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Rise and Dine: Breakfast and brunch favorites

page 52

Restaurants around Acadiana are serving up wild meat, fowl and gator

The Xtreme Bison Burger from Xtreme Eats in New Iberia


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features Célébrer le mode de vie acadien

40 Game On

52 Rise and Dine

Restaurants around Acadiana are serving up wild meat, fowl and gator, you just have to know where to go

5 breakfast and brunch favorites that’ll stick to your ribs day or night

By cheré coen Photographs by denny culbert

By stanley dry photographs by eugenia uhl

60 Shimmer and Shine Jewelry for the holidays By Ashley hinson photographs by romero & romero

Crispy duck leg confit with creamy risotto in a red wine sauce from La Truffe Sauvage in Lake Charles, more on page 40

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contents december 2017/january 2018 | volume 36, number 6

10 lagniappe

A little Extra 12 note de l’editeur

Editor’s Note 14 nouvelles de villes

News Briefs

food+drink 31 sur le menu

Rolling in Diversity: Travel the world in a few bites with Acadiana’s food trucks 34

Calendar of Events

Stuffed and Dressed: Family favorites to get you from Thanksgiving into the new year



15 le visiter


recettes de cocktails

Tops of Acadiana Party Pics

Liquid Epiphany: A seductive Twelfth Night Sour inspires winter imbibing and revelry with an afterglow

home+style 21 la maison

Island Inspiration: A cookbook author’s residence is designed for gourmet adventures in a resort setting




pour la maison

Tea for Two: The prettiest way to catch up or curl up 28

les artistes

Forging Ahead: In a saturated art scene, Lafayette artist Sam Riehl stands out as a blacksmith

À la mode

Stormy Weather: Gray is the laidback neutral you’ll want to wrap up in all winter

On the Cover

80 la musique

The More Things Change: Pont Breaux in Breaux Bridge carries the torch lit by Mulate’s, with a little lagniappe 84 les personnes

During the planning stages of our Best Game feature, we went round-and-round regarding what types of fowl and meat to include and whether or not we wanted to add fish. The latter didn’t make the cut and bison wasn’t even under consideration until the final stretch, when well into her research, reporter Cheré Coen discovered there are quite a few places offering it on the menu. As fond lovers of a great burger, we couldn’t resist the “Xtreme Bison Burger” creation from Xtreme Eats in New Iberia.

Chairman of the Boards: Tee Don Landry of Key of Z Rubboards in Sunset shapes the sound of Zydeco music one instrument at a time 88 en français, s’il vous plaît

Le Grand Jimmie

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Learn French La Chasse (n.) Hunting.

What do you cook up, or go out and enjoy, for the perfect Southern Breakfast?

example: Notre famille aime la chasse au chevreuil pendant l’hiver. translation:

“No Southern Editor in Chief breakfast is complete without Managing Editor some grits and Associate Editor hash browns.” Copy Editor Art Director Lead Photographer Web Editor

Our family likes hunting for deer during the winter.

Errol Laborde Melanie Warner Spencer Ashley McLellan Liz Clearman Sarah George Danley Romero Kelly Massicot

Did You Know?

Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan (504) 830-7215 Sales Manager Rebecca Taylor (337) 298-4424 (337) 235-7919 Ext. 230 Director of Marketing & Events Cheryl Lemoine Event Coordinator Whitney Weathers digital media associate Mallary Matherne For event information call (504) 830-7264

Production manager Jessica DeBold Production Designers Emily Andras Demi Schaffer Molly Tullier Traffic Coordinator Topher Balfer Distribution Manager John Holzer office manager Mallary Matherne Subscription Manager Brittanie Bryant “I’ll eat anything For subscriptions call (504) 830-7231 for breakfast, but it’s not perfect or Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne Southern unless there’s a spicy President Alan Campell Bloody Mary Executive Vice President Errol Laborde with plenty of veggies!”

“Biscuits, sausage, gravy, scrambled eggs and mimosas.”


2017 AWARDS Award of Merit to Jyl Benson for Reader Service Article Award of Merit to Will Kalec for Column Award of Merit to Danley Romero for Photo Series Bronze to Will Kalec for Magazine Writer of the Year Silver to Sarah George for Cover Gold to Cheré Coen and Denny Culbert for Food Feature Gold to Denny Culbert for Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold to Sarah George for Art Direction of a Single Story Gold to Sarah George for Overall Art Direction

Renaissance Publishing LLC • 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123 • Metairie, LA 70005 • (504) 828-1380 • (877) 221-3512 128 Demanade, Suite 104 • Lafayette, LA 70503 • (337) 235-7919 ext. 230 Acadiana Profile (ISSN 0001-4397) is published bimonthly by Renaissance Publishing LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 and 128 Demanade, Suite 104, Lafayette, LA 70503 (337) 235-7919 ext. 230. Subscription rate: One year $10; Foreign Subscriptions vary. Periodicals postage paid at Lafayette, LA, and additional mailing entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Acadiana Profile, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2017 Renaissance Publishing LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Acadiana Profile is registered. Acadiana Profile is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Acadiana Profile are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

— Ashley McLellan

Behind The Scenes

Award of Merit to Melanie Warner Spencer for Single Story Award of Merit to Danley Romero for Single photo Bronze to Will Kalec for Magazine Writer of the Year Bronze to Danley Romero for Portrait Series Silver to Denny Culbert for Photo Series Gold to Denny Culbert for Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold to Sarah George for Art Direction of a Single Story Gold to Sarah George for Overall Art Direction Finalist for Magazine of the Year

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If you enjoy hunting and want to share your love of outdoor sports, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife And Fisheries has developed the Louisiana Hunting Heritage Program. The program, which pairs experienced hunters with beginners who may not have the access or support to get involved in the sport, aims to create a network of members of all ages and backgrounds from across the state. Mentors provide advice and activities related to safety, game care, woods skills, equipment needs and finding a hunting location. Selected mentors are provided with a brief training session and are paired with an apprentice in the spring or early summer. Visit wlf.louisiana. gov/louisiana-hunting-heritage-program for details and applications to participate.

Food photographer Eugenia Uhl styles the shrimp and grits dish for this issue’s delectable breakfast and brunch feature. Each shrimp is meticulously placed to get the maximum visual impact and entice the reader’s appetite. See more mouthwatering images on page 52.

Like us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (@acadianaprofile) for daily updates, happenings in the area and other news! Please consider our planet and recycle this (and every) magazine.

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note de l’editeur

sales team

you’d be hard pressed to convince me there is a better smell On

Earth than that of freshly brewed coffee. Unless we are talking about the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingling with the sweet and savory scents of breakfast or brunch fare. As the grandchild of farmers, I learned early on that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. My grandma would get up before sunrise — and before tending the garden or helping out in the fields — to get the eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy started, while my grandpa readied himself for feeding the livestock, tilling, cutting, baling, mending and building. It takes a particular combination of stick-to-your-ribs protein and carbs to fuel the mornings of farmers and Grandma mastered the formula. While I spent many mornings (and afternoons) toiling alongside my grandparents on the farm, these days I’m much more apt to be found laboring over a keyboard, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the allure of a big Southern-style breakfast. When that came up as a concept for one of this month’s features, they had me at grits. In “Rise and Dine” on page 52, there are five mouth-watering recipes by Stanley Dry that will take your next weekend gathering to a new level. As a bonus, Dry offers up tricks of the trade on cooking the perfect egg sunny-side up, poached or scrambled. Cajun Country breakfasts are just as likely to feature pork sausage as they are to have some type of game on the side (or at the center). For many, in Acadiana, hunting is of course not only a pastime, but also a way of life. But, if you’d rather not meet your meat (or fowl) until it lands on your plate — or you are seeking ideas for what to do with that duck in the freezer — flip to our “Game On” story on page 39 to find out which restaurants in the region are cooking up the best game. One of the many good things about this issue is you don’t have to keep farmer’s hours to enjoy it, but the recipes and restaurants featured in it will give you the stick-to-your-ribs fuel you need to get through a hard day’s work. Bon appétit!

Melanie Warner Spencer, Managing Editor (504) 830-7239 |

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Rebecca Taylor Sales Manager (337) 298-4424 (337) 235-7919 Ext. 230

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales (504) 830-7215

Renaissance Publishing is proud to announce the following honors from the International Regional Magazine Association:

Gold CherĂŠ Coen and Denny Culbert for Food Feature

Gold Sarah George for Art Direction of a Single Story

Award of Merit Danley Romero for Photo Series

Gold Denny Culbert for Magazine Photographer of the Year

Silver Sarah George for Cover

Gold Sarah George for Overall Art Direction

Award of Merit Jyl Benson for Reader Service Article

Bronze Will Kalec for Magazine Writer of the Year

Award of Merit Will Kalec for Column

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nouvelles de villes

by lisa leblanc-berry

Eat Dat! Mince Dat!


Broussard, Youngsville

Worth Waiting For

Texas BBQ, Goat, Burgers and Beer

Rock ‘n’ Bowl de Lafayette was scheduled to open in December in the Whitney Bank building, which is undergoing extensive renovations. Instead, owner Jonny Blancher told Acadiana Profile he expects the opening date will be in February, and says it’s a “dream come true.” Blancher has already moved to Lafayette with his family. “We had a hiccup, and it’s taking longer than expected,” he says. The new venue will be “even better” than the original in New Orleans, and will feature a second floor overlooking the action, with private suites, public areas and pub games. There are different menus for the walk-up bowling alley eatery, private dining spaces and new full-service restaurant with such specials as slow-cooked lamb shank served with Papa Tom’s grits and a mustard-lamb reduction sauce, and fresh catch of the day with Louisiana lump crabmeat and macque choux. Blancher says that the full-service restaurant flanking Rock ‘n’ Bowl will be similar to College Inn. “We think that our twist of one stop dine and rock will be a welcome addition for the whole family.”

No Good Sons BBQ and Boil has opened its first location in Broussard at 1000 Albertson Parkway, offering central Texasstyle BBQ, smoked Canadian bacon, smoked boudin with Tabasco pepper jelly, pulled pork and other slow-cooked delights. Burgersmith is opening a Broussard location in 2018 featuring gourmet burgers, a hip bar, outdoor dining and bike racks. Da Jerk Stop recently opened in Youngsville at 1505 E. Bonin Road. with oxtail, jerk pork and curried goat on the menu. The new microbrew pub Growler USA chose Youngsville as its first Louisiana location, and recently opened at 1901 Chemin Metairie Parkway. with 100 craft beers on tap.


New Neighborhood in 2018 A new multimillion dollar, 220-acre mixed-use planned neighborhood, the Settlement at Live Oak,

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Evangeline, Jennings

Filming Alert Red Six Media has been filming a new documentary (a prequel to a three-part series) about the history and future of Louisiana’s oil industry in the Evangeline and Jennings area, where Louisiana’s oil and gas industry began. Narrated by Dan Borne, it will spotlight available careers, and is scheduled to wrap by the end of December.

