Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feux de Joie / Fires of Joy. Xmas tradition near New Orleans, Louisiana

Between Baton Rouge and New Orleans a wonderful thing happens on Xmas Eve. People will gather for Feux de Joie, which means Fires of Joy, and set a ton of bonfires on the banks of the Mississippi River.

The blog entry on Opinionated Catholic: A Louisiana Christmas Tradition- The Feux de Joie covers this in more detail.

Katrina-displaced cooks spread love of Cajun, Creole fare

Katrina-displaced cooks spread love of Cajun, Creole fare

By Vicki Smith
Associated Press Writer
CLARKSBURG It’s midmorning at Bon Appetit, and the beignets are long gone.

Behind a plexiglass wall, a cook is chopping vegetables for lunch. Music heavy with brass is blaring, and chef LeRoy Crump Jr. is rushing about with cell phone in hand, periodically stepping outdoors to greet a passer-by and tout the special, a Cajun shrimp cream pasta.

The sign above his 2-week-old restaurant promises “Authentic New Orleans Cuisine and Spirits,” and that’s what he dishes up — in small-town West Virginia, 1,000 miles from the French Quarter.

Read the FULL STORY.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Réveillon :: New Orleans dining Christmas 2007

Réveillon :: New Orleans dining Christmas 2007

A reveillon is a long dinner, and possibly party, held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The name of this dinner is based on the word réveil (meaning "waking"), because participation involves staying awake until midnight and beyond.

The food consumed at réveillons is generally of an exceptional or luxury nature. For instance, appetizers may include lobster, oysters, escargots or foie gras, etc. One traditional dish is turkey with chestnuts. Réveillons in Québec will often include some variety of tourtière.

Dessert may consist of a bûche de Noël. In Provence, the tradition of the 13 desserts is followed: 13 desserts are served, almost invariably including: pompe à l'huile (a flavoured bread), dates, etc.

Quality wine is usually consumed a such dinners, often with champagne or similar sparkling wines as a conclusion.

Here is Tom Fitzmorris' list of the 10 best Reveillon menus this year based on his past experience

  1. Pelican Club 615 Bienville St. Every year, this is the most extensive Reveillon menu and one of the best. It begins with a turtle and alligator soup or oyster mirliton soup, then Daube Glacé, a local Christmas classic little seen in restaurants. Then a duck with orange sauce, or beef short ribs with truffled mashed potatoes or the tremendously delicious seafood fricassee. Along with the selection of five desserts, they’re serving homemade eggnog spiked with Southern Comfort. Prices for the four courses range from $46 to $54.

  2. Windsor Court Grill Room 300 Gravier St. Chef Greg Sonnier has transformed the Grill Room into a superb Louisiana restaurant and its Reveillon menu has taken on a whole new appeal. It begins with the classic beef Daube Glacé or turtle soup, then the rarely seen and wonderful confit of goose or fried artichokes with wild hen of the woods mushrooms. Entrees include two more neglected Creole classics: redfish courtbouillon and a stuffed Cornish game hen with cornbread dressing. Eggnog bread pudding and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. $59

  3. Cafe Adelaide 300 Poydras St. Four courses, beginning with a honey butternut squash and foie gras soup, or a goose and oyster gumbo. Then roasted shrimp with herbs and tomatoes or a salad. Entrees: lacquered quail, crabmeat-stuffed flounder or crackling-crusted duck breast. $49.

  4. Broussard’s 819 Conti St. This long-running Creole restaurant again celebrates the holidays in the high-class German style of owners Gunter and Evelyn Preuss. Since most American Christmas traditions started in Germany, this is delightfully right. It starts with an incredibly good Hungarian gulyas soup or Westphalian ham, then a celery root salad with beef roulades, smoked pork loin and bratwurst with sauerkraut, or a pork shank for the entree choices. Apple strudel for dessert. Four courses, $46.

