Acadiana Profile December 2019-January 2020

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i rm a

magazine of the year 20 19

Crispy chicken cracklins available at Don’s Specialty Meats in Scott and Carencro

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dec/jan VOL u m e 3 8 n u m b e r 0 6


l agniappe......................................... 04

A Little Extra


note de l’editeur........................... 08

Editor’s Note lettres d’amour . . ............................10

Belated Charm Boudin, local beer and his brood keep a retired journalism professor rooted to the region nouvelles de villes....................... 12

News Briefs

food+drink sur le menu . . .................................... 30


Upscale Casual Café Sydnie Mae offers down home food in a comeas-you-are atmosphere de l a cuisine.. .................................. 32

Conversation and Canapé’s Keep it simple in the new year with pâté, punch and cookies recettes de cocktails................. 34

A Drink with Bite Candy canes rim this wintry white cocktail designed for seasonal cheer voyages............................................ 36

Natural State Winter in Arkansas is for art, cheese and nature lovers


culture les artistes..................................... 60

l a maiso n.. ......................................... 16

Welcome, This is a Farmhouse A new build in one of Lafayette’s oldest neighborhoods pays homage to tradition while reaching for new heights

Energy All Her Own Lafayette artist Hannah Smith Mason continues to carve a niche in the local art scene by capturing the mechanical and industrial beauty of the oilfield on canvas.

p our l a maison. . ............................. 20

les personnes.. ............................... 62

Sur la Table One of the best gifts you can give this holiday season is a seat at your table À l a mod e ......................................... 22

Man At The Mic The comforting and recognizable voice of popular KBON radio DJ Hoss Childress continues to be the soundtrack of Acadiana’s early-day routine

At Your Leisure Unwind with cozy weekendwardrobe upgrades and gifts that will help make this holiday season merry and bright

La Christine Quand une orange était un beau cadeau

en franç ais, s ’il vous pl aît........ 6 4


Cracklins We love cracklings and we know a lot of you do too, so we’ve compiled a guide to the region’s favorite snack by C h e r é co e n p hoto g r a p hs by s a r a e s s e x b r a d l e y

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? lagniappe

A Little Extra

M a n ag i n g E d i to r

Learn French

Errol Laborde

Melanie Warner Spencer

A s s o c iat e E d i to r

La glace

Co py E d i to r

Ashley McLellan

Liz Clearman

A rt D i r ec to r

(n.) ice cream

Sarah George

L e a d P h oto g ra p h e r

example: J’aime la glace, peu importe le froid qu’il fait dehors.

W e b E d i to r sty l e E d i to r

Danley Romero

Kelly Massicot

Bronze Illustration

Colleen Monaghan

Bronze Cover

Rebecca Taylor


(337) 298-4424 / (337) 235-7919 Ext. 230

Gold Overall Art Direction Sales intern

Gold Magazine Photographer

Olivia Fontaine

Gold Art Direction of a Single Story

mar keting d i r ec to r o f m a r k et i n g & e v e n ts Ev e n t Co o r d i nato r

Jeanel Luquette

Gold Food Feature

Abbie Dugruise

d i g i ta l m e d ia a s s o c iat e

Mallary Matherne

For event information call (504) 830-7264 produ c tio n P r o d u c t i o n m a nag e r

Gold Department “Cookies ’n Cream. Because I always crave the Oreos.” – Abbie Dugruise

Emily Andras

P ro d u c t i o n D e s i g n e r s

Rosa Balaguer Lane Brocato

adm in istratio n D i st r i b u t i o n M a nag e r o f f i c e m a nag e r

John Holzer

Mallary Matherne

au d i e n c e d e v e lo pm e n t

Claire Sargent

For subscriptions call (504) 830-7231 C h i e f E x ec u t i v e O f f i c e r P r es i d e n t

Silver Magazine Writer of the Year Silver Hed & Dek Silver Photo Series Bronze Portrait Series Bronze Reader Service Article Bronze Travel Package

Meghan Rooney T ra f f i c co o r d i nato r

Gold Art Direction Single Story

Bronze Magazine Writer of the Year

(504) 830-7215 /

“I love Rocky Road, because it has two of my favorite ingredients — chocolate and nuts. I especially enjoy having a scoop at Borden’s Ice Shoppe.” – Rebecca Taylor

Gold Overall Art Direction

Silver Photographer of the Year

Alice Phillips

Vice President of Sales

Winner Magazine of the Year

Gold Photo Series


S a l e s M a nag e r

Borden’s Ice Cream, at the corner of Johnston and Jefferson Streets, is the last remaining Borden’s store in the United States. In 1875, Borden Incorporated began selling milk around the country and became a household name. As the company grew, Borden retail stores began popping up. Lafayette’s Borden’s Ice Cream parlor opened in 1940 and has been serving up sweet treats ever since. Since opening, it has been a staple for chocolate shakes, banana splits and ice cream cones for locals and visitors alike.

2019 “I’m a sucker for any of the seasonal sorbets at Carpe Diem! in downtown Lafayette.” – Marie Elizabeth Oliver

Marie Elizabeth Oliver

E d i to r ia l I n t e r n

translation: I like ice cream no matter how cold it is outside.

We all scream for ice cream

International and Regional Magazine Association

EDI TOR IAL E d i to r i n C h i e f



Todd Matherne

Alan Campell

E x ec u t i v e V i c e P r e s i d e n t

Errol Laborde


Gold Overall Art Direction Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Gold Food Feature Silver Cover Bronze Magazine Writer of the Year 2016

Gold Overall Art Direction

1 1 0 V eterans B lvd . / S u ite 1 2 3 / M etairie , L A 7 0 0 0 5 / ( 5 0 4 ) 8 2 8 - 1 3 8 0 / ( 8 7 7 ) 2 2 1 - 3 5 1 2 1 2 8 D emanade / S u ite 1 0 4 / L afay ette , L A 7 0 5 0 3 / ( 3 3 7 ) 2 3 5 - 7 9 1 9 e x t. 2 3 0 Acadiana Profile (ISSN 0001-4397) is published bimonthly with a special issue in September 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 2019 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.

Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Silver Photo Series Bronze Magazine Writer of the Year Bronze Portrait Series

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ĂŠq u i p e d e v e n t e

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

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales 504-830-7215


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

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note de l’edi teu r

A fe w years ago, I wa s at a boucherie and not long before the butchering began, a man rolled up in a truck yelling greetings in French, to — from what I can tell — no one in particular. Several attendees answered back, also in French, with their own jovial shouts and salutations. The next time I saw him and for several subsequent hours, he was positioned next to a big black pot of what would eventually be cracklins. Pork rinds were a regular snack in the house when I was growing up in Kentucky, but cracklins didn’t enter into my life until I moved to Louisiana. This is probably a good thing, because I am not capable of any degree of willpower when it comes to cracklins. I’ll ravage an entire bag on my own in a startlingly short period of time. It was love at first bite — and every crunchy nibble until they vanished. As I’m writing this I’m daydreaming about a big greasy bag of salty cracklins paired with an ice-cold bottle of Coke. Now, to narrow down where to go get that delectable combo. Enter our Cracklins feature. In this issue, we are exploring everything you could ever want to know about this local treat. What is it? How is it made? What are the different types? Where are some of the best places to get it? All of your questions are answered in this issue, so dive in! Obviously, we don’t have enough space to include every wonderful place to get cracklins, so if your favorite place is missing, email us to tell us about it. By the way, that invitation to email us is (L-R) Rebeca Taylor, Colleen Monahan, always on the table. As we close out 2019 and Nancy Dessens, Melanie Warner Spencer look forward to 2020, we’d love to hear from you. and (seated) Errol Laborde toast to Is there someone or something we should know winning Magazine of the Year. about? Is there some area of Cajun culture you’d like to see us explore in these pages? Did you love (or hate) a story from a prior issue? We love to hear from our readers, so drop us a line. We hope your year closes out on a high note, with all of the cracklin’ your heart desires and that your 2020 gets off to a great start. We’re closing out the year in celebration ourselves here at Acadiana Profile. At this years International and Regional Magazines Award, we took home the Magazine of the Year award, among a slew of other prizes (which you can view on page 13), including one for Writer of the Year to our long-term contributor Will Kalec. We are honored to have won this prestigious award, especially given the formidable work of our competitors in the organization. We certainly couldn’t do it without Sarah George, our immensely talented art director, our sales manager Rebecca Taylor, our contributors and the community of Acadiana. We also, of course, couldn’t do it without you, our readers. Thank you for spending your time with us. We don’t take it or you for granted. Until next year, cheers!

M e l a n i e Wa r n e r S p e n c e r , M ana g in g E ditor

c o n ta c t m e l a n i e / 5 0 4 - 8 3 0 - 1 3 8 0 . M e l a n i e @ A c a d i a n a P r o f i l e . c o m .