Crawfish season starts in January, so here’s a good one, and it’s true: Did you hear the story about the crawfish invading Michigan? Their arrival in 2017 prompted alerts from the Department of Natural Resources, which warned residents not to eat them, and instead, to freeze them until dead. Some theorized that the red critters came from Louisiana, and possibly got away during a crawfish boil. C’est fou! But the folks from Lafayette Travel came to the rescue and staged a pop-up crawfish festival in Michigan, complete with a Cajun band, to show officials exactly what we do with the red swamp critters. Meanwhile, scientists are evaluating the potential use of our revered local crawfish for Alzheimer’s, diabetes and as a vitamin supplement. Subramaniam Sathivel, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences professor at the LSU AgCenter, is working on the production and use of minced crawfish meat made from undersized mudbugs. A doctoral student is developing a delivery system containing astaxanthin, an antioxidant, to study crawfish’s use on Alzheimer’s disease. Sathivel plans to study if the astaxanthin found in crawfish has effects on oxidative stress-related diabetes. He’s also studying the oil extracted from crawfish for its potentially high omega-3 fatty acids.

is projected to begin construction in the first quarter of 2018. Its planned location is just past the 3185 Bridge in Thibodeaux. Southern Lifestyle Development (creators of Lafayette’s River Ranch 22 years ago), is continuing its new urbanism

theme with this sprawling traditional neighborhood development (TND) featuring outdoor concerts, restaurants and shops, and homes ranging from quaint cottages to large estates ($200,000$1 million).


around acadiana Bon temps in and around Cajun Country by kelly massicot

December Nov. - Dec 15. Annual Shoe Boxes for Seniors. Lafayette. 1. Festival of Lights. Lafayette. 1-23. Noel Acadien au Village. Lafayette. 1-30. Christmas on the Cajun Coast. St Mary Parish. 2. Carencro Country Christmas. Carencro. 2. Delcambre Christmas Boat Parade. Delcambre. 3. Jeanerette Christmas Parade. Jeanerette. 7. Christmas Stroll. Abbeville. 7-8. Eunice Community Concert Band & Choir Christmas Concert. Eunice. 8. Supper on the Square. St. Martinville. 8. Opelousas Children’s Christmas Parade. Opelousas. 9. Shadows Holiday Craft Fair. New Iberia. 9-10. The Nutcracker. Lafayette. 22. Hugo Kringle. New Iberia. 31. New Year’s Noon Carnival Countdown. Lafayette.

January 2. Food Truck Roundup and Lafayette Farmer and Artisans Market. Lafayette. 8. Art Walk. Lafayette. 13. Bayou Mardi Gras Parade. New Iberia. 15. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. New Iberia. 24-31. Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival. Lafayette. 27. Gumbo Cook Off. Opelousas.

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oh what a night Annual Tops of Acdiana party brings the best of the region to Broussard photos by Travis Gauthier

A party broke out at The Madison in

Broussard on Oct. 19, complete with incredible food and drink, live music and casino-style games. The annual Tops of Acadiana soirée drew attendees from throughout Cajun Country to celebrate and honor the favorite people and places of Acadiana Profile readers’ across the region, as well as the City of the Year, New Iberia. Music was provided by the Lost Bayou Ramblers, best band reader pick at the 2016

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Tops of Acadiana party. Guests enjoyed wine from Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits, Ketel One apple martinis mixed up by Ruth’s Chris, as well as beer from reader favorite Bayou Teche Brewing. There was no shortage of good eats with which to stay fortified. Attendees had their pick of bites from Blu Basil Wine & Grill, Bread & Circus Provisions, Cafe Josephine’s, Dark Roux, Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, Great Harvest Bread Co., Poor

Boy’s Riverside Inn & Little River Inn, Ruffino’s on the River, Tao Asian Cuisine and The Sloppy Taco. Thank you to The Madison, as well as all of the aforementioned food and drink vendors and sponsors, The Lost Bayou Ramblers and to our additional sponsors Bayou Title and Postlehwaite & Netterville for a fun night and congratulations to all of our 2017 Tops of Acadiana winners.

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soiree 1







1. The staff from sponsor Postlewaite & Netterville enjoys cocktails 2. Bayou Title sponsors socialize in the VIP section 3. Sales Manager Rebecca Taylor with Person of the Year winner and Mayor of Lake Charles Nic Hunter and his wife Becky Hunter 4. Winners Meterologist Rob Perillo and DJ Digital (Brandon Journet) show off their awards 5. Best Band winnder Chubby Carrier musician receives his award from Sales Manager Rebecca Taylor 6. The ladies from sponsor Ruth’s Chris craft martinis 7. Representatives from New Iberia, City of the Year, and other New Iberia businesses that were honored celebrate their awards with Managing Editor Melanie Warner Spencer

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

home+Style Inspiration, dĂŠcoration et accessoires chic pour la vie

la maison

island inspiration A cookbook author’s residence is designed for gourmet adventures in a resort setting By Lisa LeBlanc-Berry Photos by chad chenier


prior page A dry bar and custom wine cabinet are located beneath the stairwell. left Parapet walls that extend up past the roof at the front and rear, exposed rafter tails and balcony railings with four-inch operable louvres reflect West Indies elements among the blended architectural styles. right The serene master bedroom features a pyramidshaped ceiling with tongue and groove exposed rafters and beams, dark stained walnut flooring and a Charles Rogers handforged iron king bed.

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la maison

When food writer and photographer George

Graham and his wife, Roxanne, designed their twostory, four-bedroom contemporary home with tropical elements, they wanted to emulate resorts experienced throughout the Caribbean, Southern California, Europe and the coastal communities of Florida. Vacations spent relaxing on sugar-white sandy beaches near sparkling waters gave rise to their seasidestyle retreat in the heart of Lafayette. The project was 10 years in the making. “Our design philosophy is based on our travels and the idea that the peace and tranquility of the perfect resort vacation is a lifestyle that we could live every day and share with friends and family,” says George. “To many, our design is reflective of the islands of Greece, to some it reflects West Indies architecture and to others, a Malibu-style beach house.” Blurring the transition between indoors and out, the Grahams created an open, airy floor plan that extends seamlessly to an outdoor living space embellished with fire and water features. Three kitchens equipped with commercial elements (main, prep and outdoor) were designed for the couple’s ongoing recipe testing and frequent entertaining.

acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

George’s award-winning Acadiana Table food blog that began in 2012 eventually led to a collection of stories and recipes that were published in his 320-page cookbook, “Acadiana Table: Cajun and Creole Home Cooking from the Heart of Louisiana” (Harvard Common Press, 2016), which you can read more about on page 33. It is filled with creative recipes that serve the Grahams’ family well during the holidays, when they gather to celebrate around cozy fires as George stokes the grill.

“The holidays are a joyous time of the year for us,” says George. “Everything we do is side-by-side. Roxanne and I both grew up in tightly knit families that celebrate the warmth and love of the season. Our Christmas Eve tradition is chicken and sausage gumbo after church services. Roxanne is a whiz at making gumbo from scratch, and hers is the best I’ve ever tasted. Recently, I’ve been adding boudin sausage-stuffed quail to the gumbo, and it falls apart in

the roux-infused broth to create a thick bowl of wild deliciousness.” Interest in Roxanne’s technique for the rich, chocolate-colored dark roux that she uses for her famous gumbos resulted in the creation of Rox’s Roux, a product in retail distribution. “It took three years writing the cookbook, and the first chapter is dedicated to my wife’s roux-making skills that have become legendary,” he says. “I was raised on a

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

roux. My seasoned sense of taste, shaped at an early age in my father’s restaurant, is responsible for my adventurous style of cooking.” His father, George Graham, Sr., owned the Acme Café, a 24-hour restaurant in Bogalusa that was popular for 40 years. Known for seafood gumbo and his mother’s fried chicken, the café had a soda fountain with a model 30 Hamilton Beach malt machine, a vintage mixer that George continues to use in his prep kitchen at home. It is one of his “most treasured possessions.” The prep “back” kitchen has a restaurant-style passthrough to the main kitchen, which is anchored by a 60-inch Blue Star commercial grade stove. The outdoor kitchen is equipped with a professional grill with infrared burners and an under-counter power burner for boiling seafood, among other stellar amenities. Embellished with swaying left A fluid palms and trickling fountains, the sculptural plaster Grahams’ outdoor kitchen and staircase adds tropical patio has a color theme that to the peaceful continues indoors. From the living oceanfront feel. top Slip-covered room’s white linen chairs and sofa outdoor seating accented with turquoise pillows to flanks the the glass tiles used in the master living room and bath that are identical to the ones kitchen. middle The pool leads used in the turquoise-hued pool, to an eight-seat the entire home has a tropical vibe. curved concrete Roxanne selected white limestone bench and firepit. flooring that flows from the kitchen Mexican sand pebbles fill the to the patio to create the feel of scored surface sandy beaches. grooves. bottom Instead of entering the home Roxanne and through a traditional foyer, the George enjoying their outdoor entryway’s Spanish cedar arched kitchen. double doors open onto a porch that runs along the side of the home. The path flows to a courtyard with a cocktail pool and fireplace, and continues to the outdoor living room and an intimate dining area. On cold winter evenings, guests gather around the oversized white stucco fireplace in the living room and enjoy the intense aroma of Roxanne’s gumbo bubbling on a back burner. Others congregate near the outdoor grill replete with sizzling meat, and along the curved concrete bench facing a gas firepit, where George prepares his famous paella in a 28-inch diameter pan. “On some evenings, we invite a large group and we’ll have all of the cooking areas going at full blast,” he says. “I recall one evening when we had over a dozen neighbors busy prepping and cooking numerous dishes for a casual, farm-to-table feast. In our home, it’s all about God, family and friends, and bringing them all together. Opening our home and inviting them to share in our love of good food has always been at the heart of our lifestyle.”

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pour la maison

4 3

stormy weather


Gray is the laidback neutral you’ll want to wrap up in all winter


by ashely hinson photo by romero & Romero 1. This belted poncho features a timelessly preppy plaid print. The built-in belt adds both structure and feminine detail. The Royal Standard. 2. Placed on a delicate gold chain, this dainty smoky pearl piece contrasts cool and warm tones for a soft but eye-catching effect. The Royal Standard. 3. Heather gray and cream tones are interwoven into small, distinct patterns in this acrylic scarf. Whisper thin, it can be worn loosely in the warm afternoons then doubled over in the chilly evenings. The Royal Standard. 4. A chic alternative to the standard cable knit, this light gray poncho has all the texture of your favorite sweater in a loose, modern shape. What’s better than an item that exudes comfort and style? The Royal Standard. 5. These Kennel & Schmenge lace-ups are lined with a soft plush material similar to your favorite slippers, but can be worn anywhere. You’ll want to show them off everywhere. Shoe La La.

The Royal Standard 2015 Johnston St., Lafayette -337-289-1144.


Shoe La La 1921 Kaliste Saloom Road #119, Lafayette 337-984-8618.

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À la mode

tea for two


The prettiest way to catch up or curl up by ashley hinson | photo by romero & Romero

1. Printed tea towels add color to your table. These towels from April Cornell have light and lush flowers over a royal navy background. The Kitchen Shop.

5. A dainty silver spoon lends old fashioned charm. The Kitchen Shop.


6. Loose teas are as beautiful to see as they are to taste. Floral teas, like Nirvana from The Steep House, are another way to add color. The Steep House.

2. This Le Cruest Stonewear Tea for One teapot is the perfect shade of ballet slipper pink. An added bonus is its matching teacup (below). Kitchenary.

7. Serve up to four with this teapot from London Pottery. Made from glazed stoneware, it features a “stay-cool” handle. The Kitchen Shop.

