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kitchens so fine, you’ll

prefer staying in to dine

19 places for mimosas, music and the most important meal of the day PG 40 Chicken and Waffles from CafĂŠ Sydnie Mae in Breaux Bridge

june/july VOL u m e 3 8 n u m b e r 0 3


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

A Little Extra


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

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

Old Songs and Old Cypress Preserving the region’s culture through music and precious places nouvelles de villes....................... 12

News Briefs

food+drink sur le menu . . .................................... 34


Filler Up Spoonbill casts a rosy glow at the corner of Jefferson and Johnston in downtown Lafayette de l a cuisine.. .................................. 36

Simple Supper Make the most of extra eggplant by stuffing it with crab and shrimp recettes de cocktails................. 38

Cool Cure Fezzo’s Blueberry Mojito offers an icy summertime breather with loads of refreshment

culture les artistes..................................... 68

home+style l a maiso n.. ........................................ 20

Building Character Kitchen updates that master the art of mixing something old with something new

Lightbulb Moment Lafayette’s Brian Schneider finds comfort in everything about the transition into the art world, except the new title attached to his name les personnes.. ............................... 70

À l a mod e ......................................... 30

If You Braise It, They Will Come Chef Troy Bijeaux of Café Josephine in Sunset bucks the stuffy conventional wisdom by proving high-end cuisine doesn’t taste any better when served on a white tablecloth or eaten with a jacket and tie on

Heaven Help Me Worn alone or stacked, the semiprecious stones of these Sacred Art bracelets echo the cool, earthy tones of summer

La Mousse Espagnole Signe de beauté et de santé dans les environs

p our l a maison. . ............................. 28

Shelf Life Banish boring bookshelves with these designer tips

en franç ais, s ’il vous pl aît.........7 2


Brunch Bunch Five top brunch spots around Acadiana to satisfy your breakfast — or lunch —cravings By L i s a L e B l a n c- B e r r y p h oto s by d e n n y c u l b e r t

What is your favorite menu item for Sunday brunch? lagniappe


A Little Extra

International and Regional Magazine Association

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

Learn French

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

Le petit-déjeuner

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

(n.) breakfast example: Nous avons des œufs, des croissants au chocolat et du jus d’orange pour le petit-déjeuner. translation: We have eggs, chocolate croissants and orange juice for breakfast.

Errol Laborde

Melanie Warner Spencer

“ This is such a hard question. I was gonna say eggs Benedict, but think I need to say — mimosas.” Liz Clearman

Ashley McLellan

Liz Clearman

A rt D i r ec to r

Sarah George

L e a d P h oto g ra p h e r W eb E d i to r sty le E d i to r

Danley Romero

Kelly Massicot

Marie Elizabeth Oliver

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

Alice Phillips

“My favorite menu item is any take on Eggs Benedict. Particularly one that employs remoulade and either fried green tomatoes or crab cakes.” Melanie Warner Spencer

Colleen Monaghan

(504) 830-7215 / S a les M a nag e r

Rebecca Taylor

(337) 298-4424 / (337) 235-7919 Ext. 230 A dve rt i s i n g i n t e r n

Tia Suggs

mar keting d i r ec to r o f m a r k et i n g & eve n ts


E ve n t Co o r d i nato r

Bloody Mary

Jeanel Luquette

Abbie Dugruise

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

Mallary Matherne

For event information call (504) 830-7264 A Bloody Mary is a must for a fantastic brunch and for many, the spicier the better. Tabasco has long been a staple to create the perfect kick. The sauce was created by Edmund McIlhenny in the 1860s in response to the bland food of the Reconstruction Era. McIlhenny first harvested and sold his Tabasco sauce on Avery Island for a dollar to grocers around the Gulf Coast. Since those first sales, the family continues to produce the hot sauce on the island where it originated. Visitors of Avery Island can watch the process of the sauce being made and even take a cooking class. by Alice Phillips

produ c tio n P r o d u c t i o n m a nag e r

“Grits and grillades has to be my number one Sunday brunch choice — even though no restaurant does them as well as my mom does.” Emily Andras

Emily Andras

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

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

Lane Brocato

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

John Holzer

Mallary Matherne

S u bs c r i pt i o n M a nag e r

Gold Overall Art Direction Gold Magazine Photographer Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Gold Food Feature Gold Department

advertising V i ce P r e s i d e n t o f S a les


Brittanie Bryant

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


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

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

Todd Matherne

Alan Campell

E x ec u t i ve V i ce P r es i d e n t

Errol Laborde


Gold Overall Art Direction Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Silver Photo Series

1 1 0 V eterans B lvd . / S u ite 1 2 3 / M etairie , L A 7 0 0 0 5 / ( 5 0 4 ) 8 2 8 - 1 3 8 0 / ( 8 7 7 ) 2 2 1 - 3 5 1 2 1 2 8 D emanade / S u ite 1 0 4 / L afay ette , L A 7 0 5 0 3 / ( 3 3 7 ) 2 3 5 - 7 9 1 9 e x t. 2 3 0 Acadiana Profile (ISSN 0001-4397) is published bimonthly with a special issue in September by Renaissance Publishing LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 and 128 Demanade, Suite 104, Lafayette, LA 70503 (337) 235-7919 ext. 230. Subscription rate: One year $10; Foreign Subscriptions vary. Periodicals postage paid at Lafayette, LA, and additional mailing entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Acadiana Profile, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2019 Renaissance Publishing LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Acadiana Profile is registered. Acadiana Profile is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Acadiana Profile are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

Bronze Magazine Writer of the Year Bronze Portrait Series Finalist Magazine of the Year

ĂŠq u i p e d e ve n t e


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


5 $17.9 A stunning collection of traditional (and some non-traditional) seafood recipes. An absolute must-have for your kitchen and a perfect gift for a Louisiana seafood lover! Visit to order yours today!


acadiana profile june/july 2019

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales 504-830-7215

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note de l’e di teu r

Brunch is my favorite me al . IN fac t, if more pl aces offered it during the

week, I’d find a way to earn more vacation days, so that I could schedule several long, lazy weekday brunches throughout the year. The best brunches are those that incorporate live music. Even better is when bottomless mimosas are on the menu. Two such places come to mind right away — Blue Dog Cafe in Lafayette and Lake Charles, as well as Artmosphere in Lafayette. Champagne brunch? Yes, please. If like me you love brunch, our feature story in this issue is for you. Contributor Lisa LeBlanc-Berry has done the tough work of traveling all over Acadiana to sample, test and try brunch at tried-andtrue, new and off the beaten path spots to get your Eggs Benedict on. I’m ready to tear the pages out, hit the road and start checking places off my list, one slice of bacon at a time. These establishments offer a little something for everyone, so pick your non-negotiables and find a brunch that fills in all of your blanks and fills your belly. While some of us love to have brunch prepared for us, others would rather get creative in the kitchen. Whether you are an experienced home cook or a kitchen voyeur, our expanded La Maison section is sure to wow. Style Editor Marie Elizabeth Oliver has rounded up four enviable kitchens that will likely spur remodels and renovations all over the region. Get inspired and then get cookin’ on your own dream kitchen. It’s officially summer, so this is the perfect time to explore indoor entertainment options. We hope the brunch feature keeps you occupied through the hot months and puts a few new places on your radar. Did we leave off your favorite place? Email me and we’ll keep it in mind for when we revisit the subject. Which if I have my way will be annually. There’s no such thing as too much brunch, right? Cheers!

M e l a n i e Wa r n e r S p e n c e r , M anaging E ditor

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


acadiana profile june/july 2019

editor’s picks

July 4th Fun Uncle Sam’s Jam kicks off on July 3 at Parc International in downtown Lafayette. Attendees can take in live music by Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, DG & The Freetown Sound and DJ RV, there will be food and drinks available for purchase and a fireworks display. Bonus: A portion of the proceeds will benefit United Way of Acadiana. events Enjoy a parade, live music and fireworks duing the annual Red, White, Blue & You Festival in downtown Lake Charles on July 4. The event is family friendly and free.

