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Shredded pork in garlic sauce



Fried rice

Sichuan spicy chicken


Chrysanthemum flower tea Kung Pao chicken

A fabulous feast from White Fox

features Célébrer le mode de vie acadien




Throughout the year, we scour Acadiana in search of the latest crop of eateries striving to uncover new favorites and those poised to stand the test of time.

An outdoor party that’ll have your friends and family begging to come back for more

Everything you need to plan the Big Day of your dreams

Best new restaurants

By cheré coen & photographs by denny culbert

Backyard entertaining

written & photographed by Denny Culbert

acadiana weddings

contents june/july 2017 | volume 36, number 3

6 lagniappe

A little Extra 8 note de l’editeur

Editor’s Note

food+drink 21 sur le menu

News Briefs

Beat Summer Heat: When the temperatures rise in Cajun Country, the cool kids go for cold treats



10 nouvelles de villes

le visiter

Calendar of Events

de la cuisine

Summer Fruits: Tomatoes, corn and figs take center stage during the hottest season 26 recettes de cocktails


Lucille’s Bubbles and Bite: An invigorating summer cocktail that delivers eye candy and wow factor in Lake Charles

13 la maison

Artful Outdoors: Entertaining rituals are amplified by summer’s full spectrum at a sprawling country estate 16 pour la maison

Plant Styling: Picture-perfect pottery 18 À la mode

Summertime Hats: Sun protection + style

culture 89 les artistes

Greetings and Salutations: Lafayette native Cayla Zeek’s illustrations go big for Festival International 96 la musique

Earfully Yours: Breaux Bridge fiddler David Greely goes acoustic, sort of

On the Cover A feast from White Fox with fried rice, shredded pork in garlic sauce, Kung Pao chicken, Chrysanthemum flower tea and Sichuan spicy chicken tickled our tastebuds during the shoot. We also loved the story of how the restaurant came to be and how it came to be named. We think you’ll be just as charmed by owners Michael Verret and Yaoling Zheng when you read it.

100 les personnes

The Mother of All Pies: Imani Guillory Fruge has Cajun country and beyond talking about her savory Southern pies 104 en français, s’il vous plaît

Jean-Jacques Audubon: le Créole aux oiseaux

lagniappe Learn French Tournesol

What is your go-to summertime beverage to serve for outdoor entertaining? Editor in Chief Managing Editor Associate Editor Copy Editor Art Director “When the rise, Lead Photographer temperatures I head straight for Web Editor the lemon trees of my neighbors. Vice President of Sales Homemade lemonade is easy to make, refreshing and versatile. Sales Manager Sometimes I’ll jazz it up with another fruit, such as strawberries, or maybe a little Account Executive vodka.”

translation: Look at the sunflowers growing along the bayou.

Colleen Monaghan (504) 830-7215 Rebecca Taylor (337) 298-4424 (337) 235-7919 Ext. 230 Nikole Reich (337) 552-4258 (337) 235-7919 Ext. 231

Director of Marketing & Events Cheryl Lemoine Event Coordinator Whitney Weathers digital media associate Mallary Matherne For event information call (504) 830-7264

For subscriptions call (504) 830-7231

“Light rum, simple syrup and lime juice over ice. You can make it as sweet or as tart as you want, coat the rim of the glass in sugar, add a lime wedge, or both! I like it because it can be adjusted easily to different palates and it’s incredibly simple and affordable to make.”

Chief Executive Officer President Executive Vice President

Todd Matherne Alan Campell Errol Laborde

example: Regardez les tournesols qui poussent le long du bayou.

Errol Laborde Melanie Warner Spencer Ashley McLellan Amanda Orr Sarah George Danley Romero Kelly Massicot

Production manager Jessica DeBold Production Designers Monique DiPietro Demi Schaffer Molly Tullier Traffic Coordinator Terra Durio Distribution Manager John Holzer office manager Mallary Matherne Subscription Manager Brittani Bryant

(n) sunflower. Any genus of Helianthus mollis with typically yellow-rayed petals and a large, edible seed-filled head.

“For a cool, refreshing summertime libation my go to cocktail is a Moscow Mule. Vodka with ginger beer and fresh lime juice served in an ice cold copper mug is a sure crowd pleaser. And, sparkling wine is always on the menu when entertaining because everybody loves bubbles. Now I’m thirsty!”

Did You Know? Sunflowers, or tournesol en francais, are named for their flowery following of the sun: they literally turn (tourne) to face the summer sun (sol) throughout the day. Sunflowers are cultivated for their beauty, as well as their ability to prevent soil erosion, protect prairie wetlands, and attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators. The Louisiana Native Plant Initiative recently released seeds for Cajun Sunrise, a sunflower specially adapted for planting and use in southern Louisiana, in an effort to provide plant species that protect local habitats. The Ecology Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is one of the only locations propagating and distributing these wetland conservation seeds. — Ashley McLellan

Behind The Scenes

2016 AWARDS 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

Rob Sandberg and Ruebin Sandberg plate the red snapper dish while Chef Collin Cormier looks on as photographer Denny Culbert catches the action. See more on page 38. Photograph by @bayoudeshommes.

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.

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acadiana profile june/july 2017

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.

note de l’editeur

Despite the heat and humidity, Summer is still one of my favorite

times of year. As the temperatures rise, getting out into nature falls slightly down the priority list, in favor of activities a little closer to home (and the air conditioning). Backyard barbecues with friends definitely top the list as does one of my favorite hobbies, trying out the newest restaurants to hit the scene. Whether you are holding your own summer party or going to one at the home of a friend or family member, our entertaining feature on page 38 is sure to inspire. We teamed up with Collin Cormier of Pop’s Poboys, Chef Rob Sandberg (who is collaborating on a new restaurant with Cormier), his brother Ruebin Sandberg (also a chef ) and Sean and Michelle Ezell, the owners of Tsunami Sushi for a feast al fresco (and cocktails) complete with all of the mouthwatering recipes so you can test, taste and share. If you weren’t already hungry enough, flip to page 28 for this summer’s installment of our picks for the best new restaurants in Acadiana. From artist, carpenter and boucherie expert Toby Rodriguez’s revival of Acadian Superette in Lafayette, fresh and local “Southern Bistro” fare at Cinclare in Thibodaux and the innovative international street foods offered up at Sloppy’s Downtown in Lake Charles, the region’s chefs are getting creative in the kitchen and we’re more than happy to risk our beach bods to sit a spell in the cool respite of their dining rooms and sample the menu. Our Style + Home, as well as Food + Drink features also offer loads of inspiration for cool style and cool eats, so kick back on the porch or patio with a frosty beverage and dig in. Summer in Acadiana has arrived and ça c’est bon!

sales team

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

Nikole Reich Account Executive (337) 552-4258 (337) 235-7919 Ext. 231

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

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

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acadiana profile june/july 2017

nouvelles de villes

by lisa leblanc-berry

New Iberia Prairie Ronde

Rice Revolution

From the Crescent City to Acadiana



On the Horizon

Cook-off Leaves New Orleans

Drilling in Class

The 10th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-off is being held outside of New Orleans for the first time. The star-studded, June 20 event, designed as a competition for Louisiana’s top executive chefs, has been moved to the Cajundome Convention Center. Samples are being served as part of the opening event for Eat Lafayette, which is now being held in conjunction with the cook-off.

Nicholls State University recently unveiled a new program by the Petroleum Engineering Technology and Safety Management department that creates a virtual drilling experience in the classroom. It is the only university in the Gulf South using this state-ofthe-art well control simulation technology on its campus.

Fans are eagerly anticipating the opening of several popular New Orleans establishments that are migrating to Acadiana. This includes the first-ever Rock n’ Bowl that will be opening outside of New Orleans (with an expected December debut). The new Rock n’ Bowl will be located in Lafayette’s old Whitney Bank, which is being transformed to house a larger replica of the original, complete with a full-service kitchen and balcony suites with views of the concert area and bowling lanes. Dat Dog’s first eatery outside of New Orleans is slated to open in Lafayette, and Drago’s (famed for its sizzling char-grilled oysters) is also planning a Lafayette location. Check back for updates.


What happens when a tortilla falls in love with a Cajun? They make baby Cajundillas, and live spicily ever after. Saints quarterback Drew Brees, co-owner of numerous Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar

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acadiana profile june/july 2017

establishments, is a big fan of these sassy little Cajundillas (chipotle tortillas stuffed with andouille, boudin, chicken and Monterey Jack). You’ll be able to order such flavorful fare at the sprawling new Walk-On’s in Broussard, along with an extensive array of creative cocktails. In other news, Broussard’s Cajun Chef

Set along the Bayou Teche, New Iberia is one of the few cities in the U.S. that has repeatedly earned the highest of Main Street rankings. The picturesque Main Street recently earned a 2017 national accreditation for their dynamic program that is overseen by a nationally certified program director. Congrats!

Don’t Light Up! Bar owners have until Aug. 1 to enact a smoking ban passed by the Lafayette CityParish Council. The ordinance bans smoking inside bars, clubs and any public places. However, smokers can light up as long as they’re five-feet away from doors; they can also smoke on bar patios.

Mark Alleman, owner of Hook & Boil, will be expanding his restaurant and catering biz with the opening of Hook & Boil at the Filling Station in Lafayette, complete with a snazzy rooftop bar, just in time for South Louisiana’s next crawfish season, so keep a look-out.

photo courtesy: dat dog; walk on’s

Foodie News

Beth James, co-owner of the 1,110-acre James Farms, has opened a progressive new farm-totable rice mill in Prairie Ronde in partnership with Rolando Sanchez. Due to his innovative farming practices, Sanchez was recently named “Farmer of the Year” by the US Department of Agriculture for the United States. James Farms took a bold move to go straight to market from the farm with their new non-GMO singlevariety Prairie Ronde Rice (GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plant and meat products with artificially altered DNA; known to trigger organ toxicity, increased allergies, hormonal disruption and other health problems). Verified as non-GMO, the new rice cooks more evenly and is now available in select stores and farmer’s markets (

Championing Main Street


by kelly massicot

around acadiana Bon temps in and around Cajun Country June 2-4. Cajun Heritage Festival. Larose. 2-4. Bubba Dove Fishing Rodeo. Houma. 3. Delcambre Seafood Farmers Market. Delcambre. 4. Creole Culture Day. Vermilionville. 7-10. Swollfest Fishing Rodeo. Grand Isle. 9. Hilliard Museum Summer Exhibit Reception. Lafayette. 10. Downtown Art Walk. Lafayette. 20. Louisiana Seafood Cookoff. Lafayette. 23-25. Louisiana Catfish Festival. Des Allemandes. 24. Gulf Coast Shrimp & Jazz Festival. Lake Charles. 25. Stars and Stripes - A Musical Celebration. New Iberia. 30. Firecracker Derby. Lake Charles.

