Acadiana Profile October/November 2019

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Road trips to New Orleans or Natchitoches P. 42 Acadiana Weddings inside pg. 57

_ Tula Tacos + Amigos chef ruebin sandberg


ac adiana profile october/november 2019

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ac adiana profile october/november 2019

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oct/nov VOL u m e 3 8 n u m b e r 0 5


l agniappe......................................... 06

A Little Extra


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

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

Parlez Français Tous les Jours Attending a program for adults in Canada not only improved the author’s French, but also highlighted the need for similar opportunities in Acadiana

food+drink sur le menu . . .................................... 2 4


Cook and Camp Blackpot festival kicks off with food, music, learning and the great outdoors de l a cuisine.. .................................. 26

Cozy Nights Usher in fall with roasted rabbit or chicken and apple galette recettes de cocktails................. 28

Audrey II: A Beguiling Brew Channel those spirits into a compelling cocktail designed to embolden autumn evenings

home+style l a maiso n.. .........................................14

It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts A veteran designer helps a Lafayette family’s dream home reach its full potential


culture les artistes................................... 106

Lost History Found On Four Legs Lafayette artist Marshall Blevins’ Church Going Mule series has captured the hearts and minds of locals and preserved fading aspects of the region’s culture

Happy Paper Trails Create a smartly-designed entryway to combat the back-to-school blues

That New Old School Sound Zydeco musician Wayne Singleton is a throwback on and off the stage, but still finds modern ways to engage and broaden his audience

À l a mod e ......................................... 20

Black Beauty Fall transition pieces that eschew predictable earth tones in favor of the deep, dark shade with a bit of an edge to it year-round

en franç ais, s ’il vous pl aît....... 112

Les Musiciennes Sur Scène Festivals acadiens et créoles célèbrent les musiciennes et les 90 ans de « Jolie Blonde »

5 chefs feeding Acadiana addictive, flavorful food By Ch r i s t i a a n M a d e r p h oto g r a p h s by r o m e r o & r o m e r o


les personnes.. .............................. 110 p our l a maison. . .............................. 18

Best Chefs

Wanderlust Weekender Going the distance for foodie finds, cultural attractions and holiday happenings in New Orleans and Natchitoches By L i s a L e B l a n c- B e r r y


Acadiana Weddings 7 Gorgeous Wedding Gowns + Stationery, Flowers, Cakes and Gifts!

What is your favorite place to take a day trip? lagniappe

A Little Extra

EDI TOR IAL E d i to r i n C h i e f M a n ag i n g E d i to r

Learn French

Un pique-nique (n.) a picnic example: Une journée ensoleillée est le temps idéal pour un pique-nique translation: A sunny day is perfect weather for a picnic.

Errol Laborde

Melanie Warner Spencer

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

“A great place for shopping and dining is the village of Covington on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. If you time a visit to coincide during the famed Three Rivers Festival, you can add arts and crafts to the list — a three-for-one getaway.” — Ashley

Co py E d i to r A rt D i r ec to r

sty l e E d i to r


Sarah George

Gold Overall Art Direction

Danley Romero

Marie Elizabeth Oliver

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

Alice Phillips

advertising Vice President of Sales

Colleen Monaghan

(504) 830-7215 / Rebecca Taylor

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

Gold Magazine Photographer “My favorite Louisiana day trip is to go to Downtown Ponchatoula with my bestie for some shopping, then popping over to Hammond for dinner at Cena or One Thirteen.” — Kelly

Olivia Fontaine

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


Go Outside

The Kisatchie National Forest is Louisiana’s only national forest. Visitors can fish, horseback, canoe, kayak and even camp in the over 604,000acre area. Adventure enthusiasts can ride on the all-terrain vehicle trails or use the over 100 miles of trails for hiking. The forest is home to rare habitats that support numerous plant and animals. Take a trip with friends or family and get in touch with nature while exploring some of Louisiana’s rich natural history. — Alice Phillips

Ev e n t Co o r d i nato r

Jeanel Luquette

Abbie Dugruise

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

Mallary Matherne

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

Emily Andras

P ro d u c t i o n D e 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 c e m a nag e r

International and Regional Magazine Association

Ashley McLellan

Kelly Massicot

S a l e s M a nag e r


Liz Clearman

L e a d P h oto g ra p h e r W e b E d i to r

“We spent time at Toledo Bend not long ago. If you are interested in relaxing, taking in nature and beautiful sunsets, this is the place for you.” — Melanie

