No. 62, July 2009

SoFAB Monthly

July 2009

Dear Friends,

This past month, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum hosted its gala in honor of Leah Chase.  During the dedication ceremony, Leah’s granddaughter pointed out that Leah never lets the bad (Katrina) or the good (awards and honors) stop her from continuing along her path.  To drive the idea home, she ended her speech with a message to her grandmother, in words that Leah must often use, regarding the gallery named after her at SoFAB.

“Grandma, this is great.  We knew you could do it.  We are proud of you.  Now let’s move on.”

What a great party and great dedication we had, but it is also time for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum to continue in its path as we begin our second year.  We hope you will join us for our wonderful upcoming programming, including a wine making class this Saturday.  We hope you will continue to support us with your all your contributions, artifacts and otherwise.  We also hope that you will support Hollygrove Market in their fund raiser at the end of July.


Stephanie Carter
Editor, SoFAB Monthly
Director of Communications

Food News

Stephanie Jane Carter
Bastille Day – The French national holiday commemorates the stroming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789.  The Bastille was a prison that held only seven prisoners at the time, but it represented the absolute power of Louis the 16th’s Ancient Regime. The storming the Bastille, the French demonstrated that the king’s power was no longer absolute.  This marked the beginning of the French Revolution.  In honor of Bastille Day, and the wonderful French winemaking tradition, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum will host a home wine-making class.

The Peanut Industry Fights Back – One of my favorite childhood memories involves peanuts.  For the winter holidays, my family would pile into our old burgundy Volvo stationwagon and head to South Carolina to visit my grandparents on the farm.  Our favorite stop was at one of the roadside boiled peanuts stands.  I love peanuts.   I love anything that has peanuts in it.  I love them in my Chinese food, in my ice cream, in my sandwiches.  And, thankfully, I am not the only one.  The Atlanta Motor Speedway loves peanuts too.

To support Georgia-based peanut farmers in lieu of the recent difficulties facing the industry, Atlanta Motor Speedway partnered with the Georgia Peanut Commission to promote Georgia peanuts during the Kobalt Tools 500.

“We are honored to work together with Atlanta Motor Speedway,” said Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “They have been wonderful to work with and we appreciate their efforts in helping us promote peanuts, the official state crop of Georgia.

“Georgia farmers produce nearly half of the U.S. peanut crop,” Morris continued.
The peanut industry has been having a tough time.  Children, once champions of the iconic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, have become increasing allergic to peanuts.  Food labels warn that products have been manufactured in plants that process peanuts, adding to the negative publicity.  Of course, we all remember the latest big food recall.  The peanut outbreak sickened more than 630 people and may have caused the deaths of nine people.  It has resulted in the recall of more than 2,100 products, making it one of the largest product recalls in the nation’s history.  As a result of the recall, the Virgina-based Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) has filed for bankruptcy.  The outbreak was traced to a plant in Blakely, Georgia owned by Peanut Corporation of America.

Fast Peanut Fact:  Peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts.

The Culinary Legacy of Treme’

~Zella Llerena

Faubourg Tremé was developed after 1798 on the natural levee at the trunk of Bayou St. John/Esplanade Ridge. It became New Orleans’ largest faubourg or neighborhood.

Claude Tremé began selling lots along his newly laid-out streets by 1798. Most of the plots were 60-by-180 feet and were purchased by French and Spanish colonial settlers, recent European immigrants and gens de couleur libres (free people of color). Tremé was one of the first diverse communities in the United States and remained that way for more than a century. It is also the home of the historical Congo Square, Storyville red-light district, Jazz, the Iberville Housing Development and Interstate 10.

Its boundaries today are Lafitte, Canal, Rampart and Claiborne. Therefore, it is with great anticipation that the Southern Food & Beverage Museum celebrates the culinary legacy of such a diverse and amazing historic community as Tremé.

The Culinary Legacy of Tremé online exhibit will include the oral histories, interviews, history of Tremé, photos, recipes and much more. If you are a former resident or live in Tremé and would like to share a food memory for the exhibit, please call 1-877-210-7220.  Your food memory can be no longer than 3 minutes and please don’t forget to leave your information in case we need to contact you to be interviewed.
Zella Llerena is currently pursuing an MA in Museum Studies at the University of Toronto.  Her focus is Southern and Latin food, food issues, and the history of food in the museum.  Llerena is a freelance food writer whose most recent work is Food Conjures Memory: Making Memory in the Museum, which was published in the University of Toronto Faculty of Information Quarterly.