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

In Other News by Lisa Leblanc-Berry

Hot off the Presses Check out Warren and Mary Perrin’s latest book, “Seeking an Acadian Nation, the 1930 Diary of an Evangeline Girl.” Released in Canada during Le Congrès Mondial Acadien in August, it is based on the diary of Corinne Broussard. She was among the 25 Evangeline Girls led by Senator Dudley J. LeBlanc during an epic 1930 journey to Grand-Pré to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Acadian Deportation. This was reportedly the first group of Cajuns to make a pilgrimage back to their ancestral lands in Nova Scotia since the deportation (books can be ordered via or by visiting the museum).

Brew News The first brewery in Ascension Parish, Gilla Brewery Company, opened in October, featuring a rotating stable of small-batch beers on tap ( gillabrewingco). Nicholls State University has joined the beer-branding biz with the release of Colonel’s Retreat, a smooth, crisp lager crafted by Bayou Teche Brewing (named for a former popular hangout) to benefit the university and its alumni federation (

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l et t res d’amo u r / P e n n ed by a d if f e r e n t aut ho r in ev e ry iss u e

Belated Charm Boudin, local beer and his brood keep a retired journalism professor rooted to the region By r o b e r t b u c k m a n i llust r at i on b y C h r i s t i n a B r ow n

Definitely an acquired ta ste .

That’s the inescapable conclusion of one who didn’t grow up here but has dwelt here for 30 years, gradually transitioning from outsider to insider. Ironically, I was born in Baton Rouge, in the very hospital where Huey Long expired, so I’m legitimately a Louisiana native. But nine months later my family migrated to Fort Worth, Texas, where I grew up, completed college, married and became a newspaper reporter. Fate carried me to Fort Benning, Georgia; Washington, D.C.; Panama, Asuncion; Paraguay; back to D.C.; then Austin, Texas, where I remarried, began raising a family, completed my doctorate and relished covering the Texas Legislature for a weekly. I grudgingly left Austin for Loyola University in New Orleans, where my Louisiana indoctrination included little zaps of culture shock, like seeing hard liquor sold in grocery stores. (“What?”) Three years later, in 1989, I eagerly joined the faculty at the then-University of Southwestern Louisiana, now UL Lafayette. Again, there were cultural adjustments. Some were easy, such as the food, especially boudin, and the music. I mastered my adaptations of gumbo and jambalaya. I reveled with the throngs at Festivals Acadiens et Creoles and Festival International. I wrote features about Acadian culture for out-of-state newspapers. I hosted out-of-state friends, taking them to Lafayette’s Acadian Cultural Center, the Tabasco plant on Avery Island, the venerable, moss-festooned Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville and Olde Tyme Grocery for poor boys. (Those who return inevitably insist we go to Olde Tyme.) But there were four nagging negatives: the humidity, the mosquitoes, the lack of craft beers on tap and — well — the flatness. The westward view from the I-10 bridge over the Mississippi is like the horizon of an ocean. I’d regularly make pilgrimages to Austin, the Ozarks, New Mexico or Tennessee, anywhere with vistas greater than 200 yards, cooler, drier air and brewpubs with an array of draft ales. In Fort Worth or Austin, I’d head to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, and plead with them to open one in Lafayette. I expected to retire in Texas, which offered hills, ales, drier air and fewer mosquitoes. Didn’t happen.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

Though I never truly sank roots here, my children did. This was where they grew up, this was their home, and now three grandchildren are growing up here, too. Then, the laws changed and LA 31 and Parish Brewing came into existence, and when BJ’s opened a franchise a mile from my Lafayette house, it was a clear sign from Heaven that I was meant to remain.

But when I stand before my Maker, after I thank Him for an eventful life and apologize for my transgressions, I’m going to add, “However, Sir, about the humidity and mosquitoes... were they really necessary?” n About the author Robert Buckman, Ph.D, is a retired journalism professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a freelance writer and Vice President of the Louisiana chapter of Society of Professional Journalists.

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no uv el l es de v i l l es

n e ws b y L i s a L e B l a n c- B e r r y cal enda r by K e l ly M a s s i c ot

Fresh Face for Teche Fest



New Iberia The annual Books Along the Teche Literary Festival (April 3-5, 2020) announced it will feature Osha Gray Davidson (author of The Best of Enemies, Race and Redemption in the New South) as its keynote Great Southern Writer. Davidson’s book was made into a major movie, “Best of Enemies,” released in theatres in April. The biopic film starring Taraji Henson and Sam Rockwell will be shown at the Grand Theatre throughout the fest (

❶ Light Up The Lake

Dec. 7. Lake Charles. This Christmas festival has Santa, reindeer, games for kids, carnival rides and so much more. The evening concludes with everyone gathered by the lake for the lighting ceremony and fireworks.

❷ A Frosted Christmas at the Gardens

Dec. 15. New Iberia. This children’s event includes writing a letter to Santa, decorating cookies, door prizes and more activities. The recommended age is 4-12 years old, with three nonparticipating adults get into the event for free. rvwgardens


Suds and Spice

❸ Cajun Country Run

The race includes five options to choose from that is either a 5k, 10k or half marathon option. The course options include cross country and single track selections and some long around the banks of the Vermilion River. Proceeds from the event support TRAIL (Transportation Recreation Alternatives in Louisiana), which builds and maintains outdoor recreation and infrastructure in South Louisiana.



Of Wax, Wine and Wicks If you enjoy giving or receiving scented candles, then make a party out of it. Kick back with friends and create candles while sipping vino at Bougie Bar, a new custom candle-making, BYOB concept for downtown Lafayette (with over 500 fragrances and pottery containers). Ideal for holiday and other concept parties. It’s the latest project by the founders of the Scottbased Bourbon Royalty Candle Company (

acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

Just in time for gumbo weather, Bayou Teche Brewing introduced its new Gumbo Stout beer in November. Made in partnership with Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Cuisine, the beer’s roasted, smoky flavor, accented with cayenne, utilizes elements of Tony’s Creole spices that are similar to those found in Tony’s instant roux mix and Creole gumbo base (

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

20 1 9 m aga z i n e o f t h e y e a r p sst, that ’ s a b i g d e al

Gold p h oto s s e r i e s D e nn y C ulb e rt

Bro n z e cov e r D e nn y C ulb e rt, S a r ah G eo r g e and M e lan i e Wa r n e r

Silv er

S p e nc e r

Silv er m aga z i n e p h oto g ra p h e r

m aga z i n e w r i t e r of the year w i ll kal ec

of the year d e nn y culb e rt

Bro n z e i l lust rat i o n ch r i st i na b rown

Gold A rt D i r ec t i o n o f a S i n g l e Sto ry


S a rah G eo r g e

ov e ra l l a rt d i r ec t i o n sa rah g eo rg e

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acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

I n s p i r at i o n , d ĂŠ c o r at i o n e t a cc e s s o i r e s ch i c p o u r l a v i e

o u r e x pa n d e d w i n t e r fa s h i o n a n d h o l i day g i f t g u i d e ha s e v e ry t h i n g yo u n e e d ( a n d wa n t ) this season

hom e+styl e / l a m a iso n

Welcome, This is a Farmhouse A new build in one of Lafayette’s oldest neighborhoods pays homage to tradition while reaching for new heights By M a r i e E l i z a b e t h O l i v e r p hotos by h ay l e i s m i t h

When their real estate agent c alled to tell

them a rare empty lot opened up in the Saint Streets, Tanya and Gil Zaunbrecher didn’t think twice. Even though the couple had recently finished building a home for their family in Breaux Bridge, they saw the lot as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The husband-and-wife duo behind Zaunbrecher Design met while pursuing degrees in architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Their Saint Streets home, less than two miles from campus, now represents their mutual passions and creative vision. When conceptualizing their home’s exterior, the Zaunbrechers imagined something that would feel cohesive with the other houses on their block, but not cookie cutter. Both self-professed minimalists, they ultimately landed on “farmhouse with a modern twist.” “I tried to replicate what was happening across the street with the smaller cottages,” says Gil. “Then we wanted a lot of height, which we don’t have around here, so we figured that’s how we would stand out.” “I’m obsessed with tall buildings,” adds Tanya, chuckling. “Maybe it’s because I’m so short.” The house, which vaults to a whopping 27 feet, is built on four skinny lots — originally their neighbor’s backyard. The couple planned the design of the home specifically to fit the narrow lot, according to Tanya.

Tanya says she intentionally designed the home with a neutral palette and minimal ornamentation to keep with the modern vibe and showcase a rotating cast of art pieces. “About every two years we will move art around so I can enjoy it in different rooms.” she explains. One exception to the rule: A Gothic lion fountain permanently fixed in the courtyard, which serves as an homage to the couple’s mutual affinity for “The Wizard of Oz.”


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

About the designers:

Tanya (a registered interior designer) and Gil (a licensed architect) Zaunbrecher make up the husband-and-wife duo, Zaunbrecher Design. They are both graduates of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s architecture program and specialize in “designing unique projects for unique individuals.”

