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A LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

• Publisher/Owner Joan Broussard • Editor Tonya LaCoste • Art Director Ann Reh

Dad’s famous seafood gumbo. Stir Dat!

• Ad Designer Mandy Kiddy • Writers Fred T. Abdella Jean Allen Scott Brazda Tisha Delcambre Dwayne Fatherree Taylor Geiger Curt Guillory Lisa Hanchey Erin Holden Jan Risher • Contact us 337-501-5626 joan@roux.vip

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ROUX

THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME…

oux is a foundation, a bold ingredient on its own. When layered with other flavors and spices, it becomes a prize-winning dish that undeniably screams Louisiana. After spending my career in lifestyle publishing, I wanted to offer ROUX to Louisiana as a tribute to my own foundation. In Louisiana, we celebrate life like no other. We are famous both near and abroad for our unique interpretation of the music and cuisine of our French, Acadian, and Creole ancestors. The different spices of a melting pot of cultures boils down to a delicious stew of hard-working and hard-playing people who celebrate life to the fullest. ROUX is more than a magazine. It is owned and operated by proud Louisiana natives. As we see it, it is our mission to bring our readers the absolute best of what Louisiana has to offer. People come here from every corner of the globe to be immersed in our contagious energy. To dance our two-step. To hear our zydeco. To sip our sweet tea. To witness and join us in letting the good times roll. ROUX is for those who dare to live in the moment and anyone who loves the food, music, culture, hunting, fishing, and joie de vivre of the great state of Louisiana. We humbly submit our inaugural issue to you, the reader, and we hope you enjoy our coverage of the past, present and future of this beautiful place we call home. This issue is dedicated to my Dad. Like a roux, he is the unpretentious root ingredient of my Louisiana heritage. Love you, Dad! Merci beaucoup,

Joan Broussard ROUX

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CONTENTS SPRING 2021

FUTURE 6 No Boundaries Shooting for the Stars and Mars CULTURE 13 The Savoy Family Rooted in Cajun Culture 18 Mystic Krewe of Apollo de Lafayette An Extravagant Display of Brotherhood, Unity and Equality 22 Boudin For Peace For the Greater Good DRINK 44 J.T. Meleck Distillers Rice Vodka: Industry Game-Changer 46 Hot List Cocktails & Coffee

ON THE COVER Lacey LaHaye, 2007 Mrs. Louisiana is wearing Jewelry by Virginia Duncan Moseley, page 68. Photograph by Terri Fensel

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FOOD

TRAVEL

28 Gris-Gris Taking New Orleans by Storm

72 Pontchartrain Hotel A Refreshing Mix of Old and New 76 Hot List Camping

33 Timmy Credeur ROUX In-House Chef

SPORTS

35 PiYAHHHHH! The Cajun Ninja’s Path to Fame

79 Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball Head Coach Matt Deggs The Show Goes On

37 Tsunami Sushi Michele Ezell Leads the Way

83 Above Par Koasati Pine Hills at Coushatta

38 Sunrise Coffee Let the Good Vibes Roll

85 Topgolf No Experience Needed: Fun for Anyone

40 Saving Cajun The Rebirth of Prejean’s

ADVENTURE

MUSIC 51 Dockside Studio: A Goldmine on the Bayou 55 Wayne Toups: Creating His Own Path 57 Julie Williams: Musical Melting Pot 59 Michael Juan Nunez: The Best is Yet to Come 60 Eric Adcock: Music Runs Through Him 61 The Blue Monday Mission: Providing Healthcare to Musicians 62 DJ Digital: Living His Jam MUST-HAVES 66 Erica Courtney: From Lafayette Roots to Celebrity Fame 68 Virginia Duncan Moseley: Avery IslandInspired Alligator Teeth Jewelry

87 Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours Exploring Louisiana Swamps 91 Go Hog Wild Cajun Harley Davidson 93 Adventure on the Water Pack & Paddle: Gateway to the Great Outdoors

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FUTURE

No Boundaries SHOOTING FOR THE STARS AND MARS By Scott Brazda “I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT SPACE,”

explained 19-year-old Alyssa Carson. “And I really just started asking questions, looking at books, videos and posters — just anything about space.” But why? From where did this spark and passion for stars, planets, galaxies and more come? “The only reason we can think of is an episode of “The Backyardigans” because it had an episode called “Mission to Mars.”” And there you have it. Credit a Nickelodeon children’s show from the first decade of the 21st century for inspiring a child from the Baton Rouge area to take her dreams beyond planet Earth. Simply put, Carson wants to become an astronaut. Jump from the early 2000s to the early 2020s where things are progressing nicely. “My major in college is astrobiology,” said Carson. The college in question? The Florida Institute of Technology. And the area of study? “Astrobiology, at its simplest level, is just science in space. With it, you can study bacteria in space, plants in space, and search for Earth-like planets in other solar systems.” But there’s a storytelling gap that’s clearly evident, specifically a time gap between Carson’s love for an imaginative kids’ show to a cerebral degree where ideas move closer to becoming world-changing, perhaps universechanging reality. Cue: Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center at the age of seven. “I was truly in my element while I was there, trying to learn everything I wanted to know about space,” Carson said, her eyes illuminated as she harkened back to a most special time. “There were ride simulators, exhibits, activities; it was everything I wanted to know. So, yeah, being in my element, I realized this was something I wanted to do.” She’s known what she wanted to be since she was three years old. “And even as I did what every kid does and think of other things that I wanted to be, it always involved being an astronaut, too,” she added. “I could be an astronaut, go to Mars, come back and be a doctor. Or be an astronaut, go to Mars, come back and be a teacher.” And there was that perpetual driving force, one fueled by curiosity. “My


FUTURE dad had told me no one had been to Mars, so I asked myself, ‘What is on Mars?’ And so, I just wanted to figure things out. Now, more than ever.” Ah, the question: What is on Mars? Why does any of this matter? And why should those on planet Earth care about the red planet? “Oh, where do I start? There is so much potential,” she explained enthusiastically. “We have found so much water on Mars, and we have seen ice and seen steam at the Martian equator. That hot water/warm water area is pretty prime environment for bacterial life, which is pretty exciting.” And it’s in that very environment where future astrobiologist Carson wants to be. “We have such big ideas to colonize Mars, to terraform Mars (in theory, transforming Mars to make it habitable for plants, animals and humans), and we really need people there to truly figure this thing out and figure out how long it’s going to take, instead of all of these guesses.” Carson has witnessed three space shuttle launches, attended Space Camp seven times (including the programs in Turkey and Canada), and attended the prestigious Advanced PoSSUM (Project Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere)

Space Academy at Florida Tech. Plus, she earned her pilot’s license at age 18. The accomplishments of this mosttalented teenager are adding up. “Definitely, it’s been a dream of mine to want to actually go to Mars, to be on the surface, and it would actually be amazing,” offered Carson. “Really, it’s what I’ve been working toward, building the best résumé that I can to be the best candidate for one of those missions.” But even with an impressive résumé, and even with a number of connections, it’s not unusual for Carson to occasionally feel the need to let space industry professionals know she’s serious about this. ‘I’m an aspiring astronaut’ is something I’m sure they hear all the time,” she laughed. “So it’s very nice to be able to throw some big words at them and say, ‘Well, actually, I’ve been involved in the development of a spacesuit or working underwater on gravity offset walls’. That’s when they start listening and ask things like, ‘Who are you? How are you doing those things?’” Carson is the first person to complete NASA’s “Passport to Explore Space” program, visiting all of NASA’s 14 visitor centers and space shuttle locations, having her “passport” stamped at each

location with a NASA commemorative stamp. Recognizing her interests and for completing the program, NASA funded a trip to the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution where she joined one of two panels to discuss a future Mars mission. In an interview with “X-Press” (NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center newsletter) Editor Jay Levine, Carson said, “I sat on the panel with three PhDs and an astronaut. It was a good experience to hear their insights on a Mars mission and their experience from the fields they represented. It was a lot of fun.” She’s become a bit of a celebrity, and with a drive and maturity that belies her age, it should come as no surprise that corporate sponsors like Nike, Oil of Olay and SodaStream have supported her efforts and the pursuit of her dream. Carson was chosen for Nike’s Space to Dream campaign (promoting the new Air Max 2090 shoe), Oil of Olay’s Face the STEM Gap campaign, and was featured in a SodaStream ad about astronauts finding water on Mars. “When those brands want to talk to you about space, I’m all for it. That’s when you’re really going to get the general public to

“DEFINITELY, IT’S BEEN

A DREAM OF MINE TO WANT TO ACTUALLY GO TO MARS, TO BE ON THE SURFACE, AND IT WOULD ACTUALLY BE AMAZING. REALLY, IT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN WORKING TOWARD, BUILDING THE BEST RÉSUMÉ THAT I CAN TO BE THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR ONE OF THOSE MISSIONS.”

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Alyssa Carlson wrote “So You Want to Be an Astronaut” to inspire kids to reach their dreams.


pay attention and listen.” Getting the public to listen. That, says Carson, brings up one of the major hurdles facing the entire space industry. “When we were going to the moon, we had JFK saying we were going to go, and then everyone wanted us to go to the moon. We had competition with Russia. We had a lot of factors that were driving us, motivating us to get there quickly, to do it, to accomplish it. And with a mission to Mars, we don’t have a lot of that.” “But now,” she continued, “there’s so much hype around Mars, and with that, I think we’re going to have that public interest. So now, we’re at the point where my people are saying, ‘Matt Damon went to Mars (referring to the movie “The Martian”), why can’t we?’” She’s halfway through her sophomore year at Florida Tech. “This semester it’s differential equations. microbiology. science and technical communications. And don’t forget modern physics,” she said. After graduation with the Class of 2023, Carson has her sights set on a master’s degree. “At the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, there’s kind of an accelerated master’s program that’s pretty intensive,” she explained. “But the school is amazing; they’ve done a lot of collaboration with NASA and other space entities.” And the other reason? “You have to have a masters to apply to the astronaut selection process,” she smiled. And so, at the ripe old age of 19, Alyssa Carson is a role model to young people all around the world. “I think it has been pretty crazy to step into that role,” she laughed. Yet, at the same time, Carson also realizes her journey presents her with a golden opportunity to — both figuratively and literally — transcend the boundaries of space. As for inspiring other young people, “I’d love for them to want to go into the space industry,” admitted Carson, “but I let them know that really all of this applies to following their dreams. No matter what they are.” R

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A Legacy of Excellence

Celebrating Acadiana’s First Billion Dollar Real Estate Agent

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CULTURE

The Savoy Family ROOTED IN CAJUN CULTURE By Lisa Hanchey

The Savoy family: Joel, Marc, Ann, Wilson


CULTURE

I

n the Savoy family, Cajun music roots run deep. At age seven, patriarch Marc Savoy learned fiddling from his French-speaking grandfather. At 12, he fashioned his own accordion using toilet float rods. By 25, he had launched his own accordion-making business, Savoy Music Center, in his hometown of Eunice, Louisiana.

Though Virginia native Ann Allen was not born a Cajun, she was destined to become one. While browsing a record bin in Washington D.C., the roots/blues/ jazz guitarist discovered an old Cajun 78 record. She loved the sound so much that she longed for more. “I was like, ‘What are these old archaic French songs, they’re so cool!’” she recalled. “Then I realized it was Louisiana people and Louisiana music, so that’s when I got really, really interested.” In 1975, Ann fortuitously attended a festival at D.C. music venue, Wolf Trap, where she met Savoy. After making music together, the two married a short two years later in 1977 and moved to Eunice. “When I came down to Louisiana to see it, I just became enamored with the whole culture — the people speaking French, the music and the lifestyle,” Ann shared. On arrival in Acadiana, Marc needed a singer/guitarist, so Ann quickly learned Cajun-style guitar and lyrics. Fortunately, the French major had mastered the language in Paris and Switzerland. Still, it was quite a transition. “I kind of had to unlearn all my fancy guitar playing and get down to the basic rhythm sound,” she explained. “Then I had to sing, so I had to learn a bunch of Cajun lyrics real quickly. I would get Marc to tell me what he was saying when he was singing. Or I’d just get a record, and since I knew French, I could get the words off the record.” The couple joined award-winning musician Michael Doucet to form the SavoyDoucet Cajun Band. Together, they traveled the world and recorded several albums. “We had the most fun together traveling and playing,” Ann recalled. Meanwhile, Ann reared four children — who were born to be musicians. “My husband Marc always says, if you want your children to play music, just have a lot of instruments lying around the house and say, ‘Don’t you dare touch those instruments!’” When sons Joel and Wilson were pre14

