Aug 122019
 

The star of Bravo’s Southern Charm New Orleans talks loving his new life

Former Saints player Jeff Charleston at the 2019 Saints training camp participating in the Saints Legends program and meeting fans.(Credit Evan Myers/NFL/Saints)

Former Saints player and Southern Charm New Orleans star, Jeff Charleston has a lot to say about his life, and the gist is that he’s loving every minute of it. An interview with Charleston reveals a man excited about new beginnings and a fresh start in his adopted hometown.

“I cannot wait to move back to New Orleans,” said Charleston. “I just have to figure out where in the city I want to live again.”

New Orleanians who don’t watch the Bravo reality series know him as No. 97, the Saints Defensive End who played in the Black and Gold Super Bowl.

He says that year felt like a fairy tale and that experiencing the support of the city after the Saints win is one the greatest moments of his life.

“It really changed the city,” said Charleston. “I felt like after the win, I was adopted by New Orleans.” Continue reading »

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Jul 202019
 

Uptown’s “Django Unchained” and “Queen Sugar” actor Laura Cayouette on New Orleans, Pussyfooting and Hollywood South

(revised 7/23/2019)

Laura Cayouette with Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of “Django Unchained” (courtesy of Laura Cayouette)

That cheerful, tall, lanky strawberry blonde – and avid Saints fan – you see at the Superdome and walking down Magazine Street looks familiar because she is. Actress Laura Cayouette traded Hollywood for Hollywood South nine years ago and hasn’t looked back, much.

“After my first Carnival season as a resident, I called my mother and told her I wanted to sue her for child abuse,” said Cayouette. “I said I wanted to file charges for them not raising me here.” Continue reading »

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Jul 122019
 

* DO NOT FORGET THE ICE *

Photo Credit: Chris Granger

No matter the crisis, New Orleanians never lose their sense of humor or their wry sense of irony; the world might end, but if possible, we plan to go out smiling.

Whether a Cat 3, Armageddon, the zombie apocalypse or New Orleans’ version of the same – a levee breach – locals know how to prepare. And until the bitter end, that preparation includes a box of chicken, a cocktail — and maybe a party. Continue reading »

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Jun 072019
 

Leah Chase and Mary Sonnier at a Chase Family Gala in June 2014. Sonnier was the pastry chef. (courtesy of Mary Sonnier)

New Orleans always reels when it loses one of its greats, but then we count our blessings and reminisce. Ours is a community with a collective memory, and heart.

We all loved Leah Chase. And we will all miss her. Greatly. Now comes the time where we share our stories over the fence and on the front porch.

To those who had the luck to meet her, or better yet to really know her, Leah Chase was one of kind. She was our very own Queen of Creole cuisine. Continue reading »

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May 032019
 

Surrey’s Cafe & Juice Bar served its Costa Rican breakfast, with two eggs over brown rice beans with fresh avocados cheddar and pico. (Kristine Froeba)

The one thing every New Orleanian can agree one is that someone is always coming to visit. We know our city is fabulous — filled with unique culture, food, architecture and music. We also are tasked with being tour guides several times a year. This is the list I hand out when they have to find their own way.

It’s not that we — and I, as a professional tour guide — don’t love showing off our city, but sometimes, we’re busy. I, for one, gave up the Big Ass Beer strolls and Bourbon Street a few decades ago. Or at least I say I have, and cross my fingers I can avoid it. Locals know Royal is the only street worth strolling anyway.

However, in the interim, as they will, the friends, associates, alumni, co-workers and relatives, want to know where to go on their first visit to New Orleans. Here is my quick and dirty mostly Uptown-centric cheat-sheet: Continue reading »

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Mar 082019
 

Shrimp & Grits, Gumbo, Poboys, & Snoballs

The up-and-coming Faubourg Lafayette is the location of Café Porche & Snowbar which opened last year on Baronne Street. You may have to look twice for the red umbrellas, as the little southern Café is tucked behind a whimsical two-story Lilliputian white and blue Wendy house that operates as the café’s Snowbar (snoball stand).

Café Porche’s Seafood and Sausage Gumbo (Courtesy of Coronella Porche-Jenneford)

The modern Café has proven popular with locals and tourists and is finding its footing in the new Central City restaurant scene. It is noteworthy that the kitchen and restaurant is owned and run by a Black woman, which is still too rare in our local food scene. Continue reading »

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Feb 182019
 

Mystick Krewe of Louisianians revelers second-line to the jazz orchestra while tossing beads and throws to Washington, D.C., ball attendees on Feb. 3. (Kristine Froeba)

The movers and shakers of Louisiana including quite a bit of New Orleans, and more than a few hundred Uptowners recently descended on the nation’s capital to celebrate the annual Washington Mardi Gras.

“If a bomb dropped on this ballroom tonight, Louisiana as you know it would cease to exist,” said one of the organizers at the Saturday night ball. Leaders of business, law partners, CEOs, congressmen, congresswomen, mayors, senators and the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, were all present. Continue reading »

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Jan 212019
 

Jeffrey P. Wilke, left, the 86th king of Alla, shakes hands with Lance Cpl. Montana Olle, a saxophone player with Marine Corps Band New Orleans, before the Alla parade on Feb. 4, 2018. (Cpl. Dallas Johnson, via Reserve Band Facebook page)

“There is no sharper band in all of Carnival than the local Marine Corps Band,” said Mardi Gras expert Errol Laborde. Specifically, the Marine Corps Reserve Band New Orleans.