3. A classic diffuser, like this stainless steel piece, is the ideal shape to hold your favorite loose teas. The Kitchen Shop.


4. This small silver plate serves as a catchall. Use it to place sugar cubes or tea bags in the center of your table. The Kitchen Shop. 4

Kitchen Shop 296 East M.L.K. Dr., Grand Coteau. 337-662-3500 Kitchenary 456 Heymann Blvd. # C, Lafayette. 337-264-1037. The Steep House 930 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette. 337-541-1579 5



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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

food+drink Ça c’est bon

sur le menu

rolling in diversity Travel the world in a few bites with Acadiana’s food trucks by Jyl Benson | Photos by denny culbert

Crab Rangoon with sweet and sour dipping sauce and Thai Basil stir fried chicken with rice and a fried egg from Hi-Licious


sur le menu

I will not recommend fare from a

food truck for your Christmas dinner but it seems like a great idea for New Year’s Eve. With options from Thai to tacos, Southern comfort fare, and burgers to sushi, there is no shortage of delectable grub rolling through the streets of Acadiana. Though generally regarded as an accomplished cook, I admit to having grabbed vittles from a rolling grub hub, tossed them into chafing dishes, then proudly declared their provenance to my guests. While I have yet to partake of the ultimate in entertaining ease, it is on my list to employ a food truck to feed my guests, curbside, for a private party. On many an occasion as I have torn around my house, a sweaty mess, setting the table while simultaneously roasting a tenderloin, thickening a bisque and putting on mascara in a stained apron as the doorbell rings with the arrival of the first guests, I have fantasized about having a festive truck pull up and feed my amused guests on disposable serveware. My long-suffering husband, surely tired of my frazzled antics and shouts to “Get the door!” as I scramble into the shower, would surely concur. Most of these mobile temples of gastronomy operate via Facebook and Twitter so hit them up online, as many do not even bother with telephone numbers, much less physical addresses.

Blanchard’s BBQ Look out for over-stuffed pulled pork sandwiches heaped with crispy bits and creamy slaw; brisket poutine with hand-cut fries smothered in gravy then topped with brisket and queso fresco; and grilled pimento cheese sandwiches with bacon jam., @blanchardsbbq, 337-322-1674

Hi-Licious Street KitchenThis is your one stop shop for Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino and Indian food pouring out of the mobile kitchen. Recent offerings have included puffy steamed buns stuffed with Korean barbecue beef, salmon fried rice, Thai cashew nut chicken, wonton soup and spicy ramen soups, creamy crab rangoon and teriyaki chicken., @Hi_Licious, 337-292-6624

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Blanchard’s Pulled Pork Sandwich with Slaw and Brisket Poutine (Fresh Cut Fries, Brisket Gravy, Brisket, and Queso Fresco)

Bonus Bite Consider sharing the gift of Acadiana’s celebrated cooking with those far away. “Acadiana Table: Cajun and Creole Cooking from the Heart of Louisiana” (Harvard Common Press) by George Graham, whose house is featured on page 22, is loaded with 125 recipes and more than 180 lush color photographs that will leave them drooling. The cookbook is available online via Amazon and at bookstores everywhere.

Rice Kings Screamingly fresh sushi made to order on the spot. Other offerings include Korean tacos, kimchi fries and a cool and creamy crab salad., @RiceKings, 337-944-9328

Dat Truck Owner Shauna St. Pierre Fuselier learned her craft at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco and she prides herself on offering five star meals on wheels. “Da Tacos” include chipotle shrimp, braised pork belly, mardi gras slaw and cucumber de gallo. The loaded pork frites pair meat slow-smoked all day with sweet potato fries., 985-212-4721

Taco Sisters Mobile Belly up to the converted 1957 Airstream for relatively healthy takes on street food. Tacos are made with smoked yellowfin tuna, smoked shrimp, slow-cooked brisket, marinated chicken and fresh vegetables. Breakfast options include fresh-squeezed juices and breakfast burritos., @tacosistersm, 337-706-5326

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de la cuisine

stuffed and dressed Family favorites to get you from Thanksgiving into the new year by marcelle bienvenu photo & styling by eugenia uhl

It has been nearly 20 years

since my mother died, but every year when the Christmas holidays approach, I find myself following in her footsteps preparing for the upcoming family gathering. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I begin the countdown much as she did. The first task of the day is a trip to Broussard for poinsettias at Girouard’s Nursery. On the way home, I stop at my favorite butcher shop and put in my order for a pork roast (fresh ham) and a small turkey. When the cocktail hour arrives, I can put my feet up, sip on a martini, make my Christmas day menu and think about who is going to bring what to the table. Baby Brother Bruce and his wife Nancy will be in charge of appetizers — boudin and hog head cheese. (I suggested several times that we could have shrimp canapés and smoked salmon mousse, but I have been voted down every time.) The turkey, which is sometimes known simply as Aunt Git’s pepper-stuffed turkey, is also affectionately called the funeral turkey or the christening turkey, depending on the occasion.

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Eggplant Dressing

Praline Cheesecake

Sister-in-law Maria is a whiz at big-pot cooking so her task is to make the eggplant dressing. It was a favorite of Mama’s. She sometimes used sweet Italian sausage (removed from the casing) rather than ground beef and pork.

Since Mama spent the weeks leading up to the big day making Russian taffy, pralines, tassies and roasted pecans, luscious desserts were not a big part of the Christmas menu. However, this year I’m going to offer this delectable praline cheesecake in hopes it will make the cut for future Christmas menus.

¾ pound lean ground beef ¾ pound lean ground pork 2 cups chopped yellow onions ½ cup chopped celery ½ cup chopped green bell peppers 4 medium-size eggplants, peeled and cubed

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs 3 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons butter, melted 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup water or chicken broth

¾ cup, firmly packed, light brown sugar

salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

pinch of thyme

3 cups cooked long-grain rice 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

Brown beef and pork in a large heavy pot. Add onions, celery and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until they are soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Add eggplant and water (or broth) and cook, stirring, until eggplant is very tender and soft. Mash with a fork if you want a smoother consistency. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add thyme. Mix in the rice and garnish with the parsley. Serve warm. Makes 8 to 10 servings

3 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ½ cup finely chopped pecans

whipped cream

toasted pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and mix well. Press mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Beat cream cheese until it is smooth. Gradually add brown sugar and flour, mixing well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and chopped pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake until mixture sets, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Remove the sides of the spring form pan. Top the cake with whipped cream and pecan halves. Makes 10 to 12 servings

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de la cuisine

Aunt Git’s PepperStuffed Turkey 2

sticks butter, cut into ¼-inch slices


teaspoons salt


teaspoons cayenne


cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped bell peppers 2

tablespoons chopped garlic

8-10 Cajun Chef Tabasco Peppers 3

tablespoons pickle juice from the pepper jars


small turkey, 10 to 12 pounds

Preheat oven to 400 F. Put butter slices in a bowl and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon cayenne. Freeze for 30 minutes. Combine 4 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons cayenne in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine onions, bell peppers, garlic and sport peppers, the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon cayenne with pickle juice. Prepare a work surface, either a large tray or cutting board, topped with a large clean towel to prevent the turkey from sliding around while you work. Remove the neck, gizzards and livers from the cavity of the turkey. Rinse turkey under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey, breast side up, on work surface with cavity facing you. Make 2 to 3 slits on either side of breastbone, inside cavity, with a sharp pointed knife, without piercing through to skin. Insert 2 to 3 slices of frozen butter into each slit. Next, spoon about ¼ teaspoon of salt and cayenne mixture into the slits. Insert about 1 teaspoon, more if possible, of vegetable mixture into each hole, pushing with your fingers.

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Gently pull drumstick forward and outward to expose inner thigh. Pull skin away from meat. Make a slit following bone lines from the top of each leg. Use your index finger to make a path and repeat the stuffing procedure described above. Where the skin is loosened on the inner thigh, spoon in about ¼ teaspoon salt and cayenne mixture. Turn turkey breast side up, with neck opening facing you. Lift skin flap and make a slit down each wing from the shoulder, again following bone lines. Repeat the stuffing process on both wings. Season outside of turkey with the remaining salt and cayenne mixture. Place any leftover butter or vegetable mixture inside cavity. Secure wings by folding lower half back over top of the wing. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place turkey in a large deep roasting pan. No fat or cooking liquid is required. Roast at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes to get the browning process started. Lower temperature to 350 F. Cover with a lid and bake for 3 to 3½ hours or until juices run clear. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Lift turkey out of the pan and carve. Serve warm with pan juices. (Lay the carved pieces in gravy if you’re serving on a buffet.) Makes 8 to 10 servings

acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Mama’s Stuffed Pork Roast

One 10- to 12-pound fresh ham shank

1 large onion, finely chopped 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 3 teaspoons salt 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon black pepper

vegetable oil

2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Set roast on a large cutting board or platter. Combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, cayenne and black pepper in a small bowl and mix well. With a sharp boning knife, make several deep slits in the roast spaced several inches apart. Using your index finger, stuff seasoning mixture into the slits, packing it in firmly. Season the outside of roast generously with more salt and cayenne pepper. Rub roast lightly with vegetable oil. Place roast in a heavy roasting pan and put it in the oven. When the bottom of the pan begins to sizzle, carefully add water. Bake roast until it browns evenly, 30 to 45 minutes. Cover and bake, adding more water as necessary to prevent the pan from drying up. This will mix with roast drippings and make a dark gravy that can be used for basting the roast, then later to pour over steamed rice. Reduce the heat to 350 F, cover, and cook until juices run clear and the roast is tender, 3 to 4 hours. Remove from oven and cool slightly before carving. Makes 12 to 14 servings

holiday tips Rather than sending out electronic invitations to holiday parties, consider having some custom made. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive, and they are so much fun to receive. Mail the invitations at least two weeks (maybe even a month) before the function since everyone’s calendar fills up quickly. Guests: be sure to respond in a timely manner if an R.S.V.P. is requested. Decorations can be simple or elaborate, depending on your style and the size of your home, and of course, your budget. Pots of fresh poinsettias, lots of votive candles, fresh greenery (I love the scent of pine and cedar), and a Christmas tree usually does the trick. If you (or your friends and neighbors) have camellia bushes loaded with blossoms, float three in a crystal or silver bowl. Consider putting a blossom in a silver sugar bowl and another in its companion creamer — that is if you’re not using them for the party. If you plan on having a full bar, you’ll need bourbon, vodka, gin, scotch, rum, white and red wine, and beer. Don’t forget the mixers — cola, 7-Up, club soda, tonic, water and such. You’ll need ice — lots of ice — garnishes such as lime and lemon wedges, and cherries. Oh, and remember to have plenty of cocktail napkins and cocktail glasses as well as wine glasses. White bev-naps (cocktail napkins) are fine, but I like buying seasonal ones when they go on sale after the holidays. Stash them in your bar or linen closet for next year. You might consider setting up a martini bar. Assorted olives (pitted and stuffed with pimento, blue cheese or anchovies) can be put in small silver or crystal bowls, and of course you’ll need some lemon twists as well. Put out stemmed martini glasses and dry vermouth. Have a shaker available just in case someone wants them “shaken” rather than “stirred.” I have a collection of various champagne glasses (flutes and coupes), and I sometimes set up a champagne” bar. Offer moderately-priced champagne or good sparkling wines. Check with your favorite liquor and wine merchants for suggestions.

