Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Editor’s Letter

September 21, 2010

It is with great excitement that I announce the death of this version of SoFAB Monthly.  The end of the SoFAB Monthly marks the birth of our new online magazine, OKRA.  The monthly newsletter has communicated museum news, exhibits, new artifacts, and events since we opened in 2008 (and actually before that).  That information, as well as information on the development of OKRA, will now be included in our weekly email blasts, edited by Kelsey Parris.  Recipes from the newsletter will be moved to OKRA, along with the new columns and articles that we are developing for it.  We hope you enjoy this change and we look forward to hearing your ideas, suggestions, and whatever else you have to say regarding both publications.

I am also excited that our Words in Food Symposium is upon us.  Liz Williams, our director, has done an outstanding job bringing this event together.  On October 1-3, 2010, James Carville, Jessica Harris, Todd Price, Elizabeth Pearce, and many more will present and sit on panels that explore the effects of disasters like the oil spill and the culinary exchanges that occur in these regions.  Attendance is limited, so there are plenty of opportunities to talk with speakers and others.  Additionally, an anonymous donor has made several scholarships available.  If you are interested in one of those, contact Liz Wiliams at 504-569-0405.  I’ll be there and I hope to see you.


Stephanie Jane Carter


A BBQ Artifact, Bullet Holes and All

September 21, 2010

Shadden’s BBQ, opened for more than 40 years in Marvell, Arkansas, was a place of BBQ pilgrimages for many years.  Housed in a 100-year old general store building in Marvell, Arkansas, Shadden’s was known at various times as the town in a non-town, the place for craps, dancing, fighting, and eating.  Levon Helm of The Band was a regular.

According to a documentary on All South Networks (, Shadden’s was most recently known as an eating place rather than a gambling place.  During its gambling days, 400-500 people would be there on a Saturday night.  According to Wayne Shadden, a $500 fine and a year in jail changed that.  For BBQ lovers, this was the best shift in focus a place could ever make.  Since then, Shadden’s has become a necessary stop on any BBQ pilgrimage.

In its post-gambling incarnation, it was a cross between a roadside grocery and a museum, with “yellowed pictures of smiling families and once-young enlisted men everywhere,” according to Gary Saunders of  Jars of giant dill pickles, pickled sausage, and pickles eggs graced the counter tops.

Wayne Shadden died this year at the age of 77.  Shadden’s closed.  With the help of Randy Ensminger, Arkansas board member at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, the Shadden’s sign (conspicuously dotted with bullet holes) will live on at the SoFAB in its growing Arkansas exhibit.  BBQ lovers can still come and pay their respects to Shadden’s.

Click here for Shadden’s BBQ Sauce Recipe, from High Cotton Cookin’

SoFAB is always looking for artifacts.  If you want to help, let us know…504-569-0405 or leave a comment on our website,

New Orleans con sabor Latino

September 20, 2010

by Kelsey Parris

Edgar Sierras' Plaintains Foster. Photo by Natalie Root Photography

New Orleans has always been a city that thrived on new people and cultures, absorbing the different traditions and foods and integrating them into the city’s own culture. La Louisiane was never a homogenous community, and its ability to accept different ethnicities and adapt to the land was key to its survival. French, Acadians, Germans, Spanish, Native Americans, and Africans were among those people who had to work together to create livable settlements. Food collaboration was an important part of making ends meet, and settlers learned how to produce and use native foods while introducing their own techniques and flavors, thus creating the cuisine of Louisiana Cajuns and Creole. Over the years, later immigrant populations brought their own cuisines, and some larger groups such as the Sicilians and Vietnamese were able to retain their culinary identity while adapting to the local styles and products.

Historically, New Orleans and Louisiana have been closely tied to Spain, Mexico, and Latin American countries.  Even though Spain ruled the Louisiana territory from 1763 until 1803, Spanish speaking influences never seemed to be able to penetrate the dominant French culture.  There are interesting exceptions to that rule, though, as the Isleños of Saint Bernard Parish show. Groups of Spanish Canary Islanders arrived in 1778 as part of the Spanish government’s plan to protect the city of New Orleans from hostile invasion from the British. It was thought that by settling sympathetic people in vulnerable areas, the threatened invasion of the English from the Eastern territory could be halted.