Orange glass subway tile and quarter sawn, white oak, European-style cabinets warm up the bright white kitchen and give it, what Tanya lovingly refers to as, “a Brady Bunch feel.” The goal, says Tanya, was to have the cabinets feel more like furniture and blend with the lines of the appliances. White quartz counters and industrial-inspired pendants complete the modern-meets-farmhouse aesthetic of the kitchen, which is strategically positioned to benefit from ample natural light.

“I wanted it to look like a series of structures, and not just one big house because the lot was so long,” says Gil. He says one of the biggest compliments he receives is when people mistake it for an old house they remodeled to look modern. Inside the home, white walls, Carrera marble and white oak floors contribute to the home’s minimalist vibe. Bright orange and green accents, coincidentally the couple’s wedding colors, add a punch of warmth and whimsy to the family home. Tanya says her favorite spaces are the oversized master suite and the courtyard. The outdoor space, which is separated from the living room by a 16-foot wall of glass, connects the home to the natural world. “I wanted it to feel like I wasn’t in Lafayette,” says Tanya. “There’s a lot of bamboo, there’s a lot of holly. It’s to hug you.” n Z au n b r ec h e r D es i g n / z au n b r ec h e r d e s i g n .co m / i n f o @ z au n b r ec h e r d es i g n .co m / 337-278-0 0 6 6 / 1 0 0 E V ermilion St S u ite 2 0 8, L afay ette


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

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hom e+sty le / p o u r l a m a iso n

Sur la Table One of the best gifts you can give this holiday season is a seat at your table by M a r i e E l i z a b e t h O l i v e r p hoto by R o m e r o & R o m e r o

It’s one of the first chores we’re taught as

children. Dutifully filling ice water glasses or carefully creasing napkins is a rite of passage in many Southern households. Although our daily dining habits may not call for Downton Abbey-level servingware, there’s nothing like the holiday season to give us a renewed sense of appreciation for an elegantly set table. Sarah James Moss, an Acadiana-based interior designer and founder of Moss Manor: A Design House, says the key to a well-executed table setting is making your guests feel special. “Showing them: I thought of you. I invited you. I planned for you. I’m glad you’re here,” she explains. According to Moss, you should start by considering what kind of vibe you’re going for: Is your dinner more formal, or is it a casual affair? This will determine what kind of linens, plates and flatware you’ll want to use. Proper planning can help you avoid a faux pas, such as setting out China your guests don’t need. Moss says a contemporary table setting doesn’t necessarily need to check off all the boxes to feel special. For example, she says it’s “totally cool” to opt out of placemats or tablecloths. You can coordinate glasses and flatware for a more monochromatic look, or use them as an opportunity to add a pop of color. Moss says a couple of trends she’s loving for the holidays are mix-and-match vintage pieces and gold flatware. When all else fails, go for classic white dishes, which can easily be dressed up with accent plates. Fresh flowers and candles can make even the simplest setting feel festive. But Moss’s favorite way to add a wow factor on a budget, is to incorporate seasonal, natural elements. “Use something unusual — raw wood blocks, foliage, a large banana leaf or olive branches,” encourages Moss.

How To

Setting a Special Occasion Table


Pinecones and berries are perfect for a winter table. Just make sure your décor doesn’t impair someone’s vision across the table. Keep your centerpieces low and long, advises Moss. Finally, Moss says she likes to leave “a little sussy” at each place. Whether that’s a place card with an inspirational message, tiny gift or piece of chocolate, the simple favor will make your dinner guests feel like royalty. n

About the Organizer: Award-winning designer and New Iberia native, Sarah James Moss, has designed interior spaces for clients across Acadiana and New Orleans. In 2016, Moss teamed up with HGTV’s Property Brothers for four episodes of “Brothers Take New Orleans.” She is the founder and principal designer of Moss Manor: A Design House, an online boutique specializing in modern furnishings and home décor. ( 1-888-996-1986)

Know what vibe you’re trying to achieve before you start.

Layer linens for a more formal affair, or go minimal for a contemporary look.

Keep your dishes simple. Don’t put out more than you need.

Use glasses and flatware to add personality and color.

Incorporate natural, seasonal accents.

Make your guests feel special with a custom favor.

acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

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hom e+styl e / a l a mo d e

At Your Leisure Unwind with cozy weekend-wardrobe upgrades and gifts that will help make this holiday season merry and bright by m a r i e e l i z a b e t h o l i v e r photos by R o m e r o & R o m e r o

boots Go ahead, show up in boots. These vintage, knee-high leather Wranglers are never going out of style, at Rock + Paper + Scissors.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

❹ ❶

Cool, Ranch You can embrace the latest Western fashion trends without going all the way down the Old Town Road. Keep things fresh by pairing colorblocked basics, like this sweater-mini skirt combo, with cowgirl-inspired accessories. Add one-of-a-kind vintage or local flair — such as this two-faced bandanna from Lafayettebased artist Francis X. Pavy — to stand out from the herd.

1. Sweater/skirt Hyfve chenille sweater and knit corduroy skirt at Maven Womenswear 2. Belt Vintage cowhide hand-beaded belt at Rock+Paper+Scissors 3. Vest Vintage leather vest at Rock+Paper+Scissors 4. Bandanna Francis X. Pavy Two-Faced bandanna at Shop Pavy 5. Bag Tory Burch Perry quilted cosmetic case in Golden Crest at Kiki

Maven Womenswear. 201 Settlers Trace Blvd. #2021, Lafayette. 337-704-2668. • Rock+Paper+Scissors. 200 Jefferson St. Lafayette. • Shop Pavy. 100 E. Vermilion St., Suite 108. Lafayette. 337-534-8286. • Kiki. 1910 Kaliste Saloom Road #600. Lafayette. 337-406-0904.

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Incense Holder A walnut and concrete incense holder by local design studio, Komolab, at Genterie, combines function and style, while custom “glam matches” strike up a little whimsy, at Kiki.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

❷ ❸

❺ ❻

Smoke and Mirrors Help your loved ones break free from the holiday hustle with gifts that promote self care. As the weather gets cooler, athome pampering can trump a spa day. Goodies like Generation Bee’s soaking salt vials, at Daylily, are just as pretty as they are indulgent. And for the ultimate homebody glamour, nothing beats lounging all day in a vintage kimono, at Rock+Paper+Scissors.

1. Notebook Designworks constellation notepad at Daylily 2. Soap Turquoise SoapRock at Daylily 3. Bath Salts Generation Bee soaking salt vials at Daylily 4. Kimono Vintage silk ‘60s kimono dress at Rock+Paper+Scissors 5. Headband Navy tie headband at The Silver Suitcase 6. Bubble bath Michel Design Works Pink Cactus foaming bubble bath at The Silver Suitcase 7. Sugar cubes The Royal Standard Relax Sugar Cubes at The Silver Suitcase

Daylily 116 Rue Promenade, Suite 100. Lafayette. 337-504-4662 • The Silver Suitcase 4409 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy. Lafayette. 337-989-7242.

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Fly Reel Good looks aside, this amber Redington RISE 9/10 fly fishing reel features an ergonomic design and thoughtful details that will please your favorite angler, at Pack & Paddle.Â


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

Reel World Whether you consider yourself an outdoorsman, or find yourself shopping for one, you can’t go wrong combining high performance gear with two of this season’s go-to hues. Piquant Orange Peel and Chive bring a tasteful tang and restorative harmony, according to Pantone’s fashion color trend report for 2020. And as any fisherman knows, the latest must-have accessories don’t matter, if you don’t have warm, dry feet.

1. Hat Far Afield Carlos Corduroy Cap in Autumnal at Genterie Supply Co. 2. Sunglasses Toms Traveler Zion in Matte Rifle Green at Genterie Supply Co. 3. Shirt Far Afield Larry Shirt in Erlend Check at Genterie Supply Co. 4. Vest Far Afield Fleece Whistler Gilet in Duffel Bag at Genterie Supply Co. 5. Pants Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Performance Trousers in Harvest Gold at Genterie Supply Co. 6. Boots Simms Riverbank Chukka Boot at Pack & Paddle

Pack & Paddle 601 E Pinhook Road. Lafayette. 337-232-5854. • Genterie Supply Co. 408 Jefferson St. Lafayette. 337-401-3833.