  5. 7 On Fulton 700 Fulton St. This intriguing menu assembled by Chef Michael Sichel includes three or four choices in each course. Dishes include warm crab and gnocchi, steak tartare, a fish course (scallops, drum, salmon) and a meat course (lamb roulade with spinach, filet mignon with oysters and bacon, and “pork, pork and pork”). $50.

  6. Cafe Giovanni 117 Decatur St. Chef Duke Locicero is a newcomer to the Reveillon but not to big dinners. His holiday special runs six courses by you for $65. It starts with shrimp rémoulade with fried green tomatoes, then oyster and artichoke bisque followed by a superb veal bolognese ravioli. An entree of duck breast with raspberry chipotle sauce is followed by another: Colorado lamb chop with goat cheese polenta. Peach and apple cobbler with mascarpone sabayon for dessert.

  7. Upperline 1413 Upperline St. The Upperline has been reaching back in time for dishes to revive in recent years, and that works especially well for a Reveillon menu. After a choice of soups (or a glass of Madeira), the etouffee of duck and andouille, shrimp remoulade on fried green tomatoes and the sweetbreads and mushroom ragout are the most appealing second courses. Entrees include that incomparable shrimp and grits dish, salmon with oysters, roast duck with sweet potatoes and pecans and a rack of lamb with a couple of other choices. The vanilla custard glazed with a hot poker is Thomas Jefferson’s recipe. The dinner is a bargain at $38 with a few modest upcharges. They have a wine-pairing package, too.

  8. Brennan’s 417 Royal St. Brennan’s jerked its Reveillon price up a good bit this year to $75 but it’s worth every nickel. Five courses straight off the regular menu all with an undeniable holiday feel. Turtle soup, consistently one of the best around, is followed by a choice of the two best egg dishes from the breakfast menu. Then it’s either a rack of lamb, a steak au poivre or trout amandine, with a complimentary glass of wine. Bananas Foster for dessert. I wish they’d bring back their homemade eggnog.

  9. Hunt Room Grill Monteleone Hotel, 214 Royal St. The Reveillon offering at this obscure restaurant is superb every year. You start with foie gras or gravlax then a woodsy salad or lobster bisque. Among the entrees is the only roast goose in all of the Reveillon menus, and a Christmas grill of veal, duck and lamb. The four courses range from $46 to $55.

  10. Commander’s Palace 1403 Washington Ave. The four-course dinner for $42 is a steal. Start with the gumbo, then a special salad composed specially for the Reveillon. Entrees includes a black-iron-skillet seared redfish with truffle crabmeat butter or a sugar-cane-smoked duck with a bourbon demi-glace and foie gras. Banana toffee cake for dessert.

All Reveillon menus are posted on Tom Fitzmorris' site at nomenu.com Christmas and check his links often because more menus, restaurants, and recipes are continually being added to the Christmas Page!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Orleans Holiday events 2007

Here is a list of events in New Orleans during the December holidays — from nola.com

Holiday events for 2007

by Keith I. Marszalek November 06, 2007 8:41PM

Friday, November 23 - December 30, 2007

Celebration in the Oaks
City Park, New Orleans www.nocp.org
City Park's annual festival of magical holiday light displays and musical performances to delight every age.

Saturday, November 17 - January 6

Festival of Lights
Natchitoches, 318-352-6894, www.christmasfestival.com
More than 500,000 visitors head to this small town every holiday season for light displays along the river, holiday crafts, food and nightly tours by streetcars and carriages.

Thursday, November 29 - December 31

Christmas New Orleans Style
Various locations, New Orleans, www.fqfi.org
Get out and see all New Orleans has to offer this holiday season: Carolers, concerts, cooking demonstrations, decorations at historic homes, dinner cruises for New Year's fireworks & much more!.