A Taste of New Orleans in Seattle

~Connie Chai
Born and raised in New Orleans, Anthony McDonald never envisioned himself working or living anywhere else.  At the age of twenty-two, Anthony started in the restaurant industry, working as a server at Lemoyne’s Landing.  Throughout the years, he spent time at Fitzgerald’s Seafood on Lake Pontchartrian, Tony Moran’s Restaurant on Bourbon Street, and Sammy’s Seafood.  Living in Faubourg Marigny before Hurricane Katrina, Anthony was a part of the staff at the Court of Two Sisters.  Satisfied and happy with the establishment and his position, Anthony felt that he had found a great place in New Orleans.

Unfortunately Katrina forced Anthony and his mother and sister to evacuate.  Eventually the McDonalds relocated to Seattle while Anthony tried unsuccessfully to remain in New Orleans.  Looking for other means to stay in the restaurant industry, Anthony applied for a position as a chef when he saw an ad in the newspaper.  Although he had over twenty years of experience as a professional waiter, Anthony had never cooked professionally.  But because his mom cooked several times a week, Anthony would spend time in the kitchen, and while he was there he would chop things for the meal.  As a waiter, Anthony had also watched chefs in the kitchen.

Upon arriving at the place the ad instructed, Anthony took a test to demonstrate his cooking skills to serve as a cook for an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.  After the test, Anthony was pulled aside and told that he had barely passed but that he had landed the position.  Eventually Anthony moved out to Seattle to join his mother and sister.  With the intention of working as a server, Anthony took twenty-one days to find a job at an Italian restaurant.  Little did he know that this job would lead to love and his own restaurant.

Anthony’s boss happened to be the co-owner of another restaurant in Seattle with a woman named Marcela.  Anthony asked Marcela out for coffee, and the two fell in love.  Their story continues as Anthony and Marcela bought out the other owner and opened a restaurant that serves New Orleans food.

As the head chef of the restaurant, Anthony provides all the recipes and does all the cooking for Marcela’s Cookery.  To maintain the authenticity of New Orleans cuisine, Anthony flies in crawfish and fresh Gulf shrimp for crawfish and shrimp boils on the weekends.  The restaurant also features Pat O’Brien’s Hurricanes and the New Orleans Splash (invented by Anthony).  On Wednesdays, Marcela’s Cookery hosts a king cake party lunch.  Everyone who comes in for lunch gets a free piece of king cake, and the lucky customer who finds a baby in his or her piece of cake gets a free lunch that day.  The ladies who come in to eat all receive Mardi Gras party strands, adding a festive element to dining at Marcela’s Cookery.

In addition to serving authentic New Orleans food, Marcela’s Cookery sells beignets and coffee and chicory, Community Coffee, alligator meat, andouille, king cake, and fry batter.  Anthony offers cooking classes, too, allowing the Seattle community to learn about reproducing a bit of New Orleans in their own kitchens.

If you are ever in Seattle and missing New Orleans, be sure to stop by Marcela’s Cookery located at 106 James Street, Seattle, WA 98104!
Connie Chai is attending Duke University and planning to graduate with a double major in Biology and English and a certificate in Genome Sciences and Policy.  She is interested in food and the cultural and historical ties.  At SoFAB Connie has been working with the summer camp Kid Chefs and several other projects.

Recipe: The Creole Queen

Scott from Wolfe’s

This is the cocktail that was created in honor of Ms. Leah Chase, aptly named the Creole Queen.

1 to 2 mint leaves
1 to 2 strawberries
Mint Turbonado
Simple Syrup to taste
dash of Peach bitters
Splash of Obsello Absinthe
1 1/2 oz. Port of Barcelona Gin

Muddle the mint leaves, strawberries and mint turbonado at the bottom of your cocktail shaker.  Add simple syrup to taste and a dash of the peach bitters.  Add a splash of Obsello Absinthe and 1.5 oz. Port of Barcelona Gin.  Shake, strain, pour over ice, and enjoy.  This is a great summertime drink.


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