Food

Middendorf's Restaurant has had a roost along the waterfront in Manchac since 1934.
Ian McNulty

Fried catfish cut as thin as a dime, a view of the water that ends with the sky and a regular crowd coming from the north shore and the south shore to meet in the middle - these are hallmarks of a trip to Middendorf's, the vintage Louisiana seafood house just off the highway on the marshy edge of Manchac.

No one wants it to change, least not the people who now run Middendorf’s.

The food culture of New Orleans includes famous dishes like gumbo, but it relies on something more personal than recipes.
Ian McNulty

My name is Ian McNulty and I write about restaurants for a living. It probably comes as no big surprise that a job description like this brings with it a great deal of pleasure.

It's true, of course. But the longer I pursue this line of work, especially here in New Orleans, the more clear it becomes that the real pleasure of the job extends beyond all the delicious food at the table.

On this week’s show, we bid farewell to 2016 and raise a toast to the New Year by looking back at legends and looking forward to new beginnings. 

 

First, we celebrate the life and legacy of Edgar “Dooky” Chase, who passed away this year at the age of 88. Leah Chase shares stories from their 70 years of marriage, an era marked by the civil rights movement and other transformative moments at their Treme establishment. 

Ian McNulty

There's an old adage that New Orleans food doesn't travel well. But it will take a lot more than an adage to keep people from trying, especially during the holidays.

Isaac Toups Family Christmas
Joe Shriner

The holidays are here and we’re celebrating family food traditions old and new! 

 

We begin at the home of Chef Isaac Toups, where he and his family celebrate Christmas Cajun-style! Culminating an eventful year for Isaac— he earned the title of “fan favorite” on Bravo’s Top Chef: California and opened up a new restaurant in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum: Toups’ South — we join the Toups family for an unforgettable meal. After we finish our s’mores for dessert, we gather round for Isaac’s annual reading of “The Cajun Night Before Christmas.”

A smoky oyster po-boy with smoked cheese and pastrami bacon from Bevi Seafood Co. in New Orleans and Metairie.
Ian McNulty

The stirrings of home and feelings of homecoming are strong this time of year. Anything can trigger it – that song playing in the background as you shop, those photos from the 80s that your clever aunt rebooted on Facebook, even what’s on your plate or the food cravings on your mind. Around here, no type of restaurant dials into that quite like the New Orleans neighborhood joint.

On this week’s show, we’re capturing portraits in sound of several superstar chefs in Louisiana and beyond. 

Deyan Georgiev / Shutterstock.com

True oyster lust does not stop -- not when you're full but there are still a few oysters on the tray and not in summer, despite that old adage you may have heard concerning months spelled without the “R.” The romance of the oyster cannot be so primly constrained.            

Still, though, as winter arrives  and as our Gulf oysters inch closer to their seasonal prime, the anticipation gets keener and the pleasure of oysters grows sharper. If you’re the sort of oyster eater whose interest perks up as the weather cools down, it's time to catch up on some changes around New Orleans since last season.

Ed Piglia and Poppy Tooker at Ed's warehouse filled with New Orleans memorabilia.
Joe Shriner

On this week’s show, we spend a day in the life of Louisiana’s most fascinating culinary collectors.

We begin in the French Quarter at Lucullus Antiques, where owner Patrick Dunne takes us into the mind of a collector and describes his favorite hidden gems of the culinary collecting world.

A sign points the way to Second Line Brewery in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

It's not hard to find a drink in New Orleans. But getting a beer direct from the source at one of the local breweries now proliferating around our city often means venturing to back streets, dead ends and once-forgotten corners of town.

Beer making is essentially light industrial work. It calls for an industrial setting. Beer drinking is often a social pursuit. And so, the taprooms where these new small brewers now sell pints of their product direct have created a different sort of social space -- luring beer lovers to niches of New Orleans neighborhoods that had not seen much life until lately.

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