Although this invasion never quite came to pass, the Isleños settled throughout Louisiana, with a pretty serious concentration in St. Bernard Parish. Since it was a fairly insular community, a dialect of Spanish was spoken, and foods such as paella, empanadillos, flan, and candies, as well as a love of fresh fish and game were passed through the generations. Caldo is one example: a soup that is a traditional Canary Island staple, made with tons of fresh vegetables, beans, pork, and carefully guarded family recipes. The Isleños Museum in Chalmette chronicles the lives of this group, and also holds an annual festival, Los Isleños Fiesta, that celebrates the culture of the community. Spanish and Latin American immigrants must have appreciated the existence of the Spanish cultural community and it gradually expanded and crept into the city of New Orleans.

In 2005, a new threat was realized, and this time the British had nothing to do with it. New Orleans and Louisiana were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and the area was again dependent on immigrant populations to help rebuild and repopulate the city and strengthen the culture that made it special. Latin Americans from Mexico, Honduras, and other Central American countries recognized the need for labor and the potential for good and steady income, and settled in New Orleans to man the rebuilding efforts.

Suddenly a great need for authentic Latin American food arose with this new influx of workers and their families. As the population settled in, the stores and restaurants that sprang up, stocking food supplies and brand names that the immigrants were familiar with, are usually owned and operated by native Spanish speakers who want to reach out and create a sense of community. Shelves overflow with peppers and tortillas, tamale wrappers and corn cakes. Thanks to the higher demand for food on the go, the food truck phenomenon has finally arrived in New Orleans through the now ubiquitous taco trucks.

Adolfo Garcia's LA Drum with Crabmeat Catacones and Avocado Remoulade. Photo by natalie Root Photography

In SoFAB’s newest exhibit, New Orleans con sabor Latino, photographer Natalie Root and curator Zella Llerena have gone through the city and the surrounding areas, finding people with Latin American ties, whether it be ancestral, like Isleños Mike and Donna, first generation, like Chef Adolfo Garcia, or recent arrivals to the city. Through their research, they have found through preparing their traditional food while incorporating elements of Louisiana’s foods, a new cuisine is evolving. Some home cooks add okra to their dishes, others use grits. In professional kitchens, chefs have brought flavors of their homes to the menu while weaving them into the bounty of Louisiana produce and seafood.

This is a cultural shift that seems like it will slowly integrate itself into the food and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana, and it is important to recognize the changes that are taking place, and to give credit to those who are helping to make it happen. In the same way that Sicilians and Vietnamese have gradually introduced their foods and communities through stores and restaurants to become part of the fabric of the region’s culture, Latin Americans are poised to settle in.

More reading…

Gambit’s article on Latin American Food stores:

Slate’s article post-K about influx of Latin American workers:

Rio Mar’s site and mission statement:

John Folse’s Caldo

Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yields: 8 Servings


1 pound white beans
1 pound diced ham
1 pound pickled meat or smoked sausage
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 gallon cold water
1 (15-ounce) can string beans
2 (15-ounce) cans mustard greens
2 (15-ounce) cans spinach
1 (15-ounce) can corn
1 (15-ounce) can peas
1 (15-ounce) can sweet potatoes
1 (15-ounce) can yellow squash
1 (15-ounce) can new potatoes
1 and 1/2 heads shredded cabbage2 ears corn
salt and black pepper to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste


In a 12-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ham and pickled meat and sauté until golden brown. Stir in onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic. Saute 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add white beans, tomato sauce and water. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and continue to cook 1 hour or until beans are tender. Blend in all canned vegetables along with cabbage and fresh corn. Continue to cook over medium heat approximately 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Additional water may be added to retain consistency during cooking. Serve as a soup over steamed white rice.

Recipe from

Recipe: Watermelon Rum Punch

September 20, 2010

Stephanie Jane Carter

The blue, dented pick-up truck that parks in the shade of the oak trees on Carollton Avenue is the kind of vehicle that makes me smile.  With a hand-painted sign announcing its wares, watermelons filled the bed of the truck this week.  While the weather has started to give us a break, it is still hot in New Orleans and watermelons are still the answer for a couple more weeks.  Here is a cocktail to celebrate the end of summer.

photo by Stephanie Jane Carter

Watermelon Rum Punch

Makes one cocktail

1 cup red seedless watermelon, cubed

2 ounces white rum

1 tablespoon agave nectar

juice of 1 and a half limes (about 3 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon chopped mint

crushed ice

Chile Lime Salt (optional)

Combine the cubed watermelon, rum, agave nectar, and lime juice in a blender (or in a bowl if using an emmersion blender).  Puree until the mixture is smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Set aside.  If desired, coat the lip of a glass with the chile lime salt by rubbing the lip with a damp towel and dipping the lip into the salt.  Fill the glass with ice.  Add watermelon mixture and chopped mint.  Stir well.