En Français Are you interested in practicing your French or would you like to take part in activities that celebrate French culture? The Council for the Development of French in Louisiana hosts a variety of regular events all month long and special events throughout the year. On Fridays, hit Phillipe’s Wine Cellar in Lafayette for free wine tastings. Sundays are for enjoying French conversation, jam sessions and card games at Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville. Be sure to check the schedule for details on the Bastille Day celebration on July 14 and find other regular events throughout the region on the CODOFIL website. cultural-development/ codofil

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let t res d’amo u r / P e n n ed by a d iffe r e n t aut ho r in ev e ry issu e

Old Songs and Old Cypress Preserving the region’s culture through music and precious places By d r . J o s h ua c a ffe r y i llu st r at i o n b y C h r i s t i n a B r ow n

I ’ m a f o l k l o r i s t by t r a i n i n g , a n d

explaining what that means can be tricky. One way to say it that folklorists often deal with lost things. The hard truth is that, as society evolves, things fall by the wayside, often beautiful things. We misplace them, forget why they matter, or lose our will to appreciate their glory. Anyone who lives in Acadiana knows this. We have a beautiful culture; made even more ironically lovely by the fact that so much of it is falling away before us. The last echoes of native French, for instance, whether Cajun or Creole, still hover about us — in the voices of our grandmothers, in the phrases turned and tucked into our speech, in the intractable accents and curious place names and the ceremony of festival stages. This disappearance aches with beauty. My own true love has been for the forgotten songs of our terrain. I spent a good decade studying songs recorded in this area in the 1930s. Many had survived in people’s minds since the 14th century, passed down by word of mouth as the spoken literature of the people. Six hundred years of singing, preserved through unimaginable poverty, warfare and social upheaval. Though these songs lived in the Acadiana countryside in the 1930s, things changed abruptly. Television hit 20 years later, and radio was already ascendant. Within a few decades, these songs had mostly vanished. The mental technologies that people used to memorize hours of song and story, to entertain and teach their families and friends on dark nights on the Cajun prairie, gave way to more convenient technologies. At the Center for Louisiana Studies, where I work, our ironic task is to use modern technologies to make these lost thing found, or at least findable. Technology destroys, of course, but it can also safeguard and create anew. Our highest aim is to return an ancient song to the voice of a young singer. The Center is also restoring the historic J. Arthur Roy House at the corner of Johnson and University. Roy was a prominent Lafayette businessman and big supporter of the university. Like old songs, our remaining old cypress homes challenge us with their majesty. They are built of sturdier stuff — old growth wood that is as light and strong and resilient as a unforgettable melody. 10

acadiana profile june/july 2019

Off the ground on brick piers, the Roy house has staved off rot, but it’s a lost soul of a structure — forgotten behind a few haphazard water oaks. It’s an easy place to forget, to relegate to the romantic fringes of our consciousness. But look at it long enough, contemplate its craftsmanship and its lost beauty, and it’s a hard thing not to love. These are a few of the reasons, therefore, that I love these things. This why we are building

what we are building — an honored house of old cypress and forgotten songs, a portal into the past and an open door for the curious souls who will always seek those beautiful things that are lost. n About the author: Dr. Joshua Caffery is a Grammynominated musician and producer and the author of two books, Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana: The 1934 Lomax Collection, and In the Creole Twilight. He is currently the director of the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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no uvelles de v i lles

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

Toastmasters to the Rescue




The Lafayette International Center, in cooperation with CODOFIL, is starting a new local club of Toastmasters in French, oriented to help professionals who have to address groups, give TV or radio interviews, use French at work and need to polish their French. For more information, contact Robert Melanson, director, at 337-291-5474 or ramelanson@

Check out these events around the town.

❶ Gheens Bon Manage Festival

June 7-9. Gheens. The Bon Manage’ Festival, which loosely translates to “good eat” or “good food,” is a festival celebrating the area and the food culture. The menu features items like gumbo and cracklins and the itinerary includes a Queens Pageant and a live auction. gheensbonmange.


Learn to Make ‘Em Laugh

❷ Gulf Coast Shrimp and Jazz Festival

June 22. Lake Charles. Named one of the Top Twenty events by the Southeast Tourism Society, The Gulf Coast Shrimp and Jazz Festival is dedicated to promoting jazz music and musicians, while incorporating some of Louisiana’s favorite fare. gcshrimpnjazzfest. com

❸ Beauregard Watermelon Festival

June 28-29. DeRidder. This family-friendly festival is all about one of summer’s favorite light treats — watermelon. The DeRidder festival features a watermelon carving contest, frozen T-shirt contest, a festival pageant, entertainment and more.


Tasty bites

Youngsville, Carencro

Charcuterie board of cured meats and cheeses from Pour Restaurant and Bar

Do you dream of becoming a comic? The improv comedy troupe, Silverbacks Improv Theatre, debuts its improv classes July 13, 20, 27 and Aug. 10 and 17. To register, visit silverbacks-improvtheatre or call 337-205-2129.

Foodie Newsflash POUR Restaurant and Bar (River Ranch) will soon open its second location in Youngsville in the former Growler USA. Youngsville also welcomes a French Quarter-style brunch at the new Bourrée, located in the new Central Market development (by the owners of Papa T’s). In Carencro, Tokyo Japan (with 8 hibachi grills and sushi) opens in early summer. Carencro also gets the new Sombreros Tex-Mex Restaurant (moving from Opelousas) in the former Picante location.

acadiana profile june/july 2019

Now Streaming The only original Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) series broadcast entirely in French, En Français (hosted by the late Sen. James Fontenot of Abbeville), is now freely available for streaming at lpb. org/frencharchive.

photograph courtesy

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no uvelles de v i lles

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

Getting Bigger Still Church Point Now that Richard’s Cajun Foods plant has completed its $2.7 million expansion in Church Point, further expansions have been declared for 2020. Richard’s has also announced a new partnership with Supreme Rice for its prepared entrees.


july Check out these events around the town.

❶ Lebeau Zydeco Festival

July 6. Lebeau. The Lebeau Zydeco Festival is an annual event dedicated to zydeco music and its roots in the Cajun community. Guest can enjoy food, fun, music and a whole lot of dancing.


Library with Electric Car Chargers, Drive-by-Books

❷ Cajun Music and Food Festival

July 19-20. Lake Charles. Like the name suggests, this festival is dedicated to preserving and promoting Cajun food and music. Along with music, food and dancing, the festival includes a Cajun mass and doughnut social traditionally held on the Sunday of the festival.

Get your cameras ready for the new, contemporary West Regional Public Library in Scott (501 Old Spanish Trail) with vivid colored glass throughout, drive-thru book pick-up and return, a lactation room, electric car chargers and the teen gaming lounge that’s a retro-themed transportation space. facebook. com/LafayettePublicLibrary

❸ Southwest La Attakapas Opelousas Prairie Tribe Festival

July 27. Opelousas. The local Native American tribe Attakapas Opelousas Prairie Tribe each year dedicates a day to its culture and history in Opelousas. Many tribes throughout the state of Louisiana gather for the festival that includes educational speakers, dancing demonstrations and lessons and jewelry making.


A New Kind of Sugarcane After 12 years of coordinated research by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Houma, LSU AgCenter’s Agricultural Experiment Station and the American Sugar Cane League, two new sugarcane varieties have been approved and are available for commercial planting this summer.

for more information /


acadiana profile june/j uly 2019

Strength in Numbers DeRidder Women business leaders have created a new network for entrepreneurship, Elevate Women, with monthly meetings at the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce to share tips and tricks of the trade. facebook. com/ElevateWomeninBusiness

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acadiana profile june/july 2019

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

In this edition of Ac a d ia na p r o f i l e ’ s e x pa n d e d l a m a i s o n w e ’ r e c e l e b rat i n g t h e h e a rt o f t h e h om e — Th e k i tch e n

home+sty le / l a m a iso n

Building Character Kitchen updates that master the art of mixing something old with something new

Cast a golden glow over your dining space with a drum shade, like this pendant by Savoy House from Teche Electric.

By M a r i e E l i z a b e t h O l i v e r p h oto s by h ay l e i s m i t h

Don’t be scared off by the ubiquity of subway tile. It’s popular for a reason. The classic 3x6 grid plays like a neutral against bolder design elements. (Daltile subway tile from United Tile)

Mix-and-match throw pillows add instant personality to a built-in banquette and can easily be swapped out when you’re ready for a new look.