July 1. 11th Annual SWLA Patriot’s Ball. Lake Charles. 1. Delcambre Seafood Farmers Market. Delcambre. 1. Houma Independence Celebration. Houma. 8. Downtown Art Walk. Lafayette. 14-15. Cajun Music and Food Festival. Lake Charles. 20. Ladies “Coco Classic” Benefitting Autism Speaks. Houma. 29. Summer Fun Kids Day 2017. Houma.

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acadiana profile june/july 2017

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

la maison

artful outdoors Entertaining rituals are amplified by summer’s full spectrum at a sprawling country estate By Lisa LeBlanc-Berry | Photos by chad chenier

Surrounded by nature in

their pastoral paradise, Carl and Jenny Comeaux spend most summer weekends hosting family and friends with pool

parties and prolific barbecues at their 10,000-square-foot residence. The couple is continually making improvements to their 75-acre,

Carencro property rimmed with live oaks and fragrant roses. They have aptly augmented the verdant grounds with equestrian trails and bike paths,

camper hook-ups near stocked ponds, a baseball diamond and a bountiful orchard, where morning sunbeams shine like powdered gold through the lemon trees.


la maison

There’s a splendid view of the orchard from a newly fashioned L-shaped pool. A shallow tanning ledge that spills into the deep end was designed for Jenny. Her elaborately appointed outdoor kitchen and covered patio with multiple seating areas are an extension of the glassed-in great room and gourmet kitchen. Just as spring was giving way to the sweet smells of summer cook-outs and chlorine, Jenny reported that 69 Canadian geese were feeding on the pond fronting their five-bedroom house that’s surrounded by deep porches. The front porch, which doubles as Jenny’s office, is glassed-in to provide a better view of the ponds and waterfowl. Just a couple pairs of Canadian geese were there when the Comeaux family acquired the sprawling, bucolic property several years ago. The geese are now fed daily by a former teacher from Rayne. She fell in love with the picturesque property and works full time tending the geese, horses and bountiful orchards that produce oranges, lemons, grapefruit, pomegranates and sweet, sticky figs ripe and ready by July. When company comes, Jenny picks fresh herbs from flower boxes Carl recently installed just outside the kitchen window. A few feet away, her summer tomatoes, cucumbers and banana peppers spring from the rich, fertile earth near flower beds ablaze with color. Carl, an engineer, created the outdoor living space, including a 50-foot pergola with sturdy cypress beams. Designed to look rustic, it has copper lighting and a metal roof that creates a symphony of soothing sounds during summer rainstorms. An avid sportsman, Carl brings fresh fish and wild game for warm-weather fish fries and grilling beneath the pergola. During the autumn and winter months, the family gathers around the outdoor fireplace for football games and gumbos. Stargazing by poolside fire pits and horseback riding by moonlight are popular pursuits. “There’s never a dull moment,” Jenny says. “We like to entertain, and we love having the kids over on the weekend. We’re having a big party tomorrow. My 22-year-old daughter, Sophie, is having her church group over, so we’re setting up the

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volleyball net and the basketball goal beside the pool. It’s not just one area they’re able to enjoy. There’s so much outdoor seating everywhere.” During the week, Carl arises before dawn. He makes fresh juice from homegrown navel oranges, and has coffee with Jenny. Before their busy day begins, they watch the ducks and geese gliding atop ponds that ripple in the breeze, enjoying this atypically quiet time of day on the Cajun prairie.

top left The sound of trickling water spilling into a crystal blue, L-shaped swimming pool is audible in the patio, where family and friends gather for cocktails and cooking after a day of swimming. bottom left A gate going to the orchard is a short walk from the elevated pool area, which provides breathtaking views of the live oaks and manicured Italian cypress trees that surrounds myriad water features and a tanning bed. top right A place to relax in the shade was created for optimal views over the water. bottom right The family’s beloved horses roam eight equestrian trails.

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pour la maison

plant styling

1. The hammered look on this bluish-black pearl-metallic planter hits the nail on the head for chic outdoor style. You’ll find multiple sizes available at All Seasons Nursery, 2974 Johnston St., Lafayette. 337-264-1418.

Picture-perfect pottery by amanda arceneaux photo by romero & Romero

2 & 4. These tall, blue and yellow crackle effect cylindrical pots pair perfectly with tillandsias. Pick up a couple at The Garden Center (open seasonally), 1826 W. Pinhook Rd. Lafayette. 337-234-1895. 3. Rustic and minimalist style come together nicely in this small white and beige pot from Paul Michael Co., 1800 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette. 337-981-1289.

5. Diversify your color palette with a monochromatic look by pairing a succulent with this charming teal pot from The Garden Center. 6. Keep things looking cool with a crosshatched pale mint pot from All Seasons Nursery.

Experiment with color

this season by brightening your space with low-maintenance potted plants. Whether your green thumb takes you indoors or out these pots will make sure everything’s coming up roses.

Water bromeliads where the leaves meet together and form what looks like a cup, called a central tank. Be sure to flush it regularly to prevent water stagnation.







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Ă€ la mode

summertime hats Sun protection + style by amanda arceneaux photo by romero & Romero 1

Define your signature

style this summer with one of these stunning hats. Grab a good book, a refreshing cocktail and hold onto your hat for a little extra protection from the fierce Louisiana sun.



1. Create your own shade in this blue and cream mixed paper crown hat with distressed ribbon sunbrim and faux suede tassels by San Diego Hat Co. Many styles available at Caroline & Company, 113 Arnould Blvd., Lafayette. 337-984-3263.

Gift this unisex hat to your significant other and you can borrow every now and then. Hats and happiness are for sharing.

2. The Autumn straw hat by Brixton features a stiff flat top with a medium brim banded with blue grosgrain ribbon from Genterie Supply Co., 408 Jefferson St., Lafayette. 337-401-3833. 3. This flexible, wide-brim black and white hat will go with just about anything in your closet. San Diego Hat Co. from Caroline & Company. 4. Complete your casual look in this cowboy-inspired rolled brim straw hat with beaded accents by San Diego Hat Co. from Caroline & Company.


5. This unisex wide-brim straw hat with classic cording detail by Brixton is a summer wardrobe staple. Pick up the Sandoz Hat at

Genterie Supply Co. 6. Be bold in the black Faye Fedora by Brixton that’s sure to make a statement with its tall crown and extra wide brim. Get yours at Genterie Supply Co.


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acadiana profile june/july 2017

food+drink Ça c’est bon

sur le menu

beat summer heat When the temperatures rise in Cajun Country, the cool kids go for cold treats by Jyl Benson Photos by denny culbert

In 2014, gelato artisans

from across America faced off in Austin, Texas for the Gelato World Tour. Silvia Bertolazzi, proprietress of Lafayette’s Carpe Diem! Espresso and Gelato Bar walked away with the top award for “La Grande Bellezza” (The Great Beauty) for her richly-hued avocado and basil gelato. A native of Merano, Italy, Bertolazzi studied modern languages at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana). Charmed by the culture, she made Lafayette her home and found work with UL France, at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. She opened her shop on Jefferson Street when a craving for her homeland’s signature dessert struck and she grew homesick.

Originally created in Bergamo in northern Italy in 1962, stracciatella is gelato infused with fine chocolate flakes achieved by drizzling in a thin stream of melted chocolate during the final stages of churning the gelato. At Lafayette’s Carpe Diem! Espresso and Gelato Bar, Silvia Bertolazzi dips her stracciatella pops in luscious melted white chocolate then hits them with an additional drizzle of dark chocolate. Yum.


sur le menu

Peach Mango

Amerena (cherry)

In addition to her love of gelato, Bertolazzi’s passion for pups means dog biscuits and a watering station adjacent to the outdoor seating will keep your canine cool, too, while you indulge in a cold sweet. Every day, the menu of house-made goodness offers over 20 varieties ranging from dark chocolate with fresh cherries; cinnamon-kissed Biscoff; a swirled confection of milk and dark chocolates topped with chocolate shavings; a bracing cucumber-lemon; and the award-winning avocado-basil. The display cases at Indulge, Lafayette’s first dessert-only restaurant, are crammed with fragrant house-made delicacies including cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, tarts and pies. Cool and creamy cheesecakes include blueberry, brownie, Kahlua espresso, turtle, and white chocolate raspberry. If sugar is a no-go, varieties made with Splenda sweetener include key lime and pecan praline. The shop’s signature cold drink is the Cake Shake, a blended delight of cake and Blue Bell brand ice cream served in a large mason jar. The red velvet variety will make you swoon. Less highbrow, but cold, soothing, delicious and more fun than kindergarten, the snowballs at Isis Snow Cones & Snacks have been drawing lines that wrap around the block since 2012. Flavors are numerous but watermelon ball, palm ball and pineapple ball, in which the middle of the fruit is hollowed out and filled with sweet, refreshing snowball, are what keeps the customers coming from near and far. Consider adding a scoop of ice cream to the middle of the cold, flavored snow for a creamy treat. Not just a snowball stand, you can score a full meal that will make you feel like a child. The hatched-roof hut also serves Frito pie, nachos, and hot dogs. Closed on Mondays.

Bonus Bite The highly versatile popsicle is currently the hottest thing going in Acadiana. Pops & Rockets recently opened an expanded production facility and retail facility in downtown Lake Charles. “In addition to a wide variety of pops, we’ve added hand-made ice cream to the menu,” says founder Nick Villaume. “It’s made with milk from Hillcrest Creamery, a local, all-pastured, hormonefree, non-homogenized dairy. They make that super creamy milk that’s the perfect addition to our nostalgic fantasy. “ “Our shop is super cool with 80’s tunes playing and a few vintage 1980’s arcade games. We have already begun expansion into Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.” In Lafayette they sell their pops at La Creperie Bistro at The Parc Lafayette Shopping Center, and via a cart on weekends outside of Jefferson Towers in downtown Lafayette. They kicked off sales in Baton Rouge at the Live After 5 concert series and the Baton Rouge Blues Festival and a retail outlet is coming. A newly expanded menu now encompasses dip pops and filled pops. Current flavors include “Bacon the Law” a maple/bacon pop honoring Judas Priest; and “Pop You Like a Hurricane,” named for the hit song by The Scorpions. They cover the rap scene, too with “Raz DMC,” a raspberry and lime pop. Out any day now is “You Can Still Pop in America,” a pop named for a Night Ranger tune combining strawberry cream and strawberry Pop Rocks candy suspended in white chocolate.

Carpe Diem! Gelato Espresso Bar 812 Jefferson St., Lafayette. 337-534-4155. Indulge 1921 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Ste. 111, Lafayette. 337-5348700. Isis Snowballs & Snacks 1105 N. Avenue D., Crowley. 337-514-3978 Pops and Rockets 104 W. Pujo St., Lake Charles. 888-978-7677.