Uptown routinely sees the Marine Corps Reserve Band’s bus and its Marines filing out and lining up to march down Jefferson Avenue, Napoleon Avenue or, in the case of Thoth, Henry Clay. Saints’ fans recently enjoyed their pregame concert performed at Champions Square outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Continue reading »

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Jan 112019
 

La Boulangerie’s traditional sugar topped cinnamon King Cakes (via La Boulangerie)

The local New Orleans grocer Breaux Mart has rechristened itself King Cake Mart on Twitter for the duration of the carnival season. That should give out-of-towners an idea of the importance of King Cake in our city.

As many in the world awaited Twelfth Night and the Epiphany or Three Kings Day to mark the ending of Christmas, New Orleanians impatiently ticked off the days until Jan. 6 for another reason: to signify the arrival of the carnival season and the blessed arrival of King Cake.

It’s the time for locals to play, feast, and attend endless parties, masque balls, and parades. But first, it’s time for an entire city to eat large circles of sugar-laden cake. Every. Single. Day.

Continue reading »

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Dec 142018
 

series photo via Bravo.com

With the potholes, power outages and never-ending boil water advisories, one would think New Orleans has suffered enough. But no, the Bravo network seems fit to punish us further — with Season 2 of “Southern Charm New Orleans.”

While no formal announcement has been forthcoming, the worst has been confirmed by the New Orleans Office of Cultural Economy: Film New Orleans permitting department. “Southern Charm New Orleans” Season 2 has been filming around the city. The filming permit states the filming dates as Oct. 13 to Dec. 17. Continue reading »

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Nov 202018
 
Casamento’s Creole Oyster Soup

Casamento’s Creole Oyster Soup as prepared by Kit Wohl at The Cookbook Studio (photo by Kit Wohl)

Before and since the Americans purchased New Orleans from the French, New Orleans has remained unique and distinct, 215 years later, we still spurn convention. Thanksgiving is no exception. Where other states lead with carrot and parsnip soup, we lead with oysters: Oyster Soup, Oyster Patties and Oyster Dressing (you’ll find the recipes below in the Thanksgiving recipe section).

Not just oysters, oysters seasoned in whole or in part with our “holy trinity” — bell pepper, onion, and celery. “The trinity,” the divine secret of New Orleans’ cuisine and even our Thanksgiving menu. We then double-down and add garlic, green onion, fresh herbs and a dash of cayenne.

Yes, on occasion, we may have to boil our drinking water, read by candlelight or be rescued from the errant pothole—but that’s OK, because we know our food tastes better.

Continue reading »

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Oct 192018
 

The insanely rich, dark, mahogany hued Quail Gumbo, from the kitchen of Gabrielle’s Chef Greg Sonnier. (Photo Credit: Gabie Sonnier)

The return of Gabrielle Restaurant last October was literally the talk of the town. Not “literally” in the way millennials misuse the word, but literally, as in literally.

Twelve years is a long time to miss a menu. And few chefs and kitchens have been as missed by locals as James Beard-nominated Chef Greg Sonnier and his beloved Gabrielle.

The original Gabrielle—located on Esplanade in the historic Faubourg St. John–opened to critical acclaim in 1992, but like so many of New Orleans’ culinary institutions, was lost to Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters in 2005. Continue reading »

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Oct 052018
 

Three Weekends of das Oktoberfest!

German beers on tap at Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest

German beers on tap at Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest (Kristine Froeba)

Prost! Deutsches Haus and Oktoberfest are back in town.

Das Deutsches Haus, New Orleans’ German cultural and heritage center, aka the German house, is back in the city proper and celebrating Oktoberfest. This year marks the organizations 90th anniversary and its inaugural Oktoberfest at its new location in Mid-City.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that New Orleanians celebrate the most Bavarian of holidays down on dah bayou—Bayou St. John to be exact. Continue reading »

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Sep 282018
 

“If it lacks authority, add more vodka,” those are Ernest Hemingway’s instructions while mixing his preferred Bloody Mary. Hemingway understood New Orleans.

The Deluxe Bloody Mary at New Orleans’ Apolline Restaurant

The Deluxe Bloody Mary at New Orleans’ Apolline Restaurant, garnished with a freshly baked bacon breakfast biscuit sandwich perched aloft of the mug. (photo by Kristine Froeba)

It’s Bloody Mary Season in New Orleans
The Classic Cocktail Enamored By Locals

Some might say Fall marks the arrival of Bloody Mary season in New Orleans—at least for me anyway. I find the Bloody Mary too heavy for the humid southern summer, but curiously sublime when temperatures drop or are supposed to drop.

Come late September or October, this staple of the brunch bunch becomes the staple of many a tailgate or pre-game party. Continue reading »

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Sep 152018
 
Gabrielle’s Seared Duck Liver and Caramelized Onions

Gabrielle’s Seared Duck Liver and Caramelized Onions on Cinnamon Toast with Cherry Jam (photo credit Gabbie Sonnier)

New Orleans’ Restaurant Week has only two days and nights left to enjoy. September is one of the slowest months of the year for restaurateurs, but it’s an excellent opportunity for locals to experience new chefs and new menus from old favorites.

Celebrating its eighth year, Restaurant Week New Orleans offers a line-up of restaurants with innovative menus at discounted prices. The week, a brainchild of the Louisiana Restaurant Association in partnership with New Orleans & Company, runs through Sunday, September 16. Continue reading »