Coffee House What do you get when couple of coffee lovers

build their dream kitchen? A breezy floor plan with not one, but two, cafe-worthy perches. Leaving the original layout in the (demo) dust, the reconfiguration features an open island with seating for three, as well as a built-in banquette overlooking the backyard. Blueishgray cabinets pop against crisp white subway tile and Carrara countertops. Marrying clean, midcentury lines with traditional finishes, designer Elizabeth Gerace, worked closely with the homeowners to create a timeless look that simultaneously feels like a breath of fresh air. (Renovation by Minvielle Davis Construction, Cabinets by Heritage Woodworks, Interior design by Elizabeth Gerace Design,


acadiana profile june/july 2019

Making the most of the home’s original picture window, a custom banquette filled with seating and storage is the ultimate multitasker. In addition to a view of the backyard, the nook overlooks the kitchen island, with a line of sight straight into the home’s main living room. A walnut-topped tulip table reproduction from Rove Concepts allows for easy access, and drawers built into the base provide stowaway space within reach. Its versatility allows for a seamless transition from morning coffee to kids’ craft time — mission accomplished.

Think balance when it comes to mixing metals like a pro. Here, a stainless appliance suite and polished nickel faucet play well with the aged brass hardware and light fixtures. (Cabinet hardware by Rejuvenation, Kohler Parq faucet from Facets)

The struggle to find the perfect white is real, but it’s hard to go wrong with Benjamin Moore’s “White Dove.”

The old-world elegance of honed Bianco Carrara marble brings texture and depth to a contemporary kitchen. (Sourced from Lafayette Marble and Granite)

Benjamin Moore’s “Pearl” brings multidimensional color to statement-making Shaker cabinets.

Oui, Chef A serious cook requires a serious kitchen. The m agic of this renovation is its abilit y to achie ve professional- gr ade status

without foregoing any of the charisma of a family home. A power play of contrast — Indian black slate floors and handmade butcher block counters; rich green cabinets and “Mascarpone” walls — give the space an antiquated French vibe, according to designer Elizabeth Gerace. It’s true; the light blue Lacanche range steals the show from the outset, but it’s the harmony of the more subtle details that truly makes this kitchen sing. The addition of a casement window where upper cabinets once loomed creates a natural spotlight to shine on home-chef masterpieces. (John Sims, contractor; Cabinets by Harry Trahan with T & T Custom Cabinets; Interior design by Elizabeth Gerace Design,

A custom range hood that blends with the cabinet design allows this Chagny Lacanche Range in Armor to command all the attention.

Painting the home’s original center match wood, revealed underneath old ceiling tiles, adds more character than standard drywall.

Weathered white, square Cle’ Tile creates a show stopping backsplash that feels like it’s been there forever.


acadiana profile june/july 2019

Carpenters matched the home’s original ‘70s raised-panel cabinets on the upper level to achieve ceilingheight storage on the top.

The space achieves a collected feel by integrating complementary design elements, rather than trying to make everything match. Think mixed hardware in a similar finish, or how these lantern-style pendants from Teche Electric punctuate handmade butcher block counters by The Wooden Barrel.

The earthy “Bassett Hall Green” by Benjamin Moore infuses cabinets (and the entire kitchen) with vibrant color.

Open shelving gives the kitchen a more informal feel and provides plenty of room to display dishware collections.

Easy-to-maintain Indian black slate still makes a statement. (Sourced from United Tile)

Industrial, but still classic, Permo sconces in antique bronze coordinate seamlessly with the modernmeets-vintage look. (

Lightlyweathered Bedford brass cup drawer pulls and matchbox door latches from the Martha Stewart Living collection at Home Depot are a chic budget saver.


acadiana profile june/july 2019

Think twice before you rip up that linoleum. The endlessly versatile and allnatural flooring is making a comeback, especially in classic patterns, like this blackand-white check.

Mixing in antique lighting, like this vintage chandelier purchased in Washington, Louisiana, adds whimsical charm.

There’s a reason Fantasy Brown Dolomite counters are in high demand. Although it’s technically marble, this wavy natural stone boasts a rich, leathered finish with the durability of a quartz or quartzite. (Sourced from Lafayette Marble and Granite)

A family heirloom of sorts, this piece of salvaged Cypress takes center stage as an island topper.

Modern Romance I n s p i r e d by t h e h o m e ’ s D u t ch C o l o n i a l

Revival roots, this kitchen update re-creates the warmth of a traditional open hearth. Combined with a healthy dose of modern Southern charm, the space achieves its own fairy tale ending. Custom details reveal a oneof-kind story, from the hand-painted tiles to the checkered bistro floors and vintage chandelier. Not to mention salvaged gems, like the home’s original cast-iron farm sink and an inherited slab of Cypress, which made its way onto the island top. Moody honed marble and tuxedo cabinets give it the kind of drama you’ll be seeing more of in 2020. (Restoration and construction by S & S Renovators, Charlie Sanders, contractor)

For a foolproof black-and-white paint combination, try Benjamin Moore’s creamy “Muslin” paired with “Soot.”

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Going Big S erv i n g a g row i n g fa m i ly o f s e v en i s a ta ll o rd er f o r a n y k itch en ,

but doing it with style is a whole new ballgame. This remodel began with two must-have requests from the home owners: antique, wide-plank pine floors and an integrated appliance suite to serve the masses. The result? A sleek finish that pays homage to the past with a nod to the future. Designer Paige Gary reimagined the space, originally built in the mid-60s, with ample storage and high-end features, such as polished quartzite stretching from the backsplash across an ample island and designer light fixtures to add an unmistakably contemporary flair. (Renovation by Shivers Construction; Cabinets by Cajun Wood Products; Interior design by Paige Gary Designs,

Need to meal prep for a crowd? This stainless, 60-inch, ProGrand Thermador range specializes in maximum capacity cooking.

Antique brass hardware, like these from Distinctive Hardware and Decor, bring warm accents throughout the kitchen.


acadiana profile june/j uly 2019

Glossy, 8-inchplank, reclaimed, longleaf heart pine floors from Antique Woods of Louisiana create a focal point from the ground up.

To achieve seamless integration, select your appliances first and build the cabinet design around them, rather than the other way around. Custom cabinets by Cajun Wood Products. Appliances sourced from C & C Home Appliances.

Try pairing a bold floor with a neutral cabinet color, like the not-too-cool/not-too-warm white, “Greek Villa” by Sherwin Williams.

Curtains in a bold print can add a pop of personality— without a huge commitment. Custom floral draperies by Paige Gary Designs.

Polished Sublime quartzite from Massimo Exotic Natural Stones stands up to tough daily use while adding a luxurious streamlined effect to the island and backsplash.

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

Shelf Life Banish boring bookshelves with these designer tips by M a r i e E l i z a b e t h O l i v e r p h oto b y R o m e r o & R o m e r o

Thanks to a certain Netflix special,

books and collectibles have recently fallen to the bottom of the home goods power ranking. While your freshman-year Norton Anthology of Literature may not exactly “spark joy,” that doesn’t mean you should shy away from giving more sentimental tomes and treasures prime shelf real estate, according to Lafayette interior designer Tanya Zaunbrecher. Zaunbrecher says these items create an authenticity and depth to your shelves that you can’t buy. “Having elements of your past helps give it life,” she says. Otherwise, “everything’s too new.” She favors creating a background layer on each shelf with something visually captivating, such as a large piece of artwork or album. “It helps a normal library become more to look at than just a bunch of books,” says Zaunbrecher. But what separates #bookshelfstyling from pure clutter? Zaunbrecher says it’s all about balance. “Scale is a big deal,” she says. “You have a hierarchy of small, medium and large — it creates a vignette.” Something as simple as shelving items in unexpected ways can add dimension. Don’t be afraid to stack books horizontally or turn them backwards to create a more modern look, recommends Zaunbrecher. “If you’re trying to achieve something minimal, pick things that are similar in color,” she adds. “Try doing it all in white or black or all pastel colors.” As the mother of a toddler, Zaunbrecher knows firsthand the hardest part of styling a bookcase can often be figuring out what to place on those high-traffic, bottom shelves. “We know that it’s going to get messed up; that’s what baskets are for,” she says. “You don’t have to feel like it’s a museum.” n

how to

Style a Bookshelf

❶ Figure out the overall style you’re trying to achieve.

❷ Arrange big items first to create a background.

❸ Add stacks of books in varying heights and widths.

❹ Fill in the spaces with smaller items.

❺ If you need all the space for books, try sorting by hue.

tip For a minimal look, keep things monotone.

about the designer Tanya Zaunbrecher is a registered interior designer and half of the husband-and-wife duo, Zaunbrecher Design. She and her husband are both graduates of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s architecture program and specialize in “designing unique projects for unique individuals.”