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recettes de cocktails

liquid epiphany A seductive Twelfth Night Sour inspires winter imbibing and revelry with an afterglow By Lisa LeBlanc-Berry photo by romero & romero

When Chef Andrew Green lived in

New Orleans for five years, he was a member of a marching club that stages the popular Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade in the Carrollton neighborhood. He now celebrates Carnival at 1910 Restaurant and Wine Bar, which overlooks the Lake Charles parade route on Ryan Street. “We were members of the Krewe of Oak, headquartered next door to Jacques-Imo’s at the Maple Leaf,” says Green. “Jacques-Imo’s taught me that you don’t have to be fancy to serve powerfully awesome food. With other powerhouse restaurants like August, Herbsaint and Gautreau’s, it shaped my vision of what a restaurant could be in Lake Charles.” Green’s passion for an accelerated craft cocktail program began a year after he opened 1910. “In 2016, I took a trip with my wife to New York City, where we went to some mind-blowing places in Manhattan,” he says. “This trip set a new standard for what our cocktails should be. Since then, we’ve been fully immersed in the cocktail scene.” Green’s new Twelfth Night Sour, timed for Carnival’s kick-off on the Feast of the Epiphany, has brandy’s warming effect, orgeat’s almond kick and a mole bitters cinnamon afterglow, served in a vintage, Gatsby-esque retro coupe. 1910 Restaurant 949 Ryan St. Lake Charles 337-602-6278

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Twelfth Night Sour Shake 1 ounce Bayou Select rum, 1 ounce Bache VSOP cognac, ¾ ounce lemon juice, ¾ ounce orgeat, 2 shakes Angostura bitters, 4 drops Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole bitters and 1 egg white together without ice for 1 minute. Add ice and shake for another 30-45 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass. The egg white will foam, leaving an attractive white layer on top. Garnish with an orange peel.

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Game On Restaurants around Acadiana are serving up wild meat, fowl and gator, you just have to know where to go

njoying wild game dishes in Acadiana is as natural as — well, eating regular meat. Chicken and andouille gumbo is ubiquitous around the state, whereas in Cajun Country, duck and andouille is a more likely combination. In fact, in Acadiana dishes involving rabbit, boar and alligator are common menu items for the home cook. But where does one find such delicacies — if you can call them that — in Acadiana restaurants? It's more complicated than say, locating the nearest burger joint, but it can be done. “At home you can do whatever,” said Chef Lyle Broussard of Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill at L’auberge Casino Resort. “Growing up we were surrounded by this stuff.” Broussard loves to add wild game to his menu, and although South Louisiana offers endless opportunities to hunt wild game, to serve it in restaurants requires processing at a USDA-inspected and certified facility, Broussard explained. Even restaurant customers who bring in wild game to be cooked must go through a process, including cleaning the animal themselves and signing release forms, said Chef Arthur Durham of La Truffe Sauvage. Only those who bring in the game may consume the dish. “The only reason why you can’t sell game to the public [in a restaurant] is it has to be processed,” said Toby Rodriguez, who owns Acadian Superette in downtown Lafayette. Don’t despair, however. Even though it’s an oxymoron, there are now farms producing domestic wild game to be sold to restaurants, and many in Acadiana have these dishes on their menus.



by Cheré Coen with accompanying photographs by Denny Culbert

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Rabbit Environmentally friendly, economical and able to handle heavy seasoning, hop to these restaurants to try rabbit roasted, fried or as a stew


] You know it’s Monday in Lafayette when rabbit’s on the menu at T-Coon’s. The longstanding restaurant serves rabbit as a plate lunch special with traditional sides such as smothered cabbage.

ajun Country is well known for its plate lunches and rabbit is sometimes on the menu. At T-Coon’s in Lafayette, smothered rabbit is a Monday special, while it's on the Tuesday menu at Poche’s Market in Breaux Bridge. But it’s not as popular as it should be, considering that rabbit is hunted and consumed throughout Acadiana. Pick up most Cajun cookbooks and you’ll find a rabbit recipe. When David Billeaud opened T-Coon’s in Lafayette, there was only one other restaurant serving rabbit — and that seemed wrong to a man raised on the wild animal. “Twenty-four years ago when I opened I couldn’t believe no one was serving rabbit,” said Billeaud, a sixth generation Billeaud from Broussard. “It always amazed me.”

] Eat Here

Lafayette restaurants have tried rabbit dishes over the years but not many have stuck with it, he said. One that has had success is La Fonda of Lafayette, a Tex-Mex restaurant best known as a “Cheers”-esque gathering spot for locals. The Johnston Street eatery has served a fried rabbit appetizer for years, consisting of bite-sized rabbit pieces accompanied by guacamole, sour cream and con queso, if desired. When the weather dips and those north winds blow, it’s time for gumbo, and for Chef Lyle Broussard of Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill at L’Auberge Casino Resort, that includes a host of elements, including rabbit. “We do a big pot of gumbo,” said the Broussard native. “We use duck, venison and rabbit, sometimes pheasant.” Andrew Green, who owns the restaurant 1910 in Lake Charles, likes to add dumplings to his rabbit dish once fall arrives. For the most part, however, rabbit remains a meat best purchased in markets such as The Best Stop Supermarket in Scott, which cuts up and marinates the meat before selling to the public, or Hebert’s in Maurice, which sells stuffed rabbit and a marinated boneless version. For Chef Broussard, he buys rabbit locally from Lake Charles sources when cooking for the restaurant but when dishing up rabbit for himself, he just asks family. “At home, I get it from relatives,” he explained. “My brother has a freezer full.” As for those lunch specials, both restaurants offer rabbit in true Cajun style. T-Coon’s smothered rabbit arrives with a choice of rice and gravy, rice dressing, jambalaya or two vegetables. Poche’s fills a plate with smothered potatoes with tasso, green beans, potato salad and cole slaw.

1910 949 Ryan St. Lake Charles 337-602-6278 Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill L’auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles dining/jack-danielsbar-and-grill 337-513-7690 La Fonda 3809 Johnston St. Lafayette 337-984-5630 Poche’s Market 3015 Main Highway Breaux Bridge 337-332-2108 T-Coon’s 1900 W. Pinhook Road Lafayette 337-233-0422

Take Home The Best Stop Supermarket 615 Hwy. 93 N. Scott 337-233-5805 Hebert’s Maurice 8212 U.S. 167 Maurice 337-893-5062 Mel’s Quick Stop 1894 Veterans Memorial Highway Eunice 337-457-1958 Hackett’s Cajun Kitchen 5614 Hwy. 14 Lake Charles 337-474-3731

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Duck Arguably the most flavorful fowl, dark, fatty duck meat is an elegant addition to gumbo or as a stand alone dish


a Truffe Sauvage fine dining in Lake of Lafayette serves up a dark roux duck and Charles serves several duck dishes but andouille gumbo that has been popular for the game is farm raised, said Chef Arthur decades. The recipe was created by Carol Durham — and that’s a good thing. “Pops” Boudreaux, who died earlier this year. “With wild duck, the fat under the skin The restaurant also serves duck and tasso spring rolls and a crispy duck entrée. layer is different,” he explained. “There’s a Nash’s fine dining in Broussard takes half thick layer [with farm raised duck] because they don’t fly long distances. If you’ve had of a semi-boneless duck and oven roasts it our duck here, don’t expect it to be the same for crispiness, then serves it over rice with as wild duck.” a peach brandy glaze. Blue Dog Café, with The restaurant creates a crispy duck leg locations in both Lafayette and Lake Charles, confit that utilizes that heavy fat marinates its duck with a teriyaki beneath the skin. The meat is cured sauce and tops with a honey glaze. ] for hours or overnight in salt, sugar and For something more casual, visit seasonings to pull the moisture from Loggerheads outside Lake Charles, La Truffe the meat and to add flavor. Durham where visitors will enjoy a fabulous Sauvage of Lake renders the fat and submerges the duck view of the Calcasieu River, and Charles offers pieces in the hot fat, like braising, for indulge in some duck appetizers with several duck dishes on the 45 minutes to an hour and a half. The libations as the sun sets. Choose from menu but the duck is then stored for future use in the duck wontons filled with cream most popular its own fat. cheese, duck bacon and sweet corn is the crispy The process has been used for years, duck leg confit that’s fried to a crisp or the duck with creamy Durham said; the duck is preserved tenderloins, marinated duck that’s within the fat and can be put into risotto in a red encrusted with panko breading and wine sauce. earthen crocks, then removed later flaked almonds, deep fried and served to be reheated and served. with the Loggerheads' homemade “Essentially, it was like a ready-made meal,” sweet and spicy dipping sauce. he said of the dish’s history. “This was food For something unusual, Botsky’s of Lake preservation years ago. But it’s still useful today.” Charles, known for its innovative hot dogs, Durham takes the previously cooked duck tops smoked duck sausage with feta cheese, and heats it along with the fat so the skin side spinach, a cherry and Steen’s reduction sauce is crispy and delicious. for its “Duck Norris” hot dog. Other dishes La Truffe Sauvage serves are Bon Temps Grill in Lafayette marries crispy duck foie gras ravioli in a cream sauce, panduck drumettes tossed in housemade mango seared Moulard duck foie gras and consommé sauce and twice-cooked gator legs smothered de canard, a whole duck broken down with in a sweet and spicy Thai sauce. the bones used for the consommé. If you’re looking for duck gumbo to satisfy on a chilly winter night, Charley G’s

Eat Here Blue Dog Café 609 Ryan St. Lake Charles 337-491-8880 Bon Temps Grill 1312 Verot School Road Lafayette 337-706-8850 Botsky’s 104 W. Pujo St. Lake Charles 337-491-1155 Charley G’s 3809 Ambassador Caffery Parkway Lafayette 337-981-0108 Loggerheads 3748 La. Hwy. 3059 Lake Charles loggerheads 337-491-6794 Mazen’s and Mazen Grill Lake Charles and Lafayette 337-477-8207 337-769-4440 Nash’s 101 E. Second St. Broussard 337-839-9333 Prejean's 3480 N.E. Evangeline Throughway Lafayette 337-896-3247 La Truffe Sauvage 815 Bayou Pines Drive Lake Charles 337-439-8364

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Bison Prized as a lean alternative to beef, bison is flavorful and nutritious


] Xtreme Eats food truck in New Iberia believes in serving leaner, healthier food items, which is why a bison burger is on the menu, a flavorful meat with less calories and fat.

he idea for the Red Gate Bison Ranch outside Poplarville, Mississippi began 40 years ago when Andre Toups of New Orleans viewed bison for the first time out West. “He fell in love with them, has [loved them] since he was 16 years old,” said Andre’s wife, Beth Toups. “He said he would own a buffalo farm one day. So, we always knew there would be a buffalo farm in our future.” When the couple retired, the first thing they considered was land for a herd of bison. They attended conferences and learned the trade but quickly realized there was no “local buy” near Louisiana, or a way to purchase bison meat within 250 miles of their Baton Rouge home. “We realized there was a potential market here,” Beth Toups said. The Toupses knew the animals lived in Louisiana and Mississippi and were hunted by the Choctaw in the early 1800s, so bison brought in from colder climates would adjust to South's high temperatures. They purchased descendants from the Custer State Park herd, one of the world's largest publicly-owned bison herds, and opened their ranch on land not far from the Louisiana line.