Friday, December 7-9, 2007

Festival of the Bonfires
Lutcher Recreation Park, Lutcher 225-869-1717, www.festivalofthebonfires.org
Christmas on the river, Cajun style!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Caroling in Washington Square
Washington Square Park, corner of Frenchmen and Dauphine Streets in the Marigny. Candles and song sheets provided. Free and open to the public. 6 p.m.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Caroling in Jackson Square
Jackson Square, Decatur Street, French Quarter, Candles and song sheets provided. Gates open at 6 p.m. and caroling begins promptly at 7 p.m. For more information, call (504) 523-7047 or visit www.patioplanters.org. Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Marva Wright's X-Mas Party
8:00 pm Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave. www.tipitinas.com
Marva Wright's 7th Annual X-Mas Bash Featuring THE BMW'S, Rockin' Dopsi, Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters, Trombone "Shorty" Andrews, Wild Magnolias Indians, Amanda Shaw, Irvin Mayfield, Soul Rebels Brass Band & many more!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fats Domino in NYC on Today Show (Video)

Fats Domino in New York in support of upcoming album Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino

Following a great tribute to Fats Domino which included NYC Mayor Bloomberg presenting the Key To The City, this morning the New Orleans legendary musician, one of the original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, performed “Blueberry Hill” in the Today Show studio.
Fats Domino sings on TODAY
click for VIDEO: Fats Domino sings on TODAY

RELATED VIDEO: The making of the album (windows media)


Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hey New York City: Light up the Empire State Building in Mardi Gras colors - Purple, Green and Gold

Empire State Building - February 28, 2006

Last year our efforts to encourage the group who manages the lighting of the Empire State Building started a little too late. Lets get organized, send in official requests and convince the ESB to light up in Purple Green and Gold on Fat Tuesday - February 5, 2008, and hopefully every year.

Remember that the Empire State Building receives tons of requests each year to become Lighting Partners. So the earlier, the better. Download the questionnaire, complete it and FAX it back.

Thanks for helping, and spreading the message to NY fans of New Orleans and NOLA in New York :) There is a lot of clean up to do in the Gulf Coast, and this is the perfect time to remind the world we're still recovering.

UPDATE February 1, 2008:  The Empire State Building has a conflict which prevents lighting in Purple, Green and Gold on Fat Tuesday. Please do not send in requests for Feb'08. See ya next year. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Louisiana Festivals in September

There are some great festivals coming up ...

...and coming in October, the Voice of the Wetlands Festival; October 12, 13 & 14 at Southdown Plantation in Houma, Louisiana. featuring Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, Waylon Thibodeaux, Louisiana's LeRoux http://voiceofthewetlands.com/

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jazz Fest video from 2005

This morning while talking about video editing with a few co-workers I remembered a clip from the 2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival I cut with Windows Movie Maker. Here it is, up on my MySpace page...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jazz Fest webcast Archives are online

Audio/Video archives from the 2007 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival are up on AT&T blue room website! http://blueroom.att.com/mainstage/index.php

MORE VIDEOS JUST ADDED! Here's the updated list:

Allen Toussaint
Bonnie Raitt
Brad Paisley
Buckwheat Zydeco
Franklin Avenue
Henry Butler
Irma Thomas
Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen
Luther Kent
Marcia Ball
New Orleans Social Club
Theresa Andersson
Zachary Richard

Check back for more artists.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

New Orleans interactive map with directions

I was messing around with the new custom Google maps and created an interactive map of New Orleans bars and beyond.


I placed the markers as close as possible to actual locations, make sure venues are open or at the same location before heading out.

It always amuses me when automated directions take me 30 miles out of the way for a 10 minute drive

Friday, May 04, 2007

listen to the New Orleans Jazz Fest LIVE online webcast. May 5 and 6 2007

Last year was the first year in 17 years that I missed a Jazz Fest. Since we couldn't be there in person, we did the next best thing. Set up festival chairs in front of the computer, second line and dance around, cook up a bunch of Louisiana favorites, and have the Orleans Parish prisoners clean up when it's over. Yeah I'm just kidding about the prisoners, it would cost a fortune to charter a plane and get them up here and who would be left to clean up the Fair Grounds Race Track?

