Page 1

CULTURE Acadianians adapt, survive and thrive through adversity PG 38



3 kitchens that elevate the art of cooking and dining at home


june/july VO LUM E 39 NUM B E R 03


A Little Extra 12 NOTE DE L’EDITEUR

Editor’s Note


News Briefs 18 LES ARTISTE

Lake Charles painter Kevin Lawrence Leveque finds the extraordinary in otherwise ordinary Louisiana scenes 20 DE LA CUISINE

Crabmeat Remick puts good lump crab front and center 24 RECETTES DE COCKTAILS

Make a lasting virtual connection with cool summer cocktails from Rock ‘n’ Bowl and Shucks 36 LETTRES D’AMOUR

A young filmmaker learns the true beauty of home 38 PLUS ÇA CHANGE

Pandemics, disease, disaster and the resilience of Acadianians 40 EN FRANÇAIS, S’IL VOUS PLAÎT

La Sainte-Trinité de la cuisine


All in Good Taste Combining charm and practicality in everyone’s favorite room




Learn French

Summer heat: How do you escape it?



(adj.) Hot

Editor in Chief Errol Laborde

example: Qu’est-ce qu’il fait chaud en Louisiane en été

Managing Editor Melanie Warner Spencer

translation: Is it ever hot in Louisiana in the summer!

Art Director Sarah George

“Hide inside with the AC on.” Sarah George

Associate Editor Ashley McLellan Copy Editor Liz Clearman

Gold Art Direction Single Story

Editorial Intern Alice Phillips

Gold Photo Series Silver Photographer of the Year


Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan

Bronze Magazine Writer of the Year

(504) 830-7215 / Colleen@acadianaprofile.com Sales Manager Rebecca Taylor


The hottest temperature ever recorded in Louisiana was 114 degrees in Plain Dealing in August 1936.

Bronze Illustration

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

Bronze Cover



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Gold Overall Art Direction


Director of Marketing & Events Jeanel Luquette

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Gold Food Feature

Digital Operations Manager Sarah Duckert

Gold Department Silver Magazine Writer of the Year


Production manager Emily Andras There are ample ways to cool off in this state, from ceiling fans to daquiris, but in pre-air-conditioning history, people built shotgun houses for better crossventilation or filled walls with bousillage, a mixture of clay and Spanish moss, to keep room temps down. In the 1920s, the Strand Theater in Shreveport and the Saenger in New Orleans were among the first buildings in the South to be blessed with air conditioning, while LSU’s fine arts building followed in 1931. Today, about 94 percent of Louisiana homes are AC-equipped. Cool. 64parishes.org/ suddenly-less-summerhow-air-conditioningtransformed-the-south


Winner Magazine of the Year Gold Overall Art Direction

Lead Photographer Danley Romero

“How do I escape summer heat? Ice cream. A fan in my office. Wearing sleeveless tops. Staying indoors. And I eat plain ice sno-balls every day.” Colleen Monaghan

International and Regional Magazine Association

Silver Hed & Dek

Production Designers

Silver Photo Series

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Bronze Reader Service Article

Traffic Assistant Jeremiah Michel ADM I N I STRATION

Distribution Manager John Holzer Office Manager Mallary Matherne Audience Development Claire Sargent For subscriptions call (504) 830-7231 Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde

Bronze Travel Package “I like to escape the summer heat by finding the best air conditioning possible; places that serve cold drinks are also preferable. If a good baseball game is on in the background, then the trifecta is achieved.” Jeremiah Michel


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

Gold Overall Art Direction

1 1 0 V E T E R A N S B LV D . S U I T E 1 2 3 . M E TA I R I E , 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 E M A N A D E . S U I T E 1 0 4 . L A FAY E T T E , 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 2020 Renaissance Publishing LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Acadiana Profile is registered. Acadiana Profile is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Acadiana Profile are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

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



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

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales 504-830-7215 Colleen@AcadianaProfile.com





We hope this issue finds you healthy and safe.