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acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

Ça c’est bon

sydney mae’s B REAUX S H RIMP AND GRITS : Ta s s o c r e a m s au c e , b l ac k e n e d s h r i m p a n d s mo k e d g o u da c r eo l e c r e a m ch e e s e g r i ts

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fo o d+dr i nk / s u r l a m e nu

Upscale Casual Café Sydnie Mae offers down home food in a come-asyou-are atmosphere by J y l B e n s o n p hotos by j o s e p h v i d r i n e

L o c ated o n a tree - c a n o p ied b lo c k o f

historic, downtown Breaux Bridge that bustles with strollers perusing antique shops and local boutiques, in less than two years Café Sydney Mae has successfully risen to the challenge of replacing the iconic Café des Amis, which thrived in the same spot for decades. Bare wooden floors and old exposed brick contrast with a gleaming pressed tin ceiling, open wine storage, and plush leather guest chairs to pin down an atmosphere that is both swank and down home. It is come as you are: jeans and flannel or a gown guided in by a suit and tie. At the helm of the restaurant is a woman with the same sensibilities. If living well is the best revenge Executive Chef Bonnie Breaux is a five star general. In 2006, the Lafayette native was in the unenviable position of newly divorced single mother.

Commanding presence

“I took inventory of my talents as a homecook and opened a small restaurant, Breaux’s, in Covington with the help of my family,” said Breaux. In the years since she has honed her self-taught, “Heritage Influenced Cajun/ Creole” style she learned at the knee of her mother and perfected under Wayne Peltier at Clementine in New Iberia. She steered the kitchen at Roux in Tampa before Alcee and Lucy Durand tapped her to return to her native state to steward the kitchen at The St. John Restaurant in St. Martinville. In

Cafe Sydnie Mae / 140 E Bridge St., Breaux Bridge. 337-909-2377.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

Chef Bonnie Breaux creates masterful Cajun and Creole fare at Café Sydnie Mae (right) crawfish etoufeé (above) and steak topped with crab meat (bottom right)

Bonus Bite Located just a few block away, Buck & Johnny’s Restaurant (100 Berard St., Breaux Bridge, 337-442-6630, has live music nightly and a rollicking Zydeco breakfast every Saturday morning from 8:30 to around noon. Dancers and diners enjoy the forceful beat of a live Zydeco band.

doing so she brought a fresh approach and organizational skills that revolutionized the historic restaurant. In 2017 she bested and outcooked scores of other chefs to become the first ever “Queen of Louisiana Seafood,” an honor bestowed by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board at the 10th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off. Chef Breaux, again with the Durands, opened Cafe Sydnie Mae in the spring of 2018. Named for the late Sydnie Mae Maraist Durand, a relative of the restaurateurs and a formidable, though beloved woman who served for 16 years in the Louisiana Legislature as a State Representative for District 46. She made things happen as the Chairwoman of the House Health and Welfare Committee, and also served on the House Executive Committee. n


Try this


White country gravy on a 14-ounce rib-eye topped with a rich herb compound butter, and a bacon-wrapped 9-ounce filet. Optional toppers include sautéed jumbo lump crab, grilled or fried shrimp, crawfish etouffee, and Teche Wellington sauce.

❷ Open daily for breakfast

Omelets are fluffy and stuffed with delicacies: The Atchafalaya with shrimp, crab, crawfish, onions, bell peppers and Swiss cheese; and The Sydnie Mae filled with creamed spinach, crawfish and pepper jack cheese.

❸ Ten dollar Light Lunch Specials

Entree options include Hawaiian or grilled chicken; blackened or grilled catfish or shrimp; Grilled Shrimp, Mushroom and Artichoke Medley; and a trio of fresh tacos stuffed with a choice of grilled catfish, shrimp or chicken.

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fo o d+dr i nk / de la c u isine

You can certainly substitute Dijon mustard for the Creole mustard.

Currant jelly or jam is also a good substitute for the fig preserves.

Toasted rye, pumpernickel, or crackers rather than French bread is also quite acceptable.

Conversation and Canapé’s Keep it simple in the new year with pâté, punch and cookies by M a r c e l l e B i e n v e n u p hoto & st y l i n g by E u g e n i a Uh l


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

For years, I’ve bounced through the holidays

attending every party, initiating impromptu gatherings and hosting several family celebrations. The day after New Year’s, I’m ready to take to my bed but hey, it’s Louisiana and Carnival season begins a few days later on Twelfth Night. No rest for the weary. Giving some thought to the holiday season, I proclaimed I’m going to take it easy. My husband is ecstatic. He admitted that he and his tuxedo are worn out. He doesn’t have to

be the constant designated driver and he’s looking forward to not having to balance a plate of food and his non-alcoholic drink while trying to have a conversation while taking a bite of a canape. It’s not that we’ve gotten old; we are at a point in our lives we want a little less excitement. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to celebrate the holidays with friends and family; we’re just going to go at it at a leisurely pace. n


James Beard’s Pâté De Campagne, Provençale A country pâté, this one from James Beard, is a favorite of mine. It takes a little time to put it together but the finished product can be arranged on a wooden meat serving board or a decorative platter on a buffet along with a bowl of Creole mustard, your favorite preserves (I always have some fig preserves I put up last summer), and toasted French bread. M akes 12 servin g s

2 pounds lean pork, coarsely chopped 2 pounds veal, finely chopped

TIP In addition to a full bar along with a wine and champagne station, I like this Cardinal punch, the recipe of which comes from the original “The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book,” first published (as near as can be determined) in 1906.

1 pound ground pork liver 1 pound fresh pork fat (or fat bacon), diced 6 garlic cloves, minced 3 eggs ¼ teaspoon white pepper ⅛ teaspoon cayenne ⅛ teaspoon allspice ⅓ cup Cognac 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Bacon or salt pork, to line the terrine


Serve with d e m i ta ss e co ff e e w i t h a splash of yo u r favo r i t e liqueur.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. In a large bowl, combine pork, veal, liver, pork fat or bacon, garlic, eggs, white pepper, cayenne, allspice, Cognac, basil, salt, and black pepper in and mix well. (If you wish to test for seasoning, fry a small piece in a little butter or oil until it’s cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.)


Line a 2½-quart terrine or baking dish with the bacon or salt pork, reserving two or three strips. Spoon pâté mixture into the baking dish, then place the reserved bacon strips over the top.


Cover tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for one hour. Remove foil and continue baking for one and half hours, or until pâté slightly shrinks away from the sides of the baking dish.


Remove from oven and carefully drain off any excess fat. Cool. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place a weight (I usually use a brick wrapped with heavy-duty foil) on top. Refrigerate for at least eight hours. To serve, cut pâté into ½-inch slices or small bite-size chunks.


Cardinal Punch

Bake 4 Louisiana oranges on a sheet pan in a 300 F oven until tender. Don’t let the juice exude from the oranges.

Bring 1 pint water, 2 tablespoons whole cloves and 4 cups white sugar to a boil in a medium stainless steel sauce pot.

Add roasted oranges, 1 pint Red Bordeaux and 1 pint Tawny Port to cooling syrup and let steep until room temperature. When it has grown cold, remove the oranges and cut up and squeeze to remove all juice. Pass juice through a sieve and return to steeped wine mixture.

Whip 10 egg whites until they are a stiff froth. Add egg whites and 3 tablespoons raspberry juice to wine mixture and put in ice cream maker until the consistency of sherbet. Freeze until service.

Scoop into punch cups and let soften to a thick punch consistency prior to serving. Makes 12 servings


PRALINE COOKIES Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine 1 egg, beaten, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted, 1¼ cups firmly packed light brown sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, stirring well. Add 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt, and stir to mix well. Add 1½ cup pecan halves. Drop by tablespoonsful onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool. Store in airtight containers. Makes about 3 dozen

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fo o d+d rin k / r ec et t es d e co c kta ils

Frost Bite

Freeze a martini glass. After it’s frozen, dip the lip of the glass into simple syrup, then dip the rim into crushed candy canes right before serving.

A Drink with Bite Candy canes rim this wintry white cocktail designed for seasonal cheer by L i s a L e B l a n c- B e r r y p hoto by R o m e r o & R o m e r o

Created b y award - w i n n i n g m i x olo g i s t,

Candace Cooper, co-owner of The Point Seafood and Steakhouse in Broussard, the alluring Frost Bite seduces with creamy notes of vanilla and white chocolate brightened with a hint of pineapple. It is so simple that anyone in any state of impairment can make it, and provides sufficient equanimity to face that discomfiting, tipsy uncle singing carols off-key. “It’s a new, original drink you can request,” says Cooper. “We’re also introducing a multicourse Prohibition era-themed New Year’s Eve dinner with wines selected by Sarah Arceneaux, a sommelier at Brennan’s. She created our wine list.”