I'm looking forward to catching Jazz Fest's webcast this weekend, May 5th and 6th, via AT&T blue room.

The AT&T blue room brings live festival webcasts from Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and others. http://blueroom.att.com/events/jazzfest.php

May 5th Lineup*
01:00 PM Theresa Anderson
01:20 PM Rockin Dopsie
01:30 PM Marcia Bell
02:00 PM Buckwheat Zydecob
02:15 PM Henry Butler
03:05 PM Subdudes
03:20 PM Zachary Richard
03:30 PM Galactic
04:15 PM Jon Cleary
04:45 PM New Orleans Social Club
05:30 PM John Mayer
06:15 PM Norah Jones
06:25 PM Rod Stewart
May 6th Lineup*
01:00 PM Franklin Ave BC/Darrell McFadden
01:10 PM Irma Thomas
01:45 PM Allen Toussaint
02:55 PM Luther Kent
03:00 PM Johnny Rivers
03:03 PM TBD
03:35 PM Brad Paisley
05:00 PM Mahalia Jackson Tribute
05:05 PM Bonnie Rait
05:45 PM Joss Stone
07:00 PM Harry Connick Jr.

*All times are Central Standard Time

*New bands added daily. Please check back as festival gets closer.
*Schedule is subject to change. All times are Central Standard Time.

Over the years Jazz Fest has received many honors, including being named the Festival of the Year four times by Pollstar magazine. The 2004 event marks the 35th anniversary of Jazz Fest, which the Wall Street Journal says “showcases a wider, deeper lineup of essential American musical styles than any festival in the nation…” and which Life magazine has called “the country’s very best music festival.’’

Inspired by the spirit of Mahalia Jackson and the Eureka Brass Band back in 1970, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival continues to celebrate the culture of Louisiana with the combined fervor of a gospel hymn and the joy of a jazz parade.

Add your own Jazz Fest memories on the pet de kat board and the official jazz fest board.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Jazz Fest coming

It's FESTIVAL SEASON! French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest coming right up!

Check out this cool artwork and share the Jazz Fest Love:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Vote for favorite bands in NEW ORLEANS / Louisiana

This is pretty cool, we get to decide who ranks as the top NOLA musician or band. Just click and move a band up (or down, but moving a band down isn't too fun, remember they gotta eat too). Since Squidoo introduced this new "Plexo" technology people are having fun clicking around, moving links up and down and having fun. Is your favorite band #1. www.squidoo.com/nolamusic

view here | digg story

Mardi Gras 2007 is coming, it won't be long!

It's a tradition to kickoff Carnival in New Orleans with a streetcar ride by the Phunny Phorty Phellows. Last Saturday night the PPP started the Carnival Season in fine style. Their route started and ended at City Park, took Carrollton Avenue down to Canal Street and over to The River, returning to City Park the same route. Joining the PPP this year were The Storyville Stompers Brass Band.

Most of the parades return to their regular routes and the crowds are expected to return as well.
Where are the parades? Check the New Orleans Police Department official 2007 parade schedule.

Be sure you're
stylin' at the Parades! Get yourself one of these cool M.G. Bead Bags!

A few highlights (and your personal favorites may vary) include Krewe du Vieux. With Chris Rose as King and Chief Warden, the theme for this year will be "Habitat for Insanity" when Krewe du Vieux rolls on February 3rd.

The Krewe of Misfits, Orphans and Mystics (aka M.O.M.s) throws the hottest party during Mardi Gras. So on February 17th get yourself to the party, even if you have to beg, borrow or just buy your way in... yeah, you can fork over a few bucks to a M.O.M.s member and get yourself one of the coveted tickets). Remember that COSTUMES are absolutely mandatory, and no, not just a crappy costume either.

And the biggest highlight is the portable toilet my neighbor keeps locked up in his front yard for the week leading up to Endymion. A port-o-let and a King Cake or two, that's Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras season ends on "
Fat Tuesday", which falls on February 20th.

Let The Good Times Roll