Tanya Zaunbrecher / Zaunbrecher Design / 100 E Vermilion St. Suite 208. Lafayette. 337-278-0066.


acadiana profile june/july 2019

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home+style / a l a mo de

Coming up Roses Frame your sunny disposition with this dreamy, peachy pair from New Orleansbased KREWE. Romantic tones of nude, ballet slipper pink and blush encircle the on-trend round lenses for a pearlescent finish that lends color to the skin. Delicate gold accents add even more warmth, and the reflective lenses wash your gaze in rosy tones and pure sunshine. Available at Kiki. 1910 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette.

Heaven Help Me Worn alone or stacked, the semiprecious stones of these Sacred Art bracelets echo the cool, earthy tones of summer. Ocean blue stones, marbled quartz and freshwater pearls pair well with a linen dress or even your favorite swimsuit. Each piece has a gilded crystal accent or a pendant related to Christian imagery, such as The Virgin Mary. by A s h l e y H i n s o n photo by R o m e r o & R o m e r o

S a c r e d A r t / s h o p s acr e d art. c o m


acadiana profile june/july 2019

About the creator What began as a hobby turned into a creative and lucrative passion project for Ashley Leger when she began to sell her work as Sacred Art in 2017. “We’ve only been in business a year and a half, and it’s grown so much since the beginning,” Leger said. “I love it so much. I’ve met the most amazing people and work with great local business owners. I love that a lot of Lafayette business owners are women! I’ve been blessed to watch Sacred Art. It’s surreal.”

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acadiana profile june/july 2019

Ça c’est bon

F e z zo’ s B lu e b e r ry Moj i to R ec i p e o n pag e 38

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Filler Up Spoonbill casts a rosy glow at the corner of Jefferson and Johnston in downtown Lafayette by J y l B e n s o n p h oto s by J o V i d r i n e

Last fall the familiar historic corner

of Johnston and Jefferson streets in downtown Lafayette, previously occupied by The Filling Station and long ago serving as a Conoco gasoline station, reopened after a full renovation and expansion as Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant. It takes its name from the roseate spoonbill, a bright pink bird with a spoon-shaped bill that lends the bird a look of permanent bemusement. Patrons enjoying outdoor seating are bathed in the glow of abundant neon tubing and signage while shielded from the busy street by a system of raw cypress planters filled with fountain grasses. The impression is bright, cheery and fun. The colorful interior of the triangular-shaped building is awash in natural lighting provided by newly-installed floor to ceiling windows.

A radiant exposition-style kitchen encourages voyeurism as Chef and Co-Owner Jeremy Conner and his kitchen crew prepare contemporary interpretations of south Louisiana classics merged with international flavors. A large curved bar is the other focal point of the space and the craft cocktail program, which includes festive Tiki varieties, does not disappoint. Check out the Corpse Reviver No. 2 (gin, Lillet blanc, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, absinthe), Suffering Bastard (gin, bourbon, ginger ale, lime juice, mint), Roseate (Del

Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant / 900 Jefferson St. Lafayette. 337-534-0585.


acadiana profile june/july 2019

Well Designed Dining Experience flavors both exotic and familiar while basking in the glow of neon lights at Spoonbill.

Maguey Mezcal, strawberry, lemon, St.-Germain, mint, and a salt and pepper rim) and the T’ Spoon (chamomile and lemon infused Buffalo Trace, Campari, St. Germain). A generous list of intriguing mocktails is also available. Born in Opelika, Alabama, Conner began his career in the kitchens of Pensacola, Florida. He worked in various capacities in Lafayette kitchens, most recently as executive chef with the Village Cafe, before founding Cellar Salt Company, which he still operates. His diversified perspective on Southern food culture and Gulf Coast seafood flavors inspired his menu at Spoonbill. General Manager and Co-Owner Stephen Daniel Verret has diverse skills as a designer, developer, creator and entrepreneur and he pressed them all into service in creating Spoonbill. Born in Lafayette, he moved to Los Angeles in 2011, where he explored the city’s modern takes on bar and restaurant culture. He returned to Lafayette in 2014 to open the pop-up bar and pizza party, Olympic Grove. His vision for Spoonbill was inspired by the long-time TV hit "Cheers" — a place where everyone feels at home and the proprietors know their patrons by name. He loves people and says he is most at home when he is entertaining. (Read more about Spoonbill in our brunch feature on page 40.) n


Try this

❶ Crab Quesadilla

A flour tortilla packed with Gulf blue crab claw meat, vibrant herbs, and a creamy mix of cheddar and mascarpone cheeses served with roasted tomato sour cream.

❷ Loaded Fries

Shredded mojo pork shoulder, melted cheddar, fresh pico de gallo, avocado crema, and hot pepper sauce.

❸ Fried Oyster Salad

Cornmeal-fried oysters, arugula, frisee, radish, and hard cheese with green chili-buttermilk ranch dressing.

❹ Chimichurri Steak

Bonus Bite With its sexy, atmospheric bar and craft cocktail selection, Pamplona, located just a couple of blocks down from Spoonbill, has long been a popular destination for tapas in Lafayette. Sure bets from the kitchen include Andalucian lamb sliders (fresh ground lamb, almonds, piquillo pepper, manchego cheese, and paprika aioli), bacon-wrapped dates (stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese and served with an almond puree), beef carpaccio (thin slices of tender beef with potato crisps, cucumber, and frisee tossed in lemon-truffle vinaigrette); and duck fat fries, for which no further explanation is needed. Pamplona / 631 Jefferson St. Lafayette. 337-232-0070.

Seared 44 Farms flank steak with bright chimichurri, crispy shallots, and green rice.

❺ Bibimbap

Green rice bowl with bulgogi, hot pepper sauce, quick-pickled vegetables, sesame seeds, and a sunny-sideup egg.

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Caesar Salad With Pumpernickel

Simple Supper Make the most of extra eggplant by stuffing it with crab and shrimp by M a r c e l l e B i e n v e n u p h oto & st y l i n g by E u g e n i a Uh l

My s u m m e r v e g e ta b l e c r o p s a r e

winding down but not before I harvested several beautiful eggplants (also known as aubergine or brinjal). To celebrate, I made a large batch of caponata, a Sicilian dish of eggplant, olives and onions seasoned with herbs, typically served as an appetizer, and which I like to toss with spaghetti for a simple summer supper. I still had several left and my husband suggested putting together eggplants stuffed with crabmeat. The dish brought back fond memories of Christian's in New Orleans, a restaurant opened by Chris Ansel, a member of the Galatoire family, and Hank Bergeron in Metairie in 1973. Several years later, the restaurant moved to a former Lutheran church in Mid-City on Canal St. Their stuffed eggplant was a favorite of mine as were the smoked soft-shell crabs. While I went to hunt down the stuffed eggplant recipe, my husband pulled together the ingredients for our salad. n

❶ Rinse 1 head of romaine (leaves separated) and pat dry. Lightly wrap in paper towels and store in the refrigerator for several hours to crisp the leaves.

❷ Whisk 1 egg (lightly beaten), 2 garlic cloves (crushed), 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and ½ cup olive oil together and pour into the bottom of a large salad bowl. When ready to serve, add lettuce, 4 anchovy fillets (drained and chopped) and 2 hard-boiled eggs (peeled and quartered) and toss thoroughly with the dressing.

➌ Add ½ cup freshlygrated parmesan cheese and toss again. Sprinkle with ¾ cup pumpernickel croutons and serve immediately. Pass the peppermill. Makes 4 servings


acadiana profile june/july 2019

main course dessert


TIP You can certainly use French bread croutons rather than the pumpernickel.

Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of fruit, traditionally black cherries, arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flanlike batter. It’s a favorite of mine since it’s easy to put together ahead of time.

Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Eggplant Rather than using both shrimp and crabmeat, you can use 1 pound of either of the seafood. ma k es 4 servings

2 eggplants, each about 1 pound BECHAMEL SAUCE

¼ cup butter ½ cup chopped onions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 1 cup milk ½ teaspoon salt FILLING

1 cup bechamel ¼ cup butter 2 cups coarse dried bread crumbs ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 10-inch round, about 1 1/2 inches deep ceramic dish or pie plate.

white pepper to taste

pinch of allspice

½ pound shrimp, boiled, peeled and chopped ½ pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage

grated Parmesan cheese


Place whole eggplants in a shallow pan and bake at 350 F until soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool. Trim off stem ends and cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the pulp, leaving about ¼-inch in the shells. Chop the pulp finely, then measure out 2 cups.


Heat butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Blend in flour and milk and season with salt. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick and smooth.