“It took about a year for the bison to adapt,” Toups said. “That first year they were panting. But they did fine.” Bison might not be the most available meat on the Louisiana market, but it’s starting to appear in Acadiana restaurants. It’s a leaner, more nutritious meat, high in B-12, iron and omega 3s; low in calories and cholesterol; and, according to Toups, a nice alternative to beef since studies have shown it reverses cardio disease. “It’s the only mammal that has never been known to have cancer,” she explained. “It’s a leaner cut of meat,” said Ben Duck, who serves a bison burger from his Xtreme Eats food truck weekdays in New Iberia. “It’s still very flavorful but it has less fat and less calories.” Duck also sells bison patties out of his store of the same name, offering prepped meals that are a healthy alternative to red meat, he said. All of his bison meat comes from a distributor in Texas. Burgersmith in Lafayette also cooks up a bison burger, acquiring its meat from Colorado and seasoning it lightly and topping with lettuce, tomato, red onions, chipotle mayonnaise and smoked gouda cheese. Botsky’s of Lake Charles, which specializes in unusual hot dog creations, uses bison, as well as duck and gator, for its sausage meats. “We hit all of the Louisiana meats even though bison isn’t local to us,” said owner Lee Boudreaux. Chef Lyle Broussard of Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill at L’Auberge Casino Resort loved cooking bison ribeyes in the past but the meat became too expensive, he said. “I smoked and served bison ribs a long time ago,” he said. “They went fast. Real fast.” Currently, Toups only sells her bison meat to individuals. “Most of our clients are private individuals who are interested in eating healthy,” she said.

Eat Here Botsky’s 104 W. Pujo St. Lake Charles 337-491-1155 Burgersmith 1314 Camellia Blvd. Lafayette 337-504-5015 Red Gate Ranch Poplarville, Mississippi Xtreme Eats 601 E. Admiral Doyle Drive New Iberia 337-364-7200

Boar It requires special processing if wild, so a few Acadiana restaurants opt to serve up farmraised boar meat, which flies off the menu, especially in the fall


] Wild boar is regularly consumed by Louisiana hunters but is difficult to find in Acadiana restaurants. Not so for 1910 in Lake Charles, which serves boar tenderloins with a chutney sauce.

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ild boar or feral pigs create a nuisance to south Louisiana wetlands and prairies. They destroy crops and habitats, add to soil erosion, uproot tree seedlings and impact wildlife by competing for food or eating deer fawns and other species. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries estimates there are about half a million feral hogs in all 64 Louisiana parishes. Boar could be a viable alternative to farm-raised pork, said Toby Rodriguez, who owns Acadiana Superette in Lafayette and specializes in boucherie, or pig butchering. Hunting the beasts would provide meat while eliminating a destructive animal to Louisiana’s habitats. Not having to raise the pigs on farms and send them to stockyards would decrease that industry’s carbon footprint as well, he added. “It’s free pork,” Rodriguez said. “It’s the original free-range pig.”

acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018


But it’s not that simple. Boar meat, like other game, must be processed in a USDA-inspected facility. For wild boar to be processed in Louisiana, the plant must shut down for a day to process only that species so as to contain any pests or diseases they may bring in, Rodriguez explained. Andrew Green, who owns 1910 in Lake Charles, loves to serve wild boar tenderloins on his menu, but the meat comes from a North Carolina farm that raises boar for restaurant consumption. “It’s a farm-raised wild boar species that’s been domesticated,” Green said, adding that the animals are fed a diet of nuts and berries. “It’s gamey but not too gamey in the fall.” His boar tenderloins are topped with a cranberry-Granny Smith apple chutney, a thick condiment that Green says works well this time of year. “We’re big fans of the boar,” he said. “It’s a dark, deep red meat.” Green hasn’t shied away from unusual meats since opening his restaurant in a historic building on the corner of Ryan and Kirby streets in Lake Charles. “This time of year we do more game — rabbit and dumplings, elk ribeye and the wild boar tenderloins,” Green said. Chef Lyle Broussard doesn’t serve boar at his Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill at L’auberge Casino Resort but hailing from the country, he’s not shy about trapping, serving them domestic feed “to clean out their systems” and slaughtering the pigs. “At home we can do whatever,” Broussard said. “But for restaurants we have to buy what’s USDA inspected and certified.” If Broussard does serve boar obtained through the proper channels, “it flies off the shelf,” he said. “People like it,” he explained. “I’ve never had an issue with it.”

Eat Here 1910 949 Ryan St., Lake Charles 337-602-6278 Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill L’auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles dining/jack-danielsbar-and-grill 337-513-7690

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Eat Here

Alligator Most places bread and fry it, but alligator is a Cajun standard that can be found in sauces, roulettes, boudin, burgers and more


n 1962, overhunting of alligator caused the it into a burger. Bon Temps Grill of Lafayette Louisiana reptile to land on the endangered invented the “BBQ Alligator Doria,” where species list, which prompted hunting to cease. cheese and boudin are stuffed with alligaAfter a decade of protection, the alligator tor, then grilled and served over vegetables. season reopened marginally, then statewide Botsky’s in Lake Charles takes alligator in 1981. Today, alligators are raised both on sausage and serves it like a hot dog topped farms and exist in great numbers in the wild. with Cajunkraut, Swiss cheese, grilled onions “Now, they are roaming the golf courses and creole mustard. again,” said Richard Hurst, co-owner with his Boudreau and Thibodeau’s in Houma prefers wife Lori Hurst of Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn in a spicy tomato-based alligator sauce piquante, Broussard and Little River Inn in New Iberia. a Cajun standard that’s a favorite among The Hursts have a history of serving allivisitors, said Mike Blanchard, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Debra. gator at their restaurants, even when acquiring alligator meat “We really want to sell the Cajun ] “was hit and miss,” Hurst said. heritage,” Blanchard said. “We serve Like most game, restaurants must authentic Cajun food, like traditional Boudreau and purchase their product from discamp dishes. We wanted fresh Cajun Thibodeau’s tributors and processors, which restaurant in Houma food, like you grew up with.” has improved in the past years. Alligator meat ground up as sausage serves up traditional Cajun dishes such “Before we were having a tough makes for a great ingredient in poor as alligator sauce time getting the alligator,” Hurst boy sandwiches. Zydeco’s in Boutte piquante served said. “Not so much during the offand Acadiana Poboys in Lafayette over rice. There’s seasons but [due to] the difficulty offer gator poor boys, as does Suire’s also fried gator bites that the Grocery in Kaplan. of processing.” tourists adore. Both restaurants serve fried Chef Lyle Broussard of Jack Daniel’s and grilled alligator, plus alligaBar & Grill in L’auberge Casino Resort tor boulettes, rolled stuffing that’s fried and loves to serve alligator on his menu, but accompanied by a remoulade sauce. sometimes for private parties, Broussard Randol’s of Lafayette and DI’s of Basile, purchases a whole alligator, wraps it in bacon both known for their dance floors as well and slow cooks the reptile for about eight as their Cajun dishes, serve up alligator tail hours. Naturally, the gator dish takes people by surprise. meat as appetizers. Randol’s fries up the meat and serves it with a remoulade sauce, as do “That’s the reaction you’ve got to see,” he many restaurants in Acadiana, while DI’s said. offers blackened alligator as well as fried It sounds like dessert, but Prejean’s alligator bites. Rikenjaks Brewing Company in Lake cheesecake marries their smokehouse alligaCharles adds its signature “jezebel sauce” to tor sausage with Gulf shrimp, cream cheese its alligator boulettes. and Creole seasonings that’s baked over a For something unusual, Acadiana Poboys Parmesan and panko crust and topped with the in Lafayette takes the low-fat meat and turns restaurant’s crawfish Cardinale cream sauce.

Acadiana Poboys 2848 Verot School Road Lafayette 337- 856-2511 Bon Temps Grill 1312 Verot School Road Lafayette 337-706-8850 Botsky’s 104 W. Pujo St. Lake Charles 337-491-1155 Boudreau and Thibodeau’s 5602 W. Main St. Houma 985-872-4711 DI’s 6561 Evangeline Hwy. Basile 337-432-5141 Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn 240 Tubing Road Broussard 337-837-4011 Little River Inn 833 E. Main St. New Iberia 337-367-7466 Prejeans 3480 N.E. Evangeline Throughway Lafayette 337-896-3247 Rikenjaks Brewing Company 3716 Ryan St. Lake Charles 337-602-6635 Suire’s Grocery 13923 Hwy. 35 S. Kaplan 337-643-8911 Zydeco’s 13228 U.S. 90 Boutte 985-308-1058

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Rise and Dine 5 breakfast and brunch favorites that’ll stick to your ribs day or night By S ta n l e y D ry p h oto g r a p h s by E u g e n i a U h l

Shrimp and Grits

The recipe calls for cheddar cheese in the grits, but other varieties can be substituted, according to preference. Parmesan, Gruyere or Fontina would be excellent choices. The dish can also be made without cheese.

Eggs: Being able to prepare eggs properly is sometimes a stumbling block even for accomplished cooks. Eggs are delicate and require a deft touch. Restaurant chefs have been known to judge prospective cooks by giving them a pan and a few eggs and having them make an omelet on the spot. A candidate’s performance at that task reveals abilities that do not come through on a rÊsumÊ.

G iven the heat and humidity that envelop the South, an outsider might find it a bit odd that we eat so heartily at breakfast and brunch. Our morning habits appear more suited to a colder climate, where piling on the calories is a necessary preparation for survival. But, alas, logic does not always prevail. We do love to eat with gusto before noon, but breakfast foods are sometimes served for supper and late night breakfasts after an evening on the town are quite common. A list of Southern breakfast foods starts with biscuits, by which many a cook is judged. Light, tender and hot, biscuits have the ability to absorb large quantities of butter, honey, syrup, jelly or gravy. Along with the biscuits, breakfast and brunch can feature a variety of meats — bacon, ham, sausage, boudin, small beef steaks — eggs cooked every imaginable way, grits and fried potatoes. There are a variety of breakfast breads — pecan waffles, pancakes, cornbread, beignets, calas, muffins and French toast, or pain perdu here in Louisiana. If breakfast has shaded into brunch, there may well be shrimp and grits, smoked fish, Eggs Benedict or one of its variants, champagne, milk punch and Bloody Marys. Whatever the time of day, there will be fresh fruits and berries, fig preserves, jams and jellies, as well as coffee and tea.

Shrimp and Grits For the shrimp 4

tablespoons butter


medium onion, finely chopped


small bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped


rib celery, finely chopped


cloves garlic, minced

1½ cups chicken broth 1

tablespoon flour

½ cup white wine 2

teaspoons tomato paste


teaspoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves ½ teaspoon paprika 1

pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

hot sauce


tablespoon chopped parsley


tablespoons chopped green onion tops

For the grits

grits, preferably stone ground or old fashioned


coarse salt


tablespoons butter

½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 1. For the shrimp Melt butter in large skillet, add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6-8 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk flour into chicken broth until smooth; add wine, tomato paste, lemon juice, thyme and paprika and whisk to combine. Add mixture to skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve over hot grits, garnished with chopped parsley and green onion tops. Makes 4 servings. 3. For the grits Cook grits for 4 servings according to package instructions, then stir in butter and grated cheese.

