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Louisiana Eats: 100 Years Of Camellia Beans

Camellia Celebrates 100 Years
Photo courtesy of L.H. Hayward and Company

Ask any New Orleanian what they eat on Mondays, and you'll likely get the same reply: "red beans and rice." For 100 years now, that humble bean has been practically synonymous with Camellia Brand. Lucius Hayward founded Camellia in the Crescent City in 1923, naming the company for his wife's favorite flower. Over the last century, generations of New Orleanians have showered much love and devotion on that dried kidney bean, but as you'll learn on this week's show, it has been far from a one-sided love affair. Vince Hayward and the entire fourth generation of Camellia Beans have devoted their centennial year to showing the Big Easy how much they love those bean eaters back.

Over the course of their centennial year, Camellia will be donating one million bowls of beans to Second Harvest Food Bank. To learn more about this year-long partnership, we speak with Second Harvest's President and CEO, Natalie Jayroe.

Next, we dig into the Monday red beans tradition with Vince Hayward of Camellia Beans. He gives us a tour of Camellia's "Red Bean City" exhibit at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and offers us a unique perspective on his family business.

We also speak with Jamie Warrick, the Research and Development Chef for L.H. Hayward & Company. Camellia Beans is just one of the food businesses that operate under the L.H. Hayward banner, but Chef Jamie explains to us how her relationship with Camellia was established long before she got the job.

Finally, we hear from Chef Chris Lusk of Antoine's Restaurant, the oldest continuously operating family-owned restaurant in the nation. He explains the role red beans play in one of the finest old Creole restaurants in New Orleans.

For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.