John Holzer

Mallary Matherne

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

Claire Sargent

Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Gold Food Feature Gold Department 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 v e O f f i c e r P r es i d e n t

Todd Matherne

Alan Campell

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

Errol Laborde


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

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note de l’edi teu r

E ach y ear w h e n w e b e g i n pla n n i n g o u r Be s t Ch e fs i s s u e , it ’s li k e

getting a jolt of creative energy. The process begins with a flurry of emails as the art director and I work with the writer and photographer to compile a list of candidates. Then the hard part kicks in: narrowing it down. There are so many talented chefs in the region, which is a great problem to have, but it makes it tough to decide who to include any given year. That said, it’s inspiring to learn about the lives and careers of the chefs we are considering for the profiles. As you’ll glean from the piece, the chefs in Acadiana come from all walks of life. Some are native Acadianians following in the footsteps of beloved family members, while others are from other regions or countries and bring their own unique culinary traditions to the table. From French-Mediterranean fine dining fusion to tacos and barbecue and, naturally, the gumbo and plate lunches Acadianians can’t get enough of, our chefs this year are dishing up whatever your heart — and palate — desires. If you are looking for a getaway outside of the region (and to try good eats along the way), you’re in for a treat with our New Orleans and Natchitoches travel story. There are loads of things to do in both cities and we can’t think of a better time to visit either place than in the fall or through the holidays. Just pick whichever suits your mood and hit the road. I for one am looking forward to another year of celebrating Thanksgiving at the Fair Grounds. This annual tradition dates back to the 1800s and draws generations of New Orleanians and visitors alike to ring in a new season of horse racing while noshing on a bountiful turkey spread with all of the fixin’s (or the usual race track fare if you aren’t a traditionalist), sipping cocktails and breaking out their fabulous hats or — in some cases — full costumes. It is a truly singular experience and worth a day trip or inclusion in a long weekend. Maybe we’ll see you there? Whether you pick a foodie adventure or a weekend getaway (or both) for this issue, bon appétit and bon voyage!

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

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


ac adiana profile octobe r/november 2019

ĂŠq u i p e d e v e n t e

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

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales 504-830-7215

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l et t res d’amo u r / Pe nn ed by a d iffe r e n t aut ho r in ev e ry iss u e

Parlez Français Tous les Jours Attending a program for adults in Canada not only improved the author’s French, but also highlighted the need for similar opportunities in Acadiana By J o n at h a n O l i v i e r i l lu s t r at i o n by Ch r i s t i n a B r ow n

T h ro u g h o u t m y f ir s t v i s it to Ne w

Brunswick, in late 2018, I was amazed. As I toured Canada’s only bilingual province, French and English were visible everywhere — in government and on signs, media and the service industry. I asked myself: Why doesn’t this exist in Louisiana? Considering the estimated 150,000 to 250,000 French speakers almost exclusively in Acadiana and the region’s lack of many bilingual services, there’s a large segment of the population that is underrepresented. People often assume that a bilingual society can’t function in America, but our neighbors to the north had provided me with a shining example that it’s feasible. When I came home that fall, I intensified my efforts to relearn French. Though I had taken classes in school and heard some at home, I was nowhere near bilingual. All the Duolingo app lessons in the world would only get me so far. After inquiring around Acadiana, several people recommended that I attend l’Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, Nova Scotia, a Canadian school that offers a five-week French immersion program for adults. Since no such program exists in the United States, hundreds of Louisianans have made the trek. The program is well-known for its strict rule: You’re allowed to speak only French for five weeks — no exceptions. If you speak another language more than three times, you’re asked to leave. While that sounds daunting, the structure works wonders. I attended a session from May to June this year and, even within the first week, I noticed how much I was improving because I was living in the language. I attended daily classes, events and workshops that proved to be exactly what I needed to advance. Then I returned home, able to speak confidently and continue learning. While the program has been a crucial piece to advancing French in my life and for others, a trip to Canada is also prohibitive to those who either can’t afford it or are unable to take five weeks off of work. A solution is a similar 10

ac adiana profile octob er/november 2019

program within Acadiana for adults — and one has been in the works for quite some time. Community activists in Arnaudville have for years been working to establish St. Luc French Immersion and Cultural Campus, housed in an abandoned hospital. Local government roadblocks stalled progress, but now it seems the effort is well on its way. St. Luc has a board, its business plan was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and its remediation plan was recently facilitated by the Brownfields Program within the Environmental Protection Agency. Organizers expect to open in some capacity by next year.