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teens, the Savoys performed at a friend’s birthday party. That became their official debut as the Savoy Family Cajun Band. Together, the members play an amazing array of instruments — Ann on guitar, fiddle, autoharp, dulcimer and accordion; Wilson on piano, accordion, fiddle and guitar; Joel on fiddle, guitar, mandolin and steel; and Marc on accordion. Both Joel and Wilson have won Grammys with The Band Courtbouillon in the Regional Roots category. The brothers also appeared onscreen in “Treme” and “All the King’s Men.” A 10-time Grammy nominee, Joel is also a two-time winner of the Cajun French Music Association’s Fiddler of the Year. But that’s not all. The Savoy’s daughter, Sarah, moved to Russia then France, where she formed her own band — Sarah Savoy and the Francadiens. Their other daughter, Gabrielle, is an artist and photographer and also plays guitar. “I think they’re all amazing, and they thrill me so much,” Ann gushed. As the matriarch, Ann has her own impressive legacy. She has an all-woman band, Magnolia Sisters, and has been nominated for four Grammys — two for the album “Adieu False Heart” with Linda Ronstadt. She’s also appeared as a musician in the film “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” and was the associate music director of “All the King’s Men.” Her latest project — the release of her new book “Cajun Music: Reflection of a People, Volume II” (volume one was published in 1984). “It’s a music book, a history book, an anthropological study of the Cajun people. You might call it a bible of the Cajun music,” she said with a chuckle. ON THE HIDEAWAY

Wilson Savoy has now added restaurateur to his resume. In the summer of 2020, he launched Hideaway on Lee, a bar, restaurant and music venue, along with partners David Livingston, owner

and engineer at Lonesome Whistle Recording, and Line Livingston, DJ and music industry professional. “We wanted to create a space where we could have all three of our favorite things — food, music and cocktails,” Wilson explained. The partners purchased a circa 1905 house at 407 Lee Avenue in downtown Lafayette, completely renovating it and adding a porch and music stage. Inspired by historic hotel bars, Hideaway on Lee offers seasonally-inspired classic and original cocktails like absinthe-minded (Absinthe Ordinaire liqueur, Bulleit Bourbon, pomegranate, simple syrup and soda) and Hadacol Boogie (Peychauds Aperitivo liqueur, elderflower liqueur, soda and brut). The food menu is dedicated to American fare — classic burgers, plus creative options like the aioli blon (smash burger with truffle aioli, Swiss cheese and mushrooms). And creations like the surfin’ la (seared ahi tuna steak, cucumber, carrots, lettuce, red onion, bread and butter jalapenos with a ponzu vinaigrette). Onstage, you’ll find local fan favor-


My husband Marc always says, if you want your children to play music, just have a lot of instruments lying around the house and say, ‘Don’t you dare touch those instruments!’

ites such as Radio Zydeco, Horace Trahan, the Rayo Brothers, Ray Boudreaux and BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. And, of course, the Savoy Family Band and Joel Savoy make appearances. Proud mom Ann Savoy describes it as “the most fun place I’ve been in Lafayette.” Coming from her, that’s the highest compliment. ON ANTHONY BOURDAIN

As world-renowned musicians, the Savoys have met plenty of famous people. But one made a particular impact on the Savoy Family — the late Anthony Bourdain, star of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown.” Joel met Bourdain through a mutual friend, “Treme” creator David Simon, who invited Bourdain to a boucherie at Joel’s Eunice home. The Savoy Family Band played at the event and ended up in a “No Reservations” episode. “We did a big party in Joel’s yard that day, and Anthony talked to us and interviewed us,” Ann said.

Bourdain enjoyed hanging with the Savoys so much that he returned to Acadiana twice more. The last occasion was to film a “Parts Unknown” episode on Cajun Mardi Gras in February 2018. That time, Wilson noticed a change in Bourdain’s demeanor. “The first time he came for the boucherie, I could tell he was really excited and happy to be there,” Wilson reflected. “The last time when he came for Mardi Gras, he seemed off, and the spark we had seen in him from before was missing.” Tragically, Bourdain committed suicide four months later in a French hotel room on June 8. “He was just such a lovely, smart guy,” Ann recalled fondly. “He was just so much fun. I loved talking to him. He was serious, but he was loose and pretty much accepting of everything.” R

From left: Hideaway on Lee (Hideaway on Lee Facebook page); Anthony Bourdain enjoys Wilson and Joel Savoy’s Cajun music while working on a “Parts Unknown” episode.

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CULTURE

Mystic Krewe of Apollo de Lafayette AN EXTRAVAGANT DISPLAY OF BROTHERHOOD, UNITY AND EQUALITY

A

By Jan Risher

pollo King and Queen XLIV, David D’Aquin and Giulia Valentine, agree that the highlight of what they expected to be a one-year reign was the moment they stepped onto the stage at the 2020 Mystic Krewe of Apollo de Lafayette Ball Masque. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I questioned whether it was worth it in the months of work leading up to the event,” said D’Aquin. “But that night, when I walked out on that stage, that’s why people tell you it’s worth it.” In the wake of the pandemic, the 2021 ball was postponed until 2022, extending D’Aquin and Valentine’s reign for a year. “I am the never-ending queen,” Valentine joked. Both say the February 8, 2020, confetti-filled extravaganza was magical. When they were presented on stage at the Bal Masque, to the crowd of about 2,200 spectators, the work of the preceding year was worth the effort. “I had 120 people there. The whole room was full of people, but I could see my friends — and, this doesn’t make sense, but it was almost like I could hear what they were saying,” Valentine said. D’Aquin, who has called the Apollo Ball the “Met Gala of 18

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Lafayette,” said his biggest take-away from his experience as King of Apollo was relinquishing control. “I’m a Type A personality most of the time, especially in that I want to control everything I can,” he said. “But in my role as King, I learned I had to relinquish control. When you’re surrounded by experts who do this year after year, they know what will work and what won’t work. I learned to rely on other people on their input.” He’s referring to the current krewe captain Darrell Frugé and long-time captain Ted Viator, who has continued to work with Frugé to help design costumes, floats, backdrops and develop themes. “I didn’t realize the depth of the captain’s responsibilities,” D’Aquin said. “He names the king and queen, creates the theme, decides upon the theatrical performances and more.” Viator, who was captain for 20 years prior to Frugé, said he enjoys remaining actively involved in the event, and he’s also pleased with the krewe’s decision to postpone the 2021 event. “It was the right thing to do, and we made the decision giving everyone enough notice,” Viator said. “Now, the next king and queen have an extra year to work on and pay for their costumes!”


From left to right: Apollo King and Queen XLIV David D’Aquin and Giulia Valentine; 2020 Mystic Krewe of Apollo de Lafayette Bal Masque (Jonathon Ahhee via www.ahhee.art)

Viator said he’s had enough experience to work with Mardi Gras royalty that he has goodhearted advice for them all. “First of all, I stress to them that this is all make-believe,” he said. “We give them an estimate of what this is going to cost. We work with them to develop a budget. I learned long ago from some of the original krewe members that we all have real jobs, and this is not our primary life — and the focus is not to outdo anymore.” Instead, Viator said royalty costumes “show and tell.” He believes and works with Apollo royalty so that the costumes express the individual’s personality. “For example, with David and Queen Giulia,” Viator said, “they are both very formal, very classy and very tall.” So he worked with them to create costumes that were in line with their personalities and tastes and the event’s theme. D’Aquin said he enjoyed working with Viator and offering feedback in terms of what he wanted his costume to look like. “My only command, shall I say, is that I wanted to look like an actual king and not someone dressing up like a king. I didn’t want it to look overly garish or cheesy,” D’Aquin said. Viator and Frugé worked with D’Aquin and Valentine, as well as the seamstress, Karen Guidry, to create regal platinum-themed costumes, inspired from the XLIV’s ball’s Mixtape theme. The costumes were over-the-top, literally — with a headdress that measured 16-feet high. Everybody, including the king and queen,

got involved. D’Aquin and Valentine helped with the DIY finishing touches. “We were gluing on sequins. Wait. They would punch me in the face if they heard me call them sequins. I mean crystals!” he laughed. Both D’Aquin and Valentine had to go through the Mystic Krewe of Apollo’s version of royalty charm school with Rebecca Landry, including lessons on how to handle one’s scepter. “There is a certain way one has to wave his royal scepter,” D’Aquin said. And, as it turns out, learning the skill pays off. “Even though it’s all for show, I realized that listening to the experts and doing things correctly mattered,” he said. “You cut the air and slice back through.” Both D’Aquin and Valentine came to understand that the traditions matter — and the traditions add up. “It’s such a special moment. There’s a particular way to do things. I’m goofy. To have to be so composed, it is not the person I am,” D’Aquin said. “I said I was waving my wand. Rebecca said, ‘No, you are presenting your scepter.’” The night of the big event, D’Aquin, who was wearing four pounds of ostrich feathers and about 50-pounds worth of crystals, said he could see Landry out of corner of his eyes. “And I was doing my best to do it right,” he said. D’Aquin and Valentine’s costumes and backpieces are in storage. They plan to don them again at the 2022 ball. “Staying the same size for two years might be the hardest part!” D’Aquin said with a laugh. R ROUX

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CULTURE

Boudin For Peace For these momand-pop grocers, their boudin is like a work of art. It’s a significant undertaking — the pride that goes into it and the final product. It varies so much from place to place.

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B

FOR THE GREATER GOOD By Lisa Hanchey

ack in the early 1980s, Lafayette attorneys, Jimmy Domengeaux and Kyle Gideon sensed a problem — many Cajun mom-andpop butcher shops were getting squeezed out by the explosion of grocery superstores throughout Acadiana. “The country butchers in Acadiana, in many ways, represent the best of Cajun and Creole culture, many of which have been run by a single family for generations,” Domengeaux explained. “A Cajun butcher knows how to make perfect use of the delicacies provided by a slaughtered hog, including making chaudin (the lining of the pork stomach stuffed with pork), hog’s head cheese, sausage, cracklins and our favorite — boudin.” So, Domengeaux and Gideon thought it only right to patronize these multi-generational butcher establishments and sample their favorite delicacy throughout the boudin trail. What better way to do it than with a

few of their closest friends on the way to the Cajun mecca — Fred’s Lounge in Mamou, an hour’s drive from Lafayette. Their buddies decided to support the cause, and the movement — dubbed by Domengeaux as Boudin for Peace — grew. “We figured that if everybody ate boudin, there would be no more wars,” he said with a smile. In fact, so many fellow boudin lovers were on board that the founders had to charter a party bus for the inaugural event in 1994. Traditionally held the Saturday before Mardi Gras weekend, Boudin for Peace begins in downtown Lafayette around 7 a.m., when the revelers load up with a few beer- and Bloody Mary-stocked ice chests. On the pilgrimage to Mamou, the buses trek throughout the countryside from North Lafayette to rural parts of St. Martin, St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes, stopping at legendary boudin shops like Don’s Specialty Meats in Carencro, Billy Ray’s in Opelousas, and Charlie T’s Specialty Meats in Breaux Bridge. “We


hold conversations with the people there,” Domengeaux shared. “It’s a great cultural experience.” After each stop, the guys rate the boudin according to categories like meat-to-rice ratio, green onion content, girth and Domegeaux’s “kiss of death” — the liver factor. “For these mom-and-pop grocers, their boudin is like a work of art,” Domengeaux explained. “It’s a significant undertaking — the pride that goes into it and the final product. It varies so much from place to place.” Around 10 a.m., the buses arrive at their final destination — Fred’s Lounge, launched by the late Fred Tate in 1946. After his passing in 1992, his widow, Tante Sue, ran the hot spot, greeting customers with a bottle of Hot Damn (cinnamon schnapps) drawn from a holster around her waist. Open only on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Fred’s features live Cajun music, Bloody Marys (known as Fred’s Omelette) and $2 Schlitz. “We’d arrive like a bunch of conquering war heroes,” Domengeaux described. “Tante Sue would greet us with Hot Damn, and we’d walk in and have a big time.” After a couple of hours of dancing and revelry, they would return to the buses and make more boudin stops, usually ending at Poche’s Market in Breaux Bridge. Next came the announcement for Best Boudin, and Boudin for Peace’s most coveted award — Mr. Boudin. “Mr. Boudin is really like a derelict award,” Domengeaux said with a laugh. “He is the person who emulates the best qualities of Boudin for Peace — the enthusiasm, the dedication, the patronization and the promotion of boudin.” Around 5:30 p.m., the festivities end, and the buses return home. “Put a fork in us, we’re done,” Domengeaux sighed. Over time, Boudin for Peace grew to three busloads, and now holds steady at two. Now, the next generation, including Domengeaux’s son, James Domengeaux, Jr., William Bayard, Ryan Denny, Raymond Blanco, Jr. and Robert Autin, owner of Acadian Superette, is taking over the group. “Over the last several years, Kyle and I have more or less turned over the leadership of this traveling culinary troupe to younger folks,” Domengeaux explained. “Autin is a great example of carrying on what he learned on Boudin for Peace. He’s making his own boudin and doing all kind of stuff.” But Domengeaux has one criticism of these “Young Turks” — the bastardization of boudin. “Kyle and I are ‘boudin purists,’ Domengeaux declared. “We feel like a traditional boudin link is the only way to eat boudin, casing and all. Some of these younger fellows go berserk over fried boudin balls, boudin eggrolls. We even see boudin balls dipping sauce. Really? We call that a violation!” As an integral part of the Cajun culture, Domengeaux hopes Boudin for Peace continues for many generations. “Boudin is a food of peace. If diplomats would serve hot boudin at hostile summits instead of croissants and cheese, former enemies would be hugging and high-fiving instead of fighting and backstabbing,” he joked. R ROUX

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Anthony Bourdain

FOOD

When someone cooks for you, they are saying something. They are telling you about themselves: Where they come from, who they are, what makes them happy.