Sunny-side-up. The goal here is to cook the whites of the eggs without overcooking the yolks. Heat a generous amount of butter in a skillet until bubbling, then break eggs into the skillet. Spoon hot butter from the pan over the whites as they cook. You can also cover the skillet briefly, but leave it covered too long and your eggs will have a white film over the yolks. The eggs will still be tasty, but instead of sunnyside-up, they will be total eclipse eggs.

Biscuits and Sausage with Country Gravy

Soft wheat, low-gluten Southern flour is preferred for biscuits, and the self-rising version is a time-saver. If you don’t have self-rising flour, add 1½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt for each cup of flour.

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French Toast (pain perdu) stuffed with Ham and Swiss

There are many ways to alter this recipe. For example, in place of the ham and Swiss, you could use bacon and cheese. Or you could stuff the bread with sweetened fruit, such as sautĂŠed apples.

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Biscuits and Sausage with Country Gravy For biscuits 2

cups low-gluten, self-rising flour, such as White Lily


tablespoons chilled butter


tablespoons chilled lard or shortening

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

For sausage and gravy 1

French or Italian country bread


slices ham


slices Swiss cheese



½ cup milk

pinch salt

pinch cayenne


tablespoons butter

pound pork sausage

¼ cup pan drippings

1. Preheat oven to 300 F.

2. Cut 4 slices of bread, each 1-inch thick. Cut a pocket in each slice, without cutting all the way through. The bread should still be attached on one side. Fill each pocket with sliced ham and Swiss cheese.

Vegetable oil, if needed

¼ cup all-purpose flour 2-2½ cups milk Poached. I was dubious when a friend passed on a method he had learned for poaching eggs, but once I tried it, I was converted. Place a small strainer over a bowl and break an egg into it. The thin liquid in the egg will drain off. Slide the egg into simmering salted water and poach until the white is set. Remove with a slotted spoon. The result is a lovely egg without the unsightly strands of white that are so common with poached eggs.

French Toast (pain perdu) stuffed with Ham and Swiss

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. For the biscuits Preheat oven to 450 F. Place flour in mixing bowl; cut in butter and lard or shortening with a pastry blender or use your fingertips to distribute the fats until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and mix with a fork just until dough forms. 2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a few times and pat or roll out dough to a thickness of ½-inch. Using a floured 2½-inch cutter, cut out biscuits and place on a heavy, ungreased baking sheet.

3. Lightly beat eggs in a bowl, then add milk, salt and cayenne and whisk to combine. Add butter to a large skillet and heat over a medium flame. When butter is sizzling, dip bread in egg mixture, first one side and then the other, and add to skillet. Repeat with the other slices. Fry until browned, then turn and brown the other side. 4. Remove bread to a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 5-8 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

3. Bake in preheated oven until tops are lightly browned, about 11-12 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits. 4. For the sausage and gravy While biscuits are baking, form sausage into 8 patties and place in cold skillet. Turn heat to medium and cook until sausages are well browned on one side. Turn sausages and cook until browned on the other side. Remove sausages and drain on paper towels. Keep sausages warm while making gravy. 5. Measure pan drippings and add vegetable oil, if needed, to yield ¼ cup. Return to skillet and sprinkle with flour. Stir or whisk to incorporate flour and cook until lightly browned, scraping up any brown bits that have adhered to the pan. Add 2 cups milk and stir or whisk to incorporate.

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

6. Cook until gravy is thickened; while stirring, adding additional milk, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To cut preparation time in the morning, combine dry ingredients the night before and add liquids just before baking. The batter will be ready by the time the oven is hot. If using frozen blueberries, do not defrost them.

7. To serve Split biscuits and place 2 on each serving plate. Place sausages on biscuits and cover with country gravy. Makes 4 servings.

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Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins 1

cup all-purpose flour


cup cornmeal, preferably stone ground


cup sugar


teaspoons baking powder


teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt 2



cup milk


tablespoons melted butter


cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease muffin tins. 2. Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs, add milk and butter and whisk to combine. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin tins about ⅔ full. 3. Bake until the muffins brown, pull away slightly from the pan and a tester comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Makes 8 or more muffins, depending on size of the muffin tins.

Pecan Waffles ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup pecan meal (ground pecans) 1

teaspoon baking powder


teaspoon baking soda

⅛ teaspoon salt ¼ cup light brown sugar ½ cup buttermilk 2

eggs, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon vanilla extract 3

tablespoons melted butter

¼ cup pecan pieces 1. Preheat waffle iron. In a medium bowl, combine first six ingredients. Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and butter and mix to combine. Stir in pecan pieces. 2. Cook on hot waffle iron until browned. Serve with melted butter and choice of syrups or top with fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar. Makes 4 waffles.

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Scrambled. The mistake many people make with scrambled eggs is cooking them too quickly over high heat. When done that way, they become lumpy and dry. To make perfect scrambled eggs, cook them slowly on low heat, while constantly stirring.

Pecan Waffles

Pecan meal is a handy ingredient to have on hand. It is frequently available in grocery stores, particularly during the holiday baking season. If you can’t find it, grind pecans in a food processor or nut grinder.

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DIAMONDS (left to right) A classic diamond tennis bracelet is an excellent addition to her jewelry box. Wear it alone or stack it for a cool, playful effect. Lafayette Jewelers. This gorgeously ornate necklace is fit for a snow queen. The pendant evokes a snowflake’s intricate patterns with tiny white diamonds accented by the occasional light pink stone. Paul’s Jewelry. Two rows of diamonds are bridged by smaller rows of diamonds in two interchanging patterns. Its opulence is unmatched. Armentor Jewelers. Every woman needs — and deserves — diamond studs. These sparklers can be worn alone or, as pictured, with some diamond jackets for added brilliance. Both will quickly become staples. Dianna Rae Jewelry. This antique engagement ring showcases numerous tiny diamonds that have a starry effect. Its 1930s style would look beautiful on a bride in a vintage wedding dress or worn as a cocktail ring. Lafayette Jewelers. WATCHES (left to right) Intertwined threads of gold form the band of this understated Citizen watch. Look closely, and you’ll see the details that set it apart: the flash of pink on its hands and a diamond ombre print across its face. Lafayette Jewelers. The large face showcases a stone at each hour over a large mother-of-pearl face, which is encircled in diamonds. Its silver and gold band catches the light at every angle. Paul’s Jewelry. This two-toned beauty from Citizen ticks all the boxes for a beautiful, feminine watch. Its dainty white face features gold lettering and a silver-and-diamond halo. Silver and gold links form its delicate band. Armentor Jewelers. This sterling silver piece from Citizen is decidedly geometric with its rectangle-shaped face and parallel lines of crystals. Each hour is marked by silver Roman numerals. Armentor Jewelers. A fresh alternative to silver-and-gold, this watch from Oris adds warmth with rose gold. It features an easy-to-read face and two-toned band. Armentor Jewelers.

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

PEARLS (left to right) Expect the unexpected. Pearls can have an edge, too. This ring lends a moody glamour with a single black pearl and rose gold accents. Diamonds line its band, ensuring a lasting impression. Lafayette Jewelers. Only the most refined, sweet freshwater pearls are strung along in this necklace. Perhaps the most ubiquitous of standards in jewelry, the pearl necklace is timeless. Dianna Rae Jewelry. For a dark and luxurious twist on the pristine and innocent string of white pearls, there is this Tahitian pearl necklace. This piece features stunning shades of gray on each flawless bead and is sure to add drama to any ensemble. Dianna Rae Jewelry. This pearl necklace is made with only the prettiest pastels. Ballet slipper pinks, peaches and creams combine in this sorbet dream. A truly romantic complement to any outfit. Dianna Rae Jewelry. What could be more feminine than light pink pearls? Pearl studs get a much-needed upgrade with these diamond-encircled studs. Armentor Jewelers. GEMSTONES (left to right) No stone is as chameleon-esque as the opal. It holds fire and ice, and it gives off an ethereal glow that can’t be ignored. This asymmetrical pendant hangs on opals strung like pearls in a truly unique and unforgettable piece. Dianna Rae Jewelry. Some stones, like the sapphire, come in unexpected colors. This cheery yellow sapphire ring is like a dollop of sunshine for your fingers. Its sunny stone is bolstered by a cluster of diamonds. Dianna Rae Jewelry. The variations of gemstones’ colors and tones means great pieces come in classic shapes and an endless variety of colors. These mysterious drop earrings showcase smokey quartz stones encased in white diamonds. Framed in rose gold, these drops are sumptuously warm. Armentor Jewelers. This tourmaline necklace is a true fairytale piece. Its pendant is a rubellite teardrop of hibiscus pink that hangs from a row of matching pink tourmaline stones strung like pearls. Nothing could be more fit for a princess. Dianna Rae Jewelry. Confidence is best expressed in red. Striking rubies and white-hot diamonds are suspended in elegant and geometric drops. See sparks fly. Paul’s Jewelry.

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special promotional section

A Southern woman has a legendary mystique. Storytellers have long tapped into the world’s fascination with a woman who is feminine and speaks her mind; gracious, but in no way a pushover; and possesses the strength and force of a hurricane. The Southern woman has earned her fitting nickname: Steel Magnolia.

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special promotional section

(Left to Right) Danielle Mendoza, Deanna Head, Dianna Rae High, Dr. Annie Wingate Spell, Nanette Soileau Heggie, Dee Garrett, MD, PhD and Dr. Melanie Fowler

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special promotional section

Dr. Annie Wingate Spell PhD, Clinical Psychologist As a successful Lafayette psychologist and new mother, Dr. Annie Wingate Spell received a shocking Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis in July of 2013. The former UL-Lafayette homecoming queen made the difficult, life-changing decision to pause her career while receiving cancer treatment, and today, she sees every day as a gift and opportunity to live more fully while volunteering her time for others. Dr. Spell’s philanthropic efforts have benefitted organizations such as Hearts of Hope, Maddie’s Footprints, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society, and the Lafayette General Foundation. She has volunteered for or served on the board of The Autism Society of Acadiana, Ballet Acadiana, The Family Circle of the Lafayette General Foundation, and Schools of the Scared Heart.

Clothing provided by Park Lane Boutique: Tadashi Shoji top and bottom

Clothing provided by F. Camalo

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special promotional section

Nanette Soileau Heggie Certified Financial Planner™, Financial Advisor at Heggie Investment Partners Passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of clients while giving back to her hometown, Nanette Soileau Heggie stands out in a profession dominated by men. A Financial Advisor with over 20 years of experience, she specializes in helping clients make investment and financial decisions that allow them to achieve their personal goals. A married mother of one, Heggie is a founding board member of Rebuilding Together Acadiana, a Junior League Sustainer, a Rotary Board member, and an enthusiastic community volunteer and hostess.  She has been recognized with the Connections Career Achievement Award, Rotarian of the Year, and the 2016 Rotary Vocational Excellence Award for the practice of high ethical standards in the workplace.

Clothing provided by Park Lane Boutique: Alexis top, AG velvet jeans

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special promotional section

Deanna Head Founder/CEO As Founder and CEO of Unitech Training Academy, Deanna Head helps provide new career paths for those interested in medical careers.

lives. I get great joy in watching our graduates complete their education and become employees—it’s a life changing experience,” says Head.

Shelter of Acadiana Youth before creating the Jingle Jangle Sneaux Fest, now in its third year, to benefit the Animal Rescue Foundation.