This gives me hope that Acadiana will resemble New Brunswick — completely bilingual — and French will be incorporated into every aspect of society. The best path forward is continuing local immersion for children and also for adults. It truly works and can instill some real progress. Il faut parler, tous les jours et partout. n About the author Jonathan Olivier is an author and journalist who writes about the outdoors and environment for publications like Outside and REI Co-op Journal. He worked as an agricultural intern for nearly two years, traveling across North America before starting his own farm near Arnaudville called Le Potager d’Acadiana.

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ac adiana profile october/november 2019

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

Mo d e r n M e ets classic in t h i s c u stom l a fay et t e h om e

hom e+styl e / l a m a ison

It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts A veteran designer helps a Lafayette family’s dream home reach its full potential 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

A f ter 12 failed atte m p t s to pu rc h a s e th e

perfect sofa, an exasperated client contacted Monique Breaux, hoping the interior designer could offer a fresh perspective on the home she and her husband recently poured their hearts and souls into building. The modern-meets-classic, custom build, tucked away in South Lafayette had every architectural element the homeowners dreamed of — including a luxe courtyard pool and attached guest suite. The interior selections, on the other hand, left them scratching their heads. “Sometimes clients tend to [get] so wrapped up in a project they don’t see it,” says Breaux, principal designer of Posh Exclusive Interiors. “When I first walked into this space, I knew exactly what it required.” Breaux’s first order of business? Repurposing her clients’ existing pieces to function better in the space and create a more cohesive look. She then chose to anchor most of the rooms with bespoke furniture to “make the design come to life.” The home features a classic, neutral palette. But, it doesn’t shy away from making statements — from a dramatic chandelier over the master bed, evoking a golden sunburst with cascading crystal droplets, to a Ralph Lauren-inspired guest room. The designer created consistency between formal living and family rooms by incorporating complementary silhouettes with fabric that fit the home owners’ vision for each space. “They want something personal, unique, and they want it to work seamlessly into their lifestyle,” says Breaux, explaining the benefit of custom furniture for her clients. As a result, the seating area off of the home’s open kitchen stands the test of a high-traffic hangout while still earning plenty of style points.


ac adiana profile octob er/november 2019

About the designer

Acadiana native Monique Breaux is the award-winning principal designer and president of Posh Exclusive Interiors. Breaux’s design portfolio stretches from the French Quarter in New Orleans to New York’s Park Avenue. Her work has been featured in New Orleans Magazine, Hampton’s Magazine, Teen Vogue and HGTV.

A self-professed “tactical designer,” Breaux enhanced the home’s architectural character with rich, multi-layered vignettes throughout the space. For anyone looking to try this at home, she recommends taking some time to focus on scale before going shopping. She says too many people make the mistake of choosing art and rugs that are way too small. “Art is made to fill a wall,” advises Breaux. “A rug should frame a space.”

Breaux brought in custom light fixtures and wallpaper, influenced by her work in Manhattan. She says she has never been one to follow design fads, but appreciates pieces that will push a look to the next level. “Proper design must not only function with perfection, it must be welcoming and set a tone,” says Breaux. “Additionally, for entertaining, the design must be fabulous and bulletproof.” Breaux says her clients couldn’t be happier with the final product, an interior that boasts the same attention to detail as they put into building the home. With more than 26 years of design experience, Breaux says anytime clients have trouble figuring out a space, she always goes back to proportion and scale. “If it’s not right, stop!” she stresses. “Less is more.” n


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

Welcome Home The secret to making a good first impression is to keep things simple, according to home staging experts by M a r i e E l i z a b e t h O l i v e r p h oto by R o m e r o & R o m e r o

W h eth er yo u ’ re loo k i n g to put yo u r

home on the market or want to step up your hosting game, focusing on the foyer can pay off, according to professional stagers and mother-daughter team Molly Kallenberger and Caitlin Gossen. “When you first open that front door and step inside, you are developing that impression of what the home is about,” says Kallenberger, owner and founder of the Acadiana-based staging company House Dressings. “Make sure it resonates.” Gossen agrees, stressing a well-dressed home isn’t about buying all new pieces, but rather, making the pieces you own work for the space. Their go-to foyer combination includes a cozy rug, narrow console table and large mirror. These elements work in unison and can reflect the style of your home. Just avoid anything too dark or overbearing. “We shy away from complexity,” explains Kallenberger. “We are trying to create an experience on many different levels that’s all very harmonious.” Think light and serene. That means at minimum, open blinds or window dressings. Gossen says if you aren’t lucky enough to have natural light, a set of table lamps can do the trick. Kallenberger and Gossen follow the same philosophy with scent as they do with the decór — keep it simple. Forget what you’ve heard about wooing people with smells of baked goods. They suggest lighting a universally appealing white teaor linen-scented. And don’t underestimate the power of flowers. Gossen says you can never go wrong with white hydrangeas. For staging, Kallenberger looks for blooms

