Tag Archives: James Beard

Random Acts of Kindness and 3 Birthday Meals

My birthday celebrating started early this year with a dinner at John Besh’s Domenica with old friend Richard Dreyfuss and his lovely and amazing wife, Svetlana. Over the 25 years we’ve known each other, Richard and I have worked on 3 movies together, collaborated on a Katrina relief project and he even wrote the foreword to my book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career. The menu from Executive Chef Alon Shaya, 2015’s  James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South award winner, provided a delicious take on some traditional Italian dishes as well as offering show-stoppers like the Squid Ink Tagliolini with blue crab & herbs. We finished the meal with 3 beautiful and decadent desserts selected by our charming server, Cristina. Each dessert was decorated with a chocolate birthday banner. We were there for hours enjoying fabulous food and great company with perfect service. I’m definitely going back for that squid ink pasta dish. Continue reading


Filed under Charity, Culture, Local Cuisine, Mama says, shopping

Lunch at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant

Dooky Chase is one of the most beloved and respected restaurants in New Orleans and has served Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush as well as Hank Aaron, Ernest Gaines, Quincy Jones, Jesse Jackson, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and more. Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday and supper Friday nights, the menu includes Creole favorites like Shrimp Clemenceau and Stuffed Shrimp but it was impossible to resist the allure of tasting as many things as possible with the buffet ($19.95) which started with a spicy vegetable soup and ended with a warm peach cobbler. I couldn’t get enough of the candied sweet potatoes, crispy fried chicken and like-my-daddy-makes green beans. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, history, Local Cuisine

Gleason Gras, Krewe of Boo Parade, Pelicans and more!

As I wrote in my last post, I have no time to blog but it’s been a very eventful couple of weeks and I at least wanted to share some of the photos. I attended a bunch of movies at the 25th annual New Orleans Film Festival, including the premiere of Black and White starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer. It was great as were Imperial Dreams, Cast the First Stone, Imitation Game and the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prizewinner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Whiplash, to name a few. I also modeled in a fashion show for the St. Elizabeth’s Guild annual celebrity fashion show and “Volunteer Activists Awards” fundraiser. Saint Steve Gleason was one of the many honored and I was excited just to be in the room with him. Continue reading


Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, the Saints

Big Easy Birthday 2014

New Orleanians know that there’s no possible way to attend even half of our city’s events and festivals – even just the free ones. Summer is the “off-season” and yet our city remains action-packed. On top of Beatles Fest and The Running of the Bulls – it was my birthday this past weekend! Normally, I throw myself a small gathering but since we’d just had a wedding, it seemed like a bit much. Instead, I practiced all my favorite birthday traditions. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine

Favorite Things in NOLA 2013

The categories are: Food & Beverage, Music & Entertainment, Culture, Shopping and Giving & More. Anything named previously in my Favorite Things in NOLA 2012 is marked with an Asterix*. Most items have links to their site, but if you’d like to know more, use the search window on the right to find photos, videos, history and stories.

This year, I’ve added a gallery of photos. The first photos are of items listed and the last half are of stuff I love in New Orleans from Creole tomatoes to Ashley the Traffic Tranny.

I’m also revealing Your Favorite Posts of 2013.

3 – Saints Soundtrack Vol. 2

2 – Street Musicians – Tanya and Dorise

1 – Endymion Extravaganza – My First Ball! – which is also your favorite post of all time. Continue reading


Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2013, parade, shopping, the Saints

Red Dress Run and Restaurant August

The good news is that I’m working. The bad news is that I have no time to blog about the festivities of my day off. The 25th anniversary Red Dress Run began at 11:oo am. At least 10,000 people showed up in red dresses to support over 100 local non-profits and party in the streets all day and night throughout the French Quarter. The Hash House Harriers, a “drinking club with a running problem,” have raised more than $500,000 in the last 3 years. The run had an added sentimental value as “The Lady in Red,” the woman who accidentally inspired the event years ago, passed in April. Continue reading


Filed under Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade, walking

Comic Con and Butcher

This weekend, I attended my first ever Comic Con. I’ve heard about them for years, mostly stereotypes about nerds who love fake universes more than deodorant. Walking through the convention center in my Video Archives t-shirt (the video shop where Tarantino worked for a decade), we passed through a crowd heading to the car show and another group for the jewelry show before finding our way to the costumed crowd of Comic Con. New Orleans loves any excuse to wear a costume, but this was different. Rather than the petticoats and beaded concoctions we donn with second line umbrellas, these were elaborate soldiers from future wars, intergalactic creatures with blue or orange skin and chain mail-covered warriors and their corseted damsels.  Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, Local Cuisine, parade, shopping, walking