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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New Orleans’ Confederate Monuments

Posted by on May 22, 2017, 4:00 pm in Current Affairs, Historic Places, History, Personal Reflection, Travel | 0 comments

Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a moving speech Friday afternoon, as the last of the city’s four Confederate was coming down. He mentioned in his remarks all the people that had left New Orleans because of exclusionary attitudes – people like my parents, and indeed much of my extended family, who joined the tens of thousands, and perhaps more, in leaving the city for a better life.

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The Second Line

Posted by on May 13, 2013, 11:50 am in Celebrations, Current Affairs, History, Music | 5 comments

Whenever a group of New Orleanians is gathered, either in Los Angeles or the Crescent City, they rise to their feet and start waving their handkerchiefs, and often umbrellas, when the Second Line’s funky beat wafts over them.

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Impressions on August 29th Six Years Later- and Quinoa Salad

Posted by on Sep 1, 2011, 10:36 am in Current Affairs, Personal Reflection, Recipes-Savory, Travel | 0 comments

Reflections and meeting with friends on the 6th anniversary of hurricane Katrina

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A Registered Dietitian Shares her Thoughts on Healthy Fish Choices and the State of our Oceans

Posted by on Sep 30, 2010, 1:44 pm in Current Affairs | 2 comments

A Registered Dietitian Shares her Thoughts on Healthy Fish Choices and the State of our Oceans

Okay- as much as we love good food and good times, sometimes we have to get a little intense, and stop to consider just where our food comes from, how it's raised, and just how it gets to our groceries. Sadly, more and more, we also have to consider whether our favorite foods will still be around a few years down the line. Today I am happy to have Monika Woolsey, a registered dietitian specializing in the treatment of chronic and stress-related disease, as a guest blogger. Monika contacted me when a mutual friend told her about the LA Helps LA Event, because she feels passionately about the state of our oceans, and how the health of the earth’s oceans impacts our health as humans. Thanks to Monika for sharing her expertise and insight, and read to the end, as she has a special gift for all who attend our event. -Best, G.     Not long into  the process of choosing my area of specialty, and digging into the research, it became clear that there is huge potential in the ocean for solutions to some of our most debilitating health problems. Diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, even infertility…have all been seen to respond to omega-3 supplementation. As the research about this continued to pile up, it became clear to me that humans are completely dependent on healthy oceans in order to have good health themselves. Unfortunately, we don't seem to understand the "healthy oceans" half of that equation. Rather than look at the science and the data, which suggest that we can get omega-3's from any ocean-related food source, we've become obsessed with salmon. The demand for wild salmon has placed stress on those populations. It is likely our obsession with this one fish that created demand for genetically altered, quick-growing salmon, and that has subsequently created outrage. Here are some challenges to this obsession with salmon. Did you know: lake trout actually has more omega-3 fatty acids per ounce than salmon? Did you know: wild salmon aren't always 100% wild? That they often spend up to the first two years of life in hatcheries before being released in the ocean? Our misperception of the definition of the word "wild" has made it difficult for fish farming to take hold as a sustainable solution to our increasing demand for fish. Did you know: as of this month, five different species of farmed seafood (oysters, rainbow trout, Arctic char, barramundi, and mussels) made the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program's list of Super Green Choices? Did you know: domestic catfish farmers have received endorsement from Sea Choice, the Endangered Fish Alliance, Sierra Club, Audubon Society and Monterey Bay Aquarium for their green practices?Our attitude seems to be that because the ocean is big, that there's more than enough fish for everyone. Not true! Did you know: Chilean sea bass, grouper, mahi mahi, red snapper, and several types of salmon have been rated as "avoid" by the Monterey Bay Aquarium because they are either overfished or cultivated in ways that harm the environment? Beyond just the salmon vs. “green fish” issue, we've also been slowly suffocating our oceans, making it hard for any life to thrive. The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico definitely got our attention, but that region has been sick...

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Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill- and how LA Helps LA

Posted by on Sep 20, 2010, 5:14 pm in Current Affairs, Events, History, Personal Reflection | 0 comments

Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill- and how LA Helps LA

Every disaster we face brings with it hard won life lessons, and even silver linings.

Here are a couple of lessons I have learned, and which I have observed that the people of coastal Louisiana have learned in the past 5 years.