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de la cuisine

summer fruits Tomatoes, corn and figs take center stage during the hottest season by marcelle bienvenu photo & styling by eugenia uhl

Maque Choux

For the last few weeks on

my morning walks around the neighborhood, I’ve been checking out my neighbor’s garden hoping to find his tomatoes, eggplants and cucumbers ready for harvesting. He saw me coming and before I could say a word, he called out “it won’t be long now.” We laughed. I’m sure he knew that I’m foaming at the mouth just thinking about a platter of thick slices of tomatoes sprinkled with fresh mozzarella, chopped basil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. The tomato is the fruit of a vine native to South America. By the time European explorers arrived in the New World, the tomato had made its way up into Central America and Mexico. The Spanish carried plants back home from Mexico, but it took some time for tomatoes to be accepted in Spain because it was thought that (like various other members of the nightshade family) they were poisonous. Some tomato advocates, however, claimed the fruit had aphrodisiac powers, and, in fact, the French called them pommes d’amour, “love apples.” We, here in south Louisiana, have an annual love affair with our local Creole tomatoes. Whatever kind you are lucky enough to bring to your table, here are a couple of tomato, as well as other fresh-from-thegarden recipes, designed to inspire.

Maque Choux

Fresh Corn Salad

Fig Cake

Maque choux is always made with fresh corn — no frozen or canned corn will do, as the milk from the corn cobs is the secret to making good maque choux.

6 ears fresh sweet corn, husks and silk removed and cleaned

If your fig preserves contain a lot of syrup, you should drain them a bit else the cake will be soggy.

6 tablespoons vegetable oil 1½ cup chopped onions ¾ cup chopped bell peppers 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their liquid 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste salt and cayenne pepper to taste

In a large, heavy pot heat the oil. With a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob and scrape to remove some of the tender pulp and the milk. Add ingredients to pot of oil. When the mixture begins to boil gently, reduce to medium-low and cook for about one hour or until mixture is creamy. Do not cover pot while cooking. Also, it’s very important to cool down the mixture before putting it into containers to freeze. It must be thoroughly cooled. I put the mixture in uncovered bowls in the refrigerator to cool. Stir occasionally. Makes 3 to 4 quarts

2 medium zucchini, cubed 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and chopped

16 ears of cleaned corn

l large yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1 medium-size dred bell pepper, chopped 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, chopped ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups sugar 3 large eggs 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup whole milk 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups mashed fig preserves

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup pecan pieces

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon hot sauce ⅔ cup olive oil ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar

In a pot, cook the corn in boiling salted water until tender, six to eight minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. In a large salad bowl, combine the corn with the onion, zucchini, green onions, red and green bell pepper and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to mix. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, sugar, mustard, hot sauce, olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved, then pour over the vegetables. Toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the sugar and the eggs. Add the vegetable oil and stir well to blend. Add the milk and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well. Add this to the first mixture, stirring, to blend. Add the pecans and figs. Stir again to blend. Pour into a 12-cup bundt pan and bake until it sets, about 1 hour. Remove and cool before slicing to serve. Makes 8 to 10 servings

Makes about 12 servings

Roasted Tomato Pasta Heat the oven to 450 F. In a medium-sized baking sheet pan or casserole large enough to hold the tomatoes without overlapping, combine 4 garlic cloves (minced), 1 cup chopped onions, ½ cup (about 15) pitted Greek olives, ¼ cup drained capers, 1 teaspoon

chopped fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried), salt and cayenne to taste. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil and spread out the ingredients evenly in the pan. With a paring knife, carve a shallow “X” on the bottom of 4 large ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds) and make a cone-shaped cutout on the top of each

tomato to remove the core at the stem end. Halve the tomatoes crosswise and arrange, cut-side down, on top of the ingredients in the baking pan. Roast until the tomato skins blister and wrinkle, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. With your fingertips and a paring knife, carefully remove the tomato

skins and discard. Place the contents of the pan (including the juices) into the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse once or twice. The sauce should be chunky. Return the sauce to the baking pan and keep warm in the turned-off oven.

Toss with the tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or oregano. Season again with salt and cayenne to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Prepare 1 pound uncooked pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Makes 4 to 6 servings (4 cups of sauce)

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recettes de cocktails

lucille’s bubbles and bite An invigorating summer cocktail that delivers eye candy and wow factor in Lake Charles By Lisa LeBlanc-Berry photo by romero & romero

Summer brings sugar-white

beaches, emerald water and exotic drinks that generate a tropical buzz. Jason LaBove’s refreshing new Lucille cocktail seems plucked from the Caribbean. Made with slightly tart organic strawberries from Inglewood Farm, and garnished with sweet pineapple mint that adds a tropical twist, the pretty pink drink is deceptively girlish and pristine. What goes down easy often comes back strong. The bubbly, bittersweet libation has a ginger spice sass on the back end. Orange and rhubarb-flavored Aperol liqueur balances the drink with a subtle bitterness on the finish. Ginger beer adds a spicy little bite with its sharp, tight bubbles. “Lucille was rightly named after the baseball bat owned by Negan from the Walking Dead’s Season 7,” says LaBove, the bar manager and cocktail director of the farm-to-table Restaurant Calla in Lake Charles. “Negan personifies his bat as a beautiful woman. Wrapped in barbed wire, it becomes evident how Lucille goes from being beautiful to dangerous really quick. Like anything else, too much Lucille can have you seeing that beautiful woman turning into that baseball bat.”

Pineapple mint garnish adds a sweet infusion.

The Lucille 2 ounces Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila, ½ ounce Aperol, 1 ounce fresh strawberry juice, 1 ounce fresh lime juice and ¾ ounces agave nectar. Shake over ice and pour into a Collins glass. Top with 2 ounces Fever Tree ginger beer and garnish with fresh pineapple mint.

Restaurant Calla 1400 Market St., Lake Charles, 337-419-1980,

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Throughout the year, we scour Acadiana in search of the latest crop of eateries striving to uncover new favorites and those

poised to stand the test of time. Our 2017 picks will keep you well-entertained and, better yet, well-fed for months to come.


Fried chicken at the Acadian Superette in Lafayette.

Wh te Fo

a given that those born and raised in Acadiana will learn how to cook and carry the culinary knowledge passed down to them throughout their lifetime, in turn passing it along to future generations. For some, their culinary soul pulls them into the business, allowing them to share that love with the world. The following are new restaurants that have opened in Acadiana, helmed by folks who started out in other industries only to be drawn into the culinary fold. The dishes, styles and price points vary but one thing’s for certain — visitors are sure to be served a distinctive and delicious meal.

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acadiana profile june/july 2017

When Michael Verret was considering a trip to Japan, he never imagined going to China. But while researching travel to Japan he visited an Internet website for travelers and met Yaoling Zheng, a Chinese English teacher hoping to practice her English skills.It wasn’t

long before the two met, fell in love and eventually married. The only problem was, when Zheng finally arrived in Breaux Bridge, after two and a half years through the visa process,

Verret had lost his high-paying oilfield job after a surgery. “We thought 'what could we do?' because we needed to make money and we joked about opening a restaurant,” Verret explained. They did open a Chinese restaurant, in 2016, featuring dishes more authentic to China than typical American-Chinese fare, but soon outgrew that space and moved across town this year near the intersection of highways 31 and 94. “We try to do only real Chinese dishes,” Verret said.

White Fox of Breaux Bridge offers authentic Chinese cuisine in the heart of Cajun Country. Dishes include, from left, Sichuan water-cooked fish, shredded pork in garlic sauce, Sichuan spicy chicken, black pepper beef, crispy tempura shrimp and Kung Pao chicken.

The dishes at White Fox reflect the influence of co-owner Yaoling Zheng’s Henan province in China.

White Fox owners, husband and wife team Michael Verret and Yaoling Zheng.

Zheng hails from the Henan province so many dishes reflect that region’s culinary styles, although there are sugary and rice dishes on the menu more typical of south China and spicy Hunan flavors from the southwest. Ask the couple to explain the differences in Chinese food styles and you’ll receive quite an education. It’s what comes from skipping the buffet. “Everything she (Zheng) cooks here is the way she would cook it at home,” Verret explained. One food style from Zheng’s province is the use of spice, something that fits right into the Cajun culinary scene. Zheng makes her own chili pepper sauce. The couple also create their

own stocks and almost all the sauces from scratch. The restaurant’s name originates from the first song Zheng sang to Verret in Chinese. “White Fox” speaks of a supernatural woman who is part fox, part human, who changes a man for the better, although they can never be together. “It’s an old romantic love story, a famous story from a Chinese book,” Verret said. “She (Zheng) is like my White Fox because I’m supposed to help her be successful and she ended up making me successful.”

240 West Mills Ave. Suite 112 Breaux Bridge 337-442-1295

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Tuscan grilled cheese with tomato basil soup.

FR MA E It’s lunchtime and Karl

Boudreaux slaps buttered bread on the grill, then checks the beverage refrigerator, talks to a customer and brews a pot of tea, all while wearing a Jane’s Seafood shirt for his second job as waiter at the long-standing New Iberia restaurant. It’s non-stop for the young entrepreneur, who started in the restaurant business when he was 15. Boudreaux owns Fromage, a grilled cheese eatery in downtown New Iberia that’s only open for the lunch-time crowd, but he continues at Jane’s in the evening to supplement his income. His hard work and determination is what earned him a “20 Under 20” nod this year from the Daily Iberian. Boudreaux came up with the idea of a restaurant serving innovative spins on grilled cheese when a fire shut down Jane’s and he was unemployed for a spell. He had helped friends start an antique business on Main Street in downtown New Iberia and noticed that part of the building was open, a perfect spot for a small restaurant. After a year of careful research, he opened Fromage on April 26, 2016.

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Chef and owner Brett Stutes works in the open kitchen of Sloppy’s Downtown of Lake Charles, the second brick and mortar shop for Stutes’ take on international street cuisine.

“I just started with an idea and it flourished from there,” he said. The menu, naturally, focuses around cheese and white buttered bread but it’s not your mama’s grilled cheese. The bread comes flavored with Boudreaux’s herb-infused butter and includes cheeses such as goat, Havarti, muenster, gruyere and brie, to name a few. In addition to his grilled cheese entrées, Fromage offers salads, soups and desserts, including a sweet fig and brie grilled cheese. Boudreaux loves tea and sells that as well, featuring flavors such as coconut crème and grey lavender. Fromage is also a family affair. Boudreaux’s mother, Sarah Boudreaux, works the front counter. “I’ve had lots of help and a good base,” Boudreaux said of his new adventure. “It’s definitely been interesting and fun. It’s been a learning experience.” 145B W. Main St. New Iberia 337-321-9543

A change in employment prompted young entrepreneur Karl Boudreaux to open a lunchtime restaurant dedicated to varieties of grilled cheese sandwiches, among other menu items. All sandwiches are enhanced with his special herbinfused butter.

Slo y’s d wnt wn For the past two years

Right: Sloppy’s Downtown in Lake Charles is known for its innovative tacos and other styles of global street cuisine, plus a popular pizza owners call the “greatest pizza ever.”