SoFAB Opens a New Display on Oysters

July 6, 2010

Exhibit Shows the Passion of a Collector and Portrays an Industry Now Under Assault

By Chris Smith
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum has created an exhibit that explains the important role that oysters play in the life of Gulf Coast residents.

The exhibit includes old oyster cans from processors, an oyster bucket, ceramic oyster jug, antique oyster knife, oyster forks, oyster plates, and historic photography. Several photos of several oyster plates can be viewed at

Exhibition artifacts have been loaned to the museum from the collection of Jim Gossen, owner of Louisiana Foods Global Seafood Source, headquartered in Houston. Though he collected many types of oyster artifacts through the years, his major focus of collecting has been oyster plates.

“I started collecting around 1977 or 1978,” says Gossen. “Even though I was in the seafood business, I had no real interest in collecting any items. I remember that I was in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association meeting and I was staying at the Drake Hotel. Every time I went to get my car, I had to pass a little shop that had some oyster plates in the window that always caught my eye. They were cobalt blue. I went into the store and talked to the lady and they were more than I wanted to pay, just way too much. But something made me go back and I bought them and that was the beginning.”

Even though he had been involved in the oyster industry for years, and felt he was familiar with oyster lore, he became acquainted with an entirely new realm of bivalve history.

Though oysters have been consumed for thousands of years, it was during the Victorian era that ostentatious presentations involved in serving oysters reached its zenith. The Victorians honored oysters by serving them with special utensils and by using highly decorated plates designed exclusively for serving oysters.

From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, hundreds of different oyster plate designs were created in Europe, Asia and the United States. The plates have wells or depressions – usually three to six – as to hold the shucked oyster meat as well as other depressions for sauce, lemons or crackers. The design of the plate interior was limited only by the imagination of the manufacturers and artists who designed and decorated them. The plates range from delicate to massive and were manufactured materials such as porcelain, earthenware, glass, silver and pewter.

“A lot of people don’t know what oyster plates are,” says Gossen. “They do not come as part of china sets. And they are not the most practical thing; they are somewhat aristocratic. You tend to see them more in areas where there are oyster bed and oyster farming.”

After his original purchase in Chicago, Gossen says that he didn’t buy another oyster plate for several years and in fact, he had no intention of starting a collection. Gradually, he began to meet other collectors, including those from the eastern seaboard states where oyster plates were considered works of art. He bought the few books available that described oyster plates, their history, and their values. He also began to search out antique stores in search of plates.

Gossen’s wife, Diane, developed the oyster plate collecting bug. Eventually, the couple amassed a collection of more than 300 plates, including some of value.

“Our collecting philosophy has changed from when we first began,” he says. “Now we know a lot about oyster plates and we know the values and whether something is fairly priced.”

Because they now have a significant well-rounded collection, they are interested in purchasing only the hard-to-find pieces that come into play infrequently. They know there are a lot of counterfeit plates as well as legitimate copies, and what the Gossens have created is a collection of plates that are mostly 100 years of age and older. “When we started, there were no counterfeits out there; the plates had the appropriate markings so there was no way to mislead people. Also, there was no eBay. Like anything else, it’s buyer-beware unless you know the seller.”

Most of the Gossen’s oyster plates are stored away. However, when they built a new house in Houston, Gossen’s brother, an architect, designed a dining room that has a cabinet in each corner. Each cabinet is specially lighted to exhibit roughly 30 plates in each cabinet.

Photos of many of the Gossen’s oyster plates appear on the Louisiana Food website:

“I’ve had fun with it over the years,” he says. He seems to surprise himself when he remembers that he’s been collecting for more than 30 years. “I never dreamed that some of them would be displayed in a museum.”

The oyster display will remain on exhibit through the end of the year.

The Don Effect

June 8, 2010

4-14 Festival – Dijon, France

June 8, 2010

On June 1, 2010, The Southern Food and Beverage Museum held a press conference for the 4-14 Festival of Dijon, France.  The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is also a sponsor of the festival.  Of interest is that the 4-14 Festival will use Louisiana seafood at the festival.

France – After the extraordinary success of the first annual 4-14 Festival, The City of Dijon will once again host this popular event in July 2010. For three days world class chefs and internationally acclaimed musicians from France and the gastronomically and musically renowned city of New Orleans, will share their artistic passions with brilliance and generosity during concerts, tastings and demonstrations all centered around “le Marché”, the beautiful 19th century steel and glass structure built by Gustave Eiffel, Dijon’s native son.