Gris TAKING NEW ORLEANS BY STORM

Gris By Taylor Geiger

Photo by Romero and Romero Photography

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FOOD

EXECUTIVE CHEF AND PROPRIETOR ERIC COOK

A native New Orleanian, Eric Cook spent six years serving our country in the United States Marine Corps. “I got out and got back home to New Orleans, and a friend of a friend got me a job in a kitchen,” he explained, crediting the start of his career as being “completely accidental.” This casual suggestion set the stage for the development of one of the most iconic chefs in New Orleans. After stumbling into the culinary industry, Cook trained at the John Folse Culinary Institute and began his career at the famous Brennan’s restaurant in the French Quarter. He studied under the late Chef Mike Roussel — also a New Orleans native whose talents led to preparing meals for President Reagan’s second inauguration and a summit between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as appearances on Good Morning America and The Today Show, among many other accolades. Cook describes Roussel as “one

of the most giving men in the entire world, as far as sharing knowledge and experience and his past and his stories,” and looks back on his experience and his team at Brennan’s with enthusiasm. “Being in one of the biggest restaurants in the whole world, doing insane numbers, and just having fun doing them with a bunch of pros,” he reflected. Soon after learning from Roussel, Cook worked at Commander’s Palace as sous chef and chef de partie, then moved on to executive chef at several other well-known New Orleans eateries, such as the American Sector, Bourbon House and Tommy’s Cuisine. He’s also worked as a private chef, executive banquet chef, and research and development consultant for several national restaurants. Although his list of accomplishments is lengthy, Cook remains humble and stated he is just doing what he loves. “For me, it’s about being a part of a community. And if I can make a living and take care of my family and enjoy what I love doing — which is operating a restaurant in my favorite city in the whole world

and being in a place where people like to hang out every day,” he said. GRIS-GRIS

Eric Cook launched his own restaurant on Magazine Street in August 2018, to much acclaim. As the owner of Gris-Gris, Cook strives to be a “good neighbor” by offering delicious dishes and a social ambiance that makes people feel at home. “You walk in the restaurant, and you are in the kitchen. That’s what it is like in my house,” he explained, emphasizing that in many Southern homes, the kitchen is the “center of the universe.” His restaurant recreates the social aspect of cooking between friends. Cook describes the menu at GrisGris as recognizable and approachable refined Southern food. “A lot of it is just looking back and doing simplicity at its finest,” he said. He brings dishes which are “picked out of a side, dusty, old gas station café and brought to a restaurant in the city and just elevated — but the story is still there, the history

Top: Gordon Ramsay and Chef Eric Cook serve a Cajun feast. Credit: National Geographic/Rush Jagoe

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is still there, and the love is still there. And that’s what the food at Gris-Gris is about. It’s about trying to preserve our Southern food,” he said. Gris-Gris has been named Eater New Orleans’ Reader’s Choice for both 2018 Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year, New Orleans CityBusiness’ 2018 Restaurant of the Year, New Orleans Magazine’s Best Restaurants of 2019 and TimeOut.com ranked it as one of the best New Orleans Restaurants to visit. “I try to mix up a little bit of the experience I’ve had in restaurants and from the big Creole houses in New Orleans, along with holiday fare from the family and just dishes I remember growing up as a kid. Just putting that fine dining package behind it and presenting it in a location and an atmosphere that’s like no other place in the world,” he said. Cook’s favorite dish to prepare is oyster pie, and it is “a play on oyster artichoke soup. It’s a really rich, iconic combination of flavors with oysters, double cream, tarragon, butter, leeks and green onion. And we add mashed potatoes and herbed breadcrumbs on top for some texture and poached oysters in there,” he described. A menu including shrimp and grits, pork chops, cast-iron seared fish and shrimp, chicken and dumplings, and chargrilled filet mignon appeals to clientele of all ages. Cook’s chicken and andouille gumbo has received rave reviews, and he had the opportunity to prepare it together with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. The gumbo is now world-famous, thanks in part to Cook’s appearance on the second season of “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted in June 2020.” COOK’S EXPERIENCE WITH GORDON RAMSAY

Internationally renowned Michelinstarred chef, restaurateur and TV star Gordon Ramsay travelled to New Orleans to shoot an episode for the second season of “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted,” a National Geographic show which features Ramsay’s exploration of

local flavor from acclaimed chefs around the globe. Cook described Ramsay as a genuine guy, with childlike enthusiasm. “Ramsay is an outstanding person, and he’s even a better cook. He’s a true professional,” he recalled. “The first time we ever met was Act 1 in the show. We didn’t have a script, and we didn’t have anything to go off of — he got off the boat, and I was on the dock cooking gumbo, and we met like two old friends by the water getting ready to go fishing,” Cook remembered. Additionally, “he was really genuine about representing South Louisiana, which I worked really hard on,” Cook said. Issues like coastal erosion, the abundance of natural resources in South Louisiana, and the importance of conserving the wetlands are near and dear to Cook’s heart, and he wanted to make sure they were brought up during the show. Cook regards Ramsay as a “great spokesperson to have on your side, bringing attention to the challenges we

face on the coast.” Together, Cook and Ramsay brought a snapshot, not only of delicious Louisiana cuisine, but also of societal and environmental issues of the Gulf Coast to the attention of viewers in 172 countries. Cook approaches his career with gusto and with so much enthusiasm; you can feel the love he has for food and for his city when he speaks. “Recreating dishes and recreating memories are really the best part of the whole job,” he said. He views dining as being not only about the food, but also about the connection and conversation had during a meal. He goes to work every day with this philosophy: “Be a good neighbor. Invite people over for dinner every day.” The invitation is open, and Gris-Gris is awaiting your visit. R Interior, exterior and food photos courtesy of Randy Schmidt

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MAPP MAGAZINE MAY 2019


FOOD Crab Cakes INGREDIENTS 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1 large egg, beaten 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon hot sauce Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, discard any shells 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (or saltine crackers) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Canola oil (for frying) Lemon wedges (for serving) Tartar sauce (for serving)

Timmy Credeur

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ROUX IN-HOUSE CHEF By Jean Allen

OUX is honored to have longtime restaurateur and dynamic cook Timmy Credeur as our in-house chef. The restaurant business practically runs through his blood. “I grew up as a child with my mother managing Don’s Seafood and Steakhouse. She moved here from Alabama when she was seventeen, and she went to work as a waitress,” Credeur said. “That was 1950…and she met my father there when she was the bartender, and so I grew up working in Don’s as the busboy and in the kitchen.” More than two decades later in 1973, he teamed up with Donny Landry II to open Don’s Seafood Hut on University Avenue. Then in 1975, the restaurant relocated, with an expanded menu, to its current home on Johnston Street. “I stayed there, and my mother was partner with us...and, I stayed there until 1985 when I went to New Orleans and opened Don’s Seafood Hut on Veteran’s (Memorial Boulevard) with my mother.” Credeur is enjoying retirement but reminisced about his days in the restaurant. “What I’d enjoy most is sending out the food and seeing your face.” These days, Credeur has spent the last fifteen years catering events and spending quality time with his wife Kitty and three children. After so many years, he still does it for the love of it. “I love cooking. I love cooking things I’ve never even tried before. But I can do it because I’m trained in chef-ing,” he said. “I just love to make people smile with food. That’s pretty much it. And I’ve succeeded because I get to do it every day.” For recipes and how-to videos, follow Credeur on his Facebook page, Timmy Credeur’s Food. R

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Add all ingredients to a bowl except the lump crab meat. 3. Blend ingredients by hand. 4. To avoid breaking up the crab meat, gently fold it ito mixure. 5. If the mixture is too loose, add more breadcrumbs to bind it. 6. Using your hands, shape about one cup of the mixture into patties. 7. Bake for approximately 2030 minutes until golden brown. 8. Serve with tartar sauce.

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PiYAHHHHH! THE CAJUN NINJA’S PATH TO FAME

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By Jean Allen

nown as The Cajun Ninja, Jason Derouen has gone from an everyday guy, following his passion for cooking, to a social media sensation. He has attracted followers in his home state of Louisiana, across the country, and around the world. The Houma, Louisiana, native was thrown into social media stardom in October 2016 after uploading a video to Facebook of him cooking gumbo. “I uploaded it on a Monday night, and when I woke up, I saw it had been shared 11 times. Videos I had uploaded before maybe only got shared twice,” recounted Derouen. “By lunchtime, it had been shared 150, 600 by that night. I remember telling somebody, ‘I think I have a viral video.’” That video now has more than 1 million views, and The Cajun Ninja Facebook page has climbed to 1 million-plus followers. The timing couldn’t have better — Derouen had been a sales representative in the oilfield and recently laid off. An entertainer by nature, but not a chef by trade, Derouen grew up surrounded by cooking — his mother the classic “let-me-cook-it-for-you Cajun lady” and his father a passionate disciple of the Food Network. In his early twenties, Derouen began creating Frankenstein recipes through trial and error. In his videos, his personality is front and center — unscripted, high-energy, and littered with quotable catchphrases like, “Let’s get cracka-lackin!” and “Piyahhhhh!” Watch one video, then you’re sucked in. It’s easy to see why fans keep coming back, hungry for more. “What you see on camera is what you get when you actually meet me. People know when something is fake. That’s what makes my videos unique. I’m also probably the only guy you’ll ever see chop vegetables with his own hand,” Derouen laughed, referring to his iconic ninja chopping style. It’s also worth mentioning that this “Cajun Ninja” is the real deal. “I’m a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and I part-own my own Taekwondo school, Houma Martial Arts,” he said. “So the name’s a cross between my Cajun heritage and my love of martial arts.” For this ninja, it’s a family enterprise of hard work and gratitude. “When it comes to social media, it’s very easy to look at what someone else is doing and think you’re behind,” he said. “If you’re doing something you love, you’re winning. You gotta make happiness before you make currency.” Derouen has a line of Cajun Ninja apparel, homeware, and a new seasoning, aptly called, “Pi-Yahhhhh!!,” on shelves now. Follow Derouen’s recipes and on-camera antics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok. R

FOOD

Crawfish Pie

INGREDIENTS 1 stick salted butter 1/2 cup flour 2 onions, chopped 2 celery sticks, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped Small amount olive oil 1 10-ounce can mild Rotel, drained 1 cup chicken broth 1 tablespoon Cajun/Creole seasoning 1 tablespoon parsley flakes 1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce 1/2 pint heavy cream 2 pounds crawfish tails 1/4 cup milk Paprika (optional) 2 thawed nine-inch deep-dish pie crusts or 12 miniature tart pie crusts DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Heat a large pot and large skillet on low to medium heat on. 3. Melt stick of butter in the large pot, then add flour, stirring consistently. 4. Add olive oil to heated skillet, then add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic. Sauté on low heat for 20 minutes, then add the drained can of Rotel. Cook five minutes more, then add chicken broth. 5. Once the roux is the color of peanut butter, slowly add vegetable mixture. Mix well. 6. Add heavy cream. Mix until the texture is creamy. 7. Add Cajun seasoning, parsley flakes, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and crawfish. Mix well. 8. Turn heat off and add milk. Mix well. 9. Using a spoon, add mixture to the two pie crusts. Top with a sprinkle of paprika. 10. Place pie crusts on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for one hour or until edges turn brown. Let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy!

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LAFAYETTE

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337.761.6238 • LAFAYETTECOURTESY.COM 337.769.4500 • LAFAYETTECOURTESY.COM 4750 JOHNSTON JOHNSTON ST. , LA 70503 4750 ST.LAFAYETTE LAFAYETTE, LA 70503


FOOD

Tsunami Sushi

MICHELE EZELL LEADS THE WAY

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Photo courtesy of Denny Culbert

t seems surprising that Tsunami Sushi Managing Partner Michele Ezell, who practically introduced sushi to her hometown of Lafayette, La., then later expanded to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, felt undeserving when selected to join the prestigious James Beard Foundation Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (WEL). Although, it “was humbling beyond measure,” she said, “of course, I went through the ‘I am not worthy’ process and really had to do some soul searching before accepting the invitation. Considering the women of past graduating classes “such rock stars,” Ezell didn’t feel worthy of her nomination. Rather, she said, “I saw myself as a mutt in a gang of Best in Show. Then the reality of the opportunity being mine to take settled in and I YOLO’d.” Ezell’s “you only live once” mantra opened doors to personal and professional growth. Of the 120 professionals nominated, Ezell was one of 25 female business owners and chefs selected to join the 2020 class. Developed with Babson College — a private business school renowned for growing business leaders through entrepreneurship education — the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program focuses on education, mentorship, leadership development, business expansion, and management skills, among other practices. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual intensive week-long, in-person, on-campus course in Wellesley, Massachusetts, was restructured as an online Zoom course. “We were all disappointed that we were not able to be together to build community and connect, but looking back on the experience, we were able to take our daily coursework directly into our business and apply best practices, and then discuss the following week,” Ezell explained. “We drilled down on finances, business model, brand management, value positioning, communication, culture, leadership, growth. We had coaches who were experts in their field during all coursework, and because it was all done virtually, Babson and James Beard were able to have some of the most incredible coaches like Ziad Moukheiber (CEO of Boston Harbor Angels, a lead angel investing group in the Unites States), Rohini Dey (co-founder of the WEL program, Chicago and Manhattan restaurateur, and advocate for women in the culinary industry), and Sarah Gavigan (2019 WEL fellow, Nashville restaurateur and chef, and author). Ezell said her biggest take-away as a WEL fellow is access to resources. “Being a phone call or text away from 20-plus women in my industry across the country to ask a question or get advice is extraordinary.” R ROUX

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FOOD

Sunrise Coffee

LET THE GOOD VIBES ROLL

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By Jean Allen

oo Freeman’s beach life started when he moved from Lafayette, Louisiana, to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, running a beach chair rental service, and making his own chairs, paddleboards, and umbrellas. “It’s my church,” Freeman said of his connection to the beach, “I pray every day there. It relaxes you. People are down there, and they’re relaxed, so you get to talk and communicate way better than in the stressful life of an office. It’s just good vibes.”

