Picture some friends sharing and sampling a progression of small plates and you have a very modern portrait of casual dining. But, in another example of how new trends at the dinner table often reflect old customs, you can assemble that same scene around Turkish flavors and see a very traditional view of social dining. That’s one on display in New Orleans these days at an Uptown eatery called Mezze.
Sadly, we also lost some very good friends of ours. Michael Mizell-Nelson and Rudy Lombard both championed Louisiana's foodways and worked hard to preserve many of our customs and traditions. We'll revisit them one as time before we turn the page to another calendar year.
Scholar Michael Twitty says that during the holidays, "everybody's stuff is all mixed up." He speaks from experience: Michael's connected to Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa celebrations that keep him busy this time of year. He's one of the many guests who'll sit at our table to discuss how their holiday traditions are kept alive and why food is often at the center of those traditions.
At one point in their lives, each of our guests had to choose whether or not they would inherit a family business. The answer didn't always come quickly, and most of them had to change the business to make it their own, but each decided to carry their family's tradition to the next generation.
Food writer Ian McNulty on the convergence of a historic market, efforts to revive its role as a food hub and an enterprising young chef eager to take full advantage, even from the walk-up kitchen of a French Quarter bar.
With so much to do during the holidays and so little time to do it, they often don't feel like "the most wonderful time of the year." But if you pocket a word of wisdom from our guests, perhaps you'll be able to go about the next couple weeks breathing easier.
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest Orthodox Church in America. For 150 years the members of the church have passed down their traditions bit by bit, day by day. But now that our culture has changed and fewer people have extra time on their hands, the culture could be in jeopardy of being lost. This week on Louisiana Eats! we'll speak with the women of the church as they prepare finikia to hear their thoughts about community, family and heritage.
For players and coaches, a football game starts long before kickoff. The same holds true for the food-minded Saints fan. For such fans, it starts with choosing what to cook and devoting the hands-on work to ensure a victorious feast.
It's really no wonder. Take the enthusiasm of the Who Dat Nation, add south Louisiana's endemic passion for food and the results are predictably over the top.
Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:31 pm
Thanks to a quirk of history — and a love of bananas — New Orleans has had a Honduran population for more than a century. But that population exploded after Hurricane Katrina, when the jobs needed to rebuild the city drew waves of Honduran immigrants. Many of them stayed, and nearly a decade later, they've established a thriving — if somewhat underground — culinary community.
Signs of that community abound, if you know where to look.