The History Alex Miles, the best known American resident of Dijon, culinary/cultural agitator and bon vivant, wanted to connect the Americans and the French through his two passions, food and music. The 4-14 Festival joins together the spirit of July 4th (Independence Day) and July 14th (Bastille Day). These framing dates are at the core of the festival which celebrates France and America, Music and Cuisine !
Why? “…because Americans don’t know that the French can play music and
the French don’t think Americans can cook!” Visitors from around the world will
wander from stand to stand and appreciate the culinary specialties of these fine
chefs while concerts and musical performances are played all throughout the city center. The gastronomical exchanges between the chefs and the public reveal
how much the culture of food is shared on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2009, the
dozens of participating chefs and musicians were expecting 5,000 visitors… but
to everyone’s great surprise and pleasure 15,000 festival goers came and contributed to the phenomenal success of the first
annual 4-14 Festival.

The 4-14 Festival Twenty four of the finest American and
French chefs, assisted by the culinary students of the Hotel Schools of Burgundy, will show off their “savoir-faire” and creativity. More than 20,000 three star
tastings priced at only 3€ each will be offered to the hungry public. The cobblestone streets of the city center will be rocked by the sounds of Jazz, Cajun,
Funk and Zydeco music performed by internationally known groups from New
Orleans and France. Live, televised cooking demonstrations will be conducted
by several French and American chef duos hosted the by French TV personality,
Babette de Rozières. A new addition to the Festival this year is a Charity Dinner and Concert to benefit the Food Banks of Burgundy and New
Orleans. All five 3 Michelin starred chefs of Burgundy will prepare this unique
dinner accompanied by American chefs. The team effort for this exceptional meal
will be animated by interludes of exceptional classical music.

The second annual 4-14 Festival
July 9th, 10th & 11th, 2010 in Dijon
Music, Food & Fun – The 2010 U.S. partner : The City of New Orleans !
The 4-14 Festival is under the High Patronage of Charles H. Rivkin,
Ambassador of United States of America in France
Sponsors The City of Dijon, The City of New Orleans,
Conseil Régional de Bourgogne, Conseil Général
de Côte-d’Or, Comité régional de tourisme,
Office du tourisme de Dijon, Ambassade
américaine à Paris, Ministère de l’alimentation
de l’agriculture et de la pêche, Dijon je t’aime,
Association France-Louisiane, l’Ambassade du
Charolais, Dijon Céréales, SEB, Nutrition
Gourmande, Paris Insights, Sofitel La Cloche,
Hôtel Ibis, Lacanche, FNAC, Librairie Grangier,
Isabelle Minini fleuriste, Relais & Châteaux,
Gares & connexions SNCF, Delta Airlines,
Crédit Agricole, Autoroute Info 107.7, France 3
Bourgogne, I-com, Buzz & Compagnie,
Bing-Bang magazine, Voo.TV, Image & associés,
France Bleu Bourgogne, Le Bien Public,, Bourgogne Authentique,
Régal Magazine, Radio K-6 FM, DijonScope,
Visitor’s and Convention Bureau of New
Orleans, New Orleans Wine & Food Experience,
The Southern Food & Beverage Museum, Degas
House, Second Harvest Food Bank, La Banque
Alimentaire de Bourgogne, le Journal du Palais,
Jazz à Juan, Spedidam, BIVB, Arts et Gastronomie,
The 4-14 Festival Sponsors
from France and America
The American Chefs
Hosie Bourgeois – Beau Chêne Country Club, Mandeville, LA.
Stephanie Jane Carter – Southern Food & Beverage Museum, New Orleans
Dooky Chase IV – Dooky Chase, New Orleans
Leon Galatoire – Galatoire’s, New Orleans
John Harris – Lilette Restaurant, New Orleans
Anne Hart – Provence Market Café, West Virginia
Donald Link – Herbsaint and Cochon, New Orleans
Erick Loos – La Provence, Lacombe, LA
Jennifer Loos – Restaurant August, New Orleans
Matt Murphy – Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
Darin Nesbit – Bourbon House, New Orleans
Alfred Singleton – Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, New Orleans
Ben Thibodeaux – Palace Café, New Orleans
Jeff Tunks – Acadiana and DC Coast, Washington, D.C.
The French Chefs
Philippe Augé – Hostellerie Levernois, Levernois
Patrick Bertron – Relais Bernard Loiseau, Saulieu
Stéphane Derbord – Restaurant Stéphane Derbord, Dijon
William Frachot – Chapeau Rouge, Dijon
Daniel Ginsberg – Nouvelle Cuisine de la Ville de Dijon
Emmanuel Hebrard – Abbaye de la Bussière, La Bussière
Nicolas Isnard & David Leconte – Auberge de la Charme, Prenois
Jean-Michel Lorain – La Côte Saint-Jacques, Joigny
Marc Meneau – L’Espérance, Saint Père
Éric Pras – Lameloise, Chagny
David Zuddas – D’Zenvies, Dijon
The Musicians
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Ronnie Kole
Sylvia Rhyne & Eric Redlinger
Les Kat Dixies
Pain D’Maïs (Corn Bread)
Marc Esposito Trio
The Simple Men Blues
Fond de Saloir
French Couisine
Jazz Collectors
Singall Gospel
Les Tortues Janine
Patrick Heilmann
Quatuor Appassionato
Maurizio Cecchini – magician
These International Vir tuosos
Play and Cook for You!

