Restaurant Cotton - The Lunch Post


A short while back, I met a dear friend and charitable colleague for lunch and opted to have our luncheon meeting at Restaurant Cotton. At the onset I felt as though this would be a good visit since we were fortunate enough to have Dylan Wallace as our waiter, with Chef Jack Melson heading the kitchen for our meal and Pastry Chef Cassie Kacvinksy at the helm for our dessert. 

Service: For those who are familiar with Dylan, I need not express his thoughtfulness nor his ability to go above and beyond for those who are lucky enough to be seated at his tables; however, for those that haven’t had the pleasure (and I strongly use the word “pleasure”) it is nothing short of a treat from start to finish.

If you know of any animal rescue group that needs fundraising help


Our friend Susan Arcement is creating candle fundraisers for animal rescue groups. Susan says she has always loved animals and this is her way of helping out.

Festivals Galore



There are so many festivals over the next few weekends it's hard to choose where to go. LK&C culinary media director David Gallent will be representing us over at Roug et Blanc in Lake Charles next weekend, and you'll find me hanging out around the cooking demonstration stage or the VIP section of the beer garden at the Louisiana Seafood Festival.

This weekend, Gretna goes all out for the annual Gretna Heritage Festival; that's right across the river from me, so I enjoy the music even if I'm not at the festival. Over in bayou country there's a three-stage canoe race down the Bayou Teche, there's a pie festival in Lecompte, spice and music in Opelousas, and too many more to recite here. See a more comprehensive listing below, and even more events on our calendar. If you're bored this weekend, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Introducing an Old Friend to South Louisiana Cuisine and Culture


I had an old friend in town with his wife earlier this week, someone I did business with for many years. We enjoyed meals out in San Francisco, Portland, and New York during our business travels -- Hugh subscribed to Louisiana Kitchen & Culture earlier this year and was inspired to visit. He enjoys music as much as he enjoys food, so it's a perfect match. 

I was delighted to introduce him to a few New Orleans restaurants early in the week. They headed over to Breaux Bridge yesterday and had dinner last night with LK&C subscriber Debbie Gautier (featured in the Cajun Country Cooking feature in the current issue of the magazine) she provided an itemized list of what they must see and do while they're there. Hugh's wife is Canadian, and so is particularly interested in learning more about the Acadiana settlers.

After Breaux Bridge they'll swing through Lafayette, pick up Highway 90 and spend some time in Houma and Thibodaux, before heading back to Portland. I know they'll be back to visit, and tell their friends about our state's unique culinary culture and heritage, and hospitality.

A Taste of Louisiana in Texas


I find myself in the Great State of Texas this week, having a fun Girlfriend's Weekend in the middle of the week, which makes it even better. I flew into Houston on Tuesday -- in advance of the trip I called up LK&C subscriber Danny Trace, the executive chef at Brennan's of Houston, and asked him to see if his fish supplier could drop off ten pounds of Gulf shrimp for me to pick up to boil for my friends. (I travel with seafood, or smoked meat.) 

He did arrange for the shrimp, but oh so much more. I stopped by the restaurant right in the middle of lunch service Tuesday, and Chef Trace filled my car up with shrimp and okra gumbo, all the ingredients for shrimp and grits including quarts full of goat cheese grits, seafood boil vegetables, a quart of remoulade for my boiled shrimp, freshly baked French bread, and of course ten pounds of shrimp. So all I had to do Tuesday night to put a fantastic dinner on the table was boil up some shrimp, heat what needed to be heated, and cook a pot of rice. Delicious, and all our thanks and compliments to the chef.

Chef Eric Johnson & Co. Setting a new standard in culinary services in North East Louisiana!


For this culinary adventure, I can honestly say that it is my utmost pleasure to do a review on a truly fantastic eatery located at 222 Blanchard Street in West Monroe, Louisiana.  This wonderful gem is situated in a prime location for businesses on and/or around the Cypress Street, Thomas Road, North 7th Street business population, as well as for those diners who are traveling along I-20. Click here more information on Chef Eric & Co including menus.

SCALES & ALES – 2014



If you find the beauty of an aquarium a peaceful counterpoint to typical New Orleans nightlife, this is your opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds. This Friday, September 12, is the 5th Annual Scales & Ales to support the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas’ conservation efforts and education programs. Partygoers will enjoy Bites and Brews including: Abita Beer, wine, specialty cocktails, and delicious cuisine from more than 30 local restaurants. The evening’s live entertainment will feature The Atlanta Showstoppers.

Scales & Ales is the signature fundraiser for Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. You have the once-a-year opportunity to support the education and conservation initiatives of the Aquarium while enjoying the Aquarium and Woldenberg Park in a unique, adult-only setting.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Entergy IMAX® Theatre will be open only until 2pm on Friday to prepare for this event.

Mammy's Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi - Comfort Food for the Soul


Should you wonder while you begin to read this post why I opted to drive outside of my beloved home state of Louisiana to visit the proud lady of Mississippi, my answer is simply that my wonderful friend, David Leach, (who coincidentally is the brother and son of the proud owners of this establishment) asked me to venture out on a road trip with him from our home in North Louisiana, and I certainly couldn’t pass up this grand opportunity!   

Built by Henry Gaude’ in 1940, Mammy’s Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi stands over forty feet in height as a beacon of an era long since past located on Highway 61 South.  Serving as not only a restaurant, the cupboard has withstood the tests of time as a gas station, craft center as well as various gift shops until she was reopened in her original glory as a restaurant in 1994 by Ms. Doris Kemp.

Holiday Season Starts Early Around Here


We are putting the finishing touches on our recipe list for our holiday issue and my mouth is watering. I've got nieces and nephews bringing great nieces and nephews over to help decorate gingerbread men this weekend. There was so much fudge in my kitchen a couple of weeks ago we couldn't give it all away -- so much, in fact, we finally gave up eating it. There are still a few bites left.

Local medicinal herb enthusiast discusses health and well-being


Free series “Healing Traditions in Acadiana” discusses traiteurs, medicinal plants and much more

The Lafayette Parish Master Gardeners Association in partnership with the Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park invites the community to join their free series, Healing Traditions is Acadiana, continuing on Saturday, August 30 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Vermilionville’s Performance Center.

The Healing Traditions in Acadiana series aims to broaden local historical knowledge of healing practices in Acadiana by making the public aware of the need to preserve medicinal plants as well as the knowledge of their uses. This lecture series also serves as an introduction to the general public about the healing traditions of the Cajun and Creole peoples of the area as well as the need to preserve medicinal plants, as well as the knowledge of their uses.


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