My, what strange lives we’ve been leading over the past couple of months. You may have noticed a few things are missing from your Acadiana Profile. Like every business and individual, when COVID-19 struck the region, we had to make a lot of tough decisions — and fast. For us, that meant putting a hold on anything that couldn’t be created or participated in safely by our writers, photographers and sources. It also meant holding pieces focusing on businesses shut down due to city or statewide mandates. For example, our restaurant coverage is on hiatus until the next issue (provided the crisis has abated). Then, in true Acadianian spirit, not long after it was too late to add it back, many in the region started announcing curbside options. We were thrilled to know that our favorites and yours found ways to keep working and serving the community. We look forward to getting back to sharing our restaurant finds and all of your other favorites in the next issue. Our hearts have of course been heavy and our sympathies and prayers are with everyone who has lost employment, their health or loved ones and for all that are suffering as we navigate this strange and scary time. As always however, we’re seeing that indomitable attitude of hard work, ingenuity and generosity in the people that live in this special place we call home. We are getting through this together and as hopeful as ever about what we’ll accomplish when we come out of it. On that note, turn to page 38 to read David Cheramie’s essay “We’ve Seen This Movie Before,” about the resilience of the region. In a fortuitous twist, our annual kitchens feature on page 26 was on the schedule for this issue. You’ve likely been spending a lot more time cooking at home during the crisis and, if you are like me, you’re starting to notice what needs replacing, refinishing or updating and what simply isn’t working in your kitchen. The three kitchens featured in this spread are the stuff of my personal culinary dreams and I’m confident you will find inspiration in them, too. We hope as you settle in to read the stories and view the images in this issue that you are transported to a few of the places you may not be able to visit right now and that it brings you a little comfort, or at the very least a distraction for an hour or so. This situation has been a reminder that we are all connected and it uplifts us to be able to stay connected with you through the pages of this magazine. Stay safe,

In Other News by Lisa Leblanc-Berry

Look to the Sky OPELOUSAS St. Landry Airport is hosting a Summer “Fly In” and Vintage War Bird Expo (June 26-28) featuring a famous WWII B-17 bomber along with other vintage warbirds to honor veterans and introduce the community to aviation. (facebook.com/ stlandryparishairport).

For Francophone Filmmakers Due to COVID-19 delays, Create Louisiana and partners have extended the application deadline for the 2020 French Culture Film Grant to June 15. The $25,000 cash grant supports one Louisiana filmmaking team to create a new short-scripted film or feature-length documentary about French culture. Made possible with support from lead sponsor TV5MONDE USA, a French language entertainment network (to apply: CreateLouisiana.com).

Concerts Return to Rock ‘n’ Bowl Melanie Warner Spencer, Managing Editor 504-830-1380 • Melanie@AcadianaProfile.com

Get more Acadiana Profile at acadianaprofile.com and by following us on Instagram and Facebook.



LAFAYETTE Rock ‘n’ Bowl de Lafayette began hosting a Drive-In Live Concert series in May. Live music, broadcast from inside Rock ‘n’ Bowl, is shown on a giant screen in the parking lot. The only requirement for the free concerts is that you order food, which is brought to your car. (rocknbowl.com).


NO UVEL L ES DE VI L L ES news by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry


Spotlight on Spoonbill Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant earned a place among America’s top eateries when it received a finalist nomination for the coveted 2020 James Beard Awards for Outstanding Restaurant Design in May. Emerging as a converted 1939 Conoco gas station modernized in 2018, Spoonbill’s nostalgic neon elements converge a curvilinear bar, breezy patio, industrial-chic dining area and open kitchen displaying Chef and co-owner Jeremy Conner’s culinary capers. Partner and GM Stephen Verret (a designer with modernist sensibilities) and managing partner Adam Loftin (an LEED accredited realtor) collaborated with Vermilion Architects (spoonbillrestaurant.com).

Savoring Shrimp MORGAN CITY, DELCAMBRE The 85th

annual Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in Morgan City is “on hold” until further notice. As of now, shrimp lovers can still enjoy an abundance of iconic seafood delights at the Delcambre Shrimp Festival, which is scheduled to returs Aug. 12-16. (shrimpfestival.net).


Golf Course Reopens With a number of precautions in place, the acclaimed Mallard Cove Golf Course reopened in May to the delight of patrons. Strict social distancing measures are being imposed and only four golfers at a time are being allowed in the Pro Shop. A minimum of six feet between patrons is being enforced. Credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted, or you can pay over the phone when scheduling tee time.

Professor Awarded Top Honor LAKE CHARLES Marie Coleman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in SOWELA’s School of Business & Applied Technology, was honored with the Business and Teaching Research Association Doctoral Dissertation Award presented at the recent National Business Education Association’s virtual conference.





NO UVEL L ES DE VI L L ES news by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry

Tuition Cut by Nearly Half THIBODAUX, LAFAYETTE

Devised to offer encouragement for adults who didn’t complete their degrees, the University of Louisiana System is lowering its tuition across its nine schools by nearly 45 percent (a flat rate price of $275 a credit hour). This includes Acadiana’s Nicholls State University in Thibodaux and UL Lafayette. Tuition for traditional students remains unchanged (competela.org).