Hurricanes: Here’s to Drinking Them and Not Enduring Them

June 8, 2010

by Stephanie Jane Carter

With experts predicting an active hurricane season for 2010, it seems an appropriate time to toast to one filled with drinking them, but not enduring them.

The Hurricane Cocktail was popularized by Pat O’Brien, who served it in glasses that were shaped like hurricane lamps.  “Pat O” actually trademarked the glasses in 1941.   Today’s hurricane is most often made with a pink powder mix, but the original one was a delicious concoction of fruit juices, rum, and Galliano.  The difference between the two is like the difference between fresh fruit juice and Kool-Aid.  While there are times that we are in the mood for Kool-Aid, it would be a shame to never have the real thing.

If you are interested in learning more about the Hurricane, stop by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum to see the special exhibit on the cocktail.  For more information, visit the website,


1 ounce Meyer’s Dark Rum

1 ounce Ronrico Silver, or other light rum

1/2 ounce Galliano

2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice

2 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice

1 ounce passion fruit nectar

Dash of Angostura Bitters

Tropical fruit for garnish, if desired

Put the light and dark rums, fruit juices, bitters, and Galliano in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake.  Strain into a 26 ounce hurricane glass filled with ice.  Garnish with tropical fruit, if desired.

Letter from the Editor

May 11, 2010

photo by David Gallent

Dear Friends,

Just a few months ago, the Gulf Coast oyster industry was threatened with a proposed oyster ban.  It has been a trying month for the entire Gulf Coast seafood industry as the BP oil spill creeps closer to the coast.  During this time, it is important that we support our Gulf Coast fisherman.  Much seafood remains safe to eat and many seafood organizations encourage us to continue buying this Gulf Coast Seafood.  Click here to find out the oil spill forecast, what fisherman are doing, and more, visit the Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board.  Also, visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to see closures and to get information about the oil spill response.

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum has some excellent information on the history of the Louisiana seafood industry in the Leah Chase Louisiana Gallery.  Please check it out during your visit!

To learn more, visit our beautiful, new, updated website at

Cheers, ya’ll!

Stephanie Jane Carter

stephanie AT southernfood DOT org

Exhibit: Photography by Eugenia Uhl

May 11, 2010

by Chris Smith

Eugenia Uhl’s career as a professional food stylist and photographer began years ago in her mother’s kitchen.

“I learned to cook at an early age,” she says. “That was fun. We still cook together. I guess I just like food because I am half-Italian. I grew up around food.”

The New Orleans native has been shooting food for 18 years now. Her new show in the photography gallery of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum is simply titled “The Food Photography of Eugenia Uhl” and spans her entire career.

“I thought it would be nice to show a broad range of types of photography that I do,” she says. “I do a lot of commercial food photography, but I try to get a creative element in there to make it more artful, and not just food photo work.”

The exhibit contains work from the five cookbooks that feature Uhl’s photography.

·         New Orleans Home Cooking by Dale Curry;

·         The Galatoire’s Cookbook;

·         The Commander’s Palace cookbook;

·         The Palace Café cookbook; and

·         The Bywater Cookbook, featuring recipes from the Mirliton Festival.

Uhl says that her main goals in creating an appealing photo involve focusing on the color, lighting, and composition. She frequently shoots food that she has prepared.

Uhl sometimes ventures outside of the food realm. She also shoots interiors, still life, and portraits, including pets.

The Photography of Eugenia Uhl will be on exhibit through the middle of July. Many of the photos on exhibit also are available for sale.

More information…