Brett, Derek and Amanda Stutes served up what they called “globally-inspired tacos” on the streets of Lake Charles from The Sloppy Taco food truck; Brett Stutes had started the business when he was between jobs. In early 2016, the street food found a storefront. This past January, the trio opened its second brick

and mortar shop, Sloppy’s Downtown at 329 Broad St., next to the Lake Charles Children’s Museum. Sloppy’s still offers street cuisine but the new establishment branched out with international flavors. “Same owners, different concept,” Amanda Stutes said. “We’re still doing global street food — that’s our cuisine. We’re trying to pull in from different

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Sloppy's Downtown ribeye sliders and fries

places and how they’re doing street food.” In addition, diners will find traditional American dishes such as the ribeye slider, oyster poboys and “the greatest pizza ever,” Stutes said. This summer, Sloppy’s Downtown expects to open a brewpub serving its own craft beers, as well as selections from other Louisiana breweries such as Great Raft of Shreveport, Bayou Teche Brewing of Arnaudville and Crying Eagle, which is also located in Lake Charles. 329 Broad St. Lake Charles 337-602-6365

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One of Acadian Superette’s most popular plate lunch special combines a fried egg with smothered seven steak, petit pois, butter beans, and rice.

Ac dian Supe e e Toby Rodriguez grew up

in a Poché Bridge household where food wasn’t something you discussed and the word “foodie” was never mentioned, but what was served was heavenly. “Everyone in my family are amazing cooks,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez is a visual artist and carpenter but his culinary heritage led to traveling the country showcasing the Cajun butchering style known as boucherie in his Lache Pas Boucherie et Cuisine business. This spring Rodriguez came home to reopen the Acadian Superette in Lafayette’s Freetown neighborhood, serving

up plate lunches indicative to Cajun Country. “I was raised on rice and gravy and always dreamed of opening a butcher shop,” Rodriguez explained. “It seemed natural to have a restaurant attached.” The butcher shop is coming; Rodriguez and partner Dr. Robert Autin have renovated and reopened the Superette in phases with the first phase being breakfast and plate lunches. In addition to the future butcher shop, Rodriguez hopes to open a bar in the back of the Superette, what was once a Lafayette speakeasy. For now, the Superette’s all about the food — fried chicken,

Chef Toby Rodriguez, a native of Poché Bridge, was raised on rice and gravy. He serves up plate lunch specials at the Acadian Superette, a landmark in Lafayette that Rodriguez recently adopted. At top, Rodriguez’s chicken, a popular dish, is seasoned before being battered and fried.

shrimp étouffée, smothered cabbage and naturally lots of meat dishes, fresh from local slaughterhouses. The Superette’s former owner, Lynn Derenthal, remains as well as the personal atmosphere of a corner grocery store. It’s all about making a meal feel like home, Rodriguez explained. “I want people to come in and feel like family. I want that essence to extend beyond the food. You walk in and feel like you’re in grandma’s house. I don’t want it to be any different from what they eat at their house.” 600 Lamar St. Lafayette 337-237-4509

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Cinclare’s Old Fashioned cocktail is owner Michael Dalmau’s favorite. “I adhere to the classics,” Dalmau said. “I think we did it the right way.”

Cin la e Michael Dalmau of Baton

Rouge worked in the restaurant industry for 12 years, then morphed into medical and surgical sales, with the last five years in Thibodaux. A friend who owned a building in the heart of downtown Thibodaux was looking to sell and Dalmau found himself veering back into the culinary world, what he calls his “dream.” He opened Cinclare on West Third Street in February 2016, serving up what he and Chef Quinnton Austin label “Southern Bistro.” “This one was dumb luck and good fortune,” he said of finding the right property. “It was started as a fine dining restaurant, which Thibodaux could use more of.” The cuisine is upscale but not too upscale, he insists, incorporating elegant presentations and techniques with a more rustic flavor. Louisiana farms and companies are used as much as possible, such as locally produced hydroponic lettuce, microgreens from Mossy Ridge Farm and shitake mushrooms from Dulac. “We try to source as locally as we can,” Dalmau said. “We’re kinda like a Louisiana bread basket.”

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Appetizers such as Cinclare’s mushroom toast accented with sherry and a smoked catfish dip with crostini and house-pickled jalapeños, are perfect small dishes to share.

Right: Executive Chef Quinnton Austin, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of New Orleans, heads up the kitchen at Cinclare, serving contemporary Southern cuisine with a rustic flare. Much of the cuisine is produced using Louisiana farms and companies.

He and Austin change the menu every three months — with some popular dishes remaining — and adjust flavors for the seasons. Tomatoes, for instance, will be incorporated into heirloom dishes for the summer. Cinclare also serves up signature cocktails, some classics such as the Old Fashioned, one of Dalmau’s favorites, and some original. The Robichaux, for instance, marries Bayou Satsuma Rum, ginger ale, lime, Angostura bitters and simple syrup, a drink inspired by a friend. The restaurant is open Wednesdays through Saturdays to allow Dalmau time with his young children. “We’re blessed to open four nights a week and have our Sundays free,” he said. 601 W. 3rd St. Thibodaux 985-227-9507

Alligator and andouille cheesecake with a crawfish cream sauce.

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Top Row: Watermelon margarita topped with cilantro. Chef Collin Cormier stretches the dough for pita bread. Red snapper fillets basted with butter by the chef. Middle row: Gulf shrimp on the grill. Baba ghanoush (eggplant dip). Chef Cormier roasts a whole red snapper in the oven. Bottom row: Chef Rob Sandberg stokes the fire. Pita bread to pair with the baba ganoush. Red snapper fillet with roasted vegetables and smoked sausage.


a e u o l

w v d o a

n s s d y

Add the above ingredients, mix in a pinch of music and prepare for a steamy summer featuring tasty bites and cold drinks with friends in the backyard W R I T T E N






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pork tenderloin with roasted zucchini and corn Grilling your vegetables adds a bit of smoky barbecue flavor (especially if you’re using wood coals) that will add depth to your dish. Keep them on the grill until they have a few good char marks before dicing and mixing with cubes of queso fresco.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Jady Regard and Sean Ezell catch up over dinner in Ezell’s backyard. The table set for family style dining. Zucchini on the grill. The chef slices queso fresco to be mixed with the corn and zucchini.

weet, refreshing, green-skinned and bright red watermelons show up at roadside farm stands by the truckload just in time to cool us throughout the steamier months of the year. We are lucky to be able to eat locally and eat well all year long here in southwest Louisiana, but the early summer is particularly special. The chance to pop a cherry tomato — picked perfectly ripe and still warm from the sun — right into your mouth, is a thrilling treat of the season. It’s also the time we gather

in the evenings to fire up the grill and invite friends to join us in the backyard to share in the bounty of the land and sea. Louisiana grown chef Collin Cormier of Pop’s Poboys prefers to showcase his Louisiana ingredients in fun and enticing flavors using Langlinais French bread as the vehicle that delivers his creativity straight into your mouth. Cormier’s first venture as chef-owner with his wife Jasmyne was the food truck called Viva la Waffle. The couple served waffle sandwiches to long lines of devoted fans. Viva went into retirement when they opened Pop’s in April of 2015 and Cormier’s fresh take on the classic poor boy caught on quickly with downtown Lafayette diners. Menu items like the “Boudreaux,” buttermilk fried catfish paired with a pickled okra tartar sauce and blue cheese slaw, the tribute to Vietnamese bánh mì called the “Banh Banh Shrimp,” and a rotating cast of weekly specials inspired by pop culture, the music playing in the kitchen or Saints football helped land Pop’s on the Bon Appétit list of best new restaurants in the country last year. On most days alongside Cormier in the kitchen at Pop’s is chef Rob Sandberg. Sandberg is currently honing his wood fired cooking techniques in preparation for the opening of a new restaurant with Cormier that will center around the oven. The pair fired up a family style meal at

the home of Sean and Michelle Ezell, the owners of Tsunami Sushi and Cormier’s first employers out of culinary school, to test a few potential menu items and create a remarkable week night dinner for friends and Saint Street neighbors. Red snapper was the star of the night, roasted in the oven and basted with butter to crispy perfection, presented to the table whole, and picked to the bones by guests moments later. Sipping on refreshing watermelon margaritas kept everyone cool and conversations flowing while Cormier and Sandberg, with the help of Sandberg’s brother, chopped, grilled and baked plate after plate for the table to share. Most dishes were simply prepared with the intention of highlighting a single ingredient like the smoky eggplant dip of baba ghanoush paired with the fire baked and charred-just-right pita bread. The Louisiana summer brings us everything we need for a feast shared with the right company, but it never hurts to have some of Lafayette’s finest cooks manning the grill. To throw your own simple summer shindig, find your way to your local farmer's market and let the farmer guide you to the produce in the peak of ripeness. Cover your table with a mismatched set of plates, silverware and platters. Fire up the grill. Follow chef Cormier and Sandberg’s recipes for success. Don't forget to call your neighbors.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Chef Rob Sandberg explains his grilled shrimp dish to the guests. Red snapper with roasted vegetables and smoked sausage. Chef Sandberg tosses the fire roasted sausage and vegetables. Red snapper served whole for the table.

cilantro topped watermelon margarita cocktails Watermelons are easily whirred into juice with the help of a blender. When mixed with your booze of choice you’ll create a refreshing summer cocktail. Chef Cormier takes it a step further by adding a little lime juice, a chili and salted rim, plus cilantro for a riff on a classic margarita.

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wood fire baked pita and baba ghanoush Baba ghanoush is the simplest way to utilize an abundance of eggplant. Char the entire skin over fire or in hot coals, wrap with foil, and let it rest. Scoop out the creamy inside, mix with tahini, grated garlic, lemon and salt. Finally drizzle with good olive oil and pair it with pita bread or anything else you want to dip in it or spread it on. 44 |

acadiana profile june/july 2017

TOP ROW Saint Street neighbors sit together for dinner. Roasted radishes with lardon. Chef Rob Sandberg seasoning the radishes. MIDDLE ROW Olivia Regard takes in the last bit of daylight after dinner. Guests pass the grilled shrimp with green tomato chow chow. BOTTOM ROW Chefs and brothers Rob Sandberg and Ruebin Sandberg plate the red snapper dish. Grilled shrimp with green tomato chow chow.

whole roasted snapper sweet and spicy watermelon For sweet chili spice combine 4

fresh watermelon margarita Mix 4 ounces silver tequila, 6 ounces fresh watermelon juice (puree watermelon in blender and pour through fine meshed strainer), ½ ounce Grand Marnier, ¼ ounce fresh lemon juice and ¼ ounce fresh lime juice and pour over crushed ice in glass rimmed with sweet chili spice (see recipe at right).

tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 tablespoons ancho powder and ½ teaspoon salt . Juice lemon on sliced watermelon and

sprinkle with spice mixture.

Begin preheating large cast iron skillet at highest oven setting. Score the flesh of both sides of a 4-6 pound snapper gutted and scaled . Cut 1 lime, 1 whole yellow onion and 2 whole jalapeños into

thin slices and stuff into the slits and cavity. Pour ½ cup vegetable oil over fish and rub over entire surface. Rub ½ cup of your favorite all purpose seasoning mix (tenderloin spice mix works well here as well)

on fish, making sure to get it into the slits and into the cavity. Pour small amount of vegetable oil into hot pan and place fish in pan; return to oven. Cook until flesh is fork tender. Finish with ½ stick of butter and 1 cup of dry white wine.