Virtual Bird City, Buddha and Bayous Jungle Gardens has made the driving tour of Avery Island into a mobile excursion with French and English options. Take a virtual one-hour tour and learn the history of the island’s storied 900-yearold Buddha, bird house, summer gardens, bayous and live alligators (junglegardens.oncell.com).

Rice Soars to Seven-Year High

Crazy for Chicks Do you feel like flying the coop? Take the kids to buy some adorable, dayold baby chicks before they all fly off the shelf. As prices go sky high for eggs and poultry, the demand for backyard baby chicks and coops has skyrocketed in feed stores and tractor supply stores from Carencro to Crowley, Broussard to Breaux Bridge, Abbeville to Opelousas and Scott to Gonzales. Chick tips: almanac.com/news/home-health/chickens/raisingchickens-101-raising-baby-chicks.



CROWLEY When March temperatures climbed 10 degrees higher than usual, Louisiana’s early-planted 2020 rice crop had “a tremendous start” according to LSU AgCenter’s rice specialist, Dustin Harrell. Due to the pandemic, supplies are tight and demand is good. “These are the highest prices I’ve seen in at least seven years,” said LSU AgCenter economist, Michael Deliberto. “Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, it’s hard to say just how high prices will go.”



Artistic Impressions Lake Charles painter Kevin Lawrence Leveque finds the extraordinary in otherwise ordinary Louisiana scenes by John R. Kemp



According to novelist Thomas Wolfe,

“You can’t go home again.” Don’t tell that to Lake Charles artist Kevin Lawrence Leveque. After 32 years away, he not only returned home again to Lake Charles, but he also found his art there in the city streets and picturesque back roads of Southwest Louisiana. The 74-year-old Leveque, who studied art at the ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles, left home in 1964 to pursue a successful career as a commercial artist in Los Angeles, London, New Orleans and Santa Fe. In 1995 he returned to look after the family

home after the death of his mother. He later met and married Lake Charles native Patricia Bordelon. Leveque now spends his time exploring the local landscape to open his “spirit” to ordinary scenes most people often ignore, such as a tree-lined winding country dirt road, bright streetlights reflected in a rain-soaked street in Lake Charles or the simplicity of two fishermen gliding in a motorboat on the sun-stippled Calcasieu River. He captures the drama of a radiant sunset just above the tree line of a local shopping center parking lot or warm autumn sunlight in a nearby cypress swamp. “I find beauty in the most ordinary things and find magic in the often overlooked details,” Leveque once wrote while reflecting upon his paintings. “The world around me defines who I am as an artist. I am constantly inspired by the beauty of creation, [which gives] me an insatiable urge to paint. Places evoke memories. Sounds and smells unlock doors to forgotten places.” To capture those memories and forgotten places, Leveque has developed a bright and colorful palette that renders highly impressionistic paintings as intense as the South Louisiana sun. He begins each painting with a sketch of the subject and then pins a handwritten note to the panel, describing his thoughts about the scene. He then moves into the painting, quickly applying wet oil paint on top of wet paint rather than letting each layer dry before going on to the next stage. The idea is to capture the moment or memory as rapidly as possible. Those moments reveal a love of the land and his art. “I call myself a Neo-Romanticist,” he says. “I express the beauty of life devoid of intellectual concepts. I strive to create a sense of place and capture the beauty of my surroundings.” One can see that sense of place and beauty in paintings such as the “Meadow” with its rich fall colors, and in “Country Home” where an old farmhouse rests alongside a country lane crowned by approaching storm clouds. Place is in his painting of the “Bell Tower” To see more above the old Lake Charles of his work City Hall, and in his portrait of visit kevinlawrencean ancient live oak tree titled leveque. “Charlie’s Friend.” pixels.com An underlying spirituality is also present in Leveque’s paintings. In describing that reverence, he once wrote that his mission is “to convey every aspect of God’s awesome creation.” Upon seeing his work, one can only say, “Mission accomplished.” n



Serve slices of the cake with fresh seasonal berries or ice cream and a drizzle of your favorite liqueur.