For the bechamel sauce

Melt butter in a large saucepan and stir in bread crumbs. Add the eggplant pulp, seasonings and bechamel sauce. Mix well. Add the shrimp and crabmeat and gently stir. Fill the eggplant shells with the mixture. Sprinkle generously with the Parmesan cheese.


for the filling

Set the stuffed eggplants in a shallow baking pan and bake at 375 F until hot, bubbly, and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Place 1 pound dark sweet cherries (pitted) in prepared dish. In a mediumsize mixing bowl, beat 2 cups halfand-half, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons amaretto and 4 large eggs with a wire whisk until well blended. Whisk in ⅔ cup all-purpose flour, a little at a time, until mixture is smooth.

Pour mixture over cherries and bake until the custard is set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve hot or warm. Makes 12 servings

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Fezzo’s Blueberry Mojito

Cool Cure

❶ Muddle 2 mint leaves and 6 fresh blueberries in 1 ounce of Finest Call Bar Syrup (simple syrup) in a metal bar shaker (2 turns of the wrist does it).

Fezzo’s Blueberry Mojito offers an icy summertime breather with loads of refreshment by L i s a L e B l a n c- B e r r y p h oto by R o m e r o & R o m e r o

As summer tightens its sweat y

grip, and afternoons are blistering hot, nothing sounds better than a refreshingly crisp cocktail. Tall, ice-cold and in hues of blue. How about fresh mint, blueberries, lime and crushed ice, too? And let’s imagine Stoli’s Blueberry Vodka and a splash of Bols Blue Curaçao as well. Chilled. Doesn’t that fantasy feel better? Ahhhhh. Enter the new Blueberry Mojito, sprung from the imagination of the award-winning bar team at Fezzo’s in Broussard, where you can watch all the oyster action from the bar while sipping Blueberry Mojitos until you cure those summertime blues. A dozen chargrilled oysters, some crawfish wontons and grilled red snapper and you are good to go. Phil Faul and Pat Bordes opened their first Fezzo’s in Crowley in 1999. Fezzo’s Seafood, Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in Broussard is their third location, built from the ground up in 2016. Each location has a local, cult-like following. This cool blue cocktail is simple enough to make, and will ease you into the chill zone. n Fezzo’s Seafood, Steakhouse & Oyster Bar / locations in broussard, crowley & scott.


acadiana profile june/july 2019

Add 1.5 ounces Stolichnaya Blueberry Vodka, 1.5 ounces Rose’s lime juice (a concentrate), a splash of Bols Blue Curaçao and 6 ounces club soda.

flavor With bitter-sweet aromas of oranges and lime and a cooling fizz that brings hints of mint, Blueberry Mojitos beckon ocean views, crashing waves and swim-up bars.

Add one scoop of crushed ice, toss the shaker twice and pour it all into a Collins glass. Garnish with fresh lime, mint and, or blueberries.

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Five top brunch spots around Acadiana to satisfy your breakfast — or lunch — cravings



At CafÊ Burnside, Chef Jeremy Langlois artfully assembles cornmeal waffles with a rustic crunch, placed atop champagnekissed syrup redolent of braised berries fresh from Houmas House’s summer gardens. Fragrant with fresh mint, the dry sparkling adds an acidic, effervescent contrast to the syrupy medley.

written by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry photographed by Denny Culbert

who does the best brunch? It’s like

making a roux: everyone says their way is the best. Selecting the setting is more like making gumbo: a bubbling mélange of choices seasoned with a little bit of this, thickened by a bit of that. We’ve stirred up a fresh fricassée of places, with a pinch of news, to spice up your quest.


E a r ly B i r d R o a d s i d e C l a s s i c

suire’s cajun restaurant and grocery Diners can play with checkers in plastic tubs atop checkerboards etched into crawfish-patterned vinyl tablecloths, and use saltand-pepper held by sculpted frogs and miniature cross-legged deer wearing antlered hunting hats.

Milano’s pan-seared duck joins sweet potato waffles with pillow-soft centers and crispy edges, topped with a buttery fried egg, served with honeyed blueberry syrup sharpened by pickled blueberries, and finished with a scoop of Chantilly cream perfumed with vanillacaramel notes from a smooth, small-batch bourbon.

Milano 314 Belanger St. Houma 985-879-2426

You never know when you’ll be struck by lightning, and who would want to go without a morning cup of turtle sauce piquante from Suire’s? The rush begins at dawn. A cheery alligator in a chef’s toque marks the little building on a country road, in case you’re lost. Those who want more than eggs upon

best contemporary fusion

milano The road to 31-year old Patrick Trahan’s hire as executive chef of Milano in June 2018 was both propitious and perilous. P r i o r t o h e a d i n g H o u m a’ s c h i c b i s t r o k n o w n f o r i ts

Italian-inspired fare, and introducing Sunday brunch, he ascended as a graduate of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls, when selected among students from 22 countries to study for six months in Lyon under a French legend, Chef Paul Bocuse. Later, the three-year protégé of acclaimed New Orleans Chef Michael Gulotta (2019 James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef: South) was serving as his executive sous chef at Mopho, when tapped to become second-in-command at Gulotta’s new Asian-New Orleans fusion bistro. “I was being groomed to open Maypop,” Trahan says. “He taught me so much.” But the Thibodaux native’s world came crashing down when he was arrested for a fourth DWI and sentenced to a year in the Louisiana penal system. “After I got out, I didn’t want to be a chef anymore,” he says. “But it wasn’t until I had an epiphany and took some ownership that I started over in Houma at Milano, where they gave me free reign.” Milano’s latest menus offer a new dining experience that is far more dynamic, transcended by Trahan’s Asian-French fusion creations. The new Sunday brunch is served in an airy, art-filled dining room rimmed in mirrors as a pianist plays on a gleaming grand piano. Until the launch, Cristiano’s Italian fare was the only upscale alternative for brunch. Trahan’s precise flavor fusions awaken the senses for an evolving, seasonal menu. Crisp soft-shell crabs with a poached egg get jazzed up by a bechamel nuanced with lemongrass and ginger, while a deboned quail’s sweet-tart cane syrup gastrique is a palate-teaser. Duck confit with sweet potato waffles gets a bounce from pickled blueberries glorified with bourbon-laced Chantilly cream. Kimchi-braised greens flavored with pork belly and ginger give pork chops a two-stepping push with a tangy mirliton hash. “I wanted to create something unique and new for brunch, something no one else is doing in Houma,” says Trahan.

awakening can enjoy their Mello Joy with crawfish pistolettes, triple decker BLTs, gumbos and etouffées, poor boys, plate lunches, sandwiches and homemade desserts wrapped to-geaux at the register (tip: fig cake, blueberry tart, sugar-free brownies). Celebrity photos and reviews (New York Times included) surround

Formica tables. “Anthony Bourdain came in on Ash Wednesday, 2018, and ate crawfish etouffée, an oyster poor boy and pecan pie,” says co-owner Lisa Frederick. Nonchalantly. Suire’s Cajun Restaurant and Grocery, 13923 LA Hwy 35 S. Kaplan; 337-643-8911;


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A rich baconcheese cream sauce drapes spicy chicken with veggies at Tante Marie. Proprietor Scott Schilling (co-owner of Lafayette’s Café 20.3) will be introducing live bands and an allday menu on Sunday afternoons. It’s a novelty for Breaux Bridge, famed for its Saturday-only music venues.

Best Live Cajun Music

tante marie A fiddler scratches out a piercing riff in the musician’s circle, as chairs are being rearranged for the growing crowd of local amateur fiddlers showing up for the Saturday Cajun Jam session and brunch at Tante Marie in Breaux Bridge. The stage has been removed, so there’s more room for dancing on that old wooden floor, which has just the right bounce. F o r m e r ly J o i e d e V i v r e , t h e n e w n a m e

Tante Marie Restaurant 107 N. Main St. Breaux Bridge 337-442-6354

came from owner Scott Schilling’s new partner, Cornell Comeaux, to honor his late grandmother. “My wife is from Quebec and her name is Marie-Claude, so the new name works well,” Schilling says. “I’ve known Cornell for 20 years. You could put him in a closet with a toaster and he’d come out with a feast for 400. He’s expanding our brunch menu, including assorted omelets, we’re adding new kitchen equipment and extending the bar area. “We’ve introduced nitrogen-infused cold brew and we’re partnering with our neighbor, Cochon Cannery, for bacon jam and other products.” On Saturdays, old-timers often lapse into French before the jam session, which attracts at least a dozen fiddlers, several guitarists and a couple of local headliners. “We speak only in French to our daughters, ages two and four,” says Schilling. “I’m involved with organizing Cycle Zydeco, which draws international travelers to the area. We’ve grown to over 800 riders.” Tante Marie’s offerings to date include biscuit and boudin patties (made in-house) with rich country gravy, pain perdu with a side of spicy chaurice, and the bountiful new boudin breakfast burrito cradling eggs and boudin, oozing pepper jack cheese and sweetened with rich Steen’s cane syrup. The superb cappuccinos and Bloody Marys fuel locals hitting the dance floor. Beer on tap is underway in the circa-1920s building that was originally a hardware store. “Our renovation will include old tools to reflect the hardware store theme, along with screwdriver and Rusty Nail cocktails,” says Schilling. The jam session, which ends at 1 p.m., often trails off with ballads like “Jolie Blonde.” But only the old-timers’ poignant voices capture its beseeching, tender tale.