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His pursuit to offer a place for people to enjoy coffee, cocktails, and great food, in a fun atmosphere, came to fruition in 2013 when he opened Sunrise Coffee Co. Café and Cantina in Destin, Florida. “We originally bought it to promote the beach chairs, then the coffee started taking off, and we put the beach chairs to the side,” Freeman explained. “It just evolved.” Before he knew it, Freeman and his crew were selling locally sourced Amavida Coffee at “the funkiest little coffee shop on 30A.” At Sunrise, it’s all good vibes all the time, where you can grab everything from a mimosa to an egg wrap. The good vibes arrived last year in Youngsville, La., (about 10 miles from Lafayette) on Memorial Day weekend, when Freeman opened Sunrise Coffee Co. in his native land. The coffee shop is nestled in Youngsville’s Sugar Mill Pond — a traditional village-style neighborhood of shops, stores, parks, and an eight-acre recreational pond. While not the beach, the location keeps the café near the waterfront. “People can walk the pond, get an ice cream for their kids, grab a beer, hang out,” he said. “There’s nothing else around here like it.” You can’t help but be happy sitting inside Sunrise. The colors are vibrant, the staff friendly, and the relaxed atmosphere, all add to the ambiance that Freeman set out to create. “It’s feel-good, beachy, laid-back, good music, good food…we don’t want to be a Starbucks. We wanted something different.” And they’ve succeeded. In addition to java and adult drinks, grab breakfast or lunch, sip a smoothie, and indulge in sweet treats like ice cream, donuts, classic candy, or a Slush Puppie. The restaurant is decorated with beach décor — art and surfboards — and you can shop for shirts, coffee mugs, and tumblers. Freeman travels between Lafayette and Florida, where he also attends to his other business, Sunrise Chair Co., featuring his line of beach chairs, umbrellas and side tables. R


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Saving Cajun THE REBIRTH OF PREJEAN’S By Curt Guillory

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hen Lafayette restaurateur Tim Metcalf bought Prejean’s, his goal was to continue attracting diners — locals and travelers alike — who appreciate and seek out the 40-year-old restaurant’s food and overall Cajun experience. He has since done that and more. Metcalf and his partners, his son, Greg, and friend, Ken Boudreaux, are welcoming guests to fresh renovations and a menu reflecting Prejean’s classics and new creations. The Dean-O’s Pizza owner purchased more than a building and its surrounding land; he acquired a restaurant synonymous with Cajun culture — in its cuisine, its food, its experience. “I saw an opportunity there. Within a week, a meeting was set up between Bob Guilbeau and myself,” Metcalf said. A change of hands ensued, from founder and owner Bob Guilbeau, who began his Prejean’s journey in 1980, to Metcalf. Traditional Cajun dishes, such as étouffée, gumbo, fried seafood, and boiled crawfish still have their place on the menu, as will recipes created when famed chef James Graham (known for his modern interpretations of Cajun dishes) was at the helm in the 90s. The seven acres surrounding the building serve as a blank canvas for Metcalf. He envisions the picturesque oak tree in the back as the perfect spot for outdoor dining and live music. Besides the Cajun atmosphere and cuisine, Prejean’s is also known for live Zydeco and Cajun music which will continue but with a wider variety of music. When talking with Metcalf, one thing is certain. He wants to get it right, and “it” is everything. “Speaking with Bob, and speaking with the musicians, and speaking with Ben Berthelot (President & CEO Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission), it was very clear that the music had to stay. It was also clear that I wanted to keep Prejean’s status as the number one iconic Cajun food restaurant,” Metcalf said. He’s done that and more. Renovations included bringing in more light, opening up space, and revamping the lounge as well as adding a drive-thru for pick-up orders. Metcalf explained, “It’s almost like stepping into the ring. If this is a fight, then I don’t lose. Yeah, my reputation, my name, and my financial well-being are tied up in this restaurant.” Metcalf invites you to stop by and see for yourself what he’s done at Prejean’s, hoping it will “knock you out!” Bon Appétit! R

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B R E AT H E I N B R E AT H E O U T EVERY BREATH MAKES YOU FEEL CLOSER TO NATURE. EVERY SIP MAKES NATURE FEEL CLOSER TO YOU.

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DRINK

J.T. Meleck Distillers RICE VODKA: INDUSTRY GAME-CHANGER By Erin Holden

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hen distilling his rice crop to make vodka was suggested to Mike Frugé, his wheels started turning. “I didn’t know anything about distilling,” he said. Frugé was a farmer, not a distiller. He’s a fourth-generation farmer on the same land his great uncle, John Meleck, planted his first rice on 20 acres in Branch, La. “I’d never made beer, never made anything. I just Googled it, and it turned out there was a convention on craft distilling in Baltimore. This was in 2017. I signed up for it immediately, and my wife and I flew out there,” Frugé said. To be successful, his product would have to stand out from other liquors on the market. At the convention, Frugé discovered few people have even heard of a rice-based spirit, including craft liquor enthusiasts he met at the convention.

Photo courtesy of Collin Richie

“It didn’t take me long to realize I had something unique,” he said. “There was an opportunity because, in the United States, rice is just not distilled, though more alcohol is made out of rice in Asia than any other grain by far.” Most vodka in the United States is made from grains — wheat, rye, barley, sorghum, corn, potatoes. Frugé’s first batch convinced Mark (Mike’s brother) their vodka would be a hit. “It made the best martini I’ve ever had,” Frugé said. “It was just so creamy and smooth, you know. I sat there and I was having this drink at the bar with the distiller who helped me design the recipe. I called my wife and I told her, ‘This is unbelievable.’ That’s when I knew.” After a year of learning and perfecting their craft, the Frugé brothers launched their farm-to-bottle rice vodka, naming it J.T. Meleck, after their great uncle, john Meleck. It first sold in local stores, then expanded to more than 300 stores, restaurants and bars across Louisiana. Among other awards, the American Distillers Institute — the oldest and largest trade association for small-batch, independently-owned distillers in the world — awarded J.T. Meleck the 2020 Best of Class vodka. “We literally have the best vodka in America according to the American Distillers Association,” Frugé said.

It didn’t take me long to realize I had something unique. There was an opportunity because, in the United States, rice is just not distilled.

Husband and wife, Mike and Courtney Frugé

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1 Degaulle Square | Lafayette, LA 1901 Chemin Metairie Rd | Youngsville, LA

The fan-favorite Pineapple Mule pleases the palate with a combination of housemade pineapple-infused Ketel One vodka — an ultra-smooth, clean spirit — and lime and ginger beer. Ginger beer, robust and tad spicy, enhances the complexity of the cocktail, pineapple adds just the right amount of sweetness, and freshly-squeezed lime, the right amount of sourness.

POUR Restaurant and Bar

1211 W. Pinhook Drive | Lafayette, LA

The Creole cocktail combines Old Mississippi Floated Whiskey (OMFW), sweet vermouth, Bénédicrtine and maraschino liqueur. OMFW is reminiscent of a treasured process dating back to the 1800s when whiskey barrels were loaded on to flatboats and transported down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers until reaching their destination in New Orleans. The combination of flavors results in a sweet and smooth perfectly-mixed cocktail.

Bon Temps Grill

COCKTAILS When sipping a cocktail, balance is everything. Flavors should work together, creating tastes of sweet, sour, bitter and salty. A signature pour worth drinking includes flavors acting in harmony to keep you wanting more.

HOT LIST


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631 Jefferson Street | Lafayette, LA

Peace, Love and Pineapples combines Plantation Pineapple Rum, lemon, lime, simple syrup, Pamplona’s house allspice dram liqueur and Angostura bitters. The bitters bring depth, flavor and balance to the drink, and the allspice adds a punch of bold spice flavor, but not overpowering.

Pamplona Tapas Bar

900 Jefferson Street | Lafayette, LA

The Pink+White cocktail concoction includes Espolòn Tequila Reposado, grapefruit, Aperol spritz, lemon and is topped with Topo Chico USA (sparkling mineral water). The tequila, made from 100 percent blue weber agave and aged between three to five months in new American oak barrels, hails from Jalisco, Mexico. Jalisco’s high altitude creates favorable growing conditions for the agave plant. The Aperol spritz offers tastes of sweet and bitter.

Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant


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112 Rue Promenade | Lafayette, LA

The Spiked Rum Cold Brew at Another Broken Egg marries Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and cold brew coffee. Cold brew has a long steep time to create a refreshing, strong, less acidic flavor. This delightful rumcold brew concoction is a great brunch cocktail, and a dollop of coconut cream adds the finishing touch.

Another Broken Egg

Anytime is a great time to enjoy a cup of coffee! Whether a latte, traditional, iced, cold brew, or coffee cocktail, a great cup of java is one to appreciate and savor.

COFFEE

1901 Chemin Metairie Rd Suite 1 | Youngsville, LA

The mocha latte at Huya Craft Coffee is made with locally roasted coffee by Rêve Coffee. Made with espresso, housemade mocha, steamed milk, and topped off with the coffee shop’s logo. It’s the mocha that makes this latte unique. Locally sourced cane sure from Patout Sugar Mill in Jeanerette, La., is used to make a simple syrup, then Dutch cocoa powder is added and reduced until reaching the right consistency. The result is a strong flavor of espresso with subtle splashes of mocha and cane sugar. The contrasting battle of the espresso’s bitterness and the sweetness of the mocha complement the silky, smooth steamed milk and cocoa powder texture.

Huya Craft Coffee

HOT LIST


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1901 Chemin Metairie Road, Suite 1 | Youngsville, LA

Think of Johnston Street Java’s Bullet Coffee as a brew with added health benefits — improves energy, metabolism, bone health, the cardiovascular system, and increases mental focus. The concoction of medium roasted coffee, coconut oil, grass-fed butter and heavy cream, result in a delicious drink with a rich and creamy texture.

Johnston Street Java

6774 Johnston Street | Lafayette, LA

Vietnamese iced coffee is the top seller at Zuhause Bakery & Coffee. It’s perfection in every pour. Sourced from French Truck Coffee in New Orleans, the drink is made using condensed milk, coffee and chicory blend. The steeped coffee creates a strong, concentrated brew.