Baste fish by pouring pan juices over fish right before serving.

roasted radishes with dill yogurt Cook 4 ounces thick, diced bacon until golden brown. Add 1 pound radishes (quartered), ½ sliced onion, ½ sliced onion, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste . Cook over medium heat until radishes are slightly tender. Add 1 cup greek yogurt, ½ lemon, juiced, 1 teaspoon fine chopped garlic, ¼ cup chopped dill, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in bowl and mix until combined. Toss radishes with chopped dill and top with dill yogurt. 46 |

acadiana profile june/july 2017

summer peas Brown 1 cup sliced smoked sausage in cast iron skillet. Add 1 cup fresh purple hull peas, 1 cup sweet peas, 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic and ½ onion, sliced. Season with 1 pinch red pepper flakes, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste . Finish with ½ lemon, juiced, and 2 ounces butter.

grilled shrimp & pickled green tomato chow chow

grilled pork tenderloin with corn & squash salad Tenderloin: Wash 1 pork tenderloin and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine ²⁄³ cup salt, ½ cup brown sugar , ¼ cup curry powder , ¼ cup chili powder, ¼ cup paprika, 2 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon cumin and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Rub pork loin with spices and marinate for an hour or more. Grill tenderloin to desired temperature, let rest. Grilled Corn and Squash: Grill and dice 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash. Grill and clean 2 ears of sweet corn. Heat oven to 425 F. Combine 8 ounces cubed queso fresco , ¼ cup mexican cream, ¼ teaspoon cumin, 1 lemon (juiced) and ¼ cup chopped cilantro and place in cast iron skillet. Slightly brown in oven. Cumin Crema: Add 1 cup mexican cream , ¼ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ lemon, juiced and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste to a bowl and mix until well combined. To Plate: Slice pork tenderloin and place on top of corn and squash. Top dish with cumin crema. Serve.

Shrimp: Season 12 shrimp with salt and pepper. Char shrimp on a super hot pit until opaque and peel. Horseradish Sauce: Combine 1 cup mayo, ½ cup horseradish , 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 lemon juiced in a small bowl.

pita bread Preheat oven to 500 F. Bloom 1 teaspoon yeast in 2¼ cups of warm water. Combine 6 cups all-purpose flour , 2½ teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons sugar in large bowl. Slowly add water and yeast. Knead for 10 minutes. Place ball of dough in bowl with 3 teaspoons olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough double in size. Portion dough into preferred sizes and let rise until doubled in size again. Roll out dough on lightly floured table and cook in hot oven until slightly browned on each side.

baba ghanoush Roast 1 eggplant in oven whole at 350˚ F until tender when pierced with a fork. Peel eggplant and mash. Combine eggplant with ¼ cup tahini, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ teaspoon paprika, 3 cloves garlic chopped, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 lemon juiced and serve.

Pickled Green Tomato Chow Chow: Combine 1 cup pickled green tomatoes (chopped), ¼ cup pickled jalapeños (chopped) , ¼ cup diced onion , ¹⁄³ cup chili garlic sauce , 2 tablespoon yellow mustard, ¼ cup pickled mustard seeds, 1½ teaspoons Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce, 1½ teaspoons cane vinegar and 1 tsp chopped garlic until

evenly mixed. To Plate: Spread horseradish sauce on plate, cover with grilled shrimp. Top dish with green tomato chowchow.

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7 Gorgeous Gowns Planning Tips from the Pros Acadiana’s Most Beautiful Wedding Venues


Cakes, Stationery and Gifts!

Contents 16


Les Cadeaux

Étiquette de Mariage

Goods for the Guys


Remember to say “thanks for donning a tux with me” by heading to Downtown Lafayette to complete your shopping all in one spot. Genterie Supply Co. has gifts for every discerning gentleman in your bridal party.

Common wedding etiquette questions answered

6 Faire des Plans

A Checklist for Every Bride-to-Be Things to consider 10 to 12 months in advance

8 Conseil

4 Things Professional Wedding Planners Know (and You Should, Too!)

10 Tout de Suite

Bayou Beauty



18 Salle de Mariage


Big Day, Big Impact Acadiana wedding venues to fit any couple’s style

20 Gâteaux

Tiers of Joy 4 fabulous cake designs that delight and inspire

Stationery suites with Acadian style

14 Les Cadeaux

Ways to Say Thanks While fun, being a bridesmaid can come with loads of responsibilities. They’ve helped you in planning your perfect day so show them your gratitude with these fabulous finds.

28 Fête du Village

All eyes are on you and your betrothed as you exchange vows and profess your love on the way to your happily ever after.


Editor in Chief

Managing Editor

Melanie Warner Spencer

Associate Editor

Ashley McLellan

Copy Editor

Amanda Orr

Art Director

Sarah George

Lead Photographer

Web Editor

Vice President of Sales

Errol Laborde

Danley Romero Kelly Massicot Colleen Monaghan

(504) 830-7215

Sales Manager

Rebecca Taylor

(337) 298-4424

(337) 235-7919 Ext. 230

Account Executive

Nikole Reich

(337) 552-4258

(337) 235-7919 Ext. 231

Sales Intern

Director of Marketing & Events Kaila Jackson Cheryl Lemoine

Event Coordinator

Whitney Weathers

digital media associate

Mallary Matherne

For event information call (504) 830-7264

production manager

Jessica DeBold

Traffic Coordinator

Terra Durio

Production Designers

Monique DiPietro

Demi Schaffer

Molly Tullier

Distribution Manager

John Holzer

office manager

Subscription Manager

Mallary Matherne Brittani Bryant

For subscriptions call (504) 830-7231

Chief Executive Officer


Alan Campell

Executive Vice President

Errol Laborde

Todd Matherne

128 Demanade, Suite 104 • Lafayette, LA 70503 • (337) 235-7919 ext. 230 Renaissance Publishing LLC • 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123 Metairie, LA 70005 • (504) 828-1380 • (877) 221-3512

Acadiana Weddings is published by Renaissance Publishing LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 8281380 and 128 Demanade, Suite 104, Lafayette, LA 70503 (337) 235-7919 ext. 230. Copyright 2017 Renaissance Publishing LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Acadiana Weddings & Acadiana Profile is registered. Acadiana Profile & Acadiana Weddings are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Acadiana Profile & Acadiana Weddings are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

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n ot e d e l’e d i t e u r

Labor of Love A wedding (magazine) four years in the making


n 2013, we launched the first of what would become a yearly Acadiana Profile wedding feature. Like a budding romance, this single story grew and evolved year after year into its most recent incarnation, a special section. For 2017, the growth and evolution has continued and we are thrilled to present a mini-magazine. Welcome to Acadiana Weddings. Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming experience, even for those who count themselves among the great hostesses of Acadiana. There are so many moving parts to even the simplest affair, from selecting the perfect location and invitations to reflect your personality and tastes as a couple, to negotiating with caterers, florists and bakers. This inaugural issue of Acadiana Weddings has the tools you need to create the fête of your dreams. From etiquette tips, planning advice and gifts for your wedding party to stationery, delectable cakes and the most gorgeous bridal gowns in Acadiana, this issue is overflowing with inspiration. Be sure to check out our checklist on page 6, so you can stay on track throughout the planning process. Are you still looking for a location? We have you covered there too with a listing of Cajun Country venues that will have your guests oohing and ahhing while you and your betrothed dance the night away as newlyweds. There are of course myriad decisions to be made and to-do list items to check off, but the months leading up to your wedding are also filled with showers, luncheons with friends and family, mani-pedi sessions with the girls and countless special moments between you, your spouse-to-be and the people most important to you. Don’t forget to stop and savor it, because just like your wedding day, it’ll go by as quickly as the burst of your photographer’s flash. Also, remember to brainstorm a clever wedding day hashtag, so in the days after the celebration, you can see your wedding through the eyes of your guests. Sip champagne, visit, write thank you cards while you are still awash in emotion and, most of all, enjoy your Big Day. Let’s plan a wedding!

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É t i q u e t t e d e M a r i ag e

Wediquette Common wedding etiquette questions answered By Melanie Warner Spencer, Etiquette Writer and Acadiana Profile and Acadiana Weddings Editor

I keep hearing and reading about how hard it is to get guests to R.S.V.P. My caterer is adamant that we have an accurate headcount. Obviously, I want to do my part and help ensure we have the appropriate amount of food. How do you get wedding guests to R.S.V.P.?


Unfortunately it has become a challenge to get even close friends and family to R.S.V.P. Work time into your schedule about a week before your final count is due to call down your guest list and get confirmations. This is a great moment to take friends and family up on offers to help with the wedding planning.


My niece is getting married in a few months and I’m helping her with a few elements of the wedding. Currently we are working on the order of attendants. How is the order of attendants determined? Do the bride and groom select by order of ‘importance,’ do you pick by height or something else?


It’s so thoughtful of you to help your niece with the planning, which can of course be an overwhelming task. Typically, the order of attendants is determined by height, except for the maid or matron of honor, who comes out last, right before the bride. If you are pairing bridesmaids with groomsmen for the walk, but don’t have even numbers, it’s fine for two bridesmaids to walk together to the front.


Should I include registry information with the save-thedate, shower and wedding invitations?


Many couples feel they are doing guests a favor by giving them essential information in one tidy package. While the intention is likely a generous one — to save guests time and energy — and it may seem counterintuitive, omit registry details from any and all invitations. To summarize Lizzie Post of the Emily Post Institute, the invitation is reserved to tell loved ones they are so significant to you and your soon-to-be spouse, that you want them present on the day you make the most


important decision of your life. This is a place to acknowledge your love and friendship for the individuals on your guest list. When other information, details and myriad inserts are included, it dilutes the special message you are sending to the other party. Leave it up to the wedding party, parents and other loved ones in the know to be your registry ambassadors. It is OK to include this information on your wedding website. Rest assured, guests will come to your loved ones and you for the information. If asked, it’s absolutely fine and expected that you’d tell them where you are registered, but don’t be the one to bring it up. �

Note: Republished with permission from New Orleans Bride Magazine and the “Let Them Eat Cake,” wedding blog. For all things weddings visit

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Fa i r e d e s P l a n s

A Checklist for Every Bride-to-Be Things to consider 10 to 12 months in advance By Kelly Massicot


ou’re engaged! Now what? It is completely normal to become swept up in the emotions of your engagement and put off planning the Big Day, but he reality is planning a wedding — and not going crazy in the process — canl take the better part of a year. It may seem daunting, but we're here to assist. Plan to begin at approximately 10 to 12 months out. Keep this page handy, check the steps off, make notes and let the stress slip away. Celebrate! You’re engaged! Before you do anything, make sure you revel in the thrill before planning for the Big Day. Pick the date Remember to consult immediate family and make sure your day has no competition. (Are you getting married in the fall in the South? Consider checking the football schedules.) Find a wedding location Where are you getting married? Book the location. Look into ceremony and reception locations (if not the same venue) and make a decision. Budget What is the budget? Who is paying for what?