F o r Y o u r H e a l th

tribe collective Children on a gluten-free diet don’t have to turn away in angst when looking into a case of gorgeous pastries, pass up pancakes or biscuits at Tribe Collective, a delightful place where folks with dietary restrictions can feel “normal.” Gluten-free, allergenfree, diabetic-friendly and vegan options are deliciously enticing for brunch. Tribe combines Mortar & Pestle’s heathy, nurturing food by Chef Hannah Ellaham from Bibi’s Patisserie (tip: butter pecan cookie bars, rosemary biscuits); Emerge, an artisan juicer with fresh, organic, bio-dynamic juices, smoothies, raw foods and smoothie bowls; Rêve Coffee Roasters offerings; the Tribe Store with products and literature, and space for artists, musicians and chef pop-ups. The slogan: Evolving, Transforming and Emerging, which explains the cool vibes. Great place to chill. Tribe Collective 1011 E. University Lafayette 337-534-0173 tribecollectivelaf


B e s t b u f f e t, b e s t v i e w

houmas house The opulence of the Greek Revival, columned mansion and twin garconniere, massive bending oaks, fragrant magnolias and vibrant gardens have a breathtaking effect on those entering the gates of the 38-acre Houmas House plantation estate in Darrow. Arrivals for Sunday Brunch at Café

Burnside discover unparalleled interludes when strolling the storied estate. It’s easy to imagine Bette Davis on the balcony, filming “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte,” or the opaque, wandering spirits still seen roaming the grounds as time passes imperceptibly. Cool river breezes lead diners through picturesque paths to the elaborate brunch overlooking a courtyard and gardens ablaze with color. Upon arrival, warm biscuits shaped like a dragonfly arrive with whipped cane-syrup pecan butter. The dragonfly biscuit symbolizes the omen that inspired owner Kevin Kelly to acquire Houmas House when initially touring the grounds. A dragonfly landed, then lingered on Kelly’s shoulder, convincing the developer to purchase the estate in 2003, meticulously restoring the mansion, and elaborately transforming the grounds. Now that acclaimed Chef Jeremy Langlois has returned, the River Road Sunday brunch buffet is enhanced with bourbon shrimp fragrant with fresh herbs, veal grillades with stone-ground white cheddar grits, and slices of tender duck breast with a smooth praline-pecan glaze. “I like brunch because Sundays have a more relaxed feeling,” says Langlois. “It’s the one day of the week you get to have a different kind of menu.” His a la carte menu features Chef ’s signature curried crawfish, pumpkin and corn bisque, a crawfish and brie omelet topped with a fried soft-shell crawfish and hollandaise, mouth-watering grilled tournedos of filet mignon accented with a wild mushroom demi-glace, and the artfully assembled eggplant Belle Rose, layered with jumbo lump crabmeat in a saffron cream sauce. “Kevin has a tremendous vision for the property,” says Langlois. “He is able to envision the future.” Kelly’s amazing new 28,000-square-foot Great River Road Museum and Interpretive Center, currently under construction, is designed to recount life along the Mississippi, complete with a raised amphitheater, cafe and an arched bridge leading to Steamboat Overlook near a walkway, his most substantial “vision” to date.


Medallions of fried eggplant are abundantly layered with jumbo lump crabmeat in a silken saffron cream sauce with herbs from Houmas House gardens, now in full summer bloom. (Top right) Lifelike animal mounts distinguish rooms flanking the opulent Carriage House. (Bottom) Acclaimed Chef Jeremy Langlois.

A P a t i o w i th M o c k t a i l s

spoonbill watering hole & restaurant Café Burnside 40136 Highway 942 Darrow 225-473-9380

Weekend brunch on the covered patio at Spoonbill Watering Hole is a hip, casual, laid-back destination for those who prefer non-traditional fare.

Ice C r e a m and a Sandbox

4 sisters café A hidden all-day breakfast oasis for young children and parents who want to relax with friends and excellent coffees, or order wine, beer, frozen margaritas, Bloody Marys and mimosas.

The snazzy new hangout is designed for a “total immersion” experience with an open kitchen near bartenders crafting festivelygarnished cocktails. Located in the former Filling Station. Chef-owner Jeremy Conner’s seafood-centric hits include a poke stack and crab quesadillas. Brunch top-seller:

Bibimbap, a green rice bowl with bulgogi, pickled veggies, hot pepper sauce, sesame seeds and a sunny-side-up egg. Chase it down with a Suffering Bastard (in a tiki glass) or a Corpse Reviver if you’ve had one of those nights. Not imbibing? Blackened Lemonade and Cloudy with a Chance

mocktails are equally refreshing and fetching. It’s a great place for posting up. Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant, 900 Jefferson St., Lafayette; 337-534-0585;

Inside, there’s a little kids table with games, a mounted spinning device to win complimentary ice cream, an ice cream bar that includes beignet sundaes and kidfriendly menus. The side porch is flanked by an outdoor play area with a sandbox, and the yard has a pretend, brightlypainted fire hydrant for doggies. Waffles shaped like a fleur de lis come with varied toppings. Recommended: stuffed breakfast croissants, beignet batons, shrimp and grits and biscuits à la Teche with eggs and crawfish smothered in spicy Cajun sausage. Local products available. 4 Sisters Café 220 Rees St. Breaux Bridge 337-332-0308


Take Fido

a place for pooch Are you trying to find a place where your pup can have brunch, too?

Galactic Crab Crepes are filled with tangy crab dip blanketed in a luscious crab cream sprinkled with bacon. (Right) Eggs Calcasieu combines Texas toast with fresh boudin, eggs and fried shrimp plated with patterned dollops of lemony hollandaise. Salad-like Bloody Marys enliven jazzy Sundays.

In Lafayette, you don’t have to leave your furry friend at home when brunching at Saint Street Inn, a charming dog-friendly, farmto-table spot with a covered porch area (tip: pain perdu with lemon curd, steak and eggs, green chili burritos, sweet potato waffles); while Blue Dog Café has live music and a new brunch menu (tip: Clovis Marie cocktail rimmed in crawfish boil, bacon pecan sticky buns, Croque Madame); Houma’s Cristiano Ristorante’s courtyard has 10 dog-friendly tables (tip: frittatas, grillades and grits, pork belly debris with polenta) In Lake Charles, Pujo Street Café welcomes Fido in a large, enclosed patio with fans (tip: beignets, eggs Benedict, chicken and waffles);


Best Live jazz

luna bar & grill Luna Bar & Grill 719 Ryan St. Lake Charles 337-494-5862

The patio fills up quickly on Sundays for the super-casual jazz brunch at Luna Bar & Grill. A popular nightly concert venue, Luna is expected to double in size once the expansion to the building next door is a wrap. This means more space for the brunch bunch.

Alt h o u g h C h e f - o w n e r D a v e Ev a n s

sold the Luna Live venue last year, he promises to continue his downtown Chuck Fest, and there is even talk of a possible food truck eventually rolling into Lafayette. A stiff Bloody Mary and an order of Dr. John’s voodoo hash, replete with crawfish, jalapenos and Cajun hollandaise, will help get your Night Tripper, Gris Gris-man groove on while recounting last night’s transgressions. If your taste buds are leaning toward sweet stuff, the Louis Armstrong glazed crepes with mascarpone cream and blackberries will put you on the “sunny side of the street.”