Classic Elegance Crabmeat Remick puts good lump crab front and center by Marcelle Bienvenu photo & styling by Eugenia Uhl

S i n ce c h i l d h o o d , s u m m e r h a s

been my favorite time of year. What better time to enjoy lolling in a hammock staring at the clouds, and maybe a having a quick dip in a cool swimming pool. In my adult life, a cold beer pressed against my cheek has always been a great reward after working in the yard. Snow-balls, ice cold water-



melon and homemade ice cream are always welcome on a hot, steamy day. But perhaps the best of the summer is the seafood, and for me it’s crabs. My family often spent summer weekends at Cypremort Point on Vermilion Bay where we spent the better part of the day checking the crab nets baited with chicken necks. We usually caught enough to boil, or to pick the meat to make crab chops, or a crab and shrimp stew, and sometimes we did something a bit fancier — crabmeat Remick. If my memory serves me correctly, I first encountered this dish at the Caribbean Room at New Orleans’ Ponchartrain Hotel in the 1970’s and thought it to be simple but elegant. When you have good jumbo lump crabmeat, there is no need to enhance it with overabundant ingredients. Culinary history tells us that the dish was created around 1920 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. It was named after William Remick, the then-president of the stock exchange. n


Crabmeat Remick

If you make the dressing ahead of time, refrigerate it, but remember to stir the dressing before using to re-blend the ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Since the dish is rather rich, a salad of cool melon balls complemented by salty ham or prosciutto and dressed with just a tad of poppy seed dressing is a good choice. M AKES 6 M AIN COURSES OR 12 APPETIZER SERVINGS

1½ cups mayonnaise 1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar ½ cup chili sauce 1 teaspoon dry mustard 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Dash of celery salt


pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage

6 strips bacon, crisply fried


Preheat the oven to 400 F.


In a small mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, chili sauce, dry mustard, lemon juice, paprika, Tabasco, and celery salt. Mix well.


Divide crabmeat evenly into six large ramekins (or 12 small ones). Spoon sauce generously over crabmeat and top with bacon.


Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce bubbles. If you want to brown tops, put them under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.



Melon And Prosciutto Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Combine 3 cups cantaloupe balls and 2 cups honeydew melon balls with 4 ounces thinly sliced ham or prosciutto, cut into strips and 4 ounces shredded Provolone cheese. Toss gently to mix, cover and chill.

To make the poppy seed dressing, combine ⅓ cup sugar, ½ cup white vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dry mustard and 1 teaspoon grated onion in a blender or food processor. Process for 30 seconds. With the machine on, gradually add 1 cup vegetable oil or olive oil in a slow steady stream. Stir in 1 tablespoon poppy seeds.

When ready to serve, arrange on a bed of baby spinach or arugula leaves in a bowl and drizzle with the dressing.

Sour Cream Pound Cake I’m not much of a baker, but I can succeed making a pound cake. It can easily be made ahead of time and stored in airtight container to keep for a couple of days. MAKES 6 TO 8 SERVINGS

1 stick butter, softened 1 cup sugar 3 eggs 1¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract PREHEAT the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a loaf pan. Lightly dust pan with flour and set aside. CREAM butter and sugar together in a bowl until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Sift flour with the baking soda and cinnamon and stir half of the dry ingredients into batter. Beat in sour cream and vanilla, then the rest of the dry ingredients. POUR mixture into pan and rap the pan sharply on the table to remove any air pockets. Bake for about one hour until the top of the cake is golden brown and lightly spongy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool before removing from the pan.




The fig season usually peaks around the 4th of July, but I’ve had my fig trees sometimes bear fruit in late June. If you dont have fresh figs, you can use dried figs. Soak them in a glass of water for about 12 hours before using them.

My father was of the opinion that any seafood meal was to be followed by a lemony dessert. Make the pie ahead of time and store it, lightly covered, in the refrigerator.



It’s important to scrape the “milk” off the cob to add flavor and texture to the soup. Do not use canned or frozen corn.



Summer Corn Soup

Lemon Curd with Berries

Corn, tomatoes, figs and okra are popular summer produce in south Louisiana. Here are some ideas to use our local fruits and vegetables for casual summertime repasts. M AKES 6 SERVINGS

4 ears of fresh corn, shucked and cleaned 1½ quarts corn or chicken stock 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup chopped onions ½ cup chopped celery ½ pound smoked sausage cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces ¼ pound cubed ham or salt meat 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (or canned tomatoes)

salt and cayenne pepper to taste


Cut corn kernels off cob using a sharp knife, scraping cob to get all the “milk.”


Combine corn and corn stock or chicken stock in a large, heavy pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.



Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Stir together 6 ounces soft mild goat cheese (three-fourths cup), at room temperature and 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper with a fork. Spread mixture on pizza shell, and artfully arrange 6 to 8 fresh figs, trimmed and cut lengthwise into one-fourthinch slices and ½ pound thinly sliced prosciutto.

