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Louisiana Eats

  • When it comes to sharing our authentic food culture, there is no family as influential over time as the Brennans of New Orleans. Almost 80 years ago, Owen Brennan got the party started at the Old Absinthe House. Since that time, the family has grown and prospered, giving us all a wonderful time along the way.On this week's show, we sit down for the first time with the fourth generation of one of America's premiere food families. We hear from Ralph Brennan's kids Kathryn Brennan McLeod and her brother Patrick, Dickie Brennan's daughter Sarah and his nephew (Lauren Brennan's son) Geordie Brower, and the cousin who is guaranteed to spice things up, president of Baumer Foods, Inc., Pepper Baumer.
  • You can’t always get what you want. That’s been especially true during these unpredictable times. Now more than ever, there’s something comforting about the familiar – like a restaurant where you can order exactly what you want off the menu and are greeted with a smile whenever you walk through the door.That’s the experience of anyone who walks into Liz’s Where Y’at Diner – one of the happiest places north of Lake Pontchartrain. From the palm trees to the peace signs to the tie-dyed t-shirts, everything about Liz Munson’s diner is laid back. On this week’s show, we speak with Liz, who tells us about her special kind of hospitality, served up with a killer crab meat grilled cheese sandwich.Then, we learn about a crowd-pleasing muffuletta for sale in San Francisco, prepared each day by Peterson Harter at his pop up Sandy's SF. Though he’s far from home, the New Orleans chef has developed a following by staying true to his culinary roots.And you can’t make it as an entrepreneur unless you’ve got a good sense of what people want. Alfonzo Bolden, who, along with his brother Troy, is co-CEO of Cajun Nation Cajun Seasoning Company, based out of Lafayette. While there's no denying their food talents, Alfonzo and Troy's true genius lies in knowing just when to trademark a name – which for them, often precedes the product concept.Finally, we explore food as medicine and an act of love with Merissa Nathan Gerson, author of, "Forget Prayers, Bring Cake." Merissa shares an honest, unwavering look at her life during her year of grieving, and how she learned to listen to her own needs in a time of suffering.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • Spring is in bloom in the Bayou State, which means festivals, outdoor gatherings and, of course, Easter! If you grew up in the Gulf South, there's a good chance your Easter basket was filled with treats from Elmer Chocolate – our state's very own heritage candy company. On this week’s show, we hop over to Ponchatoula to tour the factory where Elmer’s prized Gold Bricks, Heavenly Hash, and Pecan Eggs are made.Then, we participate in "The Slowest Second Line on Earth" at Brennan's in the French Quarter, where we meet ten terrific turtles and a rapping judge.Finally, we brave the rain for a rollicking cocktail tour, conducted by Richard Read, Elizabeth Pearce, and Allison Alsup – authors of The French Quarter Drinking Companion.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • In today's fast-paced world, where virtually every recipe can be conjured up by doing a quick search online, do cookbooks really matter? After hearing this week's show, we think you'll join us in a resounding yes. Cookbooks teach us techniques and introduce us to new ingredients and cultures. They expand our palates and remind us of old-fashioned ways of doing things – ways that can evoke memories of our long lost loved ones.On this week's show, we meet Mason Hereford of Turkey and the Wolf and Molly's Rise and Shine. This relative newcomer has caused quite a stir here in New Orleans, serving formerly mundane items like a fried bologna sandwich, and transforming them into works of art. That's just one of the reasons Bon Appétit named Turkey and the Wolf America’s best new restaurant in 2017.Mason has become a fixture in national culinary headlines, but his most recent story had nothing to do with his kitchen. He tells us the story of how the first print run of his debut cookbook ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.Then, we hear from fifth-generation chicken keeper, Lisa Steele, whose blog "Fresh Eggs Daily" inspired her new book of the same name. Lisa shares her story as well as some egg-centric tips and tricks.Finally, we speak with David B. Hazelwood, who, along with David G. Smith, authored Cooking Southern: Recipes and Their History. At 586 pages thick, the new tome compiles over 1,800 historic recipes going back generations.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • Mardi Gras 2022 may just be the year of the king cake – at least on Louisiana Eats it is! A few weeks back, we devoted an entire episode to the topic. This week, we're back for seconds!We begin with Patrick Bordnick. Like Pavlov’s dog before them, Patrick's three canine companions have been conditioned to salivate whenever they encounter king cake. Nearly every day from Twelfth Night to Mardi Gras, Patrick and his pups sample a new one and rate it. Patrick then posts their conclusions on his Instagram page, where the whole family enjoys a following.Then, we hear more from Matt Haines, author of "The Big Book of King Cake." We explore the countless varieties of king cakes from across the state, and the bakers behind each innovation.Finally, we meet king cake baker extraordinaire Dominique Rizzo of Celtica Bakery. Like his popular baguettes and croissants, Dominique's authentic French galette des rois is a game changer in New Orleans.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • New Orleans is well known for its legacy restaurant families. And now, just across the Mississippi River in Gretna, the Mandina clan is poised to claim its own place in our culinary pantheon. On this week's show, we meet three generations of family who have made Tony Mandina’s a Westbank culinary institution.We begin with the restaurant’s namesake founder and his wife Grace Blanchard Mandina. Having no prior experience in the business, the couple ran the restaurant with help from members of their extended family. Grace shares stories of some pitfalls and laughs in those early days, when the ragtag team found themselves having to make it up as they went along.The Mandinas’ Sicilian roots make their story a particularly rich and delicious one. We learn about the family's history, which can be traced back to Salaparuta, a town in southwest Sicily. Tony recounts the first time he met his aunts in the Old Country in 1960. Ever since then, the family has maintained a connection to their family across the Atlantic, even forging new relationships with distant cousins, resulting in an import/export business.Tony and Grace's three daughters began working in their parents' restaurant as children. In 2020, middle daughter Kolette Mandina-Ditta took over the reins of Tony Mandina's, along with her daughter Lindsey Marcel. Both of them join us in the studio to discuss growing up in the restaurant, and Kolette describes what motivated her to write "Tony Mandina’s Kitchen," a new book featuring a collection of family history and recipes.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • Back in the early days of television, the Public Broadcasting System blazed the trail in the genre of food TV with the one and only Julia Child, whose series, The French Chef, changed the way Americans cook and eat.On this week’s show, we sit down with PBS's newest sensation, Chef Kevin Belton, whose fourth series, Kevin Belton's Cooking Louisiana, is being aired in homes across the nation. Kevin shares what he learned while shooting his latest venture, which features food from across our delectable state.
  • On this week's show, we take a journey into the Ice Cream Underground to uncover the magicians taking America's favorite dessert to new heights right here in Louisiana. We begin with Sam Caruso, who has overcome a host of challenges to find a sweet opportunity with Laozi Ice Cream.
  • The old adage is that a woman's place is in the kitchen. Despite that well-worn saying, it wasn't until the second half of the 20th century that women began finding their place in the restaurant kitchen. For this week's show, we gather together a powerful group of females who are breaking barriers and setting new standards for excellence in their fields.
  • How many varieties of bitters are stocked in your bar? Once upon a time, there were only two choices – our beloved, local Peychaud bitters and Angostura –…