Archive for the ‘Programming Update’ Category

Eating in the Gulf of Mexico and the Carribean Basin – 2010 Words in Food Symposium

September 20, 2010

Join the Southern Food and Beverage Museum for our second annual Words in Food Symposium Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 1st through 3rd. The theme of the 2010 symposium is Eating in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Basin. Scholars, researchers, food writers and others will discuss the cross influences in the region, the ecology and cultural exchanges, as well as other issues and ideas. We will also discuss the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the food and culture of the area. Presentations will focus primarily on the countries that have a coast on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Participation in the symposium is open to all.

The symposium covers three days, October 1-3, 2010.  Speakers and panelists include James Carville, who will launch a new lecture series at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, Contemporary Issues Impacting Southern Food and Beverages.  He will speak about the cultural impact of the oil spill, culinary and otherwise. Jessica Harris, noted culinary historian, author, and educator, will give the keynote address and sit on other panels, including Rum.

Please visit our website to learn more about the panels, panelists, and other speakers.


A Little Taste of Italy

July 6, 2010

by Kelsey Parris

taken from La Divina Gelateria's facebook profile

Sometimes the only way to escape the heat of a New Orleans summer is to indulge in something icy cold and sweet, colorful and delicious. One perennial favorite is a treat from a country whose culinary and cultural influence is often overlooked in this former French colony. But we must not forget the Italians, specifically Sicilians, and their refreshing summer treat: gelato.

From the late 1880’s through the early 1900’s, New Orleans drew a large number of Sicilian immigrants who were eager to escape the political and economic turmoil of Italy. After the end of slavery, the sugar fields and urban factories demanded cheap labor and the Sicilians quickly became the new labor class. The European atmosphere of the city encouraged the immigrants to settle permanently here, and of course, that meant that the need for Italian food grew and needed to be satisfied. In Elizabeth Fussell’s essay, Constructing New Orleans, Constructing Race: A Population History of New Orleans, she reports that by 1910 Sicilian immigrants and their descendents accounted for 39% of Louisiana’s population.

Bakeries such as Angelo Brocato’s, which opened in 1905, provided the Italian community with a taste of home through their traditional Italian bread and desserts, like cannoli and gelato. Brocato’s still proudly uses recipes that have been passed down through the family, and the desserts and gelatos are named in their original Italian. The old world style store and the hot months of summer draw hundreds of people to their doors each night.

In recent years, gelato has become a popular dessert in American culture. So familiar, like ice-cream, yet always a little different, with exotic flavors and a smooth texture that is both creamy and somehow lighter than ice cream’s richness, gelato adds just a little intrigue to the average American palate that grew up on waffle cones and milkshakes. Yet many still are unfamiliar with this dessert. To be technical, gelato is made with a butterfat content of about 10%, as opposed to the 18-25% butterfat content of ice cream. It is also typically made in smaller batches and at a lower temperature, less air is incorporated during the freezing process, which creates that rich smoothness that melts perfectly in your mouth.

As this summer indulgence has made its way out of exclusively Italian circles, the spirit of New Orleans creativity and cultural blending has given gelato a new twist. La Divina Gelateria is a relatively new gelato shop, started in 2007 by Carmello and Katrina. Turillo. Their goal is to incorporate local flavors to a traditional Italian formula, using local organic milk from Smith’s Creamery and whatever fresh ingredients they can get to produce flavors such as Turbo Dog Chocolate Sorbetto or Bourbon Pecan gelato. La Divina works hard to ensure that their gelato reflects the season and the available ingredients without relying on commercially produced pastes or bases.

Other gelato shops have sprouted up in the city, ensuring that no matter how far your wanderings take you, there should be a brightly colored cup and matching adorable gelato shovel waiting to cool you down.

To learn more about gelato, including great tips on making your own this summer, come to the demonstration by La Divina Geleateria this Saturday, July 10 from 2 to 3 PM at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

La Divina Gelateria: 3005 Magazine Street and 621 Saint Peter Street, New Orleans

Angelo Brocato’s: 214 North Carrolton Avenue, New Orleans

Sucre: 3025 Magazine Street, New Orleans

Gelato Pazzo Café: 8115 Oak Street, New Orleans

Nick’s Snoballs & Gelato: 908 Harrison Avenue, New Orleans

Gaspare’s Gelateria Café: 4421 Clearview Parkway, Metairie

Event Spotlight: Drink Well Do Good

April 1, 2010

by Kelsey Parris

The International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW) is a non-profit organization devoted to creating equal opportunities for blacks in the wine industry of South Africa. There is a major discrepancy between the number of blacks employed in South African vineyards and the number of black-owned vineyards, and ISAW is trying to change those numbers.