Zuhause Bakery & Coffee


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The old-timers schooled me good. They brainwashed me to respect music, whether we were playing rockabilly or blues or rock and roll. Dr. John


MUSIC

Dockside Studio

A GOLDMINE ON THE BAYOU By Dwayne Fatherree

Dr. John (Photo courtesy of James Demaria)

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MUSIC

T

he flooding that struck South Louisiana in August 2016 was a test for many residents. Homes and businesses were lost to the three-day deluge as slow-moving rainstorms hovered over the region, forcing bayous, rivers and lakes to rise above their banks and sweep over the land. Dockside Studio, situated on 12 acres of land on the Vermilion Bayou in Maurice, La., was no exception. “We got flooded,” said Cezanne “Wish” Nails, co-owner of the studio with her husband, Steve Nails. “It was terrible.” The reaction to the inundation at the studio was swift. The word went out over social media that the facility had taken in several feet of water and the local music community responded. “Masses of people came,” she said. “One person would volunteer to cook. Two women from New Orleans came in and wiped down all the cables. Others did carpentry to replace damaged flooring. Dave Nezat (former Chubby Carrier drummer) put out this APB on Facebook. Masses of people came and helped move equipment out of harm’s way. For a month or two, it was like its own little community out here. It looked like a hippie commune.” Over several weeks, the world-class studio rose again from the muddy waters of the Vermilion. “It was a well-oiled machine,” Wish said of the recovery effort. “It was the most amazing thing I have seen.” But Dockside and its owners

I had my little spot. I didn’t say one word through the entire session. I sat right there, Susan walking in circles, Paul is talking to me about life, and Bob’s sitting at the board, in charge. Such a rush of adrenaline.

are no strangers to adversity. The studio was forged out of a tragic automobile crash in 1984 that left Steve, an accomplished guitarist who graced stages in the 1970s and early 80s with a slew of regional bands. After the crash, as a quadriplegic, wheelchair bound, he was unable to play. It didn’t slow him down. His electric chair sped along the blacktop path from the main residence to the studio, popping a wheelie as it climbed up the path to the studio’s porch. The secret, he said, is his connection to the energy and life that the tract along the bayou has brought to him. “Once I go through the gates, all my superpowers disappear,” he said. “It’s very depressing for me to leave the property. All the veins of the property are just glued and sucked into me. And once I get in the van and leave the property for an appointment, all of my superpowers are gone. It’s

very demoralizing. I don’t realize I am in a wheelchair until I get to the gate.” The settlement from the crash fueled the purchase of the Dockside property in 1990 and the creation of the studio. Since, it has become a cornerstone of the vibrant music culture in Southwest Louisiana. From the street, a tan sheet-metal wall isolates the grounds from passing traffic. The driveway leads to the pastoral grounds, enveloping visitors under the canopy of hundred-year-old oaks, heading toward the cafe-au-lait waters of Bayou Vermilion. The concept behind Dockside was to create an immersive environment for artists. The secluded grounds have everything needed for a band to move in and do some serious woodshedding — knocking out song ideas, tracking parts, mixing, remixing, and experimenting with state-of-the-art equipment, and more importantly, a warehouse of vintage amplifiers, instruments and microphones that sets the studio apart from any other studio in the region. And the “move in, make records” philosophy (guest rooms above the studio as well as a pool house with its own studio for songwriting and rehearsal) has attracted artists from around the world. Mark Knopfler recorded there. So has

Left: Cezanne and Steve Nails with B.B. King when he recorded at Dockside; Right: Record (Photo courtesy of Shaan Couture)

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B.B. King who left behind an autographed black Gibson ES-335 the famed “Lucille” model, which hangs in the main live room where musicians record. In the early days, between tours, slide guitar king Sonny Landreth lived in the mobile home that served as the original pool house on the property. Over the years, Dockside sessions have included everything from stellar performances in the studio to New Orleans songwriter/ guitarist/producer Anders Osborne forming pick-up games on the basketball court and blues guitarist Samantha Fish and her band taking stress breaks at the pool. “We just had the Cowsills here for six weeks,” Steve Nails said. “Susan Cowsill, Paul Cowsill, Bob Cowsill were here, recording with producer Trina Shoemaker (Queens of the Stone Age, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris).” Even after 30 years, Steve still approaches the music, and the people who create it, with a true musician’s innocence and appreciation. An ardent Bruce Springsteen fan, he tagged Shoe-

maker’s work with Patti Scialfa, Springsteen’s wife, as a highlight for him. “I had my little spot. I didn’t say one word through the entire session. I sat right there, Susan walking in circles, Paul is talking to me about life, and Bob’s sitting at the board, in charge, he said. “Such a rush of adrenaline.” It was just as memorable for Wish. “They did like 84 tracks of vocals to do one song,” she added. “Susan’s so funny. She’s been doing it since she was a kid, so she is very nonchalant, very natural.” Steve also keeps learning, even after decades in the barn-turned studio. After watching Shoemaker work, he came away with a new, or at least deeper, understanding of the recording process. “If you could stay here for 48 hours and see what we can do to vocals, to acoustic guitar, it would make your jaw drop,” he said of Shoemaker’s work. Another essential part of Dockside’s drawing power is Steve’s self-professed gear fetish. Although much more of the recording and post-production side of

the work is now done digitally, having pristine analog equipment available during the recording process is a rarity that gives Dockside recordings a warm feel that can’t be captured on most modern gear. He has spent decades scavenging old studios for vintage equipment, everything from Neumann and Rupert Neve microphones to analog outboard effects, and even the mattress-sized spring reverbs he bought from FAME Studios in Muscle, Shoals, Al., — where some of the greats have recorded: Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Bobby Gentry, Gregg Allman, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and many more. “They’re still upstairs,” Wish said of the reverb units. “We don’t roll as much tape as we used to, but we still have the Studer tape machine (reel-toreel multi-track recorder). We had two of them, and we kept the one that was the least damaged in the flood.” In the early days, the Nails were fortunate to have engineer Bill Halverson (Cream, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Eric Clapton) as a client when ROUX

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he was recording Cajun-rock band Mamou for Rounder Records. That relationship helped to define the studio’s mission and set up the control room’s centerpiece — a 52-track Neve recording console. “This is all Bill Halverson. He was my first client,” Steve said. “I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said. “You could speak and remove all doubt or sit back and be silent. I was silent the whole session and picked his brain. Bill Halverson is my guru.” In addition to national and international notoriety the studio has gained, it has supported the efforts of a myriad of local artists. Several Neville Brothers have recorded there, as well as funk bass master George Porter Jr., and New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas. Allen Toussaint has graced the studio as well as Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, swamp pop legend Bobby Charles, Marc Broussard, Sammy Kershaw, Sonny Landreth, Terrence Simien, and Wayne Toups, among hundreds of others. The list of artists who have, at least for a short time, called Dockside home is as long as it is illustrious. And as long as Steve is on the grounds and has his superpowers intact, he is as happy as he can be with where life has taken him. “When I am on the property, I’m just a studio rat,” he said. “All I do for a living is I’m a studio rat. I love being a studio rat.” R

Photos courtesy of Shaan Couture

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MUSIC I’m built to play accordion more bluesy, with more rock edge, like where the saxophone or the second lead guitar would be.

Wayne Toups CREATING HIS OWN PATH By Dwayne Fatherree

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hen Wayne Toups first started playing music on stage, television still came to your house through an antenna, phones were attached to walls and had rotary dials, and Richard Nixon was still a viable politician. Now, almost a half-century later, the Cajun music icon says he’s still learning new tricks. “I’ve continued to progress, and I’ve continued to be innovative,” he said between sips of coffee at a café in Lafayette, Louisiana’s River Ranch neighborhood. “I’ve got a wonderful band. We sound the same as we did 30 years ago, maybe a little better. But we’ve learned some things.” They’ve learned their strengths and weaknesses. “I can’t play traditional like Steve Riley or Marc Savoy,” Toups said. “I’m built to play

accordion more bluesy, with more rock edge, like where the saxophone or the second lead guitar would be.” His accordion style developed at a time when Cajun music was virtually unknown outside a 100-mile radius of Lafayette and Clifton Chenier was still perfecting the hybrid that would become Zydeco with his Red Hot Band. “I first started learning to play accordion in 1972,” Toups said. “All my heroes in the Cajun tradition were like Iry LeJeune, Lawrence Walker, Aldous Roger, Belton Richard.” Morphing the genre — adding elements of rhythm and blues, more “edge” (more aggressive playing), and heavier bass attack, was because of Richard’s influence. “Belton was the innovator,” Toups explained. “He showed me the light of what I could change if I wanted to change. He showed everybody the light.” It was a break in playing professionally in the late 1970s that set him up to make a larger impact on the genre in the 1980s. After a half-dozen years working in Louisiana’s oilfields, the oil slump that hit the region in the early ‘80s pushed him back into performing. “When I got back into music in ‘83, I started developing a style of vocal, little more bluesier French,” Toups said. “It’s not that some of the old Cajuns didn’t have that blues, but they didn’t have the chord structure to follow it. That was the structure it was supposed to be back then.” After a return to the stage with the band Cajun Creole, he formed Zydecajun in late 1985. Zydecajun, “was a Zydeco-Cajun infused, rhythm-and-blues, southern rock type of feel. The faster songs, we started playing with a little bit more edge.” That, he said, garnered him an entirely new generation of listeners. “The younger generation, they got on it,” Toups said. “Now, I caught some flak from the traditionalists. The waltzes were fine, though. They enjoyed that because it had a little ‘hop’ to it.” The pandemic has decimated Zydecajun’s nearly 100 gigs-a-year touring schedule. “A lot of bands aren’t working. Some guys, they are doing solo stuff. I can’t do that. That’s not how I was built. I’m built to be part of a band,” said. R ROUX

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MUSIC

Julie Williams

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MUSICAL MELTING POT By Jean Allen

inger-songwriter and pianist Julie Williams knows a thing or two about birthright. Known for her soulful etudes and unique sound, Williams grew up in a musical-ministry family, joining her worship-leader father onstage at the tender age of four. “It was, ‘Either learn how to play music or sing, or you’re out, kid!’” Williams joked. “I grew up onstage, literally. That was invaluable because normally you have to pay for your kid to be able to learn stuff like that.” She spent her early days performing with her family band. Years later, she furthered her talent while studying classical piano in college. At the young age of 16, Williams performed weekly gigs at a venue in downtown Lafayette, La., finished high school, then set her sights on Nashville, where she played gigs on Broadway Avenue, an entertainment district known for its honkey tonks and live music. Then, she moved to New Orleans to “soak up some soul and grit,” performing at large and small venues, festivals, and across the country with her indie band. Upon her return home to Lafayette, she “rediscovered her roots and origin,” growing to appreciate her own region’s culture. She has used her repertoire as a soloist with sounds of swamp-pop, ‘50s and ‘60s soul, jazz, and early blues to create a full-time music career. Williams’ approach to music can be described as ambidextrous and deeply emotional. “Music has always been the ultimate outlet,” she explained. “It doesn’t really matter what the song is — there’s intent and emotion behind it, and I’m able to express that vulnerability in a safe way.” Williams is in the process of writing an album, a collaboration with other musicians. “That Louisiana melting pot is my heart and my sound, everything that is in this area that so many take for granted,” she surmised, smiling. “It’s all I’ve got, man.” R

That Louisiana melting pot is my heart and my sound, everything that is in this area that so many take for granted.”

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Michael Juan Nunez

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THE BEST IS YET TO COME By Dwayne Fatherree

oming into 2020, singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Juan Nunez had his musical plans laid out, his course mapped. As the year opened, he had just finished the sessions for a new record, with festival gigs and tours on the West Coast and Europe primed and ready to go. “We finished it (the new album), and we rushed it through mastering,” Nunez said, leaning forward on the overstuffed sofa in the living room of his house in Erath, Louisiana. “I got the artwork together. The week we were going to press, we got a call from Baton Rouge Blues Fest. Then (New Orleans) Jazz Fest. We had the West Coast tour cancelled. Then the European tour.” Nunez’s new record and tours had fallen victim to the pandemic — a sign of the time not only for him, but also other musicians.

The yet untitled new record is one Nunez poured himself into. He had touted it as his first shot at a blues record, a marked change for a guitarist who had previously dodged the label. “It’s hard to sit on it,” he said. “I’m proud of it. We spent a couple of days at Dockside (Studio, in Maurice, La.) recording it, but I really spent all year writing and tweaking. Some of those songs were

recorded four or five times before they got into the studio.” The latest effort comes after a year in which Nunez lost a huge mentor and friend in Paul “Li’l Buck” Sinegal, the longtime blues and zydeco guitarist who died in June 2019. It was Sinegal who, in his last months, had pushed Nunez to take up the mantle of bluesman.

Nunez brought that spirit into the studio. With a band that featured guitarist Roddie Romero and keyboard whiz Eric Adcock of Roddie Romero & the Hub City AllStars, bass legend Lee Allen Zeno, longtime collaborator Clint Redwing on drums, and an appearance from Muscle Shoals Horns cofounder Ronnie Eades, the session flew by. The working tracks for the record were captured in just two days. “It’s such a great band, it was like being on autopilot,” Nunez said. “Everybody brought their best. It’s not a record for guitar players, not a record for drummers. It’s about the songs. It’s a band record. Like the old Chess Brothers, even Excello. You got to make people groove.” One of the biggest personal setbacks for Nunez was the cancellation of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival gig, which would have been his first headlining appearance there. “I was going to see if Ronnie (Eades) could sit in, maybe get some of the other Horns with him,” Nunez said, obviously excited at the prospect. “Can you imagine leading that band, with Roddie, the Muscle Shoal Horns behind you?” Hopefully, a postpandemic world will allow such a thing happen — and for the document of the Dockside sessions to hit the streets. “We put so much effort into this disc, I didn’t want to just release it and not be able to promote it, not be able to get it out there and have it just go unnoticed,” Nunez said. “So we’re sitting on it, hoping for better times to come.” R ROUX

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MUSIC

Eric Adcock MUSIC RUNS THROUGH HIM

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By Jean Allen

nown primarily for his nearly three decades of rockin’ and rollin’ with Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars, pianist/songwriter Eric Adcock has been drawn to beats since a young age. “I was always motivated by sound and rhythm,” Adcock explained. “I was that kid standing up in the station wagon with the windshield wipers going left and right, feeling that beat.” Adcock is Louisiana roots, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, jazz and blues. He has sat behind a piano since he was five years old, and he’s proficient on the Hammond B-3 organ — both self-taught. Born and raised in Lafayette, La., Adcock claims Abbeville, where he’s lived for 18 years, as home. “It’s such a quaint, beautiful town with great people and food, and I live on the river here, which is a source of inspiration for my songwriting.” By 16, Adcock was the house piano player at Poets, a now closed Lafayette nightclub, but popular during its time. Around the same time, he started playing with the late Li’l Buck Sinegal — a blues mentorship was born. Adcock would find himself sneaking out of his house on Wednesday nights to gig with him. “One time, I came home to my parents smelling like cigarettes and fried pork chops because they started frying them right in the club,” he reminisced. “I owe everything to Buck.” He would soon join Roddie Romero, with whom he’d cultivate a 27-year-career as pianist and principal songwriter for Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-Stars. The group garnered three Grammy nominations and traveled all over the world. Adcock is particularly proud of their 2016 release — “Gulfstream,” a decade’s worth of work. “I really gave that record all I had. If it had never come

about, it would’ve been my greatest disappointment,” he said. Just before the pandemic hit, Adcock was in the studio working on a new album for Michael Juan Nunez. Though it’s at a standstill, Adcock is continuing to create, collaborating with Zachary Richard and Andrina Turenne. “I think collectively as a society of musicians in South Louisiana, these tough times are really going to inspire some really beautiful, creative things to happen in the future,” he mused. “I love who we are, our culture, our music… I’ve been all over the world, and I keep coming home.” R

I love who we are, our culture, our music…I’ve been all over the world, and I keep coming home.

