Tag Archives: Royal Sonesta

Favorite Things 2015

Better late than never, I’m finally updating my favorite Things list. First, I’d like to thank everyone who reads this blog (in over 100 countries!). Here are Your Favorite Posts of 2015:

5 – French Quarter Fest – Sunday

4 – Southern Decadence 2015

3 – Big Easy Birthday

2 – Endymion Extravaganza – My First Ball!  (your favorite post of all time)

1 – Street Musicians – Tanya and Dorise

Now to the list! The categories are: Food & Beverage, Music & Entertainment, Culture, Shopping and Giving & More.  Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2014, Mardi Gras 2015, parade, Pelicans, shopping, the Saints

French Quarter Fest – Sunday

The last day of French Quarter Fest was just as gorgeous as the first 3. Sadly, for locals, the day started with the sad news that former Saint, Will Smith, had been shot 7 times leaving 3 children and a wife (who sustained 2 shots) behind. He had posted on Instagram, “Having a blast at the #fqf2016” earlier. Many of us wore Saints gear and checked for updates as the story evolved from one of random violence to something more thought-out and personal.

As for festing, we started the day with a Softshell Crab Po-Boy ($10) from Jack Dempsey’s then tried Love at First Bite’s Crawfish Pasta ($8) and my favorite, the Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($8) from their partner, Walker’s Southern Style BBQ. We hit the Abita stage in time for party-band, the Bucktown All-Stars. Their playful covers included “Rubber Band Man” complete with a dance of silly, stretchy  poses. 85 year old Joyce La Nasa joined on tambourine wearing her signature white gloves.  Continue reading

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Got Gumbo? 2016

United Way‘s Got Gumbo? is one of my favorite annual events. A tasty gathering of over a dozen competing restaurants, the event is hosted in the Royal Sonesta by General Manager Mr. Alfred Groos,  creator of Got Gumbo? Participants 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. Multiple chefs compete in multiple categories – each offering their very best – it’s like going to “gumbo heaven” complete with fun table displays and charitable gumbo-lovers (United Way  receives the $25 ticket price as well as the bar).   Continue reading

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Mardi Gras Day – Photos!!!

Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, means many things to many people but it generally splits 4 ways in town. There are the crowds attending the parades, the families and friends gathering at parties, the tourists overindulging and flashing each other on Bourbon Street and the locals who costume in the French Quarter as has been the tradition since the beginning. They’re all some version of fun, but for me – it’s all about the costumes. People spend up to a year coming up with and creating their costumes. I don’t. I just put on purple, green and gold so I don’t spend my day posing for pictures when I could be taking them. (Though, this is subject to evolution if I come up with a great idea). Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2016, parade

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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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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Raintree Gala 2014

Raintree Children and Family Services hosted it’s annual “Paint the Town Green” gala last week benefitting foster children (as well as children with disabilities) and the families who care for them. Big donors were first treated to a Patron Party at Ruth’s Chris Steak House before joining us in the grand Harrah’s Theatre. We milled around checking out auction items before diving into the long buffet provided through the generosity of local restaurants including Arnaud’s  with their refreshing Shrimp Remoulade, GW Fins – who again reprised their super-popular subtly flavored Lobster Dumplings and Bread Pudding from the Royal Sonesta’s Desire Oyster Bar.

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