Guests Realistically, how many guests will be invited? Wedding Party Decide who will be standing next to you and your fiancé on the Big Day. Optional: Plan an original way to ask your loved ones if they’ll be in your wedding party, and consider asking by presenting them with a small gift. Theme Before you get to the flowers and linens or bridesmaids dress, it’s important to pick a theme. This theme can be huge or it can just include your wedding colors. Think about the look you are trying to achieve with your wedding. Are you going for rustic-chic? Or do you want to throw a glamorous soirée in the city? Whatever it may be, your color scheme and theme will guide many aspects of your planning.

Officiant Who will officiate your wedding? Whether it’s your favorite priest or your beloved parrain, make sure they have your wedding date on their calendar. Take Engagement Photos If you’re lucky, your preferred photographer will include an engagement session in the wedding package. These photos can be used for announcements, save-the-date cards and on your wedding site. Thank You Notes Usually, an engagement party is thrown for the couple in the first few months. This is a good time to gather thank you notes for every occasion. First, send any for engagement presents you may have received already. Then make sure you have additional cards for bridal showers and your wedding presents. �

Note: This article has been modified from the original, which appears in New Orleans Bride Magazine. For all things bridal, visit New Orleans Bride Magazine’s official blog with daily updates, “Let Them Eat Cake,” at

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4 Things Professional Wedding Planners Know (and you should, too!) By Megan Romer


he job of a wedding planner isn’t to design a wedding from scratch, but rather to execute the bride and groom’s vision of how their perfect day should look, right down to the finest detail. The look, vibe, and feel of the wedding all come from the couple’s personal style. The planner simply brings it to life. It’s no surprise then, that when asked to share their key wedding-planning tips, planners get right down to business. Four Acadiana planners offered up these practical suggestions that are useful for any couple, whether or not they hire a planner to help them with the big event. Write the Guest List First “You can’t accurately do a budget breakdown until you have a solid guest list,” says Lafayette-based Cassie Thibeaux, of Southern Fete. When planning for food, furniture rental, centerpieces and more, you need an exact number — so there’s no use in even beginning the process until you’ve done that. This means “names on paper, including members of the wedding party and even yourselves,” says Thibeaux. “You don’t have to have everyone’s addresses right away,” since invitations come later, but you don’t want to forget anyone when it comes to the head count. Read Every Word of Every Contract You Sign Lafayette planner Allison Derouen, of Weddings and Events by Allie D., says she sees so many couples get so swept up in the fun and romance (and sometimes

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confusion) of the wedding planning process that they skim contracts with vendors and miss important details, only to be faced with unfortunate surprises later. “Read the contracts, and take time to ask questions. Don’t put down a deposit until you have all the information,” recommends Derouen. This can help you avoid hidden costs and day-of-event surprises. Don’t Hire Vendors Without Personal Recommendations and Careful Inspection “This is particularly true for photographers,” says New Iberia-based Katie Parris, of K. Parris Events. “You really want to make sure that you can work with them, but also that you’ve seen their work and love their style because they’re really artists, so their individual styles can be so different.” Sometimes online recommendations might

be the best you can do but if possible, get personal recommendations for every vendor, from flowers to officiants. Think Twice Before Using a Cheap or Free Venue Gussying up Grandpa’s barn or a putting up a massive tent in the backyard can be fun, but it is not necessarily a money-saver overall. “Rentals [for furniture and decor] can add up to more than the venue fee,” explains Katie Parris. Starting with a great space, says Lake Charles planner Sara Lasher, of Sara Lasher Weddings and Events, lessens the overall need for decor and cover-ups, and “lessens the day-ofwedding effort on everyone, especially the DIY bride.” Lasher explains that while she loves tent weddings, “people have to realize that they’re building a venue from scratch, and it’s expensive and a lot of work.” �

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To u t d e S u i t e

Bayou Beauty Stationery suites with Acadian style


Rustic Chic This three layer, four-piece invitation suite features Pecan Barque and Polished Rose Gold card stock for a rustic backdrop that adds warmth and texture. The floral design adds an element of nature and provides a feminine touch.

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Vintage Sophistication Custom designed by Rita Goodrich of Inkling Design Studio and letterpress printed on Cranes 220# cotton stock, was fitted with a swamp scene liner from the bride's mother's vintage Harpers Bazaar magazine. It was hand cut and assembled. Event planner Cassie Thibeaux of Southern Fete coordinated between the bride and the designer on the suite.

Inkling Design Studio

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Simply Southern With a beautiful mix of traditional and relaxed style embodying Southern charm this textured soft white invitation is backed with a neutral kraft stock and is at once rustic and luxe. It is finished with a magnolia-lined kraft envelope for wow factor and the save-the-dates printed kraft postcards adds a hint of contrast.


(337) 984-4800

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Ways to Say Thanks

Give them jewelry they will still want to wear after the festivities are over. This prasiolite set in gold is made locally and there are many styles and stones to match your bridal party’s attire. Laalee Jewelry can be found at Caroline & Company

While fun, being a bridesmaid can come with loads of responsibilities. They’ve helped you in planning your perfect day so show them your gratitude with these fabulous finds. By Amanda Arceneaux Photograph by Romero & Romero

Lollia’s newest fragrance, Dream, is a combination of linden, white tea, bergamot and honeysuckle. This sweet scent, in a beautifully designed bottle, can be found at Caroline & Company

This lovely clutch can hold all of the wedding day necessities your bridesmaids need. Find different styles that coordinate with their ensembles at Caroline & Company, 113 Arnould Blvd., Lafayette. (337)984-3263.

Grab an assortment of Karmacaron’s vegan and gluten free macarons at Indulge, 1921 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Ste. 111, Lafayette. (337)534-8700. &

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Let the sound of the cork leaving this bottle of Pommery Pink POP Rose conjure up party-time spirits for your bridesmaids. World Market, 3615 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette. (337)216-1544.

This delicate handkerchief is a timeless way to say thank you. Have them monogrammed or personalized in a way that keeps the memories of your friendship alive for years to come. Caroline & Company

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Goods for the Guys Remember to say “thanks for donning a tux with me” by heading to downtown Lafayette to complete your shopping all in one spot. Genterie Supply Co. has gifts for every discerning gentleman in your bridal party.

Thank your groomsmen with the gift of drinks on-the-go in this 7 oz. copper flask by W&P Design.

Planning a destination wedding? This Carry On Cocktail Kit would be the perfect accompaniment to the copper flask and long plane ride.

Mix things up by outfitting your gents in Louisiana-inspired socks by Bonfolk Collective. Designed in New Orleans, these oyster socks are some bad mother shuckers and the magnolia pair are so sweet. See other styles and clever descriptions at

By Amanda Arceneaux Photograph by Romero & Romero

Keep their ties in place with this brass plated tie clip by Izola. The backside is engraved with the words Best Day Ever which couldn’t be more appropriate.

Fulton & Roark’s Solid Cologne wax-based scents sit in a sturdy metal pocket-size container. Five different fragrances and refills available at

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ZB Savoy Bowtie Co. isn’t your run of the mill bowtie designer. Their fabric selection and resilient construction give them the upper hand in the self-tie bowtie department.

Genterie Supply Co. 408 Jefferson St. Lafayette (337)401-3833

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Sa l l e d e M a r i ag e

Big Day, Big Impact Acadiana wedding venues to fit any couple’s style By Megan Romer Photograph by Courtney Prejean


ustic and antique? Modern and sleek? No matter your aesthetic, Acadiana has a venue to provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding day. These locations offer spaces for a full ceremony, but are also available simply as reception venues if you’re planning to exchange vows in a church or elsewhere. Rip Van Winkle Gardens, New Iberia This elegant historic home, surrounded by 40 acres of enchanting gardens, is a classic favorite for Acadiana’s most discerning brides. Sweeping live oaks draped in Spanish moss dominate the property and are surrounded by elegantly landscaped gardens, providing an iconic Louisiana vista in every direction. Two lovely indoor venues as well as a number of outdoor locations among the gardens are available for your ceremony and reception. Your perfect day can end in romantic style with a night in one of the on-site, Acadian-style, bed-andbreakfast cottages. Sunny Meade, Scott This gingerbread-detailed Victorian mansion was built in 1899 as a private home, but is now a B&B specializing in sophisticated weddings. Sip champagne with your bridesmaids while you get ready in the tastefully-appointed antiquedecorated bridal suite, then exchange your vows under a charming outdoor gazebo. Entertain your guests in a glass atrium overlooking a candlelit swimming pool, and spend your first evening with your love in the romantic honeymoon Suite. Cash and Carry Building, Lake Charles The Cash and Carry Building, a former grocery warehouse with an industrial-chic vibe, is managed by Empire of the Seed, a

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Sunny Meade

group that restores historic Lake Charles properties to a newfound glory. This enormous, high-ceilinged space is filled with retro-modernist elements — exposed brick and wooden beams with brushed metal fixtures — providing a sparsely elegant backdrop onto which a stylish and imaginative bride can create anything from a shabby-chic, Pinterest-worthy design style to a modernist minimalist vision. A small outdoor patio provides additional options for entertaining. Paul and Lulu Hilliard Art Museum, Lafayette This gorgeous museum on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is one of Lafayette’s most distinctive spaces. The venue offers both indoor and outdoor options for your wedding and reception. The historic A. Hays Town building offers classic columned elegance on the outside and warm old-fashioned collegiate ambiance inside. In contrast, the museum’s outdoor plaza and grounds offer a striking visual canvas, anchored by the distinctive water-wall, an enormous vertical fountain which is particularly stunning when lit up at night but which is photo-ready at any time of day.

L’Eglise, Abbeville The historic church once known as the Mission of St. John of the Cross was crumbling from neglect when the current owners purchased and renovated it with weddings in mind and an immaculate attention to detail. The restored, exposed wood of the original interior support pillars and high pine ceiling give the space immense depth and warmth while terra-cotta floors and soft-lit chandeliers give the space an old-world character. Extensive landscaped grounds create outdoor options for both weddings and receptions. Brides who’d rather walk down a more traditional church aisle can do so indoors, and the room can also be transformed into an inviting reception space. Stone Oaks, Opelousas This gracefully rustic venue is no longer a working horse farm, but the breathtaking converted barn, with its vaulted ceilings and mahogany finishes, combines the sleek, functional elegance of a thoroughbred farm with the warm details of an English country hunting lodge. Outdoors, among rolling grassy fields, a large gazebo sits over a peaceful lake, providing another appealing option for a bucolic ceremony or reception. �

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Gâ t e au x

Tiers of Joy 4 fabulous cake designs that delight and inspire

Nature Lover This two-tier ivory birch cake features airbrushed and painted fondant to replicate the look of a birch stump and is embellished with silk flowers and the initials of the bride and groom.