Left: Eric Adcock and Buckwheat Zydeco

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Left to Right: Johnathan Williams; Lee Allen Zeno; Steve Adams

The Blue Monday Mission

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PROVIDING HEALTHCARE TO MUSICIANS By Jean Allen

usicians and artists enrich our lives, inspire passion, and bring joy to others — invaluable in engaging and bringing the community together. Relying on freelance or contract work, many creatives can’t afford health insurance. “With an older musician or artist, when they’re not able to work, they don’t have 401(k)s or a retirement plan, so how do they take care of themselves?” asked Johnathan Williams, founder and CEO of Quality of Life Services (an elder care service), president of the nonprofit Love of People and co-founder of Blue Monday Mission, operating as a non-profit under the Love of People Umbrella. Blue Monday Mission provides life care services for aging, retired and elder musicians and artists. While not a musician himself, Williams is a nurse of 17 years and wanted to make a difference. The Blue Monday Concert Series raises money through performances at Rock ‘N’ Bowl Lafayette every second Monday of the month — currently on hold due to the pandemic. Along with invited guest artists, the Blue Monday house band of seasoned musicians, put on a show — Lee Allen Zeno (of Buckwheat Zydeco) on bass, Jill Merkl on keys and vocals, Kent August on guitar, Ron Eades (of Muscle Shoals Horns) on saxophone, and Louisiana Music Hall of Famers Tony Goulas on guitar and Steve Adams on drums and vocals. “You have young, old, rich, poor, white, black, every demographic that makes up Acadiana in one room, straight jammin’, and coming together to provide for our artists,”

The nonprofit has touched the lives of more than 100 musicians. Funds also provide bill assistance, grocery and medication purchases, and rides to health appointments. The pandemic brought to light needs of younger musicians, who like other musicians could no longer perform live. “My phone was ringing off the hook,” Williams said, describing the early days of lockdown. “Older and younger creators who had no ability to bring in money outside of gigging now had to deal with everything shutting down.” Meal drives ensued, providing 5,000 meals for those struggling. Whether younger, aging or retired, the nonprofit is a way to pay it forward to artists who’ve given invaluable experiences to the community. “It offers us an opportunity to show these people how much we value and appreciate them while they’re alive. It gives them peace of mind that their legacy will remain.” R ROUX

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MUSIC

DJ Digital LIVING HIS JAM By John Moon

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e started as a DJ in local clubs. His ability to find the right mix of music to keep those in the clubs attentive and on the dance floor helped him take those talents regionally to clubs in cities like New Orleans, Mobile, Tampa and Atlanta and build a business. That right mix of music helped him land a gig at Hot 107.9 (KHXT-FM) in Lafayette, La., eventually becoming the brand manager and morning show co-host for one of the highest rated radio stations in the market. But for 62

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Brandon Journet — DJ Digital, there was more out there. And he needed to find it. Life changed for Digital when he was named as one of Lafayette’s Top 20 under the age of 40. “Not too many people in my profession get recognized,” Digital said. But to those who know him, he’s always been more than a guy behind a microphone. “To be recognized was great, but what do you do with something like that? For me, it was a chance to do some networking and get to know more people in the city, I learned a lot just by talking to people.”


That experience encouraged Digital to apply for the Leadership Lafayette program. “There were a lot of people who encouraged me to apply. (Former co-worker) Simone Ancelet probably encouraged me the most. But I wondered, ‘when am I going to have time for this.’ Then I said I’d just find a way to figure it out.” But not long after, the pandemic hit. And suddenly Digital had more time on his hands. “I had DJ gigs booked months in advance. I lost $30,000 worth of bookings that were already lined up. I was able to compensate, but the bright side was it enabled me to concentrate even more in the Leadership Lafayette program.” Because of the pandemic, much of the class was conducted on a virtual basis. Digital credits executive director Ashley Mudd for keeping the class momentum going via Zoom. There were classes on local government, community needs, education, and health and wellness, among others. “It made me ask a lot of questions about myself. How can I use this for good, given my age, my ethnicity, and my career? This experience was important to me because it was about people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to learn more about the community where we live, work and play,” he said. “As a DJ, I’ve helped provide a lot of the “play” for people at clubs and weddings, so Leadership was an opportunity for me to put some work in and learn how I can make an impact. This community helped me build my business, I will always want it to be the best it can be.” Meanwhile, it also wasn’t long before Digital got another opportunity. Townsquare Media, Hot 107.9’s parent company, bought “XXL,” a hip-hop lifestyle magazine that they turned into an online service. “The switch was the brainchild of Bill Wilson (Townsquare CEO) and (Vice President) Jared Willig. We talked and wanted to build a syndicated radio show that was cool…that was NOW. They launched the show a little over a year ago. But I was bummed when I didn’t get the gig. I felt it was my fault because I didn’t go for it enough. But six months later, the opportunity arose again, and I went after it.” The show runs five hours each evening, Monday through Friday, taking Digital about two hours each day to put together. When he talks about the future, Digital’s eyes brighten, and his enthusiasm shows. “I’m on the board for the Acadiana Center for the Arts. ACA helps community be better through youth. Getting on the board was a big step. I can bring awareness of arts and culture with programs for youth,” he said. Hey, at one time, I was that kid. We also need to educate people of how important it is to vote. And I can find a way to inform people what is in their community before, not after, the fact.” Where his future takes him is unknown — but you can bet Brandon Journet won’t be sitting on the sidelines. R ROUX

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MUST-HAVES

Jewelry is like the perfect spice — it always complements what’s already there.


MUST-HAVES

Erica Courtney FROM LAFAYETTE ROOTS TO CELEBRITY FAME

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By Erin Holden

amed, high-end jeweler Erica Courtney’s awardwinning designs have adorned celebrities at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, fashion magazines, including Vogue featuring Madonna on the cover, America’s Got Talent, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and a multitude of other TV shows. But her path to celebrity was anything but glamorous. Facing a traumatic custody battle, the Lafayette, La., native resorted to kidnapping her son, fleeing the state, and spending eight and a half years hiding from local police and the FBI. That was in 1984. While dodging authorities, she lived in New York, Florida and Dallas. Yet, under such duress, she had the wherewithal to launch a jewelry business. “Who in the world would ever think that I could start a business while I kidnapped my son, stay undercover, not get arrested and be all over the red carpet?” she said. “I didn’t know they were going to photograph me and put me in magazines, and I still never got caught during that time.” While in hiding, she changed her birth name from Tasha Ingram to Erica Courtney, but life life on the run ended while attending a jewelry show in New York in 1992, where she was arrested after a disgruntled former employee turned her in. Courtney returned to Lafayette to face charges and received three and a half years’ probation. While living in Dallas, Courtney began embellishing sunglasses and watches, then later moved on to designing silver jewelry — but it was her fine jewelry designs that catapulted her to fame. The move from Dallas to Los Angeles changed her life. “Stylists were using me in movies, television, and commercials for so long that when their actresses were getting dressed, all of a sudden, they started showing up at my

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The next thing you know, I’m dressing movie stars and, about three years into it, they’re saying my name on the red carpet.


From left: Erica Courtney; Satine Earrings, Kunzite gemstone; Royal Ring, Paraiba gemstone; Carol Pendant, Rubellite and Topaz gemstones

place. And you know, I had cultivated those relationships. The next thing you know, I’m dressing movie stars, and about three years into it, they’re saying my name on the red carpet.” Courtney always had a knack for working with jewels and repurposing accessories, a talent her mother recognized and encouraged her to pursue. “I had a broken Swarovski crystal necklace and a pair of sunglasses, and I had put the crystals on the sunglasses — just for fun. I wore them outside and somebody said, ‘I love your sunglasses,’ and my mom said, ‘Oh, well, my daughter is a jewelry designer. You should buy them from her.’” Courtney questioned whether she could do it. Courtney recalled her mom telling her, ‘Well, you need a job, my darling. This is what you’re going to do.’” She indeed did and hasn’t looked back. Courtney’s artisan jewelry is known for pushing boundaries — her Drop Dead Gorgeous collection is distinctive, her jewels are brilliant and vibrant, and her designs are whimsical with intricate details. Her engagement rings and wedding bands are stunning, as are her creations for customers who commission her to repurpose their existing pieces. “It might not be that beautiful to begin with, but the challenge is to make it gorgeous. When I take those gems and I start polishing

them and fixing them up, even I don’t recognize them in the end. I’ll make them gorgeous.” Courtney sources her own gems, traveling to mining locations across the globe with her friend, famous field gemologist Vincent Pardieu. She’s been to Tanzania, Kenya, Vietnam, Burma, and many other remote locations to learn the mining process and source gems herself. “I’m spoiled,” she said. “I get to go buy all the most beautiful gemstones and design any kind of jewelry I want around them.” Courtney closed her boutique in L.A. shortly before the Great Recession, but her jewelry can be found on her website, Lafayette boutique, Kiki, and she offers private showings. “My next collection is going to be absolutely stunning, with a lot of icy jade and bright colors” she said. R

View Erica Courtney’s collection at ericacourtney.com. ROUX

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MUST-HAVES

Virginia Duncan Moseley

AVERY ISLAND-INSPIRED ALLIGATOR TEETH JEWELRY

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By Fred T. Abdella

he maker is there in every Virginia Duncan Moseley design. Her heightened interest in the natural world, especially that of Avery Island, La., her home, fired her imagination and inspired her bold sculptural and evocative pieces made of shed alligator teeth. Her collection for women and men merge from the warm colors of nature and polished sterling silver.

Moseley is a direct descendant of Judge Daniel Dudley Avery. Her great aunt’s home on Avery Island was the scene of many fond memories, especially vivid among those was sitting in the picture window of that house and watching an alligator cross the pond down below. “Once at a family gathering on Avery Island, one of my older cousins was wearing a necklace made with alligator teeth. It was so original. Making these pieces satisfies my curiosity about the natural world, especially alligators seen everywhere on the island. In fact, a game warden on the island was my contact for the first set of teeth.” Listed on The National Register of Historic Places in 2018, history is important on Avery Island. It has been a wildlife sanctuary for generations. Clover was planted for the resident species of whitetail deer. Edmund McIlhenny, the founder of McIlhenny Company on

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the island, helped save the beloved, showy snowy egret from extinction in 1895 with the establishment of Bird City. McIlhenny most notably became known for creating one of the most famous condiments in the world, Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce Into this sanctuary of natural beauty comes alligators. Moseley’s discerning eye first saw potential in the sculptural, evocative shape of the alligator’s teeth. “In the eighth grade, I didn’t read Seventeen, I read Vogue. That approach to fashion and design took me into another world. It was inspiring, it was a world that was exhilarating to me.” Moseley’s design process was significantly influenced by the legendary Italian designer, Elsa Peretti. Peretti was attracted to powerful, sculptural shapes naturally occurring in nature. Her instinct for style paved the way to becoming a muse to Halston, and when she began


an affiliation with Tiffany’s in 1974, her career was catapulted into the upper echelons of Manhattan cultural influencers. “Like Elsa Peretti,” Moseley said. “I didn’t have formal training but had a curiosity, a respect for nature, for animals and their natural habitat. I received an Elsa Peretti open-heart belt buckle. It was such a simple but powerful design, a perfect balance of material and form.” Moseley, like Peretti, was interested in the sensual impact of bones. For Peretti, human bones were the inspiration for one of her most iconic designs, the bone cuff. That cuff was also in Virginia’s collection of favored jewelry. Moseley’s discriminating eye was drawn to the bone structure, the vertebrae of the alligator’s spine. She designed and created a ring from that material. “This piece captures a natural balance between material, surface and form. And it doesn’t hurt that it is intriguing, a little bit dangerous given the response that people usually have when they come in close contact with alligators.” New Orleanian Michael Harold, first intrigued by Moseley’s designs at a trunk show, owns a collection of alligator teeth cufflinks and studs. “I thought, what an incredible way to not only have something unique that no one else has but that is representative of the state of Louisiana,” he said. “The cufflinks and studs are a conversation piece.” Moseley has created her own version of Peretti’s iconic bone cuff, a bracelet of shark skin with a primary alligator tooth as part of the clasp. “Elsa’s fundamen-

tal design animated me and challenged me. This was a piece that I wanted to produce multiple times, and I wanted purchased by women as an important part of their wardrobe.” Virginia C. Miller of New Orleans, like Moseley, is part of the Avery family — her great-grandmother was Kate Richardson Avery — and owns many diverse pieces of Moseley’s designs. “This is not ivory. You’re not trading in illicit materials and cruelty and all of that. As an alligator grows, they shed their teeth. And they’re hollow. So they’re light, and that’s important from a jewelry perspective because someone is going to look at that — the earrings — and think that’s going to be really heavy and it’s going to pull on my ear. Not so.” As a matter of fact, an alligator’s teeth naturally regenerate a lost tooth up to 50 times, and an alligator can go through 2,000-3,000 teeth in a lifetime. Moseley also has created an alligator tooth cheese spreader and wine stopper. Her jewelry collection includes pendants, multi-tooth necklaces, cuffs, bracelets, rings, earrings, belt buckles, studs and cufflinks. She plans several new designs for the near future. “I always knew what I wanted to do, follow my heart and reflect on who I was aside from being a wife and mother. I don’t want to repeat myself. Inspiration can come from anywhere every day. I hope this jewelry reflects that. It keeps my spirit alive, learning and growing.” For private inquiries, contact Virginia Moseley at vdm500@gmail.com. R

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travel

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.