Evans is a celebrated singer-guitarist, which explains the fun and funky music-themed décor, from the big piano keys towering over the length of the bar, the trippy mural and spiky light fixtures to the collection of photos and the big neon guitar at the entrance that glows Luna at night. It’s a conjuring. “I used to have a show seven days a week,” Evans says. “I’m into everything, from bluegrass to the Grateful Dead. That’s what I love, music and food.” You’ll likely be singing “I Found My Thrill” after enjoying Evans’ new Fats Domino brunch special, a tall biscuit stacked with crispy fried

chicken and a generous scoop of boudin draped with a creamy gravy. Eggs Pontchartrain will get your taste buds dancing with crab cakes, shrimp, bacon, avocado and that spicy Cajun hollandaise. Don’t leave without trying the crawfish-stuffed avocado. Definitely the stuffed avocado. The servers are super friendly, and the price is right. Brunch ends at 2 p.m., and they open an hour later with the next menu, so it’s best to arrive earlier, rather than later.


m a k i ng a s p l a s h

Boating to Brunch It’s a clear and sunny Saturday, ideal for kayaking. Brunch/lunch anyone? Paddle along the cypress-lined banks of Bayou Fuselier and dock at Little Big Cup (, an Arnaudville oasis for weekend brunch buffets (includes crème brûlée French toast, pork roast, fresh fruit salad and gumbo). But only on Saturdays can you get the regular menu with brunch. Best bets: Crab Stack 2.0 (a tall, layered sensation of fried eggplant, crab cakes and fried soft-shell crab topped with crawfish etouffée); praline chicken and waffles; bountifully topped Bloody Marys. Power boating with a crowd near Lake Charles? Weekenders gravitate to Loggerheads Riverfront ( loggerheads) for boiled shrimp, fried fish and grilled shrimp salad served on deck from 11 a.m. until the live music starts spicing things up at 4 p.m.


Best seafood

Housed in the renovated former Café des Amis, where the “world-famous zydeco brunch” originated on Saturday mornings, Café Sydnie Mae’s Belgium waffles are topped by spicy fried chicken tenders moistened with cane butter and root beer maple syrup, with scintillating strawberry pepper jelly as afterglow.

café sydnie mae Author James Lee Burke’s new murder mystery novel, “New Iberia Blues,” has a gripping chapter that describes how Detective Dave Robicheaux’s daughter, Alafair, leaves a note on the fridge explaining that she is going to brunch at Café Sydnie Mae in Breaux Bridge. But when Dave calls the café, Alafair has mysteriously disappeared in a suspicious cherry-red Lamborghini. “I didn’t have a clue that Café

Sydnie Mae was in Burke’s new novel until some people from Texas came in for brunch and told me about it, then asked me to sign the book!” says Chef Bonnie Breaux. “People from all over have been coming here about it.” Crowned Queen of Louisiana Seafood in 2017, she recently teamed up for a chef demo with the 2018 Seafood King, Blue Dog Café Chef Ryan Trahan, during Books Along the Teche Literary Festival heralding Burke’s Detective Dave Robicheaux novels. “Our cafe is under new ownership,” says Breaux. “Chip and Lucy Durand are planning to open a new restaurant in St. Martinville. Running the cafe was too much for them, so our general manager, who has been here since the beginning, David Puckett and his

be a n the r e , d o ne th a t

java joints with lagniappe Café Sydnie Mae 140 E. Bridge St. Breaux Bridge 337-909-2377

Acadiana’s coffeehouses are enlivened with local musicians and consignment art, children’s movies, miniature electric trains and yoga as lagniappe

wife bought Café Sydnie Mae from Durand. It was David’s idea to introduce brunch before he even bought the cafe, so we did, and he ended up buying it.” Chef Breaux says that plans are underway to introduce a live music duo for Sunday brunch. The lunch menu was recently added to brunch offerings. Teche Benedict is a masterful medley of fried seafood imperial cakes with poached eggs atop toasted biscuits. Teche Wellington with a sherry-cream sauce is another big hit. Seafood lovers gravitate to Breaux’s blackened shrimp and Creole cream cheese in a spicy tasso cream sauce, and the Atchafalaya omelet brimming with crawfish, shrimp, crab and peppers. Go all out and order the indulgent banana Foster waffles, dressed to kill with Buffalo Trace caramel, roasted pecans, bananas and oodles of whipped cream. Mimosas add a festive touch to a memorable brunch by a celebrated Seafood Queen.

Saturdays at the artsy Stellar Beans Coffee House in Lake Charles bring Snickerdoodle frappés and beignets enhanced by live jazz, art exhibits and yoga classes (proprietor Chelsea Boudreaux also owns Yoga Center

next door). Get serenaded in Jeanerette on Sundays (via the grand piano and trumpet) with lattes and stuffed biscuits as you sink into leather sofas at the elegant Cooper Street Café. Feel the circa 1800s RR vibe in Scott’s

quaint Coffee Depot while enjoying croissants and cappuccino. Have an envie for chicken gumbo with your biscuit or Poché’s boudin instead of eggs? Look beneath the only red light in Grand Coteau (home of the only Vatican-recognized miracle in

the United States) to find Chicory’s Coffee & Café, a retro hangout with books, local art and Who Dat smoothies, build-your-own breakfast wraps, fruit bowls and white chocolate bread pudding.



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acadiana profile june/july 2019

a rt i st b r i a n sc h n e i d e r

c u ltu r e / l es a rt ist es

Lightbulb Moment Lafayette’s Brian Schneider finds comfort in everything about the transition into the art world, except the new title attached to his name by W i l l K a l e c p o r t r a i t by R o m e r o & R o m e r o

Now that the tables have turned, and

the spotlight beams down on the man who made his mark pointing it at others so that they may shine, Lafayette transplant Brian Schneider punts on the notion of calling himself an artist…even though he clearly is. “I struggle with the term ‘artist.’ I really do,” Schneider says, without false humility. “I’m not entirely comfortable with it. It’s like adding something else to your identity. “I was someone who for a very long time was comfortable in the background,” Schneider continues. “A supporting role — helping the vision of someone else come to fruition. Doing this, having my work be the center of attention, was definitely a mindset change.” After spending years honing his craft as a lighting designer for on-stage productions and museum exhibits both here and in his previous home of New York City, Schneider went one step further this spring with his first public art exhibit. Housed at the downtown Acadiana Center for the Arts, “And The Stars Aligned” featured several Schneider-built light installations/ lamps shaped in the form of constellations that are becoming increasingly difficult to identify in the night sky because of light pollution. Schneider credits the Paul Bogard book “The End of Night” as his inspiration and a portion of the profits from the exhibit were donated to the Dark Sky Association – a 501(c)(3) whose goal is to protect the night sky for current and future generations. The creative process for these art pieces was unlike anything Schneider had done before. While designing custom lamps for specific residential projects isn’t anything new to Schneider, those were always single-bulb items designed with functionality first and foremost to fit a unique space. These “star lamps” were a different animal -- multi-bulb items created to be as true-to-scale as possible.


acadiana profile june/july 2019


Artist Brian Schneider

❶ So how does an NYC native find his way down to Acadiana? “I married a Creole woman. And as I learned, the women here and many of the men find their way back to Louisiana. No matter what, they always come home. Most of the people I’ve met here who aren’t from here, they’ll say the same thing, ‘Well, there was this woman…’ And I’ve been here for about eight years now.”

❷ The exhibit at the ACA was the first time you used light as an art piece, but is there an art to what you were doing before — both in NYC and Lafayette?

Schneider used The Audubon Society’s Field Guide to the Night Sky as a template, referencing it often as he sketched these lamps on paper and later rendering them on the 3D CAD software. From there, Schneider handbuilt and hand-wired every constellation for the exhibit. “I’ve always been interested in lamps and design, in general,” Schneider says. “That dates back to college days, high school days. I have sketchbook upon sketchbook of lamps that I’ve created before. But not until I got to Louisiana, and I opened my own business, did I find the confidence to make custom lamps. “These [museum exhibit lamps] were for me, for my imagination, for the love of something I wanted to do for myself as opposed to anybody else. Like I said, it was something new for me. It’s not for a client, not a collaboration, not for anyone but myself, even though I obviously hope others love them as well.” n

“Lighting for theatre absolutely is art form. Working with light, in general, is an art form. I can wax poetic about light forever. For me, lighting is the great mystery of the world. It’s particle, it’s wave, it’s there, it’s not there. You can see it, but you can only see it if it’s bouncing off of something else. It’s endlessly fascinates me. “Being able to use light to manipulate spaces and emotions and create energy or silence…You can do so much with light.”