Crystal Weddings (337) 989-1700

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Pinterest Ready The simple and elegant design of this full fondant cake adorned with sugar flowers is deceiving. Inside, layers are brimming with flavors, such as pecan praline, French vanilla with dulce de leche and chocolate fudge.

Sky's The Limit (337) 592-2068

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Sugary Succulence Decorated in the baker’s signature white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and textured for a rustic-chic style, this modern cake is strewn with succulents handmade out of fondant and gumpaste and painted with edible petal dusts.

Bake My Day

(337) 889-9232

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Barely There Five tiers of chocolate cake are kissed with a hint of light buttercream frosting for the “naked” style coveted by those who prefer more of what’s under the surface. It is filled with chocolate fudge and dotted with fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and flowers.

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Piece of Cake

(337) 565-2753

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FĂŞte du Rustic elegance marries simple sophistication for a match made in Acadian heaven

Photographer: Theresa Cassagne Fashion Stylist: Tracee Dundas Makeup Artist: Glenn Mosley Hair Stylist: Michel Melancon Models: Lundyn Hunt for Images Agency and Adam Ortego Location: Acadiana Village, Lafayette, LA

Village ďż˝ Strapless sweetheart gown with floral applique and bow detail from Le Jour Couture; Tulle and feather fascinator from Haute Dames Couture; Freshwater strand, multicolored pastel strand, round pastel mix strand, pearl necklaces; Blue sapphire and diamond ring, both from Dianna Rae Jewelry; Euro-cut, three button khaki tuxedo from Tuxedo Den; ring Dianna Rae Jewelry

ďż˝ FACING PAGE Off-white, round neckline, lace and crystal beaded mermaid cut gown from Le Jour Couture; 14K, two-tone fleur de lis earrings and diamond wedding set both from Lafayette Jewelers; Euro-cut, three button khaki tuxedo from Tuxedo Den, ring Dianna Rae Jewelry THIS PAGE Ivory, lace, tulle, chiffon and crystal beaded gown from I Do Bridal; Diamond hoop earrings, diamond tennis bracelet and diamond ring all from Armentor Jewelers; White gold diamond bracelet from Dianna Rae Jewelry; Flowers from Flowers and More by Dean


Geometric crystal beaded bodice, tulle mermaid skirt from Sposa Bella; Diamond hoop earrings, diamond tennis bracelet and diamond ring all from Armentor Jewelers

ďż˝ FACING PAGE White, spaghetti strap, open back, crystal adorn sheath gown from Charisma; White feather and net headpiece from Haute Dames Couture; Diamond stud earrings and diamond ring both from Armentor Jewelers THIS PAGE White, strapless, satin column gown with drape and train accent from I Do Bridal; 14K White and yellow gold bracelet, 18K yellow gold and white diamond ring, both from Lafayette Jewelers; Moroccan crystal flower and gold vermeil earrings Dianna Rae Jewelry; Euro-cut, three button khaki tuxedo with burnt orange vest and bowtie from Tuxedo Den, ring Dianna Rae Jewelry


Gold and crystal embellishment strapless gown from Gwen’s Bridal; Moroccan crystal flower and gold vermeil earrings; Two-tone gold and diamond oval locket pendant, 14K yellow sapphire flower petal and diamond ring both from Dianna Rae Jewelry

les artistes

Cayla was a 2010 scholarship winner in the annual George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Art contest.

greetings and salutations Lafayette native Cayla Zeek’s illustrations go big for Festival International By William Kalec Portrait by romero & Romero

This is harsh, but true:

Cayla Zeek’s career goals — to this point in time, anyway — have been a complete failure. “I was going to be a veterinarian or Robin Hood,” says the 25-year-old Lafayette native. Zeek is neither. Nope, she’s a visual artist, a designer and a former teacher at Ascension Episcopal school. Zeek left the teaching post at the end of the year to focus more on “Mattea’s Hand,” her self-started and budding stationery and greeting card business. She also was also official artist of the 2017 Festival International after creating a poster of a brown pelican that has flags of other regions both on its feathers and extending from its body. Festival organizers gave Zeek a VIP Pass for the extended weekend celebration, which blew her mind. A VIP pass? For her? It was her first, and like most firsts, she’ll never forget it. At the time, Zeek wasn’t quite sure what the pass was for, but


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suspected it meant she got to “use the nice bathrooms.” So no, it’s no Robin Hood, but even Zeek admits this whole art thing is a pretty cool consolation prize. “It still doesn’t feel real,” Zeek says of the Festival International honor. “It’s not real to me. Making that poster, I was almost having a panic attack, because I’m putting this out there, and I’ve never done this before, and so many people are going to see this and this represents something so big. I scrapped what I had and started from scratch the day before it was due — re-did it all. But I was much happier with the way it turned out. I felt a sense of relief: OK, what I’m putting out there not only represents everything this festival is about, but it represents me.” Staying true to herself has been Zeek’s signature throughout her still-young art career. Her visual art pieces feature a mixed media layering technique of watercolor, pen, charcoal, acrylic and oil on canvas. Subject matter varies from nudes to playful trips through nature or stories from children’s literature. A 2015

POSTER PANIC Being named the 2017 Official artist of Festival International was both a source of pride and panic for Lafayette’s Cayla Zeek. A festivalgoer for years, she was floored by the honor but at the same time fretted about living up to the high standards of posters past. So, with about 24 hours left until deadline, Zeek scrapped poster version 1.0 and created the current poster from scratch. The final product features a brown pelican with international flags emblazoned on its feathers and extending beyond its body. Even now, months after the circle-your-calendar event, Zeek says the Festival distinction “doesn’t feel real.”

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graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Zeek’s work has hung in shows and galleries throughout the state. “Whatever I create is going to draw a reaction, but I’m not trying to force a reaction,” Zeek says. “Much of what I do is what I enjoy looking at. I enjoy the way it feels to sit down for eight hours, or however long, and just get engrossed in the painting. It’s not a search for shock value, but more it’s an expression of something I was going through at the time.” Zeek’s venture into greeting cards — which she’s now doing full-time — also sprung from an expression of something she was going through at the time. Specifically, boredom. As a cashier at Red Arrow Workshop, Zeek doodled drawings of birds accompanied with bird-related puns during slow periods. The puns were things like, “Have No Egrets,” and “Hard of Herrin” and “You Pelican Do It.” Apparently, the store owners thought they were clever enough to convince Zeek to make a few cards to sell in the store, at the monthly Art Walk, and outside of a downtown bar called The Green Room. Soon a handful of designs turned into more than 100 designs. A few cards at Red Arrow turned into cards on shelves in stores across the country, including two designs recently picked up by Trader Joe’s. Zeek attended her first industry event, and convention goers at the National Stationery Show in New York were curious about the work of the “Louisiana girl” whose booth — one of about 2,000 — was way back in the “boondocks.” “Honestly, the best thing I could have done is not know anything about (making greeting cards),” Zeek says. “Because my cards didn’t look like anyone

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else’s — all hand-illustrated, lots of line details and watercolored. It was so bizarre that it was actually eye-catching, even though I was in the back corner. I don’t know everything about the industry and I’m making mistakes every two seconds. I don’t really know what makes a good greetingcard designer. I’m just going with it and the hard work and passion is what fuels it. “All the work I do for the greeting cards and in that design or illustration, I really do enjoy it and it’s super creative and fun, but it doesn’t really have the emotional intensity or sort of research my visual art or paintings have,” Zeek says, later. “I don’t have any pressure to try and sell those to make a living. Really, I have to do it for myself, so I can express myself since I’m not always capable of verbally communicating that.” Though grateful for all her early success, Zeek is learning to push aside anxiety and fear that she’s experienced from having too much good fortune too soon. “This is just crazy,” Zeek says through a nervous/excited laugh. “I’m just headed into another unknown territory where it’s like, ‘What am I doing?’ I don’t really know the standard of how fast things should be happening in your life, so I’m just kind of living. I sometimes worry, is this the peak of my career? And I have to keep reminding myself to stop it. That’s like a teenager worrying about high school being the best years of their life. They’re not. “I’m making an effort to try and embrace living in the moment,” Zeek says. “My entire life I’ve been reflecting on the past or looking toward the future. I need to not worry about that. But if I could, just enjoy this day now.”

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la musique

earfully yours Breaux Bridge fiddler David Greely goes acoustic, sort of By Michael Patrick Welch Portrait by romero & Romero

Your mother will tell you

to turn down that loud rap music before you rupture an eardrum. The newspapers will tell you that Brian Johnson of heavy metal band AC/DC was recently forced to quit touring so he wouldn’t go completely deaf. But rarely will anyone warn you to turn down that Cajun music! “All Cajun fiddle players have bad hearing in their left ear,” admits Breaux Bridge fiddler David Greely, who played in dance hall favorite Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys until 2011, when hearing issues forced him to “retire” from the band he cofounded. “The reason that music is so loud is because people in the audience are talking. They’re visiting. It’s their social time. I get that of course,” says Greely wistfully. “But I knew I had to stop before my hearing really became a problem. I have tinnitus now, constant ringing, but it’s at a level I can ignore. I knew if I stuck with the band I’d have hearing loss at a level I couldn’t live with. I quit in time.” Don’t feel sorry for Greely, who still makes his living playing music. He is quick to point out the many diverse benefits of playing quiet music. “I love playing for a listening audience,” he says. “There are plenty of people who don’t come out to dance, they just want to listen — that’s my audience now. In the dance hall, people expect to almost ignore the band while they dance. But with my solo shows, I have people paying really close attention to what I’m doing, which is great; I used to have to leave the states to get that!” Having retired from the Grammy-nominated Mamou

Playboys (well, semi-retired), Greely now rarely plays with a band at high-volume levels. He performs fiddle duets with musician and producer Joel Savoy as GreelySavoyDuo, backs up GumboJet with Christopher Stafford and Jo Vidrine, and sits in with blues-Cajun crossover group Golden Triangle. These days, Greely mainly plays solo shows — just him and his fiddle — peppered with verbalized musicology and other storytelling. “I like minor keys, strange melodies and time signatures, a lot of variety and range of emotion,” Greely says. “While the dance hall is designed for a good time, what I get to do now by myself is I get to play a wider cross section of what Cajun music actually is. At the dance hall, that’s a much smaller slice of what Cajun music can be.” A native of Livingston Parish, Greely initially began playing fiddle after an inspiring experience at a Black Sabbath concert. He went on to apprentice with Cajun music legend Dewey Balfa before building a resume that includes styles from bluegrass to country to Cajun, sung in both English and French. Greely not only likes to show people the music of Louisiana, but also to tell them about it, explain it to them. “Whenever you’re a performer you’re gonna want to talk to your audience, especially if there’s any kind of story behind the song I’m singing,” says Greely. “A lot of my songs are in French — which, in Thibodaux, a third of the audience understands the lyrics, but elsewhere I have to explain. Not to mention, these songs I’m choosing to present are all written by the great Cajun masters, amazing

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individuals, so there’s always some story that I can tell about the musician before I play their song. I am sort of doing a broad overview of Cajun music, including how it may have sounded in France, and how the Louisiana Creole people influenced it.” During our interview, Greely can’t helping spinning off into explaining the differences in musical culture between the English Protestants and the Irish Catholics, and how that influenced Southern music, as well as how African music was injected into America via Louisiana. Listening to him hold forth, one can hear how he might weave these stories in between songs in a quiet, acoustic set. Greely also says that playing solo has changed his personal style. “I always wanted to end up playing the fiddle behind another fiddler player: two fiddles, with one playing rhythm and the other playing melody. But I have kind of figured out how to do both of those myself,” Greely says. “I have perfected this kind of finger-style fiddle playing. It involves a lot of bow work, but it actually works.” For right now, David Greely doesn’t have a regular gig. “I really wish I did,” he says. His last album was 2016’s “Shadows on the Teche,” a recording sponsored by NEA and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was made during residency at a plantation house of that same name in New Iberia, where Greely was commissioned to write songs based on letters in the plantation’s archives. Greely confesses it’s, “time for me to make a new Cajun record.” Truth be told though, Greely is still sneaking in regular gigs with the band he “quit,” Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. “Yeah, I am playing a show with them this Thursday night,” Greely says. “I play with them once every couple months. A couple weeks ago they brought me up for an hour to play my old songs, and man we had a blast together. And my ears were ringing when I went home.”

