Ian McNulty


Ian covers food culture and dining in New Orleans through his weekly commentary series Where Y’Eat. 

Ian is also a staff writer for the daily newspaper the New Orleans Advocate, covering the culture, personality and trends behind the city’s famous dining scene.

He is the author of two books - “Louisiana Rambles: Exploring America’s Cajun and Creole Heartland,” a travel narrative about south Louisiana culture, and “A Season of Night: New Orleans Life After Katrina,” an account of the first months in the city after Hurricane Katrina.

He has been a contributor to WWNO since 2009.

Commander's Palace restaurant in the Garden District was led for many years by Ella Brennan with her family.
Ian McNulty

It’s one thing to say that a place has culture. It’s another to witness how the people of that place share a culture, how they use it, how it brings them together.

Watermelon and crabmeat at High Hat Cafe in New Orleans vividly show the pleasures of summer food.
Ian McNulty

When does summer start? Consult the almanac and you’ll see it’s still weeks away. But in New Orleans, the seasons aren’t necessarily tied to solstice and equinox. To me, they’re marked by a changing mix of cravings, needs, excuses...and yes, we're talking about food.

Nicely chilled sparkling wine can take the edge off a hot summer day.
Ian McNulty

In New Orleans, a wine lover may bow before Bordeaux and marvel at malbec. But then comes summer, our summer, and all bets are off, especially for heavier red wines. It’s time for wines that can cut through it all, wines that are refreshing and quenching.

A Louisiana crawfish boil is a hands-on affair. Keep those cell phones in your pocket.
Ian McNulty

Crawfish give us so much. Good flavor, an excuse to gather, a chance to bask in the seasonal food glories of south Louisiana. Well, I’m adding one more blessing to the pile – a crawfish boil creates a temporary sanctuary from the cell phone.

Creole gumbo from Cafe Dauphine in New Orleans. Gumbo in its many varities satisfies more than just a hunger in Louisiana.
Ian McNulty

If you love New Orleans food thank a New Orleans mother. If you’re really lucky that will be your own mother, or maybe, like me, your mother-in-law. But it doesn’t even matter if you’re related.

Arthur "Mr. Okra" Robinson was a beloved produce vendor in New Orleans. He died Feb. 15, 2018 at age 74.
Ian McNulty

New Orleans lost a legend this year with the death of Arthur Robinson, the roving produce vendor beloved across the city and known to all as Mr Okra.

After Jazz Fest, the neighborhood fills with people, sounds and more food.
Ian McNulty

Everyone knows you should go to Jazz Fest ready to eat. But no one says you have to show up starving. And on the way back out, I’ve found it’s smart to have a little room left in the tank too, to be ready for those opportune eats on the streets.

Crawfish coated with butter and garlic from Big EZ Seafood in Gretna.
Ian McNulty

It starts with spicy boiled crawfish, the pride of Louisiana, but it was born elsewhere.

Served in huge, help-yourself piles, the crawfish boil can seem engineered for social interaction.
Ian McNulty

Crawfish season is finally rolling for real, and so the food conversation turns to the endless variations on seasoning, timing, technique, process and produce that goes into the pot.

Ribs off the smoker for a backyard barbcue.
Ian McNulty

There's more barbecue around New Orleans these days. But it's not just a case of more barbecue restaurants, and that's where things get interesting. Roll up your sleeves New Orleans, it looks like our town is finally building its own barbecue culture.