Cooper’s partner, Jacob Sonnier, grew up speaking Cajun French near Churchpoint, later earning a master’s degree in French. Working with CODOFIL, Sonnier is developing a weekly French Table at the sleek, oyster-themed bistro that opened in April. Cooper and Sonnier collected oyster shells from Don’s Seafood (where they met) and Hook and Boil (where she was a bartender) and have incorporated them into a design elements including a chandelier. The staff is largely from the now-shuttered Hook and Boil that is being replaced with Trapp’s. “We’ve always been like family,” Cooper says. “The former chef, Derek Weisz, who became executive chef for Mr. Lester’s Steakhouse, created our popular duck and andouille gumbo.” You can watch the chefs char-grilling oysters while sipping Cooper’s award-winning craft cocktails (try a Sweet Caroline). Order duck quesadillas or a juicy steak, then request a Frost Bite for a drinkable, festive finish. n

The Point Seafood and Steakhouse / 811 Albertsons Parkway, Broussard. 337-330-2026.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

In a cocktail shaker, add 1¾ ounces vanilla vodka, 3 ounces melted vanilla ice cream, ½ ounces pineapple juice and 1 ounce Godiva white chocolate liqueur and a cup of ice and shake vigorously.

Strain into dressed martini glass. Hang a miniature candy cane on the rim and a sprig of fresh mint as garnish.

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fo o d+dr i nk / voyag es

Natural State Winter in Arkansas is for art, cheese and nature lovers By C h e r é C o e n

The art world wa s turned on its head when

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, an architectural masterpiece designed by Moshe Safdie that celebrates both art and nature. Since Crystal Bridges opened in 2005, the small Walmart town in the northwest corner of the Natural State has blossomed as an art mecca, thanks to philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton. A 21c Museum Hotel that marries art and hospitality debuted on the town square and art events now occur frequently. Next year, the town welcomes The Momentary, a 63,000-square-foot contemporary art satellite to Crystal Bridges that will include space for visual and performing arts, culinary experiences and opportunities for artists-in-residence. The Momentary opens Feb. 22, 2020, in what was once an old Kraft cheese factory. Like Crystal Bridges, admission is free due to the museum being sponsored by Walmart. If you visit Bentonville during the holidays, be sure to take in North Forest Lights, a nighttime light and sound experience that encourages participants to reconnect with nature and art. The five exhibits include waves of light through a grove of trees, a hearth representing the region’s spiritual heritage and light pixels on a bridge that offer the illusion of water in a forest. The family-friendly holiday show begins Oct. 26 at Crystal Bridges, but continues well into the new year. For more information on Crystal Bridge, The Momentary and North Forest Lights, visit But Bentonville isn’t the only happening spot in Arkansas. The U.S. Marshals Museum was dedicated in September on the 230th anniversary of the creation of the service, the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency. Exhibits are soon to follow in the town where Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves brought outlaws to justice at the city’s courthouse, what is now the Fort Smith National Historic Site. Racing aficionados will enjoy the expanding racetrack options at Oaklawn Racing in Hot Springs, which includes a high-rise hotel and a multi-purpose event center. Other gaming expansions include Southland Casino & Racing in West Memphis, Ark., and Pine Bluff ’s new casino.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

If peace and quiet is more your speed, the state offers a wide variety of parks, from the flat Delta landscape near Memphis to the Ozark and Ouachita mountains. “This time of year is prime bald eagle viewing,” said Meg Matthews, public information coordinator for Arkansas State Parks. “Many parks — Lake Ouachita, Lake Dardanelle, DeGray Lake, Pinnacle, Bull Shoals, to name a few — take guests out on guided tours. Some are in boats, others on foot or via car or van.” Several parks hold “Star Parties” during the winter, Matthews said, where local astronomical societies collaborate with park staff to set up telescopes for star viewing. For the holidays, visitors may enjoy the 600,000 lights decorating the oil field park at the Arkansas

Museum of Natural Resources. History lovers may prefer Jacksonport State Park and its 1872 courthouse that now serves as a museum. The town was once a thriving river port because of the confluence of the White and Black rivers. Want to be part of the art scene while staying at a state park cabin? The nationally syndicated Ozark Highlands Radio records live at Ozark Folk Center State Park near Mountain View and visitors may join the audience. The show features live musical performances from both regional and national acts. But that’s just a sampling of what’s happening in Arkansas this winter. For more information, visit For up-to-date park information, visit n

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acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

By cheré coen photographs by sara essex bradley

Everything you need to know about Acadiana’s favorite local snack


he Cajun boucherie dates back centuries,

a communal hog butchering where careful attempts were made to use every inch of the animal to adequately feed the coterie. Usually held in cold weather months, the boucherie produced items for backbone stew, sausage such as andouille and boudin, ham hocks, bacon and pork roasts, among other pork products. Even the skin of the pig was used. Called grattons in French, or by the more popular name of crackling or cracklin’, South Louisiana residents drop the pig skin with fat and sometimes meat attached into vats of hog lard. The frying time varies

per cook but most know cracklings are done when they pop and form “eyes” and float to the surface. Some cooks pull the cracklings from the fat and allow them to cool before deep-frying them a second time at a higher temperature. Once doused with seasoning, the final product becomes a crispy, tasty snack. Cracklings are cooked throughout the South, but the fatty pork nibble is especially popular in Acadiana. Fresh cracklings under heated lamps or those packaged to go can be found in both meat markets and grocery stores and at your local convenience shops or gas stations.

Don’s chicken cracklins

“Crackling gets under your skin,” wrote George Graham in his cookbook Acadiana Table: Cajun and Creole Home Cooking from the Heart of Louisiana. “It burrows deep into your psyche and finds a portal lobe to a sensory connection you never knew existed. In the real sense of the word, it’s addictive. The fact that most every little store around Acadiana sells pork crackling at the register bodes well for how far this porky addiction has spread.” In that spirit, we huddled with University of Louisiana at Lafayette history professor and Cajun cuisine expert Robert Carriker to bring you this guide to Acadiana’s favorite snack.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

in Breaux Bridge, creates batches of cracklings for his bed and breakfast visitors, serving them up for the first meal of the day. The former winner of numerous crackling cook-offs through the years, Sonnier begins with four gallons of hog lard and 75 pounds of pig skins, slicing the pork into long slabs and cooking them for an hour and 45 minutes in the boiling grease. “When they start floating and blistering, what we call eyes emerging, we take them out,” Sonnier explained. He then raises the grease to about 400 degrees and drops the cracklings back in for about a minute or two. In the second round they pop like popcorn, Sonnier said, and that means they’re done. Removed from the boiling fat with a slotted spoon, Sonnier places the cracklings on newspaper and seasons them with salt, red pepper and a little garlic. Sonnier learned how to cook cracklings from his elders 35 years ago. “In 1985, everyone had a different way of cooking them,” he said.

Rocky Sonnier, who runs Bayou Cabins

Boucheries still exist, but for the everyday cook creating cracklings can be a tough — and heat intensive — job

THE process

Seasoning also plays a role. Most contestants in the festival’s cookoff season their cracklings with salt

“I look for the softness and the hardness,” said Desiree Ardoin, the spokesperson for the annual Port Barre Cracklin Festival. “There’s a happy medium in there.”

The key to producing tasty cracklings starts with the frying. Leave the cracklings in lard too long and they’ll turn dark brown and burn. The fat should remain soft and chewy while the outer skin is crispy when all is said and done.

What makes cracklins so good?

“The skin cracks when fried, leaving a juicy pocket of pork fat underneath that squirts in your mouth when you bite into it”

home chef.) Large pots, preferable black iron, are required for boiling the lard, and the popping grease and overwhelming aroma of pig skin cooking make this endeavor more appropriate for an outdoor affair. The process can be so hot and dirty, TV personality Mike Rowe visited Bayou Cabins to cook cracklings with Rocky Sonnier’s son Baylon Sonnier and his godson Eli Breaux for an episode of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs. “ The trio got both dirty and greasy.

how they make them things

squirts in your mouth when you bite into it,” Link wrote in his cookbook, “Real Cajun.” “But these days cracklings are mostly made from the pork belly, which is actually more flavorful (and a bit less fatty) because they still have a big fatty chunk of meat attached under the skin.” Graham suggests that it’s all about acquiring “the right amount of skin, fat and meat” from a good butcher who will cut the fat into strips. (Note: Cooking cracklings is not advisable for the average

“It just depends on what the judge’s taste buds are and what the judges are looking for,” Ardoin said of the winners’ final products.

Drain. Scoop the cracklings from the hot grease with a slotted spoon, then place them on newspaper or paper towels to drain off the excess grease.

First fry low.

Deep fry cracklings in hot lard or grease until they begin to float on top and produce what Cajuns and Creoles calls “eyes” or blisters.

Cut up pork belly.

Pork belly consisting of skin, fat or meat may be cut into little squares, although some cut pork into long slices and throw them in the grease.




Raise the temperature of the grease and drop the cooled cracklings in for a second time but only for a minute or two, until they pop like popcorn.

Next fry high.


Scoop out the cracklings with a slotted spoon and drain them a second time on paper, then add salt and pepper or a favorite seasoning. Enjoy!

Drain and season.