Currently, over ninety percent of the 300,000 viticulture employees are black, but there are only two vineyards owned by black families. The plan of the ISAW is to raise funds to establish a viticulture training school at M’Hudi winery in Stellenbosch, South Africa that would allow the workers to learn to run their own wineries. The ISAW would then invest and support black-owned wine businesses, and through the foundation would encourage the participation of blacks in the South African economy.

Stephen Satterfield, the founder of the organization, is determined to find common ground and equality through the business of wine. South African wines are becoming more and more popular internationally, and Satterfield sees this as the time to “commit to improving the quality of life for those who’ve worked to produce it.” In order to drum up support and awareness of the organization and the mission to help South Africans, Satterfield has organized a 16 city tour that goes throughout the United States, makes its way up to Vancouver before ending, appropriately, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Drink Well, Do Good Tour is our chance to help make the viticulture training grounds a reality for Satterfield and the ISAW. We at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum are excited and honored to host the launch party for the 2010 tour on Sunday, April 4, from 4 to 7 PM. Not only will there be an incredible amount of South African wine to sample and enjoy, but there will also be a selection of delicious food, with a Southern soul spread from Dooky Chase, a West African platter from Bennachin’s, and decadent bread pudding from the Court of Two Sisters.

Don’t forget to go out the night before the party to see Kora Konnection, a wonderful New Orleans-based band that blends the best of West African Mandinka music with the playfulness of New Orleans Jazz improv. Their show is guaranteed to get you in the right frame of mind to support African ventures.

Tickets for both the launch party and the Kora Konnection show are available at, and all proceeds from the events go towards the ISAW Foundation for the development of a viticultural training center on the M’hudi Estate in South Africa. Go to for more information on the Foundation. We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Programming Update: SoFAB Adds Teen Events

March 17, 2010

by Stephanie Jane Carter

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum’s healthy culinary classes for kids have been enormously successful over the last few years and many of you are familiar with them.  In September of 2009, we expanded our youth programming to include events for teenagers as well.  These events has spent the last few months expanding its youth programming.  The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) Culinary Events for Teens have the goals of informing students interested in the food industry of important concepts in the food genre, investigating the chef profession, and guiding them in the exploration different culinary professions.

This Saturday, March 20 from 2:15-4:00 pm, GW Fins’ Executive Chef and Co-Owner Tenney Flynn will be giving a group of aspiring chefs some key culinary industry insight.  As part of their training at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, Chef Flynn has been enlisted to provide this group of 18 students with an insiders’ preview into the industry.  As he shares some of his real-life experiences from more than 25 years in the restaurant industry with them, Chef Flynn will also be teaching the students how to prepare one of GW Fins’ most popular appetizers, Blue Crab Potstickers with a Creamy Pea Shoot Butter.  They will be given the opportunity to assist Chef Flynn in making these delicious morsels.  Following this instructional class, each of the students will be able to sample this dish that they helped create.

“The restaurant industry has a certain glossy appeal to it, and I wanted to provide these aspiring chefs with a real-life look at the industry that I have grown up in,” states Chef Flynn. “In addition, I want to provide these kids with some important tips they will actually be able to use, should they choose to pursue this field,” concludes Flynn.  Chef Flynn is sure to provide some invaluable information to these would-be chefs, including sharing some tricks of the trade, such as how to remember recipes using ratios.

During this school year, the teenagers that have attended the events have learned about food chemistry, the effects of appearance on the taste of a dish, food history and the invention of Cajun and Creole Cuisine.  They have also volunteered at Second Harvest.

We hope that our teen programming continues to grow.  If your teenager is interested in attending the event with Chef Tenney Flynn this weekend, please contact Stephanie Carter at Stephanie AT southernfood DOT org for details, a registration form, and to reserve a space in this limited class.