Bake until warmed through. Remove pizza from oven, top with 12 arugula leaves, tough stems discarded

To garnish the lemon curd, use fresh mint, lemon mint or lemon thyme to add not only color but a delightful scent. MAKES 6 TO 8 SERVINGS

11/3 cups sugar 13/4 sticks unsalted butter 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice 4 eggs 4 egg yolks 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel 4 cups fresh raspberries, blueberries or blackberries WHISK all ingredients except berries in the top of a non-aluminum double boiler set over boiling water until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let the mixture boil. Transfer to a glass container and let cool to room temperature. FILL parfait glasses with alternating layers of berries and lemon curd. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, sausage and ham. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.


Add this mixture to soup pot, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 1 hour. Serve hot.

I always make fig preserves, but figs fresh from the tree are great for a simple appetizer or dessert. Serve fresh figs (sliced) over ice cream or yogurt and drizzle with honey and garnish with crumbled sugar cookies.



Happy Hour in a Digital Age Make a lasting virtual connection with cool summer cocktails from Rock ‘n’ Bowl and Shucks by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry photo by and styling by Eugenia Uhl

The winding roads of Acadiana are

still quiet most summer evenings under lockdown and now phase 1 of recovery, resulting in a sharp uptick in internet traffic from homes abuzz with families on video chats, the core social feature that gave rise to Zoom’s virtual happy hour, surging since March. Just like that, those who had never even heard of Zoom were now using it for work, school and social life. The video chat app has exploded in popularity from 10 million to 300 million users in recent months. In response, Facebook and Google are each launching new group video chat products as an alternative to Zoom. Whether you’re looking forward to a weekly Zoom happy hour with close friends, or plan on dropping into a video chat room filled with dozens of strangers, the celebrations of summer can help inspire themes for hosting your next virtual happy hour. Consider island attire and a dance party announcement, tropical hors d’oeuvres and include one of the following cocktail recipes (listed below) for your featured group libation. (Tip: The delivery app Drizly partners with local liquor stores and can deliver the ingredients.) Inspired by breezy beaches, the refreshing summer cocktails were created by Chef Matthew Gill with owner Johnny Blancher of Ye Olde College Inn Steak & Bank Bar, the new upscale dining concept at Rock ’n’ Bowl de Lafayette (a new food line is now hitting stores); and Bert Istre, proprietor of Shucks! Seafood House in Abbeville, which remains open, offering a full take-out menu that includes charbroiled oysters (sacks are also available). The new frozen margarita machine at the drive-through is helping to appease fans in the evening car lines. n




Reserve Sour Add 2 ounces bourbon, ¾ ounces simple syrup and ¾ ounces fresh lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Using the back of a spoon, slowly pour 1 ounce of red wine of your choice into the cocktail. By pouring the wine onto back of spoon, it will float the wine on top rather than incorporating it into cocktail.




Beach Trip

Blueberry Breeze for Two

Shucks! Bay Breeze

Shake 4 ounces coconut rum, 1 ounce vodka, ½ ounce midori and 4 ounces pineapple juice in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with a splash of lemonlime soda and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Muddle 4 slices of cucumber in a cocktail shaker. Add 4 ounces tequila, 2 ounces triple sec and ice. Shake well. Strain into two mason jars filled with ice. Top with 1 cup lemonade, then 2 ounces blueberry syrup to desired taste and color. Garnish with cucumber slices, lemon wheel and skewered fresh blueberries.

Put 1½ ounces vodka, 1½ ounces peach schnapps, 1½ ounces Malibu coconut rum, 1 small can pineapple juice and 1 small can cranberry juice into a plastic container or pitcher, then pour what you need in a shaker or a plain glass with ice and shake well. After shaking, strain liquid from the ice and pour into a martini glass.

TIP To make blueberry syrup, simmer blueberries with equal parts of sugar and water in small saucepan over medium heat. Add lime zest. Stir until sugar is dissolved and the blueberries burst. Strain and chill until ready to use. If you’re making a pitcher of lemonade, add the remaining blueberry syrup to make blueberry lemonade for the kids while the adults enjoy cocktails.