“Knowing who I am and where in life I’ve come from, I try to be mindful of those who want to better their

Giving back to the Acadiana community is dear to Head’s heart. She founded the Vampire’s Ball for The Children’s

Clothing provided by Park Lane Boutique: Badgley Mischka

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special promotional section

Dianna Rae High Business Owner, Jewelry Designer Dianna Rae High, a graduate of The Gemological Institute of America, thrives on helping clients realize their jewelry dreams. With 30+ years of experience, Dianna Rae leads a team of professionals solely focused on distinctive fine jewelry, expert services, and custom-made designs crafted locally. The brand is proud to resonate with the Lafayette community and is founded on the pillars of being Relational, Original, Masterful, Innovative, and Giving. With two daughters and a supportive husband, Dianna Rae enjoys serving God and others. Thanks to local support and success, Dianna Rae has been able to give back to the community through organizations like The Acadiana Symphony, Christian Youth Theater, Lafayette Ballet Theatre, and Our Lady of Lourdes.

CLOTHING PROVIDED BY PARKLANE boutique: Trina Turk Jumpsuit

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Danielle Mendoza Owner Lafayette native Danielle Mendoza serves in many roles—as a wife, mother of four, business owner, and board member. Serving alongside her husband Donald, Mendoza leads a group of retail, wholesale, and rental businesses under the umbrella of Don’s Automotive Group. Her heart, passion, and experience lie in Posh Pre-Owned, Acadiana’s local car dealership that caters to women, single mothers, and widows. POSH provides another avenue for Mendoza to give back to the community by raising money for organizations like Susan G Komen, Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana, Maddie’s Footprints, and more. Additionally, Mendoza serves on the board of Love Acadiana, a nonprofit serving the area’s helpless and hurting.

Clothing provided Park Lane Boutique: Rachel Zoe suit, Nicole Miller top

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special promotional section

Dee Garrett, MD, PhD A Lafayette native and St. Thomas More graduate, Dr. Dee Garrett has always held a passion for her Acadiana community and family. After receiving training in pediatric surgery, Dr. Garrett returned to aid the local community as a pediatric surgeon at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Lafayette. “As pediatric surgeons, we serve as general surgeons for newborns, children, and adolescents, and there is an incredible need in Lafayette,” she says. Outside of the operating room, Dr. Garrett stays involved in the community by serving on the Louisiana Emergency Response Network board, the Children’s Museum of Acadiana board, and the United Blood Services council. She also currently serves as President of the Lafayette Parish Medical Society.

Clothing provided by Park Lane Boutique: Black Halo jumpsuit

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special promotional section

Dr. Melanie Fowler Orthodontist “‘Smile—it increases your face value!’ Nothing could be truer than this quote from ‘Steel Magnolias!’ And what could be better than being in the business of smiles?” asks Dr. Melanie Fowler. Improving smiles as an orthodontist is not just Dr. Fowler’s job; it’s her passion. Creating smiles is something she does both at and beyond her 14-year business. Wearing the various hats of orthodontist, wife, mother, professor, and volunteer, Dr. Fowler stays active in the community participating in a number of programs and organizations such as Leadership Lafayette, Junior League of Lafayette, and Top 20 Under 40. Additionally, she serves as a Clinical Associate Professor at LSU School of Dentistry.

Clothing Provided by Park Lane Boutique: Dolce Cabo fur jacket, AG leather jeans, Michelle by Comune tshirt

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advertising section

Holiday Ashero’s Spa


233 Doucet Rd B1 • 984-9972

116 Rue Promenade, Suite 200 • 210-5809

Ashero Spa, tucked away in the heart of Lafayette, is a full service spa that offers Massages, Facials, Nails, and more! Come in for a massage or a Romantic Getaway with strawberries and champagne. You can find the most loved brands like Archipelago, Dermalogica, Glo Minerals, Caldrea, and more!

Are you looking this Christmas for a very exclusive and unique gift? We have it all. Let Baleares be your holiday one stop shop. Find the perfect style, the perfect gift. We offer shoes, handbags, belts, wallets, keychains, and many more leather accessories. Complimentary gift wrapping.

Caroline & Company

Don’s Seafood

113 Arnould Blvd. • 984-3263 • Our Lady of Lourdes Gift Shop • 470-2800

4309 Johnston St. • 981-1141

Caroline & Co. is a unique gift shop with a vast assortment of gifts, home décor, accessories, children’s clothing, baby gifts and so much more! Your one-stopshop for all of your Holiday gifts! We also offer complimentary gift-wrapping with every purchase. Our store hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm, and we are also open on Sundays from 12:00 - 5:00 Through November and December!

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Receive a complimentary $25 bonus card for each purchase of $100 in gift cards. Offer Nov. 1 – Dec. 31. Available in-store or visit the gift shop at to order.

advertising section

Gift Guide F. Camalo

Mark Staton Co.

416 Heymann Blvd. • 233 4984

111 Bourque Rd. • 988-9964

Shopping at a great specialty store is a fun and rewarding experience. With outstanding service, focus on quality, and a broad range of leading Italian brands, F.Camalo helps you to invest wisely as you build your wardrobe. Some of the lines we feature include Canali, Custom suits and jackets by Ravazzolo, Made to Measure shirts by Mel Gambert, Lucchese boots and shoes by Gravati

“Shop our newly remodeled showroom for great deals on genuine American Alligator belts, wallets, boots, purses, and much more. We have a large inventory of in-stock items for sale at warehouse prices, or our team of craftspeople can work with you to design a custom one of a kind piece. “

Neighbors Pharmacy

Raffaele Furs • Boutique

770 Johnston St. • 706-7706

2817 Johnston Street • 234-0900

Neighbors Pharmacy has a wide variety of gift ideas for everyone on your list this Christmas season. For the candle lover we offer Tyler, Thyme, and Orleans candles. We carry many types of jewelry, Christmas decor, bath products, home decor, and lots of drink ware from coffee cups to Corkcicles. There is something for everyone at Neighbors Pharmacy!

Raffaele Ltd. offers an arrays of small gift ideas for this holiday. We have multi color fox fling , red bag , short fur jackets , multi color fox bag , crystal lariat beads necklace , semi-precious stone necklace , evening clutch , pink fox cuffs , leather gloves trim in mink and belts.

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culture Joie de vivre

les artistes

forging ahead In a saturated art scene, Lafayette artist Sam Riehl stands out as a blacksmith By William Kalec Portrait by romero & Romero

Sam Riehl is a throwback.

Way, way back to an era when catching diphtheria was prevalent. The soonto-be-graduating product design major at University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a blacksmith. At 21, Riehl has been a blacksmith longer than he hasn’t been a blacksmith, and at the time of his entry was the youngest member of the Louisiana Metalsmiths Association. While his peers were out doing whatever the heck teenagers do these days, Riehl spent much of


les artistes

his adolescence in a musty Carencro metal shop owned by friend and mentor Richard de la Houssaye, working on commissioned pieces and passion projects. “I usually slowly build up to the word blacksmith, you know?” Riehl says. “It’s not the kind of word you can just drop on a bunch of individuals without a weird look. And it’s stupid. I should just say it. But yeah, it goes, ‘Hey yeah, so I’m an artist. I work with metal. I do metal work.’ And then at some point you drop, ‘I’m a blacksmith.’ “It’s definitely been the defining feature throughout all the introductions in my life,” he says. “I had a friend in high school, that when he’d introduce me, it was part of my name — ‘SamTheBlacksmith.’ Which was funny, and it was cool. And it was true, too. Because that’s so much of my identity.” The roots of that identity sprouted at a young age, which makes sense considering Riehl’s mother is a jewelry maker and a regular at Southwest Louisiana art shows and craft markets. In fact, it was at a now-defunct Lafayette festival — the old Pyromania Festival — where Riehl’s new passion for an old trade ignited. Of course, like any other active kid, Riehl was already into a slew of other activities — soccer, playing musical instruments, theater — but working with metal is the only one, for whatever reason, that still has a shelf life to this day. “The idea that you could create something that was beautiful in shape, that was organic, that had a form out of something so rugged and so straight-edged…that mesmerized me from the beginning,” Riehl says. “To think I could create a perfect curve, or a leaf, or a dainty piece of jewelry out of something so industrial was what drew me in.” While other kids were messing around with lemonade stands on the corner or hawking Thin Mints outside a supermarket, Riehl was blacksmithing in his backyard. In time, his aforementioned mentor, the accomplished Carencro metal worker de la Houssaye, took note of Riehl’s sincere passion for the art and progression in his work and invited the young man to use space in his shop and learn as his apprentice. When asked about de la Houssaye,

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Riehl doesn’t blink before heaping praise and thanks upon his mentor, saying among other things, “I’ll never be able to thank him enough.” To this day, Riehl and de la Houssaye work under the same roof, though recently that has become more of a rarity since Riehl is focusing on finishing his college studies. With good spirits, de la Houssaye gives Riehl grief about his long absences and during meetings of the Louisiana Metalsmiths Association (which Riehl always attends) members will facetiously introduce themselves, as if Riehl is a newbie. “I get the itch to work, all the time,” Riehl says of his reduced role as a blacksmith because of a busy class schedule. “Just being able to sit and be in the presence of a metal shop is comforting for me.” “The shop is organized chaos,” he says. “We definitely know where everything is, but to anyone else it would be impossible to find. But it is getting to a point where I’m occasionally spending more time looking for my tools compared to using my tools, so that’s when it’s time to deep-clean and restart. That’s been the process for years.” And despite this recent hiatus, it will be the process for years to come. “A lot of times, you’re on autopilot throughout the day. I think we all are. And that’s what’s different about [the metal shop] — you’re aware and you’re engaged fully,” Riehl says. “All the senses are awake. It’s a time where I can just create to create.”

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la musique

the more things change Pont Breaux in Breaux Bridge carries the torch lit by Mulate’s, with a little lagniappe By Michael Patrick Welch Photo by romero & romero

The mantle of “Original Cajun

Restaurant” will always go to Mulate’s in Breaux Bridge — even if that Cajun dancehall technically no longer exists. For the last six years, the restaurant and zydeco concert venue has flown under the name Pont Breaux. The “new” version, says manager Skip Manuel, is more or less a shrine to the old. “When I came in the table covers were 15 years old,” chuckles Manuel. “We did replace those, and got some new chairs too, but it’s pretty much the same. The trademark still belongs to Mulate’s, even, and the sign is outside the door and cannot be moved. The owner just would not sell the name.” Even apart from its history as a renowned dancehall since it opened in 1980, Mulate’s has many interesting stories. “The building was originally brought here from Henderson, Louisiana — shipped here in three big pieces in 1955,” says assistant manager Jeanella “Nel” Huval, who has worked at Pont Breaux for six years and, before that, at Mulate’s for 27 years. Huval is one of several current Pont Breaux staff that has worked for both incarnations. “It was originally a dance club on the levee in Henderson called, I believe, the Star Club. Then Mulate Guidry had the place and eventually he loaned the name to Miss Goldie Comeaux, who made Mulate’s a really happening place for decades.”

