Tag Archives: chef

Street Musicians – Doreen Ketchens

The heartbeat of New Orleans is music. Between the music clubs, parades, second lines, festivals and buskers, it’s nearly impossible to go a whole day in the French Quarter without hearing live music. For everyone from Trombone Shorty, who’s played in the White House twice, to Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band, their journey started in the streets of the French Quarter. They stood on corners performing behind a pail, an upturned hat or an open guitar case hoping for some financial gratitude. One of my most popular posts of all time is about violinist and guitarist, Tanya and Dorise. Another of the city’s most beloved street performers is Doreen Ketchens and her band, Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, free events and lagniappe

Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge

The first annual Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge pitted 10 chefs from across the country in a one-dish-each culinary battle at the Morial Convention Center. The chefs participated in a lottery to determine ingredients so there were a variety of proteins and and interesting takes on classic dishes made from fresh, sustainable ingredients donated by various State Agricultural Departments. As such, not all the ingredients were local to Louisiana but all were “farm to table” fresh from their donating states creating a culinary cross-country trip across America in one well-appointed room. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Local Cuisine

Got Gumbo? 2015

This was my 5th Got Gumbo? event benefitting the United Way and it’s one of my favorite annual evenings. At the Royal Sonesta, 15 restaurants provided up to 4 dishes each to compete for Best Traditional Gumbo, Best Seafood Gumbo, Best Exotic Gumbo and Best Vegetarian Gumbo as well as the People’s Choice for Best Dessert, Best Float (decorated table display) and Best Gumbo. That’s 15 restaurants, each with multiple chefs, competing in up to half a dozen categories each so you can eat yourself silly surrounded by fun table displays and charitable gumbo-lovers (United Way  receives the $25 ticket price as well as the bar).  And, of course, there’s a band – Rick Trolson’s New Orleans Po’Boys. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, Local Cuisine

Gumbo Judging!

For me, one of the benefits of working in film and TV is getting to judge contests. So far, I’ve judged a beauty pageant in Mississippi, the Royal Sonesta’s Greasing of the Poles and last year’s gumbo contest at Valero. As much as I enjoy beautiful women, I was thrilled to be asked back to Valero this year. Gumbo, the official dish of Louisiana, is my favorite metaphor for New Orleans – a melting pot where each ingredient added is meant to retain its original flavor. Even the history of the dish is a trip through the many cultures that have come to this city and the traditions they’ve added to our stew.  Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Culture, history, Local Cuisine

Judging the Greasing of the Poles

Last year, I was asked to be a “Celebrity Pole Greaser” at the Royal Sonesta’s 43rd Greasing of the Poles to kick off Carnival weekend. The person who recommended me to the Sonesta was a fan of this blog and a member of the Pussyfooters – who performed with me that day. While we were lining up to go out to the crowd, another Pussyfooter suggested I should join their group. I’ve loved watching them since my first full Mardi Gras season in 2010. Just seeing their pink power dancing my way made me smile and made me proud of my own brand of pink-corset-and-combat-boots femininity.   Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2014, parade, the Saints

Krewes of Druid and Nyx Parades

Wednesday was the Krewe of Ancient Druids (established 1998) parade followed by the newest women’s parade – the Mystic Krewe of Nyx in their 3rd year. I’m scrambling to manage my schedule so apologies for not doing links to other sites, photo labels and descriptions of the evening. Since I can’t label the photos (or narrow them down much), here are the dance teams and bands I photographed at Druids: Chalmette, Shine Time, John Ehret, Helen Cox, Gris Gris Strut, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Sci Academy, Sophie B. wright, Xtreme Voltage and Superstar Steppers. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2014, parade

TV in New Orleans

There’s a lot of talk about all the movies filming in New Orleans but Louisiana is also home to many television shows from A&E’s Duck Dynasty to the CW’s Star-Crossed. This Sunday, HBO’s Treme returns for its 4th and final season. I have been blogging about the show since its inception in April 2010 when I first watched it playing on a bed sheet in a back yard in the Treme. We all squealed when we saw the very house we were sitting behind fly across the “screen” in an early scene. It was clear from the opening credits that this show would be for and about New Orleanians and their amazing resilience and unendurable trials after Katrina. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, entertainment industry, history, Local Cuisine