Rock ‘n’ Bowl de Lafayette rocknbowl.com Shucks! The Louisiana Seafood House shucksrestaurant.com


MAKE A SPLASH The statement-making stove backsplash features elegant 12-inch white marble tiles inlaid with cheery champagne gold geometrics. A wall-mounted Delta pot filler makes everyday life easier for this cooking enthusiast. 26


ALL IN GOOD TASTE Combining charm and practicality in everyone’s favorite room

A h , th e k itc h en. No other room in the house is capable of accomplishing

so much. This hive of activity is where we feed and nourish ourselves and our loved ones, where we sip that essential first cup of coffee and where we serve craft cocktails to friends and family as a kick-off to a great meal. At once practical and inspirational, it’s fair to say that this room is a window into a home’s soul. But there are kitchens and there are kitchens, and these examples demonstrate just how transformational a well-designed kitchen can be. Three regional designers have created vastly different spaces that dovetail precisely with the lifestyles of their homeowners. Through the use of color, texture, curated elements and cleverly placed angles, these designs are a playground of efficiency, functionality and timeless elegance.


PICK YOUR POISON The coffee/wine bar is set off by mirrored cabinet doors, behind which lie drinkware for either purpose.

Gathering Place When an Evangeline homeowner decided it was time to update her 40-yearold kitchen, a couple of objectives were essential.



The former linoleum tile floor is updated with durable, easyto-clean, 7-inch vinyl planks, mimicking the look and feel of real wood without the long-term maintenance.

The trim, 2-foot by 6-foot island topped with Mont Blanc quartzite delivers functionality and extra storage, but, surprise, it can also be repositioned to make way for large gatherings. Locked wheels are hidden behind removeable baseboards to give a permanent look.

The sp a ce need ed to b e b r ight and well-lighted enough to

accommodate a chronic vision impairment, and it had to reinforce her life’s passion — cooking for and hosting regular large family gatherings. Designer Sara Vincent eliminated a protruding peninsula and other barriers that made the original space feel choppy, creating an open

floorplan that seamlessly links a new cabinet-lined carport entrance to the retooled kitchen, coffee bar and dining space. From floor to ceiling, this once modest kitchen has been reimagined with tidy sophistication. (Interior design by Sara Vincent Designs LLC. Construction by Justin Mier)

RAISE THE ROOF A custom duct over the vent hood takes the stainless cylinder all the way to the ceiling

A strip of decorative glass tiles punctuate the kitchen backsplash, which is otherwise covered in matte tile

Sleek Efficiency In this contemporary Lafayette home, designer Lisa Bourque created not one, but two, sleek and highly functional kitchens that work together to support the evolving needs of a family.



Brick pavers on the floor and finished wood on the ceiling frame the room and establish its geometry.

Cabinets are located below — not above — to create clean lines and easier work flow.

The ma in k itch en eschews common triangular theory in favor a

linear design that reflects Kaizen-like efficiency, wasting no space and creating a logical, orderly flow. One end is anchored by food storage (refrigerator and pantry), and is followed down the line with the dishwasher, sink, and prep area, followed by the cooktop and oven. A separate wine and coffee bar creates a social zone away from the

culinary action, but guests and family members remain delightfully within the cook’s viewshed. The island, which serves as the main dining area, features stowable stools on the kitchen side, and backed seating on the other. In this anything-but-ordinary space, Bourque uses geometry and sturdy hues to establish beauty and balance. (Interior design by Lisa Bourque Design. Construction by Larry Poirier)


The starting point for the design was this doublechambered La Cornue CornuFé French range.

Global Perspective Eclectic elements and earthy materials define this radically refashioned kitchen, a once confined space that now perfectly mirrors a Lafayette homeowner’s passion for global travel, cooking and entertaining. 32


KEEP IT REAL The homeowner’s emphatic desire for unpainted wood cabinets that wouldn’t darken over time led Gerace to a unique strategy: lime-washed cypress. Shaker-style doors and tidy gold knobs keep the look simple and clean.

Tucked near the sitting area, this ample bar anchors the kitchen’s vibrant social zone. Generous cabinets and a chilled beverage center help preserve space in the main fridge for culinary pursuits.

Dramatic pops of red-orange, blues and greens appear in the artwork, décor and furnishings, including these luscious “Tangelo” colored club chairs in the adjacent sitting area.