TRAVEL

Pontchartrain Hotel A REFRESHING MIX OF OLD AND NEW

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By Erin Holden

he Pontchartrain Hotel is one of those New Orleans establishments locals appreciate for its quirky beauty just as much as out-of-town travelers do. The impressively restored hotel, originally built in the 1920s, is a getaway for guests to experience New Orleans culture at its finest. “There’s a rich history here at the hotel that many people find romantic,” said General Manager Cody Bertone. “Our Garden District location is a nice break from busier parts of town. We have a lot of loyal, repeat guests, but nothing is better than the reaction of first-time guests when they experience our hospitality firsthand.” Even if you’re a local and don’t plan on staying a night or two, the food, cocktails, and ambiance of the place make it a destination for a night out, full of class and yet a crowd-pleasing level of edge. You’ll find opulent chandeliers in a lobby 72

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reminiscent of a bygone era, but you’ll also find a large portrait of Lil Wayne in one of the hotel’s restaurants, Jack Rose. It’s this balance between paying homage to the old while living in the now that makes this boutique hotel, nestled in the heart of the Garden District, stand out to New Orleanians and out-of-towners alike. “While Pontchartrain Hotel is a distinctly New Orleans hotel, we want our guests to feel a break from the ordinary as much as possible — a place where spontaneity is the norm,” added Bertone. “The menu design for Jack Rose and the interiors draw on New Orleans’ craveable Italian, French and Spanish influences. Much like the city itself, it is one-of-a-kind.” THE HISTORY

Originally a luxury apartment building built in 1927, Pon-


tchartrain Hotel has operated as a hotel since the 1940s, and it has hosted an impressive list of who’s-who’s — think Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. Those with a literary bent will delight in the fact that Truman Capote used to enjoy drinks at the hotel’s Bayou Bar, and that Tennessee Williams worked on “A Streetcar Named Desire” during his stay at the Pontchartrain Hotel. In fact, visitors will find Williams’ mark all over the hotel, from Jack Rose, a character from “The Rose Tattoo” to the iconic Tin Roof bar atop the hotel, a nod to “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” “I feel that New Orleans is a destination where people like to peer in on the past, get a glimpse of bygone days and celebrate the future,” Bertone said. “Celebrity guests, past and present, are always a draw. A few others who have stayed with us over the years include Cole Porter, Richard Burton, Henry Kissinger, James Beard, and even The Doors.”

a.m., for coffee, cocktails and hearty breakfast fare. AMBIANCE

As for guests staying at the hotel, you’ll find that the rooms reflect a similarly sophisticated ambiance with plenty of local flair. Colorful furniture, rich textiles and elegant antiques characterize the motif, which, in keeping with the common areas of the hotel, presents a marriage between classic and contemporary. You’ll find all the modern amenities, of course, with special touches like artisanal toiletries by Le Labo. “A lot of the

furniture in our suites is from regional antique markets,” said Bertone. “I find interesting pieces that complement an eclectic but classic style. Also, all of our guest rooms have bathrooms outfitted with apothecary style, stocked vintage medicine cabinets.” Whether you are planning an event or simply looking for a classic New Orleans retreat with a modern twist, Pontchartrain Hotel is a scene worth checking out. “Pontchartrain Hotel is the place where old meets new within an always vibrant city,” Bertone said. “There’s a lot to discover here.” R

NIBBLES AND NOSH

Diners at Jack Rose will enjoy noshing on crispy pork cheeks roasted with garlic grits topped with pan gravy, best enjoyed with the restaurant’s signature cocktail — the Jack Rose, a whiskey and apple brandy concoction with egg white, pomegranate, rose and citrus. Enjoy libations and live entertainment at the Tin Roof bar while overlooking downtown New Orleans and the Mississippi River. Visitors can also opt for a meal at the Silver Whistle Cafe, open Wednesday through Sunday, from 7-10 ROUX

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“I WORK WITH WITH SOMESOME OF THE MOST MOST “I WORK OFSOUTH’S THE SOUTH’S CREATIVE EVENTEVENT PROFESSIONALS CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS & BRIDES. THEIRTHEIR EVENTS ARE NOTHING & BRIDES. EVENTS ARE NOTHING SHORT OF SPECTACULAR.” SHORT OF SPECTACULAR.” FROM CELEBRITY WEDDINGS, FROM CELEBRITY WEDDINGS, REGIONAL GALAS, AND REGIONAL GALAS, AND NATIONAL CORPORATE EVENTS, NATIONAL CORPORATE EVENTS, MY TEAM HAS BEEN SETTING TRENDS MY TEAM HAS BEEN SETTING TRENDS FOR OVER 20 YEARS. FOR OVER 20 YEARS.

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Photo courtesy of astateparks.com

Nestled on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and minutes away from Mandeville, La., Fontainebleau State Park is a nature lover’s haven. The park is the site of ruins of a sugar mill plantation built in 1829; all that remains are ruins of the sugar mill. Fill your days on the 2,800-acre property in a cabin built over the lake or pitch a tent on improved, unimproved and primitive campsites. Relax and play on the sandy beach, hike the trails, and take the kids to the playground and splash pad. A lodge is available for larger groups. Listed on the the National Register of Historic Places, this state park is a wonderful getaway to connect with the great outdoors.

Fontainebleau State Park

CAMPING Photo courtesy of geronimocreekretreat.com

A unique experience in Texas is Geronimo Creek Retreat in Sequin, where teepees are the star attraction. Inside you’ll find amenities of home — bathroom, air conditioning, heating, TV, kitchen, refrigerator, stove and oven. Enjoy fishing in the creek, swinging from a rope and plunging into the water kayaking, paddle boarding and much more.

Geronimo Creek Retreat

From tent camping to luxury camping, explore the beauty and serenity in the great outdoors in Louisiana and nearby states.

HOT LIST


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Photo courtesy of bluewaterkey.com

Bluewater Key RV Resort in the Florida Keys is a premier luxury resort for RV travelers. Stunning views, luxurious amenities, crystal clear waters and area attractions are worth the trip to this Key West, Fla., gem. RV lots are large, landscaped with tropical plants, shrubberies and trees, and include tiki huts and outdoor seating. All Bay Front sites and most Canal sites have private docks; the community dock has boat slips available for rent. Many sites have additional patio furniture, cabinetry and countertops, TVs, sinks, refrigerators and other amenities. Nearby activities include water sports, fishing charters, snorkeling and dive trips, and Key West attractions.

Luxury RV Camping

Photo courtesy of facebook.com/tentrrco/

Glamping, AKA luxury camping, is new to eight Louisiana state parks and offers an escape to nature without sacrificing comfort. Louisiana State Parks and Tentrr have partnered to offer more than 60 glamping sites. Distanced from other sites, canvasstyle tents atop a wooden deck include a queen-sized bed with a memory foam mattress and side tables, a propane tent heater, solar shower, portable camp loo, picnic table, Adirondack chairs and fire pit with a grill. Fish, hike, kayak and enjoy the natural environment, then retreat to a luxury tent without having to rough it.

Glamping at Louisiana State Parks


SPORTS

We want guys who drink out the water hose, not the guy whose mommy is bringing him a Powerade in the third inning. Tony Robichaux


SPORTS

Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball Head Coach Matt Deggs THE SHOW GOES ON By John Moon


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t was March 12, 2020. The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team was coming off its best performance of the season in a 7-0 win over McNeese State in Lake Charles, La. The team’s 8-9 record didn’t look like much, but after starting the season with a 2-8 record, the team had won six of their next seven. For first-year head coach Matt Deggs, that 2-8 start was simply not acceptable. And Deggs, known as one of the nation’s top hitting coaches, watched his team average just 3.4 runs per game and had been held to three runs or fewer on six occasions. Deggs fumed. “I think when you put your name on something, it’s personal,” Deggs said. “And it gets to the point where you have to decide failure is not an option. That’s just the way I’m wired.” Then the Cajuns came alive. After defeating Virginia Tech 1-0, Louisiana averaged more than seven runs per game over the next six games. And that 7-0 win in the final game showed Deggs something. “I think everyone was starting to settle in and kind of started to find their groove. We had shaken things up, we had started to juggle our lineup, and we were shaking up the pitching staff a little bit. We were in the midst of those changes and they were paying off,” he said. “I felt like after all we had been through, we learned from it, dusted ourselves off and we were better for it,” Deggs said. Fifteen games into the 2020 season, Deggs and the Cajuns were ready to make some noise. Then the season came to a screeching halt on March 12. “I’m throwing BP (batting practice). Bab (Associate Head Coach Anthony Babineaux) comes out and gives the word the NCAA is canceling postseason. That’s how it came down first. And shortly thereafter, the conferences started to fall.” They felt cheated. “You feel for the players, the fans, the city of Lafayette because we know what Cajun baseball means. Plus we were honoring coach (Tony Robichaux) and bringing that closure,” he said.

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SPORTS The Cajun baseball team was trying to learn to move on after the death of their beloved baseball coach, Tony Robichaux, back on July 3, 2019. Many of the players on the 2020 squad never got a chance to play for Coach Robe. But all had known him, as he had been part of the recruiting process that brought them to UL Lafayette in the first place. Deggs was introduced as the Cajuns new baseball coach just two weeks later. He wasn’t a stranger, having been part of the staff from 2012-2014. The 2014 club went into the postseason as the consensus number one team in the nation. They lost only seven games during the regular season and were one game away from the College World Series in Omaha when their season ended with a pair of losses to Ole Miss in the NCAA Super Regional. It was the only time the team lost two games in a row all season. But for Deggs, the story of how he became a Cajun is the one he likes to tell the most. Deggs was a mess. Coach Robe helped him turn his mess into a message. Deggs had gone “sideways.” Coach Robe helped him go “straight up.” In 2010 Deggs was fired as an assistant coach at Texas A&M. Head Coach Rob Childress was Deggs’ good friend. But he couldn’t overlook Deggs’ issues with alcohol abuse. Deggs found himself unemployed and separated from the only thing he felt qualified to do. He did labor for nine dollars an hour. He later became, in his words, “the world’s worst pharmaceutical salesman.” Meanwhile, Robichaux was left with an opening on his staff when assistant coach Mike Trahan left to go into private business a month after the 2012 season began. Tony knew of Deggs and Deggs heard about the opening. The two met and Deggs began to tell Robichaux about what had happened to him at A&M. “I don’t care where you’ve been,” Robichaux said to him. “I care about where you’re headed.” The two met for a couple of hours and Robe offered Deggs the job. It was quite a pay cut from the salary he had made at Texas A&M, but Deggs was all in. He spent most of the 2012 season on the road, scouting talent. The Cajuns had some young talent but needed to upgrade right away. Deggs found the players to bridge the gap. After failing to qualify for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in 2012, the Cajuns made it into postseason play in 2013, making an NCAA Regional appearance in Baton Rouge, falling in the finals to LSU. That set the stage for the excellence of 2014. Following that season, Deggs got his first Division I head coaching job at Sam Houston State, where he led the Bearkats to the 2017 Super Regional in Tallahassee. It was the first time a team from the Southland ever advanced that far. Deggs went on to win three regular season championships. But then tragedy struck when Robichaux suffered a heart attack and succumbed after two surgeries. Deggs had lost his best friend. By this time, Deggs, who had become a devout Christian, got the call from UL Director of Athletics Bryan

Maggard. After taking some time to accept God’s direction, he took the job. And on the day he was introduced as the Cajuns’ skipper, he made it clear about the role Tony Robichaux played in his life. “The love of Cajun Nation pulled us back out of Texas to over here in Lafayette,” Deggs said. “Seven years ago, Coach (Robichaux) saved my life. And he saved my family. I’m here today to say ‘Thank you, Coach’. We’re here today to say ‘Thank you.’” The 2020 season began with an emotional pregame ceremony inside M. L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park. Robichaux’s name and his jersey number went on the outfield wall, joining Ron Guidry as the only two Cajuns to have their jersey retired. The next day, a statue of Robichaux outside Russo Park was dedicated. The raw emotion of the two days affected everyone, including the baseball team, which lost all three games to begin the season, scoring a grand total of three runs. Once the season ended, the staff recruited remotely and signed players. And while not all of the newcomers were recruited in the spring, Deggs’ 2021 roster has 19 returning players and 22 newcomers. Only seven of the players ever took the field with Tony Robichaux as head coach. “The first day of practice fall 2020 was a great day. But even better is when we were cleared to go into our clubhouse. Now we got to experience the togetherness and camaraderie of a team.” Deggs said the university is fortunate to have Associate Head Coach Babineaux, whose position is an administrative one. “That’s a Power Five position,” Deggs said. “That’s what you have at bigger schools. WE are very fortunate to have that position and even more fortunate to have Bab, who understands the ins and outs of how everything is done, but also how Coach Robe handles things. He has as much skin on the game here as anybody. It’s a huge advantage for our program.” That will make the 2021 season even more unique, and Deggs feels the most resilient teams with the most mental tenacity, and the ability to respond, will have a great year. “It’s going to be one day at a time, let’s take what’s in front of us and make the most of it.” Deggs’ personality is different from Robichaux. He is outwardly more intense, more business-like. But he and Robichaux share a trait that has served both well. They both hate losing more than they enjoy winning. “Oh yeah,” Deggs said. “Everyone will tell you that.” In the meantime, Deggs drives to the ballpark every day. He passes right by the statue of the man he says saved his life and his family. “Every day I say a prayer. I pray for Colleen (Robichaux.) I pray for his family. And I pray a word of thanks. Thanks for what God has done in my life. And for the difference Coach made in mine.” R

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Alzheimer’s isn’t stopping and neither are we.

