but we liked to keep coming up with new and seasonal salad choices, too. As you can imagine, I had to continually search and be creative in order to keep offering a selection of new ideas each time.   In grazing through my cookbook collection, I came upon a...

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Oven Roasted Beets with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015, 8:00 am in Food and Drink, Recipes-Savory | 2 comments

Roasted Beets with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

  I recently brought a platter of Roasted Beets and Roasted Asparagus, which I served with a Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing, to a family gathering here in New Orleans. Those of you who read this blog will know that the roasted versions of these vegetables are standards of mine. So I was surprised when cousins I hadn’t seen in many years asked what I had done to the beets. “We buy pickled beets in a jar” they said, “ but never had anything like this.” I was reminded of two things. First, my blogger buddy, Dorothy of Shockingly Delicious,...

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Barefoot – and Beyond – at Broussard’s

Posted by on May 30, 2015, 9:49 am in Events, Restaurants, Travel, Wine | 2 comments

Broussard's Oysters Rockefeller

New Orleans is undergoing a culinary renaissance. You can find restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines here, which was pretty much unheard of in the past. In fact, some would say it’s more difficult to find places serving classic Creole cuisine nowadays. While Broussard’s is not quite as venerable as grand dames like Antoine’s (celebrating its 175th anniversary this year) or Galatoire’s (already 10 years past the 100 year old mark), it is one of the traditional French Quarter Creole eateries, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. And...

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