Designer Elizabeth Gerace’s sophisticated, yet playful theme

invites guests into a mash-up of elements inspired by Old World France, Italy, Spain and Mexico. The expansive kitchen, bar and sitting area are reborn from three formerly separate spaces; their ceiling height increased dramatically by taking in part of the home’s

attic. Everyday life unfolds effortlessly in this dreamy space, but its richly textured, sensual vibe suggests a romantic playground where friends and family raise a glass and say salud, santé or cin cin! (Interior design by Elizabeth Gerace Design. Construction by John Sims) AC ADIANAPROFILE.COM 33

RECOVERY ACADIANA Part 1 of a 2 Part Series TELL US YOUR STORY Acadiana businesses share their stories of recovery and resilience. For some, this means offering new services and shifting traditional operations, while others find innovative techniques to ensure the safety of staff and patrons. The common thread is a dedication to helping our community adapt, overcome and prosper. PART 2 COMING AUGUST



L ETTR ES D’AMO U R Penned by a different author in every issue

Southern Comfort A young filmmaker learns the true beauty of home by Drake LeBlanc illustration by Christina Brown

The irony of South Louisiana’s beauty

is that it can’t go unnoticed, but it can easily be undervalued. There’s so much food, music and culture to digest, but for someone that’s been in these swampy lands all of his life, I didn’t have much hunger for it. My lack of appetite for home stemmed from the life plan I drew up and tweaked while in high school. I wasn’t sure of exactly what I wanted to do in life, but I was ultimately convinced that it couldn’t be done here at home in Louisiana. My teenage self just knew that if I, a young black man, wanted to be anything, I would have to move away. Regardless of how much I love good seafood, trail rides and swingin’ out, there’s one intimidating character flaw that Louisiana shares with the rest of the country but tends to hone a little more: the black man’s plight. Having experienced and witnessed that plight was enough reason for me to believe that home wasn’t good enough, and it was detrimental to the young me seeing this dream of “southern comfort” being sold and realized by a lot of my peers while it felt so unattainable for someone like me. So I graduated high school, packed up and started this nomadic period of my life trying to find a new home with as much beauty as Louisiana but with more support and resources to help me fulfill my ambitious dreams. I left home knowing that it was beautiful but not fully understanding its Drake LeBlanc is a creative director/ value. The resources filmmaker from and support, I found North Lafayette. abroad. I found beauty He works today as well, but it wasn’t with Télé Louisiane creating content Louisiana beauty, and to preserve no matter how many and magnify places I voyaged to, I Louisiana’s culture. couldn’t find any place that felt like Louisiana like a gumbo where every single ingredient felt. It was silly of me to think that Louisiana’s matters. The beauty lies in our food, culture beauty was in direct correlation to the swamps and music … our festivals, basins and bayous and that no other place felt like home because it didn’t have a bayou and a pirogue. Although … economy, schools, teams, art and community. Most importantly, Louisiana beauty lies in our partially true, I realized that the beauty I saw family. The way we come together and combat in Louisiana wasn’t just nature or the food. I plight, illness, gentrification, natural disaster realized that it was a mix of a lot of things, just 36


loss, economic recessions and opposing sports teams is what makes Louisiana truly beautiful. Now that I no longer undervalue the beauty of home, I’ve returned. I can fight the plight I once feared along with my peers at home while in southern comfort. n



We’ve seen this movie before Pandemics, disease, disaster and the resilience of Acadianians by David cheramie illustration by Christina Brown

If you are much younger than I am, you

probably don’t remember drive-ins. As a child, I went to one which was often packed with rows of cars parked before a ginormous screen. Tinny speakers cradled on rolled-down windows provided sound. Open windows on a hot south Louisiana night can only mean mosquitoes. To combat the bloodthirsty onslaught, we had two main weapons: spray-on mosquito repellant and green combustible coils whose smoke would keep those little blood suckers away. We were used to the pungent smell of Pic, its brand name. In fact, its odor



evokes fond memories of star-filled evenings watching the latest movies. Oddly enough, it also reminds me of the much less enjoyable COVID-19 crisis. How can pleasant childhood remembrances, you rightly ask, be related to this terrible pandemic? First, the mosquito. Every now and then, we are reminded that the unofficial state bird of Louisiana, beyond being a nuisance, is a vector of diseases like West Nile and Zika. In his youth, my father would sleep under what he called a “mosquito bar.” It was not an actual bar, but a diaphanous cloth draped around the bed. Elsewhere people would call it mosquito netting, but the Louisiana French term “bère à moustique” is the origin of this colloquialism. For most of its long history, Louisiana was susceptible to yellow fever epidemics. It wasn’t until we understood the role Aedes aegypti played in the disease’s transmission that we took steps to control its proliferation. The last great outbreak of yellow fever in Louisiana was in 1905, within the lifetime of my grandparents. My grandmother would tell stories of how, as a little girl, she volunteered to care for the sick and dying during the Spanish flu epidemic that came shortly thereafter. Followed by hurricanes, floods, polio, measles