We’re not showing you this so you can try it at home, but for the sake of curiosity, here’s how the pros do it

They also used cured ham skins. “We cooked them [cured ham skins] for years and they were the best cracklings you would ever eat,” Sonnier said. “Now, everyone sells pork bellies.” New Orleans-based Cochon restaurant owner and James Beard Award-winning Chef Donald Link, who hails from southwest Louisiana, prefers cracklings made from a pig’s back fat. “The skin cracks when fried, leaving a juicy pocket of pork fat underneath that

and pepper, but many have used vinegar, cayenne and their own seasoning blends, Ardoin explained.

almost three-inch cubes. After almost an hour in the heat, Bourque’s cracklings emerge moist with a nice crust on top, Bourque said. The supermarket cooks up cracklings daily in 30-gallon pots before the sun rises. They add their own Cajun spices to the mix and sell the fresh cracklings in the store throughout the day. “I keep cooking mine fresh all day,” he said. “To me, that’s a big deal – freshness.” Bourque started working for the family business 30 years ago, straight out of college. This past January, he purchased the business and expanded into the Lafayette market, opening its latest location last August on Johnston Street. Over in Scott, known as the “Boudin Capital of the World,” cracklings may be just as popular. Both boudin and cracklings are top sellers at Don’s Specialty Meats. Don’s has been cooking their cracklings “the old school way” since 1993. Owner Mark Cole explained how they start cooking pork skins at 2 a.m. daily,

Cracklings can be found almost anywhere in Acadiana , and usually are sold at the same markets that specialize in boudin sausage

the search

Over in Basile, the Louisiana Swine Festival has been celebrating everything pig, which includes cracklings, since 1966. In addition to the pageant, greasy pig contest and boudin eating competition, there’s a cook-off in four categories — pot, pit, Cajun microwave and cracklings. In Mansura, the equally long-running Cochon de Lait Festival features

Food is so celebrated in Louisiana that there is at least one festival per indigenous food. Naturally, two festivals honor cracklings in Louisiana: The three-day Port Barre Cracklin Festival, sponsored by the Port Barre Lions Club, is held every November, and for two days in April things get poppin’ in Parks for the annual Parks Cracklin Cook-off.

Cracklin festivals

Port Barre’s crackling fame may have

There’s nothing like hot cracklings on a cold morning, fresh off the grease at B&O Kitchen. The establishment also produces wonderful sausage, hog’s head cheese and boudin.

Sulphur 337-625-4637

B&O Kitchen

Cracklins from Bourque’s

where to get ‘em

This meat market takes the cake for history. Started in 1891, the market continues to sell its unique beef jerky, tasso, boudin and cracklings. They ship their cracklings too.

Th ibodaux 985-4 47-7 128

S cott 337-233-5805

For years, folks have been planning trips along Interstate 10 to include a pause at Best Stop in Scott. The supermarket started in 1986 is known for its boudin, cracklings and specialty meats.

Bourgeois Meat Market

The Best Stop Supermarket

Bourque’s love affair with cracklings hails back decades, which is why the establishment has won numerous awards at the annual Port Barre Cracklin Festival. Bourque’s cooks its cracklins fresh daily.

L afayette and Port Barre 337-22 4-9305 and 337-585-6261


Every day at 2 a.m., employees arrive to cook cracklings. Once the market doors open, the cooled cracklings are dropped into a fresh pot of lard and served to the public.

Scott and C arencro 337-234-2528

Don’s Specialty Meats

Visit for the plate lunch specials, their boudin and specialty meats, but don’t leave without sampling Earl’s tasty cracklings. They ship as well.

L afayette 337-237-5501

Earl’s Cajun Market

We love Famous Foods for the barbecue and plate lunch specials but the cracklings, cooked up fresh from the back kitchen, are a winner as well.

L ake Charl es 337-439-7000

Famous Foods

This family-owned meat market accompanies LeBleu’s Landing restaurant in Sulphur, but while diners may choose the restaurant at night, folks visit the market in the early mornings for hot boudin and cracklings.

Su l p hu r 337-528-6900

The Sausage Link

“Sunday is the best time to visit the festival because everyone will be cooking cracklings and everyone will be on top of their game,” Ardoin said.

The sights and smells of fried foods, specialty meats and, of course, cracklings will greet diners when they enter Rabideaux’s and spot the many items inside display cases. Plate lunches are served weekly.



vendors selling traditional pork food products. The best day to attend the festivals is during the cook-offs, said Desiree Ardoin, the spokesperson for the Port Barre Cracklin Festival. For the Port Barre event, for instance, vendors and contestants alike will be stirring pots of goodness on the final day.

Rabideaux’s Sausage Kitchen

Here’s a sampler of South Louisiana establishments offering hot, fresh cracklings

begun with Adolph “The Boss” and Yvonne Bourque. In 1948, the couple began selling vegetables, meats and other food products from their one-bedroom house. Over time, the business grew, evolving into Bourque’s Supermarket, which became well known for its specialty meats, boudin and pork cracklings, not to mention its famous jalapeno sausage and cheese bread.

then place the cooked product into a cooler. When it’s time to sell, they drop the cooled pieces into 350-degree heat “to pop them” and then douse them with Don’s seasoning to sell the finished product to the public fresh. Don’s offers pork skins four different ways: hog cracklings, chicken cracklings, Today, Bourque’s is owned by third- pork rinds and crackling crumbs, which generation family member Shannon customers use in cooking dishes, such Bourque, who still cooks up the store’s as cornbread. They ship their crackling cracklings using a 38-year-old recipe variety nationwide with California one and a unique seasoning mix. Bourque’s of the biggest markets, Cole said. cracklings have nabbed first-, secondThat’s just two of the many establishand third-place awards several times at ments throughout Acadiana that cook the Port Barre Cracklin Festival. and sell cracklings. But, don’t bypass Bourque chooses his cracklings from the smaller players. Sometimes a filling the belly of the pig, cooking up pieces station or convenience store may serve of skin, fat and meat in hog lard into up the tastiest Cajun snack.

For one thing, he had never sampled cracklings before, but over time learned to love the crunchy pork snack. Which is why Arnaudville’s Little Big Cup restaurant serves up a crackling-crusted mac and cheese burger. The cheese patties are deep fried with the crackling outer layer, then placed on top of a 100-percent beef, flame-grilled burger served with onion fries. The crackling concoction is also offered as mac and cheese ball for appetizers. “We wanted to put a mac and cheese burger on the menu but make it local,” Maharaj explained. “We had to make it

Sanjay Maharaj left New York to open a restaurant with his partner, Kevin Robin, an Arnaudville native. Robin’s family owns Russell’s Catering in the heart of town, so Robin was no stranger to Cajun cuisine. Maharaj, on the other hand, was in for an eye-opener.

Pork Rind When butchering pigs, the skin — known as pork rind — may be fried quickly in lard and eaten. These puffy, curly pork rinds are usually sold in a bag and appear as light as popcorn.

so here are a few definitions to clarify terms

If a layer of fat and/or meat is included in a cut of pork skin and deep fried, it is considered cracklings. These are usually seasoned after being fried.

Cracklings/ Cracklins

Many people confuse cracklings with pork rinds, a similar pork snack,

A Cracklings Primer

while most people are accustomed to enjoying crackings as a standalone treat or Perhaps in cornbread, more and more chefs are incorporating it into dishes

the menu

5 facts about cracklins

did you know?



For lagniappe, peel and cut yams into half-inch slices and fry in the crackling lard. Sprinkle with cinnamon after cooked, then serve.

The pork meat from the back of a pig.

They may contain no carbs due to its protein but pork crackling is high in fats and sodium. It’s a good idea to eat cracklings in moderation.


Cajun and not just any mac and cheese burger. And it took off.” The crackling-enhanced burger is not for the faint of heart, however. “It’s definitely a sharing burger,” Maharaj said. On weekends, the Little Big Cup lays out a “Boucherie Brunch,” featuring dishes that contain a variety of pork items, including fresh cracklings. “Kevin wanted a boucherie brunch and cracklings are such a local favorite,” Maharaj said. “We’re in Arnaudville and we’re on the bayou so we go all out.” At the end of the spread — which includes a variety of dishes from crème brulee French toast to chicken and smoked sausage gumbo — lies a basket of fried hog cracklings, which delight locals and visitors alike, Maharaj said. “People go crazy about the cracklings,” he said. “It’s like a cherry on top of the cake.” Now, whenever the duo considers a new menu item, there’s a running joke. “I say, ‘Let’s dust it with cracklings,’” Maharaj said with a laugh.

Acadiana-born, New Orleans Chef Donald Link serves cracklings on top of grits and pork roasts but also mixed into cornbread batter.


In England, they cook up a similar dish to our pork rinds called pork scratchings, which are made from shank rind and cooked only once.


Louisianans aren’t the only crackling lovers. Mexicans love pork rinds, known as chicharrón, which may also be made from chicken, mutton or beef.