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la musique

Head manager Manuel says, “We still get mail every day for Goldie,” even though her former husband Kerry Boutté is usually given the credit for the original idea behind Mulate’s. The story goes, in the late ‘60s, Kerry Boutté of Cajun Country joined the Army and was stationed in Germany, where he fell in love with German art and German beer halls. He brought both ideas back home to Breaux Bridge where he began booking Cajun musicians like Zachary Richard, Michael Doucet, Hector Duhon and Octa Clark. After he leveraged the 1983 World’s Fair into a mega marketing campaign for his restaurant Mulate’s, Boutté’s idea inspired other famous Louisiana dancehalls like Prejean’s and Randol’s in Lafayette — and more or less spurred the modest revival of Cajun music that continues today. “After the World’s Fair they started getting all kinds of bus tours, it was just remarkable,” says Huval who, like everyone who works at Pont Breaux, chips in doing every job in the restaurant from cooking to waiting tables. “I first started working at a little counter in the back to catch drinks when the bar was full, and I would just stand there and watch all the people trying to get in Mulate’s. We had live music every night instead of half the week like we do now, and you’d just meet people from all over the world.” Eventually Boutté and Comeaux divorced, with Goldie getting Mulate’s in Breaux Bridge, and Kerry winning sole ownership of the second Mulate’s location in downtown New Orleans. Boutté reportedly lives in New Orleans and sometimes stays above the restaurant, but he doesn’t take calls. “Mulate’s really changed when Katrina hit New Orleans,” Huval says. “The tour buses stopped coming from New Orleans for a long

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while after that. We had a lot of cancellations.” The new ownership though — long-time manager Jimmy LaGrange and his business partner Randy LeBlanc — breathed a bit of new life into the building with the opening of Pont Breaux. They added to the menu chicken and sausage gumbo, steak au gratin, grilled alligator and seafood salad. “Because it’s not as busy as it was, we now have time to serve boiled crawfish. We never had time to do that before,” says Huval. “People love it.” Along with authentic Cajun seafood (everything from seafood platters to oysters, ettoufees and fricassée) Pont Breaux also features some of the same bands that played at Mulate’s for decades. “We still got Lee Benoit,” says Manuel, “and Jay Cormier who used to lead the house band back in the day.” Pont Breaux also welcomes new voices like Johnny Sonnier, and Accordion Hall of Fame Inductee Sheryl Cormier. For the last few years, Cox Channel 9 has filmed its music show “Les Bon Temps Rouler” live from Pont Breaux every other Wednesday. Huval says that, with the new efforts, the tour busses are beginning to return. “It’s getting better,” she says. “We’re starting to get busy and they’re starting to hire bigger bands.” Huval says it’s getting so busy at Pont Breaux, she no longer has time for her own little traditions. “They’re a little strict on us now, whereas before we had less rules and sometimes while bartending we used to be able to go sneak off and dance,” she says. “But it’s still really a fun place, and quite unique still to have dining and entertainment and dancing all in the same package.” Huval assures one last time, “Not much has changed.”

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les personnes

chairman of the boards Tee Don Landry of Key of Z Rubboards in Sunset shapes the sound of Zydeco music one instrument at a time By William Kalec Portrait by romero & Romero

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Silence is the soundtrack of this

early Saturday morning. Tee Don Landry is wide awake. It’s mid-October — the eye of Acadiana festival season — and 70 years worth of heritage, history and harmony from Key of Z Rubboards in Sunset, Louisiana, are carefully crammed into the back of a truck piloted by Landry, the conductor (if you will) of this little musical engine that could. Ever since Landry’s father, Willie, DIY’d the prototype in 1946, Key of Z rubboards have been featured on every Grammy Award-winning Zydeco album, wound up in the hands of headliners like ZZ Top, Rihanna and Kid Rock, and even found their way behind a display case at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Yet here’s Landry, at this ungodly hour, taking his show on the road, to Festivals Acadiens et Creoles on this particular day. When asked why he does it, Landry pauses briefly before answering with his own question: Why not? “Booth-wise, there’s never a dull moment,” he says of setting up shop at weekend festivals. “I don’t drink coffee, but I’m always ready. Get out there and let it roll! “The rubboard brings an instant smile to everyone’s face,” Landry says. “When I used to play at festivals, (the rubboard) is what people point at. You’ve seen a bass, a guitar, you’ve seen an accordion and keyboards and all that stuff. But you can’t imagine the amount of people who’ve never seen something like this. I think growing up around it, you sometimes forget that — that this rubboard is different, unique and something those who aren’t from here haven’t seen a lot. “They look and go, ‘What the hell is that?’ It’s instant curiosity and joy.” That’s actually a good question, Tee Don: Just what the heck is this rubboard thing? If we’re being literal, a rubboard is a musical instrument strapped across the chest of the player, secured with shoulder harnesses. It can sound like the tap of a Civil War-era drummer boy or a poor man’s xylophone, depending how it’s played. The stainless steel portion of the rubboard almost covers the entire front torso of the musician, like a makeshift set of Cajun knight armor. Sound is created by striking a scratcher, one in each hand, on the board. “Without the rubboard,” Landry says, “there is no Zydeco music.” True. But Tee Don’s rubboards, because of the craftsmanship involved in making each instrument, have become unintended

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les personnes collector’s items and often double as art pieces for both paying locals and tourists alike. It’s understandable. They’re distinct. They’re different. There’s no denying, they’re authentic — a cultural time capsule. Regularly, patrons walk into his shop or browse his festival booths not knowing how to play a rubboard and with no intention of ever learning. They’re just fascinated by the board. Knowing this, Landry has begun adding color to his boards — black and gold, purple and gold, red and white dotted with fleur-de-lis patterns — to appeal to those less-musically inclined customers. Beyond those few aesthetic differences, Landry’s rubboards aren’t that dissimilar to the one Willie made in 1946 for Zydeco pioneer Cleveland Chenier. The dimensions are the same. The design is the same, as is all the geometry involved with the cuts and grooves. Landry’s rubboards have graduated from tin to stainless steel, and the folks at Key of Z have incorporated some laser cutting to give their busy hands an occasional rest, but otherwise, not much has changed. The instrument, which starts as a flat sheet of metal, takes a few hours to form, and a few more hours to pass quality control, which boils down to checking to see if it’s properly tuned, for lack of a better description. From there, edges are filed smooth and a chrome coating is added to the top lip so the board doesn’t dig into the skin. If the musician treats the rubboard with respect and care, it should last a lifetime. “Now, there’s more that goes into it, but I have some things I don’t reveal,” Landry says. “I don’t know if it’s as serious as a magician not telling how to do a trick, or a restaurant’s secret sauce, but to get the sound that I expect out of my rubboards, yeah, there’s some certain things I do.” He does it all with a sense of reverence, a standard of excellence to maintain, musically-speaking, but also the welcomed burden to preserve a bit of regional culture in an ever-homogenizing world. That’s why Landry gets up on those early festival mornings, fueled on enthusiasm, not espresso, ready to answer every question, tell every story and carry on a tradition uniquely his and ours. “Every board I make, it’s like one of my kids…and you go and see them leave the house and do great things,” Landry says. “I guess that makes me a proud father. You see ‘em on TV, see ‘em on stage, on the Internet, and I’ve shipped them all over the world. I got rubboards in so many places; I’ve forgotten where they are.”

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acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

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en français, s’il vous plaît

le grand jimmie par david cheramie Photo par Philip Gould

Comme beaucoup de bonnes

histoires, celle-ci commence dans un salon de barbier. Un jour dans les années soixante, Elmo Ancelet et Ferdinand Broussard, dit Lolo, donnaient des coups de ciseaux dans leur échoppe rue Jefferson à Lafayette. Un des clients réguliers s’appelait James Domengeaux, dit « Jimmie ». Né en janvier 1907, Domengeaux, à ce moment-là, avait déjà vécu une vie pleine d’accomplissements : homme politique ayant servi l’état au Bâton-Rouge et à Washington, fondateur d’un cabinet d’avocat à succès, pilier de la communauté et même propriétaire d’étangs d’écrevisses et ancien boxeur. Au lieu de songer à une retraite bien méritée, ce jour-là dans la chaise de barbier, il rêvait de nouvelles batailles. Pendant que Lolo lui coupait les cheveux, Domengeaux annonce à qui veut l’entendre qu’il est en train de réfléchir à laquelle des deux directions qu’il veut prendre ensuite : créer un club de boxe ou sauver le français en Louisiane. La seule raison pourquoi je suis capable d’écrire cet article en français, et peut-être même pourquoi vous êtes capable de le lire, c’est parce que Jimmie a fait le bon choix. L’année 2018 marque le 50e anniversaire de la création du Conseil pour le développement du français en Louisiane par une acte de la législature louisianaise, la même assemblée qui, à ses débuts, légiférait exclusivement en français. D’abord par décret du surintendant d’éducation et ensuite enchâssé

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dans la constitution de 1921, le français devient officiellement persona non grata après une longue et illustre carrière parmi les entrepreneurs, les écrivains, les avocats, les éducateurs et les simples habitants louisianais. Dans un effort d’américanisation forcée, des milliers d’enfants ont été punis et humiliés pour avoir parlé la seule langue qu’ils connaissaient. Les traces de cette honte étaient si fortes et si profondes que le stigma était transmis à la génération suivante qui ne voulait rien à faire avec ses affaires de vieux. Depuis longtemps, depuis la Vente de la Louisiane au fait, on écrivait la nécrologie du français en Louisiane. Mais dans les années 1960, s’il n’était pas encore mort, tout le monde pensait qu’il n’en avait pas pour longtemps, même parmi les

acadiana profile december 2017/january 2018

Francophones. C’est-à-dire tout le monde, sauf Domengeaux. S’il a choisi le français au lieu de la boxe, il n’a pas pour autant abandonné la bagarre. Face aux difficultés qu’il éprouvait à démarrer les programmes, il va voir le Président Pompidou à Paris pour lui lancer un défi. Pour la mise en scène, il faut savoir que Pompidou, à la carrure imposante, faisait six pieds de haut, mais, malgré son sobriquet, le Grand Jimmie était beaucoup plus petit. Sans peur, il s’approche du représentant de la République française, les bouts de chaussures se touchant presque, lève la tête pour le regarder droit dans les yeux, enfonce son index dans la poitrine solide de son interlocuteur et le tutoie : « Monsieur le Président, si tu nous aides pas, le français, il est foutu en Louisiane. » L’année

suivante, un avion charter plein de coopérants français ont débarqué en Louisiane pour devenir les premiers profs « CODOFIL » et pour amorcer le retour en force du français dans les écoles louisianaises après tant d’années d’une absence quasi-totale. Aussi sont venus depuis les cinquante dernières années des Québécois, des Belges, des Suisses, des Acadiens, des Africains francophones de plusieurs pays et de partout ailleurs pour nous réapprendre le français dans toutes ses variétés. Les programmes d’échanges ont aussi envoyé des centaines de jeunes louisianais faire des stages linguistiques dans ces pays francophones, ouvrant des horizons, créant des amitiés à vie et, fait non-négligeable, formant des dizaines de couples entre des Louisianais et des Francophones divers. Issus de ces unions sont des enfants que j’appelle avec beaucoup d’affection, car j’en ai eu trois, des bébés « CODOFIL ». Domengeaux est mort en 1988 mais son legs continue. Le salon de barbier n’est plus là, ayant brûlé il y a longtemps. À la place se trouve un jardin de bières, un endroit idéal pour partager l’amitié autour d’un verre et d’une conversation en français comme font beaucoup de jeunes aujourd’hui. Grâce à cette décision capitale, la publication de la nécrologie du français en Louisiane doit attendre encore.

For an English translation, visit