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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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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Sitting Down with John Besh-Part 4-Continuing the Traditions and Moving Forward

Posted by on Mar 31, 2012, 1:42 pm in Books, Chef Interviews, History, Restaurants, Travel | 1 comment

Chef John Besh shares his thoughts on the value of New Orleans, its cuisine and restaurants.

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Sitting Down with John Besh-Part 2-The Diverse Richness of New Orleans Cuisine plus a Recipe and Contest

Posted by on Mar 17, 2012, 9:09 am in Books, Chef Interviews, Food and Drink, History, Travel | 7 comments

John Besh displays his passion for food as we chat about the rich diversity of New Orleans cuisine-plus recipe for Crabmeat and Shrimp Stuffed Artichoke and a contest to win his newest cookbook.

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Chatting with Ti Adelaide Martin of the Brennan Family-from the Origins of Commander’s Palace to Mr.B’s Bistro

Posted by on Jan 7, 2012, 11:34 am in History, Restaurants, Travel | 9 comments

Talking with Ti Adelaide Martin about the origins of Commander’s Palace, the Brennan’s flagship restaurant, straight on to the beginnings of modern restaurant history of New Orleans, and how Creole and Cajun food “crashed” in the kitchen of CP.

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Calás-the Search for a Lost Food Tradition

Posted by on Mar 2, 2011, 10:05 am in Food and Drink, History, Recipes-Sweet | 11 comments

Calás, a traditional New Orleans rice beignet, were a dish in danger of dying out completely, until post- Katrina, when it began enjoying somewhat of a comeback, as New Orleanians sought to preserve their traditional foods.

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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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Five years after Katrina-New Orleans Night at the Hollywood Bowl

Posted by on Aug 28, 2010, 8:34 am in History, Music, Personal Reflection | 2 comments

Looking over the last 5 years, there’s no doubt that the two main engines fueling the restoration of New Orleans post-Katrina, are the food and the music. As I began to mull over what I would write, I knew I had to write about this concert.

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Haiti and New Orleans

Posted by on Jan 13, 2010, 6:24 pm in Current Affairs, History, Personal Reflection | 0 comments

I listened with empathy and a measure of recognition today, to newscasts interviewing Haitian expats in the U.S. Their voices tremble as they speak of anxiously awaiting news of the fate of their loved ones, and recounting a night of little or no sleep. Haiti and New Orleans have historic connections. Their people share a past of brutal plantation culture, slavery and a racial caste system under French colonists in the 17th and 18th century. The present day country of Haiti was formed in 1801, after an extremely bloody period of slave rebellion on the island of Saint Domingue in the 1790’s.  The island was split into two countries (the other being Santo Domingo, or the modern day Dominican Republic), and many post-rebellion refugees from Saint Domingue eventually found a home in New Orleans. Ned Sublette, author of The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square writes “The southern United States was in a panic. The slaves of Saint-Domingue had risen up and killed slavery itself.” He further states that  “Haiti was central to every major event in the hemisphere at the time, and most especially to the Louisiana Purchase. Slavery continued for in the southern United States for another 70 years…but the Haitian revolution was the turning point.”  He also connects the slave rebellion with the French Revolution as a fundamental event in shaping the modern world. So perhaps, in some way, we all owe a debt to Haiti. New Orleans is often referred to as a Caribbean city, and many of its distinctive rhythms (along with the voodoo culture) arrived there directly from the islands of Saint Domingue and Cuba. It traded with the newly established nation of Haiti, long before the government of the United States recognized it as a nation. Unfortunately, the nation of Haiti has not fared well, suffering dictatorial governments, bruising poverty, and I might add, little or no help- and sometimes harm- from its huge northern neighbor. And the news of today’s earthquake is heart wrenching. As I said, I can empathize having seen my beloved city of New Orleans face an unprecedented disaster, and yet this is oh so much worse. I hope that if you have stuck with me this far, you will do whatever you can to help the citizens of Haiti now.  I’ve listed below a few organizations that are on the front lines helping. Doctors without Borders  Habitat for Humanity Oxfam The Clinton Foundation Yele Haiti  Also, you may text "Yele" to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill and given to relief projects through the...

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King’s Day, King Cakes and the Beginning of Carnival Season

Posted by on Jan 6, 2010, 1:12 pm in Food and Drink, History, Holiday Entertaining, Personal Reflection, Recipes-Sweet, Seasonal Celebrations | 1 comment

King’s day- the Feast of the Epiphany- marks the beginning of Carnival season when King Cakes grace every table in New Orleans.

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Harry Shearer Interviews Army Corps of Engineer’s Whistle Blower

Posted by on Sep 14, 2009, 11:00 am in Current Affairs, History | 0 comments

Once again, I am so grateful for Harry Shearer's continuing to shine the spotlight on post flood New Orleans, and the ongoing issues the city faces, even when most of the country has seemed to move on. Here is an excellent interview he did this weekend with Maria Garzino, a whistle blower within the Army Corps of Engineers. I especially hope all of you who still refer to the destruction of New Orleans as a "natural disaster" will listen. Ciao, Gisele, born in the now still mostly deserted 7th Ward of New...

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