How To

Finesse Your Home’s First Impression


About the designers Motherdaughter duo Molly Kallenberger and Caitlin Kallenberger Gossen of House Dressings are both accredited staging professionals. Kallenberger founded the Acadiana-based company in 2010 and was joined by Gossen in 2015. Together with their team, the two have “dressed” hundreds of listings for sellers, agents and builders.

that have longevity, such as Alstroemeria lilies. However, they agree that sometimes the best arrangements come from your own backyard. Kallenberger says people respond well to spaces that feel natural and effortless. “They will say, ‘I don’t know why, but I have a good feeling about this house,. We know why,” she adds. “That first stepping in is so important.” n

Start with a clean slate. Consider touching up baseboards.

Layer in a narrow console table, mirror and rug.

Add a set of lamps or light fixture.

Incorporate accessories that showcase your home’s style.

Create an arrangement with fresh flowers or garden clippings.

Burn a subtle, scented candle.

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

Black Beauty What’s black, platinum and envied all over? Fall transition pieces that eschew predictable earth tones in favor of the deep, dark shade with a bit of an edge to it year round. The absence of color makes for high-contrast shapes cut with dazzling details. This balancing act pairs gorgeous little details with the perfect backdrop. 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


Aurora Borealis Opals are October’s birthstone, and there is no opal like this Dianna Rae Original design. Haloed by 60 sparkling diamonds and set in 14-karat white gold, the 33.90-carat center opal is a natural Australian light stone inlaid into a Matrix opal, which is a type of boulder opal. Multiple circles have been cut out of the Matrix opal to reveal the vibrant light opal underneath. This unique technique creates a multicolor polka dot pattern, making this opal pendant an unforgettable piece. It hangs beautifully on a 14-karat white gold ball station chain.

Bet Your Boots Well , hello, rock star. One hundred percent kid leather, iridescent crystals and silver linings comprise these starry Kat Maconie booties from Shoe La La. The thick block heel is reminiscent of ‘70s icons — and provides stability for serious strutting. Heavy metal detailing, like the paneled silver outlines and zipper at the heel, draw the eye to the main attraction: the stars. Stellar cutouts at the sides give levity that’s perfect for transitioning into fall, and crystals glimmer with every step you take.

Dianna Rae Jewelry / 500 Settlers Trace Blvd. #1. Lafayette. Shoe La La / 1921 Kaliste Saloom Road #119. Lafayette.


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ac adiana profile octob er/november 2019

Ça c’est bon

Th e Au d r e y II f rom P r e s e r vat i o n Bar and Grill i n N e w Ib e r ia

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

Cook and Camp Blackpot Festival kicks off with food, music, learning and the great outdoors by J y l B e n s o n s el e c t p h oto s by j o s e p h v i d r i n e

We c a n a ssume the Ac adians took their

durable cast iron cookware with them (most families would have only had one cooking vessel that they used for all meals) when they were driven by the British from Nova Scotia to resettle in southwestern Louisiana and start again with nothing (Le Grand Dérangement). Thus ensconced, they would have set their cauldrons over live coals and commenced cooking, a practice that remains central to the lively culture. For the 14th consecutive year the Blackpot Festival will celebrate the indestructible cooking vessel through food, music and competition against the verdant scenery of Vermilionville, a historic museum village. The festival runs October 25-26. The festival will be preceded by Blackpot Camp, a week (October 20-25) of cooking, music and dancing workshops held at Lakeview Park & Beach in Eunice. Both tents and RVs are welcome and a rollicking barn dance erupts every night. A note on Blackpot Camp: Due to Lakeview’s liability insurance, guests not paying tuition to attend camp must vacate the campground from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day but all are invited to join for a la carte dinner and dances each night. When camp culminates with a breakfast on Friday morning the action will move one hour south to Vermilionville, where tent camping will be allowed on the baseball fields starting at 3 p.m. Live music will start invading from three stages beginning at 6 p.m. The Blackpot Cook-off will happen on Saturday. Both individuals and groups, amateurs and professionals can register in advance of the festival to compete or you can just show up and wander around to the various makeshift “kitchens” to sample the competitors’ creations in the categories of Gravy, Gumbo, Jambalaya, Cracklin’ and Dessert, all of which must be cooked exclusively in cast iron on site. n