and other various and sundry diseases and disasters, death and destruction were frequent visitors to the area. Yet, we are still here thanks mainly to discoveries and changes society made as our understanding of the challenges we faced grew. Secondly, disaster movies were all the rage at the time. Drive-in marquees often displayed titles like “The Towering Inferno.” Although a mediocre film, at least it made some people think about the importance of sprinkler systems. We take them for granted now, like seat belts and smoke alarms, but simple ideas were just beginning to save lives. What would we have thought of taking off our shoes before boarding a plane back then? Nowadays, I get a little nervous if not everyone is barefoot going through security. Ironically, drive-ins may make a comeback as social distancing enters our everyday routines. Maybe not on this scale, but we have seen this movie before. Due to our familiarity with adversity, we have always found a way to adapt, survive and thrive. For now, munching microwaved popcorn while binge watching at home seems to work. We don’t yet know what the ultimate solution will be this time, but we will find a way. n

Coming in the October/November Issue

Acadiana Kingfish is a special section that celebrates the accomplished businessmen of Acadiana

For more information contact Rebecca Taylor 337-298-4424 Rebecca@acadianaprofile.com Deadline to be included: August 1st.



La Sainte-Trinité de la cuisine L’oignon, le piment doux et le céleri dans nos assiettes par David Cheramie

Popularisé par Paul Prudhomme,

le terme « Sainte-Trinité » est rentré dans le lexique culinaire pour désigner les trois ingrédients qui constituent la base de la cuisine cadienne et créole. L’oignon, le piment doux



(ou le poivron comme les Français l’appellent), et le céleri sont obligatoires dans nos foyers du sud de la Louisiane. La plupart des plats dans nos livres de cuisine exhortent les cuistotsapprentis de commencer par le découpage

de ces trois ingrédients et de les faire mijoter avant d’ajouter de la viande ou des fruits de mer selon les recettes. Malgré notre familiarité avec eux, les gens ne se posent pas de questions d’habitude sur les origines de ces composants essentiels. Leur combinaison est peut-être une variation du mirepoix, un mélange semblable dans la cuisine classique française, avec des carottes à la place des piments doux. S’ils ont l’air d’avoir toujours été dans nos assiettes, c’est parce qu’ils sont dans nos jardins et au fond d’une marmite depuis des milliers d’années. L’oignon est tellement ancien et répandu qu’on ne sait pas exactement d’où il For an english vient. Puisqu’on le rencontre translation visit acadianadans l’Orient comme à profile.com l’Occident, on suppose que l’oignon sauvage, à partir duquel on a cultivé les espèces qu’on a aujourd’hui, venait de quelque part en Asie centrale. Sous les cendres du Mont Vésuve à Pompéi, on trouve des traces de jardin où il poussait. Charlemagne conseillait sa cultivation. C’était un aliment si indispensable que les premiers colons européens l’amenaient avec eux aux Amériques. Ils étaient pourtant surpris de voir que l’oignon n’était pas inconnu aux premières nations. On lui attribue plusieurs qualités, allant de l’aphrodisiaque jusqu’au soulagement des piqûres d’insectes. Malgré son apport nutritif faible, sa plus grande contribution, c’est le goût. Si les Européens n’ont pas introduit l’oignon au Nouveau Monde, ils ont ramené avec eux le piment. Dès son retour de son premier voyage transatlantique, Christophe Colomb a rapporté ce fruit épicé en Europe. Comme la tomate, c’est botaniquement un fruit et non pas un légume. Néanmoins, ce n’était pas avant les années 1920 qu’on a découvert comment enlever la capsaïcine qui donne le goût piquant pour développer le piment doux. Sur l’échelle de Scoville, c’est le moins fort, aux antipodes de ses cousins la cayenne et le habanero. Sa forme de cloche lui donne son nom en anglais. Avec ses airs de mauvaise herbe, le céleri est peut-être le moins apprécié à cause peut-être de son goût acide, de son habitude de pousser à l’état sauvage dans des zones marécageuses et de sa fausse réputation d’être tellement faible en calorie que le fait de le mâcher en brûle plus qu’il n’en fournit. Il est riche en nitrate qui facilite la digestion et la circulation du sang. Il était utilisé comme plante médicinale antidouleur. Il est cultivé et consommé depuis des millénaires, recommandé par Charlemagne aussi. Avant d’apprendre à faire un roux, on commence le véritable apprentissage de notre cuisine en découpant la « Sainte-Trinité ». L’arôme dégagée par sa cuisson est divine. n




Profile for Renaissance Publishing

Acadiana Profile June-July 2020  

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