There was no escaping being a foodie growing up in New Orleans and having several family members involved in the culinary field, from working as a chef or being passionate about cooking. My grandfather and Daddy were passionate cooks and deserving of the title chef. Both had careers and worked long hours, but they cooked delicious meals and tasty baked desserts when they were home. On the weekends, my grandfather, Papa, would get up earlier to go fishing, come back, and cook a delicious breakfast spread all before 9 am. We would be awakened by the aroma of fresh coffee and chicory brewing, buttery buttermilk biscuits, thick slices of ham sizzling in the cast iron skillet, red eye gravy, pan-fried salmon croquettes, and thick buttery grits. Most of the women in my family were chefs at various restaurants in the French Quarter. My Mama worked evenings at the French Market restaurant and would bring home leftovers such as gumbo, turtle soup, pasta dishes with various sauces, seafood, and all sorts of desserts. I enjoyed waking up to those doggie bags and eating whatever it was; my little one would turn her nose at items such as Oysters, Rockefeller, and Banana Foster.
I inherited the love of cooking and feeding people at five years old. My first kitchen experience with the help of my Mama was baking cheese curls made from commodity cheese and powdered eggs. It was tastier than I thought, but I made it. I have been hooked since. When I was older, I opened a home catering business, followed by a brick-and-mortar restaurant. I enjoyed every minute, but the work wore on my body. I injured my wrist flipping frying baskets and piping icing on cakes and I hurt my back. The long hours away from home, wrist surgery, and the death of one of my business partners resulted in the restaurant’s closure.
Finally, after years of working in the culinary business and being the family cook, I deserve to indulge in someone else’s cooking. And I have been doing just so. I love all kinds of food and am open to trying new foods. But I absolutely love New Orleans cuisine. You can not duplicate New Orleans’s flavors, making it hard to be away from my city. When I’m out of town, I seek out New Orleans-style restaurants, but I am usually disappointed. When I travel, I find that seeking out that city is known for a better dining experience. I would leave food reviews only if the food were delicious. It is not okay with me to leave a bad restaurant review because there are several reasons that the cook or chef sent out low-quality food. I do not feel that food is “nasty” if you dislike that particular item or dish. A staffing issue often happens on the busiest days or a new cook is on the line. Now, I am a believer in good customer service. If restaurant staff provides poor service, I will report it to the owner or corporate.
But whether I’m home partaking of my New Orleans favorites or traveling, I dine out and take pictures of my meals. So with that being said, here are a few pictures of what I devoured in two New Orleans months.
A New Orleans local favorite known for serving authentic soul and comfort food at affordable prices. Locals go after a night of partying for the breakfast specials featuring thick, creamy hot buttery grits. The grits, OMG, I do not know how grits can be so good!
FULTON ST. BISTRO
Essence Festival Vendor
JAEGER’S SEAFOOD & OYSTER HOUSE
New Orleans Creole Cookery
Deanie’s is a must for locals and tourists!
Chef Linda Green
Cafe Du Monde
Biscuits & Buns on Banks
Desire Oyster Bar