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August 1st DEADLINE

July 5th

For more information Contact

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les personnes

the mother of all pies Imani Guillory Fruge has Cajun country and beyond talking about her savory Southern pies Imani didn’t find out she was pregnant with her first son, Jason Paul, until three days before he was born in January of 2015.

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By William Kalec Portrait by romero & Romero

As delivery day nears, the

CEO of this accidental (and delicious) business frantically races around the rented commercial kitchen. The whole place is hot. It’s sweaty. It smells like meat and butter and cheese. It ain’t pretty. Actually, it’s a grind, Imani Guillory Fruge is quick to point out. But somehow, “Cajun Mama” manages to make the whole damn process look glamorous. Chicly outfitted in luxury brand shoes, dresses and handbags, Fruge doesn’t mind if grease splatters on her designer goods if it means a $35 savory southern pie gets shipped to Abbeville on time. “A lot of my friends joke and say I look like one of those Real Housewives on TV,” Fruge says. “And I get it, because I like to look nice and it makes me happy. But at the same time, those women aren’t doing what I’m doing. They aren’t cooking. They aren’t covered in flour running from oven to oven in stilettos. That’s real. “Those pies, those are my babies,” Fruge says. “I talk to them, ‘Hey girls, you’re looking beautiful. Only 10 more minutes left. Mama loves you. Bake for mama.’ Yes, my friends think I’m psycho.” The only thing that’s crazy however, is the meteoric success of Cajun Mama Pies a little over a year after its founding. It’s a wonder why Fruge fooled around getting her J.D. from LSU, and didn’t start slinging Loaded Cajuns (her best seller packed with sirloin, spicy chicken, thick-cut bacon, three kinds of cheese and a whole lotta love) sooner. On average, Cajun Mama ships 200 pies weekly to destinations both near and far, and around holidays those online orders — www.cajunmamas.

com for those getting hungry — tend to double. The rush has been so delightfully overwhelming that Fruge is flirting with the idea of leasing a storefront this summer and then hiring an actual staff instead of shamelessly recruiting her father, attorney and former Louisiana Senator Elbert Guillory, to “come in the kitchen and get down and dirty” when a swarm of orders need completing. “A lot of people were confused why I would just give up and forego a legal career, and just cook,” Fruge says. “You’re just in a sweaty kitchen, busting yourself, making all these pies. But at the end of the day, those people know I’m going to do what makes me happy and this is what makes me happy. Plus, usually when I shove my food in their mouth, the questions stop. They get it. At that point, it’s a win-win.” Cajun Mama’s menu is admittedly simple, but nonetheless satisfying. After the aforementioned Loaded Cajun, Fruge offers patrons The Cajun Carnival — a pie with boudin, chicken, bacon, caramelized onions, bell pepper, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and pepper jack cheese. If that isn’t enough gluttonous goodness for you, the whole thing is topped with seasoned cracklins. Popular during Lenten season is The Big Cajun Catch which subs crawfish tails, gulf shrimp and jumbo lump crabmeat for beef and pork. There’s also a vegetarian option, though because of the meat-based ethos of Cajun Mama, that pie is decidedly less fun to describe. If it sounds like Fruge simply empties the butcher cabinet into her pies, well, that’s not far from the truth. In fact, Fruge started making

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les personnes

these quiches for her husband, Jason Fruge, a little more than two years ago. Her recipe? “I just put every meat I could think of into it,” she admits. Apparently, the sweep-the-kitchen approach worked, because friends and family raved about the pie. Fruge received so much positive feedback that she informally posted on Facebook that she’d make pies for whoever wanted one for Christmas 2015. In a matter of hours, Fruge had 60 orders. Cajun Mama was born…whether Fruge was ready or not. “OK, problem one, 60 orders! Are you kidding?” Fruge says. “I thought I’d get five or so orders from people who felt sorry for me and wanted to throw me a bone. ‘Oh, poor little housewife. You’re so cute. Here are a handful of orders.’ But no, 60. I had to buy all these boxes. And then I got a bunch more orders for Mardi Gras with locals having friends in from out of town.” In a matter of months, Fruge transformed from housewife to hustler. She registered Cajun Mama as an LLC, found commercial kitchen space in Lafayette and has been solving good problems to have ever since. The majority of orders arrive at residences dotting Acadiana, but out of state shipments to Texas and California have spiked noticeably in recent months as word of mouth has spread. A true believer in style and substance, Fruge presents her pies in pretty ribbon and other decorations and makes sure to include a photo of her looking at her Cajun Mama-est and her personal contact info with each order. Go ahead. Call her. Text her. Actually, scratch that. If you’re eating a Cajun Mama pie, just text her. “When you eat my pies, I’m not looking for compliments, I’m looking for silence,” Fruge says. “I don’t need you to talk. I want you to put another bite in your mouth. If you have time to stop and say, ‘Oh this is soooo good’ then I didn’t bake a good pie. That’s kind of the way I see it. So yeah, give me silence.”

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en français, s’il vous plaît

jean-jacques audubon le Créole aux oiseaux par david cheramie

Grandissant dans la

pointe sud-est du triangle d’Acadiane, la gravité culturelle de la Nouvelle-Orléans exerçait une grande attraction sur mon esprit. Pour les enfants, une visite au Zoo Audubon représentait une aventure sans parallèle. On se bousculait pour atteindre le point culminant de la ville, du moins le croyaiton, la Colline des Singes; on s’émerveillait à voir les éléphants cracher de l’eau de leurs longues trompes; on se faisait photographier, l’air ravi, sur le dos d’un ours empaillé. Devant tous ces prodiges, on n’a guère eu de pensée pour le monsieur qui a transformé notre façon de voir la nature et particulièrement les oiseaux. Ce n’était que des années après que le nom John James Audubon, prononcé d’une telle façon que ses origines françaises étaient occultées, a commencé à avoir un sens pour moi et encore plus longtemps avant que je ne comprenne qu’au fait il s’appelait Jean-Jacques. Né en 1785 aux Cayes à Saint-Domingue de l’époque, Haïti aujourd’hui, le Créole Jean-Jacques Audubon était le fils illégitime d’une Française, Jeanne Rabine, et d’un capitaine breton, Jean. Son père le ramène en France à Nantes où il est élevé par sa belle-mère, Anne Audubon. Très jeune, il montre un intérêt vif pour l’histoire naturelle, une passion qu’il a pu poursuivre dans la campagne bretonne aux alentours. En 1803, son père lui obtient un faux passeport pour qu’il puisse partir à l’étranger, s’échappant ainsi à la circonscription napoléonienne. Ayant contracté la fièvre jaune pendant le

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voyage, il se fait ramener à la santé par des Quakers en Pennsylvanie. C’est sur une ferme près de Philadelphie qu’il fait ses premières observations sur la vie des oiseaux. En nouant un fils sur la patte d’un moucherolle, considérer comme la première opération de baguage d’oiseaux en Amérique du nord, il remarque qu’il revient au même endroit chaque année. C’est là qu’il fait ses premiers dessins d’oiseaux aussi. Malgré le fait d’avoir été un homme d’affaire réussi, il a néanmoins fait faillite un jour. Cela l’a décidé à poursuivre sa passion pour la nature et la peinture et en 1810, il descend le Mississipi. Sa technique pour saisir les images sur la toile donne un nouveau sens au terme

nature morte. Utilisant des petits plombs, il tirait les oiseaux afin de ne pas les abîmer complètement. Ensuite, il mettait des fils en métal pour les maintenir dans les positions imitant leur façon de vivre dans un milieu naturel. Sa méthode produisait des peintures spectaculaires, mais elle incitait ses critiques à décrier sa poursuite d’espèces rares qui pouvait les pousser vers l’extinction. N’ayant pas d’autres sources de revenue, il continue à vivoter de commande en commande, ne trouvant pas d’éditeur en Amérique qui veut publier ses œuvres. En 1826, il arrive en Angleterre où il trouve des acheteurs prêts à payer le prix fort pour ses belles images exotiques d’une Amérique sauvage.

L’année suivante, Les Oiseaux d’Amérique paraissent à Londres et à Édimbourg et c’est un succès immédiat. Pendant onze ans, on sort une série de portrait d’oiseaux, dont une demi-douzaine sont aujourd’hui disparus, assurant la renommée d’Audubon. Il sillonne la Grande-Bretagne à la recherche de souscriptions, donnant des démonstrations sur sa façon d’exposer les oiseaux. Lors d’une de ces rencontres, un dénommé Charles Darwin était dans le public, encourageant sa carrière dans l’histoire naturelle. LSU au Bâton-Rouge possède une copie des quatre volumes qu’elle montre à la Journée Audubon de temps en temps, un peu comme une sainte relique. Sa fortune est telle qu’un jour il a pu se procurer une propriété dans l’état de New-York sur le Hudson, aujourd’hui le Parc Audubon. Il est enterré sur l’île de Manhattan, loin de la Nouvelle-Orléans, loin des Caraïbes, loin de la Bretagne et loin de Londres. Ses oiseaux ont fait le tour du monde. Ayant fui les guerres de l’Empire français, Jean-Jacques, devenu John James, s’est fait un nom dans le monde anglophone qu’il n’aurait certainement jamais eu en France, même s’il avait survécu la guerre. Étienne de Boré, probablement, aurait toujours fait don de sa propriété qui allait devenir un parc et un zoo, mais je suis sûr que je n’aurais pas eu le même plaisir à observer les oiseaux sous les chênes du Parc De Boré.

For an English translation, visit