A similar version of pork rinds that’s popular in Mexico, but it can also refer to cracklings, usually consisting of fried pork belly.



acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020


A Southern woman has a legendary mystique. Storytellers have long tapped into the worlds fascination with a woman who is feminine and speaks her mind; gracious, but in no way a pushover; and possess the strength and force of a hurricane. The Southern woman has earned her fitting nickname: steel magnolia. We would like to thank River Oaks our venue host for our photo shoot. We would also like to thank the Beauty Room for providing professional make up application and hair styling. Also, we would like to thank Mindy Billeaud for providing professional make up application for our 2019 Steel Magnolias.


RIGHT TO LEFT: Anna Olivier, Melissa Maeker, Elizabeth Abdalla, Anne Prague-Gillett Monlezun, Clare Broussard and Stacey Frederick



Anna Olivier Owner of the Jim Olivier Family of Companies, Jim Olivier’s Home Improvement and Roofing Louisiana

Anna Olivier retired as a Registered Nurse to raise her children and help her husband found Jim Olivier’s Home Improvement. She then started and led a direct sales business with results that ranked top 10 in the nation. Upon Jim’s sudden death in 2008, Olivier resigned that position to focus solely on home improvement. She later purchased Roofing Louisiana to round out service offerings. “It’s a privilege to serve our community,” says Olivier. “It drives me daily to exceed expectations in customer service and set a standard of excellence.” Olivier has won numerous business awards and partners with organizations such as Tools for Schools, Windows for Widows, and Habitat for Humanity to further serve the community.


Elizabeth Abdalla Owner & CEO, Abform Workwear

Elizabeth Abdalla is passionate about business and animals, dedicating her time and resources to her Certified Woman Owned Business, Abform Workwear, while also making Lafayette a fun and healthy home for fourlegged friends. With over 38 years in business, Abdalla is leading Abform Workwear towards a new emphasis on international sales. With her experience, she’s able to spend time mentoring young people and helping encourage the next generation of Acadiana entrepreneurs. Abdalla is a board member of Wild Cat Foundation/ SpayNation, a lowcost spay and neuter initiative. She also co-chairs the Krewe des Chiens Mardi Gras parade. Additionally, Abdalla serves as the House Committee CoChair at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette and volunteers for Lagcoe’s International Committee.

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Clare Broussard Owner, M. Clare Designs, LLC & House of Broussard

After the loss of her young child over 20 years ago, Clare Broussard’s life changed forever. Finding inner peace and happiness through her passion for design, Clare became rooted in a thriving career in design. With M. Clare Designs, LLC, Broussard works with architects, contractors, landscapers, and home owners to realize the interior and exterior designs of clients’ dreams. She believes Teamwork helps create a successful story. In 2016, Broussard established House of Broussard, where she sells unique and fine home décor, gifts, and custom furnishings in a renovated historic building in Broussard, Louisiana. Blessed to have the opportunity to inspire others, Clare encourages all to go after their dreams and strive to make a difference in their communities.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020


Melissa Maeker Studio Owner, Frenchies Modern Nail Care

Upon first visiting Acadiana in 2015, Melissa Maeker stopped at Social for a Bloody Mary and a pimento cheese sandwich. She immediately fell in love with Lafayette and quickly made it home. With Frenchies Modern Nail Care, Maeker provides exceptional services in a positive, healthy environment. Committed to giving back, Maeker is a member of Junior League of Lafayette, Acadiana Symphony Women’s League, One Acadiana, and Lafayette Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She fosters puppies for Acadiana Animal Aid, takes adoptable kittens on KADN/KLAF, serves on the Board of SpayNation and cochairs the Krewe des Chien parade. Maeker and her family live with a menagerie of rescue animals, while her beloved longhorn, Louie, strolls the family ranch in Texas. ac 51


Stacey Frederick Owner, Nursing Specialties Home Health & Hospice

Louisiana native Stacey Frederick is a natural leader and compassionate nurse. With over 27 years of nursing experience, she independently owns and operates Nursing Specialties Home Health and Hospice, serving Greater Acadiana from four locations: Lafayette, Eunice, Breaux Bridge and New Iberia. Committed to providing top-quality, individualized patient care, Frederick started her business as a way to care for the community and ensure all patients and families have access to compassionate, hands-on services. In addition to leading the Nursing Specialties team, she is an active mom and community member, serving on various boards across Louisiana. She volunteers her time and money to organizations locally and globally and attributes her success to strong faith, independence, and hard work.Â


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020


Cary B. Bryson Tax Attorney, Bryson Law Firm, LLC

Anne PragueGillett Monlezun Mardi Gras Entrepreneur

Dreaming that “Mardi Gras is for everyone,” Anne Prague-Gillett Monlezun organized the first Lake Charles Mardi Gras in 1980. A former Certified Dance Teacher with a passion for celebrations, Monlezun formed Mardi Gras Krewes and associations and founded the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calasieu, which has garnered her numerous awards. Monlezun has also been recognized for volunteering her time and talents to the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau Board, The Louisiana Pirate Festival Ball, and the LSU Medical Schools Gala Benefit following Hurricane Katrina.

As a co-founder of Bryson Law Firm, LLC, Cary Bryson focuses on three things: faith, family, and taxes! What started as a small, husband and wife tax resolution law firm in Lafayette is now a multi-city Louisiana firm helping thousands of individuals and businesses out of tax trouble. The firm consistently achieves trust by treating clients with utmost respect. “I feel responsible for protecting fellow Louisianians from national marketing companies who prey on their fears about their tax problems through radio and TV. I want to help them fix their tax troubles and get their lives back on track,” says Cary. Cary credits his wife, Angie, and their six children for his success, referring to his family as his “crowning achievement.” “While law school may have taught me the technical part of law, being a husband and father has taught me the real power of negotiation and problem-solving,” he says.

Proud wife of Dr. Lee J. Monlezun Jr., mother of four, and grandmother of nine, Monlezun recently sold her 30-year international sequin and bead company, Glitz Inc., and now enjoys her new business, Sassy Royals Hats.

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acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

a rt i st Hannah mason s e es h e r s e l f as an a rt i st always su r r ound e d by h e r ch i ld r e n who a r e th e i ns p i rat i on f o r h er w o rk .

c u ltur e / l es a rt ist es

Energy All Her Own Lafayette artist Hannah Smith Mason continues to carve a niche in the local art scene by capturing the mechanical and industrial beauty of the oilfield on canvas by W i l l K a l e c p o r t r a i t by R o m e r o & R o m e r o

Fa miliar scenes of the industrial heartbeat

of South Louisiana play out in unexpected colors and tones, as artist Hannah Smith Mason — whose life has always been tied to the energy sector — reimagines the instantly recognizable with each impressionist brushstroke.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

What arose from a simple “Hey, why don’t you paint some oil rigs?” suggestion from her father, Randy, has blossomed into Mason’s signature series, the most recent entry being her painting of an offshore oil rig at sunrise for the 2019 LAGCOE Convention poster in New

Orleans this past October. In a palette knife and acrylic-on-canvas piece, harmonized textured blends of yellow, pink and sky blue create a sense of movement on the water and includes a standby boat and helicopter along with the platform rig to recognize the service and support aspect of oil and gas. “My main goal was to do something memorable and different,” Mason says. “When I looked at the LAGCOE posters of the past, they were very masculine, very dark, although still beautiful. I wanted to use colors that inspired hope, and colors that represented the LAGCOE theme of ‘The Future of Energy.’ To me, the future of this industry is bright.” If anyone should know, it’s Mason. From birth (and now as a mother of three) she’s been in an oilfield family. Because of the transient nature of the industry, Mason has constructed makeshift art studios for herself in a variety of locations — the dining room table when they lived in Houston, the basement when her husband, Marcus, was relocated to Pittsburgh, the spare bedroom when they moved to Denver. It wasn’t until Mason relocated back to Lafayette in 2014 that she considered capturing the rugged brilliance of the oilfield in her work. “I have a style, yes, but I paint for my audience and I paint for the buyer,” Mason says. “And when I get commissioned to paint an oil rig, the buyer wants to remember the journey and the result — because there’s a lot that goes into drilling. The cost. The time. The effort. The risk involved. It consumes you and it’s all on the line. “You know, I’ll probably never be asked to paint a dry hole, but if you hit pay dirt, that’s a memory you’ll never forget,” Mason continues. “The painting, in that sense, becomes a trophy and that’s great to know that’s how they view your work. ‘Hey, see that well up there on the wall? I made a few million dollars on that well.’”n


Hannah smith mason


My grandmother. She had a knack for drawing and painting, although she never tried to sell her work. But I remember sitting at the kitchen table with her, doodling and drawing, and she’d compliment my work, which made me think I was good at it.


“You know, when I was 23 years old, I moved to Los Angeles and I was doing dictation. Dictation wasn’t really me, so I was looking for something else, and that’s when I connected with Dr. Phil’s publicist and took a tour of the Paramount lot and landed a job working for the executive producer of the “Dr. Phil” show. Getting there, it opened my eyes. I never realized you could make a big living off of being creative and artistic. These were working artists who weren’t starving. It gave me hope that art is appreciated.