We’re walking in 2021 — and we invite you to join us. Families facing Alzheimer’s and all other dementia need us now more than ever — and with your help, we can be there for them. Every dollar you raise through Walk to End Alzheimer’s allows the Alzheimer’s Association to provide 24/7 care and support while accelerating critical research. Whether we’re together at an in-person gathering or in small groups in our individual neighborhoods, we can make a difference. The health and safety of our constituents, staff and volunteers will be our top priority as we assess the changing status of the pandemic and make a decision about how we’ll walk in 2021. Register today at alz.org/walk and be the first to know about Walk in your area.

24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900


SPORTS

Above Par KOASATI PINE HILLS AT COUSHATTA

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tretching 7,617 yards, Koasati Pines Golf Course at Coushatta Casino Resort has established itself as the longest golf course in Louisiana. The par72, 18-hole course in Kinder, rolls through the area’s natural wetlands among beautiful views of pine trees, live oaks, ponds, and 65 acres of lakes. Of note, Koasati, pronounced koh-uh-sah-tee, is the native language of the Coushatta Tribe. The course opened nearly 20 years ago in 2002 and has consistently received top honors from golf course publications. Currently, Koasati Pines at Coushatta is ranked the number 18 golf course in the United States on Golf Advisor’s “Golfer’s Choice Top 50 U.S. Courses” list and holds the number one spot on GolfPass’ “Best Golf Courses in Louisiana” list. Golf Advisor is the ultimate destination for traveling golfers, who love

to play, travel and learn more about how the sport of golf can be experienced around the world. A veteran staff of award-winning writers provides complementary, expert editorial content about golf travel, architecture and history. The “Golfer’s Choice” list is generated each year from authentic golfer reviews. The course has six sets of tees, multiple approaches on three holes, and the novel 19th “gambling” hole is a favorite spot where tiebreakers and wagers can be resolved. Course designer Kevin Tucker challenged golfers with multiple approaches to several holes, but GPS enabled carts track yardage and offer course tips to help plan each shot. Koasati Pines is part of the Audubon Golf Trail, named for naturalist John Audubon. Tour the course at coushattacasinoresort.com/golf/. R

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SPORTS

Topgolf

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NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED: FUN FOR ANYONE By Curt Guillory

opgolf in Baton Rouge checks all the boxes: fun for all ages, challenges any level of experience, can play rain or shine, and the food and drinks are above par. Topgolf is kind of like lawn darts meets golf and is just off the interstate, you’ll spot the big nets that surround the place a couple of miles before you get there. The driving range at Topgolf is for anyone who wants to have fun — regardless of age or skill level. It’s for the serious golfer, leisure golfer, and non-golfers. Golf bays hold up to six players and feature a wide selection of preloaded games, seating, and are climate-controlled. Think of games as target practice, and your goal is to land micro-chipped golf balls on dartboard-like targets throughout the range. The closer you get your ball to the ‘bullseye’ and the further the distance, the more points earned. Accuracy and distance are relayed to a screen in the bay. In addition to golf, Topgolf features great eats like burgers, wings, fries, and the like and cocktails. The venue hosts events, corporate events, parties, tournaments and fundraisers. R ROUX

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ADVENTURE Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours EXPLORING LOUISIANA SWAMPS

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By Tisha Delcambre

ince 1999, Tucker Friedman has owned and operated Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours with his family. Tourists have traveled to the Atchafalaya Basin from all over the world to be regaled with his funny, educational, and heartfelt stories about the swamp he grew up in. “Even though I’m on the water giving tours every day, it is special each time I experience it through the eyes of a person seeing the sheer beauty of the Atchafalaya Basin for the first time,” Friedman said. Locals also makeup a significant portion of the business, many of whom have never taken a swamp tour, including local regulars who visit seasonally to enjoy the changing ecosystem. The family’s fleet of four airboats, able to travel on both land and water, is the largest in the area. The one-and-a-halfhour tour takes you deep into the heart of the oldest cypress swamps, where you’ll see native wildlife, deciduous mosscovered cypress trees, and carpets of water hyacinth. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chance to interact with the real rock stars of the swamp — alligators. Captain Nick Friedman,

Tucker’s son, explained their special relationships with some gators, even naming some. While Sam, Clarence and Jolie all get extra attention, it is Chérie, a 20-year-old blind gator who has Tucker’s heart. “I found her about 15 years ago with thorns in her eyes. She had apparently gotten tangled up in a thorn tree. She was almost dead, but I was able to remove the thorns, and I started feeding her and got her back to health. Over time, one of her eyes came back, and was able to see movement through that eye, but she lost the other eye completely. She comes right up to me now. She knows it’s me,” Tucker said. The Friedman’s have added a new climate-controlled boat with 20-plus capacity for corporate trips, bachelor and bachelorette parties, field trips, sunset cruises and so much more. Tucker’s daughter Christine said, “We are already booking tours. It’s going to be a whole new experience.” Smiling, Tucker looks back over the last 22 years. “I’m just glad that I’ve made friends from all over the world who come here and fall in love with this swamp. I’m grateful I can pass that experience down to my children as my legacy.” R

Nick Friedman

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ADVENTURE Go Hog Wild

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CAJUN HARLEY DAVIDSON By Erin Holden

pring is here in South Louisiana and with that comes riding season for motorcycle enthusiasts. April generally launches large group rides, rallies and other events for bikers nationwide. Shannon Wilkerson, marketing manager at Cajun Harley Davidson, said their brand is celebrated because of the sense of community surrounding each dealership, and it embraces people from all walks of life. “The biker community is the most diverse community that you will find anywhere,” said Wilkerson. “You have riders that are going on short rides and cross-country rides representing every race, gender, and income bracket. For them, demographics come together in one title — ‘biker.’”  Wilkerson noted that women riders are the fastest growing demographic of Harley riders, as evidenced by the many women’s riding clubs that come through the Cajun Harley Davidson facility. Not only is the dealership a place to stock up on riding gear and tune-ups, it’s also a place to take classes at Harley’s Rider Academy — even if you’ve been riding your whole adult life. “Riders are always looking to improve their skills because that’s something that’s never ending,” Wilkerson added. “There’s always room for improvement.” Part of the course is taught in the H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) room, a place that Wilkerson says all Harley owners should enjoy. Every weekend the group goes on at least two rides, so it provides the perfect opportunity to get involved with a strong community of riders. R

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ADVENTURE

Adventure on the Water PACK & PADDLE: GATEWAY TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS By Erin Holden

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ack & Paddle is more than an equipment and apparel store — it’s a resource for outdoor enthusiasts to find the best places to explore the beauty of Louisiana’s swamps, marshes, forests and streams. “From clear creeks that are a little bit north of us, to the coast and marshes, there’s just every type of paddling here,” owner John Williams said. “We live in a world class area for it.” Williams’ parents Doc and Joan Williams opened the Lafayette store in 1974, selling canoes in a 400-square foot Acadian house along the Vermilion River. Williams and his wife, Becky, have since carried on the family’s legacy of adventure. In business for 47 years, Pack & Paddle has grown (6,000 square feet) since its beginnings to offer a shopping experience for adventurers to find outdoor equipment, gear, and apparel for traveling, hiking, paddling and fishing.

Those who enjoy being on the water but don’t want to get into the world of kayaking, can rent canoes, paddleboards, kayaks and pedal kayaks. The Williamses offer a class for first-time kayakers and schedule group and private trips. “We don’t do a lot of nature instruction, necessarily, but more like getting out and enjoying the environment,” said Williams, referring to the excursions they lead. “We’re learning things without it being too much like biology class. We focus more on having fun and being social while learning a couple of things along the way.” It’s a trip worth taking for adventure in the great outdoors and to explore the beauty Louisiana has to offer. “People who enjoy Louisiana — transplants or even people who grew up here — they never know how to participate until they go on a Pack & Paddle trip,” Williams pointed out. “The next thing you know, they’re avid paddlers. It can be a life-changing thing.” R ROUX

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MUST-READ

What do you get when marriage What do you get and branding when marriage collide? and branding collide?

AGENCY FOUNDERS RELEASE NEW BOOK, ‘HE SAID, SHE SAID: BRANDING’

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n 2001, Michael and Jaci Russo launched brandRUSSO, a strategic AGENCY FOUNDERS RELEASE NEW BOOK, branding agency that uses the duality of strategy and creative to help inspire and motivate consumer behavior. For the past 20 years, they

have refined this SHE philosophy into a process that has helped countless ‘HE SAID, SAID: BRANDING’

businesses across the country. In addition to celebrating brandRUSSO’s 20th Anniversary this past February, the Russos are proud to announce the release their first book, “He She20 years?” In 2001, Michael and Jaci Russooflaunched theSaid, past Said: Branding.” Published by Forbes Advantage Media, the book is an entertaining brandRUSSO, a strategic branding agency uses The book answers this read full of debate and insight that leaves readersthat full of laughter and inspired by passion. The husband-and-wife team share what they have learned over their the duality decades of strategy and creative to help inspire and question, in addition combined of experience working in branding and with each other. Michael and Jaci are often asked, have 20 youyears managed to successfully motivate consumer behavior. For“How the past to providing some live and work together for the past 20 years?” The book answers this question, they have refined this philosophy into a process thatis branding, valuable in addition to providing some valuable insight into what why it’s insight into important, and how it can be used for businesses of any size or location. has helped countless businesses across the country. what branding is, why “The 50/50 strategic and creative approach is what our agency was founded Jaci says. commitment to the agency, our clients, and it’s each other is Inupon,” addition to“Our celebrating brandRUSSO’s 20th important, and what keeps us motivated…no matter how challenging it can be at times.”

Anniversary this past February, the Russos are proud

how it can be used for

Said, She Branding” is available for purchase on to“He announce theSaid: release of their first book, He Said, businesses of any size Amazon and will be sold at Beausoleil Books in Downtown Lafayette. She Said: Branding. or location.

Published by Forbes Advantage Media, He Said,

“The 50/50 strategic and creative approach is

She Said: Branding is an entertaining read full of

what our agency was founded upon,” Jaci says. “Our

debate and insight that leaves readers full of laughter

commitment to the agency, our ROUX clients, SPRING and each 2021 95 other is what keeps us motivated…no matter how

and inspired by passion. The husband-and-wife team

challenging it can be at times.”


ART

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Tommy Hughes Tommy Hughes’ keen eye for architectural detail and method of manipulating scale are the driving forces behind his works. Pushing the boundaries of architectural scale and using watercolor, acrylic markers and graffiti paint are integral to Hughes’ whimsical characters. From top left: 1 Smooch; 2 Turbulent; 3 Accordion Skateboard; 4 2020 Festival International de Louisiane Poster

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SPRING 2021

RESPONSIBILITY IS A BADGE OF HONOR.

JEWELRY.... FROM THE RED CARPET TO THE JUNGLE

You do everything you can to protect our country. Remember to protect yourself. Drink responsibly and designate a driver.

PROUD TO SERVE THOSE WHO SERVE. © 2017 Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser® Beer, St. Louis, MO

Job/Order #: 321910 Operator: cs

Closing Date: 3.11.2021

Publication: Roux

Trim: 7.625" x 10" Bleed: none"

Live: 7.125" x 9.5"

PRINT

Brand: Budweiser - Military Item #: PBW2017122

MUSICAL MELTING POT

THE ART OF SOUTHERN CUISINE

SIPS…COFFEES & COCKTAILS

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Roux Spring 2021  

Roux Spring 2021  

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