❸ Take me to the opening night of your ACA exhibit. What was that like? “It was surreal. The turnout was wonderful. The feedback was wonderful. It was a whirlwind. It was almost like your wedding day and the feeling you get and you’re trying to capture it all.”

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If You Braise It, They Will Come

of humor and humility, that make Bijeaux’s unintended culinary stardom all the more palatable. He’ll voluntarily admit he’s not classically trained, and that prior to Café Josephine’s success he ran a meat market in the same locale Chef Troy Bijeaux of Café that absolutely flopped. In just about every other sentence, he speaks about his wife, Melissa, Josephine in Sunset bucks the hammering home the theme of consistency as stuffy conventional wisdom by the main reason for Café Josephine’s positive proving high-end cuisine doesn’t reviews and full tables. taste any better when served A thick-cut of a man who somehow isn’t the on a white tablecloth or eaten least bit imposing, Bijeaux has been featured several times in-studio on local Lafayette while wearing a jacket and tie morning news television programs. But where he really shines is inside the open-view grill by W i l l K a l e c portr ait by Romero & Romero area of Café Josephine, conducting a mouthwatering, protein-packed symphony nightly cooking various cuts of pork and Chicago prime beef over an open flame in what Bijeaux calls a As far as Acadiana culinary destinations “Coon Ass Hibachi.” go, Café Josephine isn’t the easiest to find. “My culinary style is customer-based,” Chef So for the directionally-challenged Troy says. “I give them what they ask for, not who get lost along the way, just use the giant Town give them what I think they should want. When of Sunset water tower as a paint-peeling North Star I’m cooking, I’m thinking of them as much as and follow your nose…or the caravan of muddy the dish I’m making. I listen to my customers. trucks up ahead going to the same place. If they ask for certain things, I find them — “You know, you have to want to CRAVE my whatever it may be. food,” Chef Troy Bijeaux says. “Because you’re “You know, myself, I like it hot. I like it with probably not going to find this place by accident. spice and jalapeños. But I had to learn that’s Not that we’re that far out, but in the 8 to 12 not necessarily Cajun food. It’s about a flavor.” miles people come to get here, they’re going to It’s also about a feeling at Café Josephine. Sucpass a lot of restaurants. cess hasn’t changed it into something it’s not – as “They have to say, ‘OK, we’re going to Jose- tempting as it might have been to do so. The façade phine’s and I want that ribeye cap and I want is simple – a hut-looking structure with a long that Zydeco Shrimp because I’m not going to porch decorated with a few hanging plants, all of get it anywhere else,’” Chef Troy continues. it propped up by wooden pillars. The sign out by “Repeat business and word of mouth has been the road has those portable black letters that can our saving grace.” slide in and out, not unlike most businesses up Piloting this little restaurant that could and and down Acadiana’s two-lane highways. steering it toward what it is today — a thriving Inside, the vibe is comfortable bistro that and respected culinary destination that attracts just happens to serve meals that normally patrons from across the state — is easily the come with a dress code. Wrought-iron chairs. most pleasantly unexpected chapter in Bijeaux’s Standard wooden tabletops. Couple flowers in professional story. the middle to keep the salt and pepper shakers Like many fresh out of school, Bijeaux rode company. And that’s about it. Quite literally, the oilfield roller coaster for 14 years before Café Josephine is all steak, minimal sizzle – a giving that unpredictable life a permanent rest choice Bijeaux makes purposely so he can serve so he could watch his kids grow. Later, as the the best-quality product to customers without owner and operator of a wood-flooring busi- overly inflating the menu price. ness, he was afforded the luxury of restoring “It’s fine food meets casual dining,” Chef Troy old settings and turning them, as he says, “into says. “One of our few problems is getting people a modern-day beauty.” to leave, which really isn’t that bad of a problem. “Kind of the same thing in the restaurant But if we switched to white tablecloth, I’d lose industry,” Chef Troy says. “You begin with a half my base. They want to be themselves. They quality, basic ingredient and you turn it into a want to feel at home. modern-day beauty on a plate.” “I don’t care if you have dirty cowboy boots on It’s turns-of-phrase like that, always delivered and you’ve been in the field. Hey, that’s fine with me. in a roux-thick accent with just the right mix Come in and let me cook you something to eat.” n


acadiana profile june/july 2019


Chef Troy Bijeaux of Café Josephine delves deeper into some of his signature dishes


“It’s a dish that’s a staple in the South, but I pride myself on our shrimp and grits because we go through quite a process of making the Corn Maque Choux, adding the milk and cream, adding the roasted peppers and corn. It’s a fine product. People that eat grits often say, ‘Well, this is not grits.’ And I assure them it is, it’s just so fine. “There’s a bunch of time put into the grits, but then the shrimp on top are just succulently grilled. POW! You have that simplicity from the shrimp and all that complexity from the grits.”


“Solid crabmeat. Little bit of egg-white. Seasoning. Simplicity. I find the best jumbo lump crabmeat I can, freshest I can get, because at the end of the day, you’re buying a crabcake. No filler. No crackers. No nothing.”

❸ STEAKS (Several cuts)

“I’m proud of how we’ve evolved as a steakhouse. Nobody around here is looking for a little salt and pepper on top. They’re looking for some flavor. My vision for a steak is for it to taste like you went outside, grilled it yourself, and brought it in for your wife — but better! Because we do this every day.”

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

La Mousse Espagnole Signe de beauté et de santé dans les environs par Dav i d C h er am i e

Il est difficile d’im aginer un rom an

du genre gothique sudiste sans une seule référence à un chêne solitaire enrobé de mousse espagnole. Cette image est devenue presque une banalité, mais celle qui représente pourtant une vérité incontournable. Autant que le magnolia ou le grabot de coton, la mousse espagnole est une des plantes les plus emblématiques du Vieux Sud, surtout dans nos bayous. On l’appelle aussi la barbe espagnole, apparemment en hommage aux longues barbes des Conquistadores, mais ce n’est ni une mousse, ni de la barbe. Elle est au fait membre de la famille des ananas et des broméliacées. Contrairement à ce que l’on peut croire, ce n’est pas un parasite, mais une épiphyte, ce qui veut dire qu’elle pousse sur d’autres plantes sans les gêner, comme font les orchidées. Elle contribue à la biodiversité, abritant de nombreuses espèces de vie animale, dont une araignée qui n’habite que dans cette plante. Elle pousse de jolies petites fleurs qu’on peut facilement rater et prend sa nourriture et son eau de l’air. C’est pourquoi on la trouve dans des zones humides 72

acadiana profile june/july 2019

sans trop de pollution aérienne. L’effet néfaste des fumées de voiture était plus grand avant l’interdiction du plomb dans l’essence. Depuis, la mousse espagnole se porte mieux en zones urbaines. Après avoir été considérée comme une source de malaria, les gens drapent la mousse dans leurs arbres dans l’espoir de la voir prospérer de nouveau. La mousse espagnole n’est pas seulement un joli ornement ou un signe de santé. Bien que pas aussi importante que le coton ou la canne à sucre, autrefois elle constituait néanmoins une industrie importante. À son apogée en 1936, 10,000 tonnes de mousse avec une valeur commerciale de 2,5 millions de dollars étaient récoltées à travers le sud. Plusieurs familles ont survécu à la Grande Dépression grâce à la mousse qu’elles ramassaient. Pour la commercialiser, il faut d’abord tremper la mousse dans l’eau deux ou trois semaines; l’extérieur gris meurt et tombe ensuite, révélant à l’intérieur un filament noir et robuste d’une grande utilité. C’est idéal pour des cordes, du rembourrage de sièges et de matelas, et surtout pour mélanger dans du

bousillage, cette matière de construction de maison indispensable avant la climatisation. Les fibres empêchaient l’effritement des boues argileuses qu’on mettait dans les murs, créant ainsi une isolation parfaite pour notre climat humide. Les grandes quantités qu’Henry Ford achetait finissaient dans les sièges de ses Model T. Il paraît qu’il était moins intéressé par la mousse que par les boîtes en bois de cyprès dans lesquelles elle arrivait. Il utilisait les lattes pour fabriquer les panneaux et les tableaux de bord de ses véhicules. Il achetait ce bois précieux au prix d’un produit agricole qui ne nécessite aucun engrais, aucun arrosage. Quand les propriétaires du dernier moulin à mousse ont fermé les portes à Labadieville il y a quelques années, un chapitre de notre histoire s’est clos. Il nous reste de beaux chênes débordant de mousse espagnole qui attestent de la bonne santé de notre environnement. n

english translation / ac