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A different perspective on the Gulf disaster-an interview with Poppy Tooker

Posted by on Jun 12, 2010, 7:39 am in Current Affairs, Food and Drink | 5 comments

A different perspective on the Gulf disaster-an interview with Poppy Tooker

  I was very fortunate today, to be able to have a conversation with Poppy Tooker, head of Slow Food New Orleans, host of the PBS television show Eat it to Save It  and the newly launched Louisiana Eats  radio show on WWNO, the National Public Radio station in New Orleans, and avid fisherwoman whose own fishing camp on the Gulf coast is now, sadly, surrounded by oil. It was an especially timely interview, as just a couple of days ago P&J Oysters, a 134 year old family owned business announced that they would be shutting down their oyster shucking division, as there are not enough Gulf oysters to shuck. An aside here, as a child I remember my parents shopping for jars of P&J Oysters along Jefferson Avenue, the shopping outpost of expatriate New Orleanians in Los Angeles. Oysters always made an appearance in our turkey dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my family’s ground beef and oyster dressing remains my favorite to this day. One year, my mother for some reason, was unable to get P&J Oysters, and used California oysters instead. Upon tasting she promptly declared these California oysters “nasty”, and said they “ruined her dressing.” Poppy said she could not say definitively at this time, what the future of P&J would be. “They are ruminating about importing oysters, wondering if there will be an immediate future as a boutique oyster supplier.” What do you mean by that, I asked. “Importing oysters from the East and West Coasts”, she responded. Poppy offered perspectives that may differ from those of many of us in other parts of the country who join her in the outrage we feel over the BP Gulf oil spill. Her energy level rose as she talked of “overzealous people who say this is the last time we should be eating animals from the Gulf, or that we should be eating a vegan diet," referring to comments on a story posted at www.Grist.org. “All of our shrimpers use the bycatch (including crabs, squid)-things that we eat, and they use very sophisticated technology and bycatch reduction devices.” “In most cases, these businesses are multi-generational family businesses. Some of the oyster beds have been maintained for over 100 years.” She told me the story of an oyster man named Wilbert Collins. “This man went to work as a deck hand when he was very young. His father took over the business from his grandfather, and he took it over from his father, and now his sons…” her voice trailed off. “He has a sixth grade education. What will he do? And like he says, ‘this will be tied up in the courts ‘til I’m dead.’" When I asked her what she had to say to people across the country, she passionately urged people to buy and eat wild Gulf seafood, if it’s available. “You’re helping a family put a meal on their table. You’re helping them make a payment on boats they had to retool after Katrina. She also had a different perspective to offer when I asked about the controversy brewing regarding the moratorium President Obama has enacted on deep water drilling. “It’ll be the final blow if it goes on for 6 months. It would be one thing if we knew they were phasing...

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Reflections in the Wake of the Gulf Coast Spill -Part 2

Posted by on May 5, 2010, 5:04 pm in Current Affairs, Personal Reflection | 0 comments

Reflections in the Wake of the Gulf Coast Spill -Part 2

It’s ironic that the BP spill happened the week that we were celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. 40 years ago a dreadful oil spill washed up on the wide sandy shores of southern California. That will not be the case on the Gulf Coast.

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Reflections in the Wake of the Gulf Coast Spill -Part 1

Posted by on May 3, 2010, 11:14 am in Current Affairs, Personal Reflection | 4 comments

Reflections in the Wake of the Gulf Coast Spill -Part 1

It’s ironic that the BP oil spill happened only a month after the Upper Big Branch Mine accident in West Virginia. The towns and hamlets along Louisiana’s marshy coast line have, as it turns out, some commonality with the coal mining towns of Appalachia.

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So Long Ray Nagin

Posted by on Apr 29, 2010, 3:07 pm in Current Affairs | 0 comments

So Long Ray Nagin

Unfortunately, the LA2LA Chef was unable to make it to Jazz Fest this spring. It’s been interesting to sense the mood of the would have been especially glad to take the temp of the city now that Ray Nagin will soon be gone, and Mitch Landrieu takes over next week as Mayor.

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Blogging and Eating for Haiti Relief

Posted by on Feb 5, 2010, 2:24 pm in Current Affairs, Food and Drink | 2 comments

Blogging and Eating for Haiti Relief

It started as a simple idea- food bloggers love food, and that fact creates a bond among us. Haiti is desperately in need of being fed- something we can align with passionately. Watching those news accounts out of Haiti after the January earthquake made us all want to do something to help. Hence the birth of Stir It 28 -a grass roots event of local food bloggers to help Haiti. Food bloggers will come together bringing and serving delicious treats they've prepared. 100% of all funds raised during the month will go to Share Our Strength and Yéle Haiti. Your LA2LA Chef is thrilled to be taking part in this event in Los Angeles (events are also happening in  Chicago, New York and Atlanta -the list of cities is growing so check the site links). The plan originated with bloggers Chrystal Baker of Duo Dishes, Bren Herrera of Flanboyant Eats , and Courtney Nzeribe of Coco Cooks.  For more information and to purchase advance tickets please go to at Flanboyant Eats or Coco Cooks. If you're in L.A. I look forward to seeing you on February 21st. Ciao,...

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