The art I do really allows me to give back. I love having my art included to promote things, to fundraise, to be included in charity auctions and things like that. When we can, we donate money, but we can also donate paintings and have the sale go directly to the cause.

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c u ltu r e / l es p e rso n n es

Man At The Mic The comforting and recognizable voice of popular KBON radio DJ Hoss Childress continues to be the soundtrack of Acadiana’s early-day routine By W i ll i am K al e c portr ait by Romero & Romero

It’s 5:50 a . m . in mostly-still-sleeping Eunice , and though the ON-AIR studio light won’t flash red for another 10 minutes, the show — now in its 41st year — has already begun. Though beloved KBON radio DJ Hoss Childress is a proud lifer of this aging art form, he’s nervously darting around and fiddling with everything like he’s a new hire. Stacking cue cards, all aligned, not a single corner poking out. Tilting the monitor down juuuuust so. Wait, too much. Tilting the monitor back up juuuust a little. There. Perfect. Turn the coffee mug handle so it’s facing 90 degrees left. “My wife, Tisha, will tell you, I’m as OCD as they come,” Childress says, almost like a disclaimer. Simply put the man behind the mic has a routine, which is fitting since for so many in Acadiana that same man is part of their daily routine. Up until noon on weekdays, Childress’ commanding yet pleasant voice can be heard in between Cajun and Zydeco songs on cultural purveyor and radio station KBON 101.1 FM — the latest spot on an accomplished resume where the call letters at all the places he’s worked resemble a bowl of Alphabet Soup. As terrestrial radio becomes more syndicated and homogenized, Childress stands out from the cookie-cutter crowd. That’s part of his appeal. He talks like us. Acts like us. Cares like us. Because he’s one of us — a “south of the tracks” kid from Crowley who grew up singing in the Sunday choir and attending the same elementary school as music legends Wayne Toups and Lee Benoit. . “You learn early on — especially at this radio station — that you’re a part of people’s day,” Childress says. “You’re there when they wake up. You’re there for breakfast. You’re there for the coffee break. For the rides to school. The listeners are letting you be a part of their lives, their morning, and that’s something serious.


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

“And you realize how serious it is, oddly enough, during a technical difficulty — when something out of your control happens. Man, it’s like a panic when you’re off the air! Or, I have people tell me, ‘I let the kids ride in the front seat, but I warn them not touch the

radio, because I have to listen to KBON in the morning. It’s on KBON. It stays on KBON.’ “So yes, it’s an honor and a responsibility.” Like many cutting their teeth in the business, Childress’ start on the air wasn’t loaded with fanfare. During the summer of 1978, Childress

TOP DOCTORS worked part-time at the local contemporary Christian music station, KAJN, before headed off to his freshman year of college out of state. After completing one semester, the 18-year-old Childress returned back to Louisiana with a job offer and a decision to make – take over KAJN’s midnight to 6 a.m. graveyard shift, or stay in school. Childress took the gig. Somewhat surprisingly, Childress says nerves really didn’t surface during his on-air infancy. Speaking in a microphone, back then in a smoke-stained studio, just felt natural. “It’s strange, and it’s still this way today, if I go into a crowded room and am around a bunch of people, I’m not great speaking off the cuff,” Childress explains. “But if I have a platform, and I have a mic in my hand, the words just come out naturally. I don’t know how or why that is, but it’s always been that way. “The microphone allows me to open up, speak about things, and just be the voice you hear in your car, or at work, or driving the kids to school.” Childress’ likable energy has been a fixture around town even when listeners turn off the dial. In his early days, he collected a few records and spun them at weddings and graduations to supplement his on-air income. In the 1990s, every Saturday night, he hosted club nights at Cowboys in Scott, just off the interstate. And even today, Childress lends his talented pipes to public announcement duties at various University of Louisiana at Lafayette sporting events. But what he’s most known for is manning the mornings at KBON — a job he calls “an honor” when station founder Paul Marx invited him onboard six years ago. A lover of local music, Childress has musicians in studio a couple times a week to talk about upcoming shows or new albums — an in-person sitting in which the interview comes off like two old friends catching up rather than a stiff ask-and-answer volley. “My style has evolved, yes, but more specifically my style is still evolving to this day,” Childress says. “Getting too comfortable, you’ll develop bad habits. Now, my voice stays the same, but my technique keeps growing, for sure. I mean, I started this when I was 18 years old, so yeah I’m one of those old guys who put vinyl on the platter,” Childress says. “I went reel-to-reel, even. No CDs. No digital like it is now. So yeah, things have changed over the years, man. And you have to change with them or otherwise you get left behind.” n


Hoss Childress


On my mother’s side, I was raised in a very religious family — Assembly of God — so I’ve been under a pew since birth and involved with church-related things like choir. My voice changed pretty early, so I joined up with a man name Charles Hanks, who started a small gospel quartet called The Gospel Lights. I sang bass with them for five years, starting when I was 12 years old.

In A cadiana



To me, all the disc jockeys that I heard growing up — disc jockeys that were my heroes — were all natural when they spoke. I didn’t like disc jockeys that spoke like Radio Guy. ‘Hey, we’re giving away tickets to the ninth caller! And I’m changing my voice!’ Those, from the early days, drove me crazy because it was so fake and so phony.


It has to be the listeners. They’re as loyal as they come, and they’re as involved as they come. It’s a station where wishing the listeners happy birthday, and announcing anniversaries is a big deal — and we do that every day. Our listeners drive our format and drive our sound.



February 1st


Rebecca Taylor | 337-298-4424

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c u ltu re / e n f ra nç a is, s ’il vo us p l a ît

La Christine Quand une orange était un beau cadeau par Dav i d C h er am i e

Ava n t q u e le Sa n ta Clau s q u ’ o n c o n n a î t

aujourd’hui avec sa tenue rouge et blanche n’apparaisse, les enfants de l’Acadiana n’attendaient pas le Père Noël, transporté dans une pirogue tirée par douze cocodries, le soir du 24 décembre comme on pourrait croire. Il n’y a pas trop longtemps passé, Noël était strictement une fête religieuse et solennelle, avec la messe de minuit célébrant la naissance du bébé Jésus et peut-être une veillée en famille. Ce n’était que des années après avec l’américanisation que la pratique d’échanger des cadeaux ce jour-là est devenue la norme. D’ailleurs, c’est à ce moment que le mot « Chrismusse », emprunté du mot anglais Christmas, a paru en français louisianais, afin de le distinguer de la fête religieuse. Les enfants attendaient quelqu’un pendant les fêtes de fin d’année, mais ce n’était pas un homme et ce n’était pas Noël. Ils attendaient la Christine le 31 décembre. La Christine ne laissait pas de bébelles ni de linge neuf ni de bicyclettes, mais des fruits, des noix et, parfois pour les plus chanceux, des bonbons ou peut-être même quelques sous. Les oranges étaient une denrée rare à trouver le jour de l’an dans un chausson et un petit soulier. Sur sa mode de transport, la légende est muette, mais on croit savoir comment elle est arrivée en Louisiane. Tout comme le sapin de Noël qui est d’origine allemande, les folkloristes croient que ce sont les immigrants « allemands » de l’Alsace-Lorraine qui ont amené « Das Christkind ». À l’oreille française, l’enfant Christ est devenu la Christine. Au fur et à mesure que la tradition de Santa Claus s’est imposée, la Christine s’est transformée en Mme Claus et ses étrennes de la Saint-Sylvestre ont arrêté chez la plupart des familles. La Christine n’a pas complètement disparu quand même. Certaines parties d’Acadiana ont gardé le souvenir de son nom et la pratique de distribuer des sous le jour de l’An avec la salutation « Bonne année, gros nez. Fouille dans ta poche et donne-moi de la monnaie! » Je ne sais pas si la Christine avait un gros nez, mais un autre personnage folklorique associé avec cette époque de l’année english translation / ac


acadiana profile december 2019/January 2020

est caractérisé par la longueur d’une partie de son corps. Madame Grands Doigts est plus ambigüe car, selon les régions, elle peut être méchante ou gentille. Tantôt c’est une sorcière qui vole les enfants pas sages et les mange, tantôt c’est elle qui laisse des fruits et des noix, soit la veille de Noël, soit le Jour de l’An. La légende que j’ai entendue, c’est la Christine qui amène les

étrennes le Jour de l’An, mais, si l’enfant n’a pas été sage entretemps, Madame Grands Doigts vient le 6 janvier, la fête de l’Épiphanie et le début de la saison de Mardi Gras, reprend les cadeaux et laisse un morceau de charbon. La Christine, avec sa générosité, sa gentillesse et son mystérieux, pourrait revenir à la mode et surveiller les enfants à la place de ce petit lutin sur l’étagère. n