Jeff Davis
Thursday, October 18, 2012   

Welcome to Louisiana Recipes

Louisiana Kitchen & Culture Associate Editor Poppy Tooker wrote the forward and edited the reissue of Madame Begue’s Creole Cookery, which was launched this week. As Poppy recently explained, though New Orleans is known for producing modern rock star chefs in the style of Emeril Lagasse and John Besh, the city's original rock star chef was a 19th century German woman, Elizabeth Kettenring Begue who invented the often champagne-fueled meal we all now call brunch.

Elizabeth, a thoroughly industrious woman, founded Begue’s and became famous for her multi-course, late morning, three hour meals. In the 1880's Breakfast at Begue’s became New Orleans' number one tourist attraction. Visitors wrote months in advance for reservations, and the restaurant had one of the earliest telephones in the city installed to try to keep up with traveler’s requests. In 1900, the Southern Pacific Railroad persuaded her to share her recipes and published Madame Begue’s Creole Cookery.  The book remained in print until 1937.

"I agreed to write a foreword for the re-edition (published by New Orleans area Pelican Publishing Company), but once I read the recipes which included instructions like “clean a nice, young chicken, ” it became clear to me that without a 21st century redo, Begue’s book would be nothing more than a novelty," Poppy said. "Pelican Publishing agreed to follow her original recipes with an updated version in the reissue so that today’s home cooks could easily replicate her classics."

Poppy will sign copies of the reissue several times this fall; the schedule is here. It will be available at bookstores everywhere. Signed copies can also be purchased through her website for $14.95. It is the perfect gift for the food culture and history enthusiasts. 

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If you are in Acadiana this weekend please stop by and see me on Saturday at the inaugural Sweet Dough Pie Festival in picturesque Grand Coteau on the grounds of St. Charles Catholic Church. I am judging the pie competition. The event, which will celebrate Grand Coteau's unique culture and history, will also include guest speakers, arts and crafts vendors and music. The Grand Coteau Historic District is one of the few primarily rural districts on the National Register of Historic Places. It is noted for its magnificent trees that form alleys, groves, and gardens and there are over 70 structures designated as architecturally significant. 

That's all fine. Grand Coteau beautiful and unique but, even though I am not much on sweets, I make an exception for sweet dough pie. I really, really dig sweet dough pie. Saturday will be a fine day.



Jyl Benson, Executive Vice President

Our Kitchen & Culture


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  Easy Shrimp Creole  
Shrimp Creole


Shrimp Creole is an ages old, easy to prepare crowd pleaser. Surely this classic dish graced the table back in Madame Begue's day.


  Creole Rice Calas  
Rice Calas



Poppy is the modern-day Queen of Calas and she is known for both sweet and savory applications. Calas make excellent use of all that leftover rice after a night of Chinese takeout.

Get the recipe here.

  Sweet Dough Pie with Cherry Filling  
Sweet Dough Pie



I am not much on sweets and I will admit to being a fool when it comes to making pie crust. I am impatient and I screw it up every time, with the exception of this recipe. Anyone can make this. I have suggested cherry filling here, but any sweet filling can be used.

Get the recipe here


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Oct 25, 2012 to Nov 11, 2012

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New Orleans: Boudin and Beer

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Nov 3, 2012

New Iberia: Great Chili Challenge
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Nov 4, 2012

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Metairie: Oyster Festival

Nov 10, 2012 to Nov 11, 2012

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