ac adiana profile october/november 2019

Bonus Bite If you are rolling through Krotz Springs on Highway 190 make a stop at Billy’s Diner (24467 Highway 190, Krotz Springs, 337-5662318) and check out the new grab-and-go offerings from the hot case for the best road food ever: Billy’s Roll Ups. The original is a boudin egg roll. There is also a crawfish version and, my personal favorite, a mash up of the aforementioned with the addition of melt-y pepper jack cheese. Yum.

Blackpot Camp blackpotc Blackpot Festival Lakeview Park, Beach & Campground 1717 Veterans Memorial Highway, Eunice 337.457.2881 lvpark .com Vermilionville Historic Village 300 Fisher ROAD Lafayette 337.233.4077


The Blackpot Festival For the 14th consecutive year the Blackpot Festival will celebrate the indestructible cooking vessel through food, music and competition

Friday, Oct. 25

Main Stage 7:30  –   8 :30 p.m. Soul Creole 9  –   1 0:15 p.m. Los Texmaniacs 10:45  –  Midnight Pine Leaf Boys Chapel Stage 6  –   6 :45 p.m. Cajun Jam with Jesse Lege 7:15  –   8 :15 p.m. Djoukil 8:45  –   9 :45 p.m. Blue Monday All Start Schoolhouse Stage 6:30  –   7 :10 p.m. Hoot & Holler 7:30  –   8 :10 p.m. Bad Penny Pleasuremakers 8:30  –   9 :10 p.m. Hogslop Stringband 9:30  –   1 0:30 p.m. Chas Justus & Friends

​Saturday, Oct. 26

10  –   1 0:30 p.m. Costume Contest 10:30  –  Midnight The Revelers ​C hapel Stage 12  –   1 p.m. Tucci Swing 1:30  –   2 :30 p.m. Johnny Nicholas 3  –   4 p.m. Jenny Parrot 4:30  –   5 :30 p.m. Bluebird Stringband 6  –   7 p.m. Five Mile Mountain Road 7:30  –   8 :30 p.m. Jesse Lege ​Cook-off Stage 10 a.m.  –   1 2 p.m. Cajun Jam 12:30pm  –   1 :30 p.m. Choupique Cajun Band 2  –   3 p.m. Gerald Gruenig & Gentilly Zydeco 3:30  –   5 p.m. The Daiquiri Queens

Main Stage

​S choolhouse Stage

11 am  –   1 2:15 p.m. Squaredance with Hogslop Stringband & Nancy Spero

12  –   1 2:40 p.m. Krekel & Whoa!

12:45  –   1 :45 p.m. Djoukil

1:45  –   2 :25 p.m. Morelock & Ferd

2:15  –   3 :15 p.m. Big Cedar Fever

2:45  –   3 :25 p.m. Grant Dermody and Dirk Powell

3:45  –   4 :45 p.m. Sheryl Cormier and Cajun Sounds 5:15  –   6 :30 p.m. Preston Frank & Ed Poullard 7  –   8 p.m. Warren Storm & Friends (Featuring Yvette Landry, Sonny Landreth & Eric Adcock) 8  –   8 :45 p.m. Cook-off winners announced 8:45  –   1 0 p.m. Lil’ Freddie King

12:45  –   1 :25 p.m. McKain Lakey

3:45  –   4 :25 p.m. Krista Shows & Scott Sharpe 4:45  –   5 :25 p.m. Morelock & Ferd 5:45  –   6 :25 p.m. Pat Reedy & The Longtime Goners 6:45  –   7 :40 p.m. Bad Penny Pleasuremakers 8  –   8 :45 p.m. Get Up Rounder 9  –   1 0 p.m. Old Time Jam, led by Get Up Rounder

​ *Schedule and lineup subject to change* ac 25

fo o d+dr i nk / d e l a c u i s i n e

Cozy Nights Usher in fall with roasted rabbit or chicken and apple galette by M a r c e l l e B i e n v e n u p h oto & s t y l i n g by E u g e n i a Uh l

When a blustery cold front slides into

south Louisiana, my husband and I know the drill. Light a fire in the fireplace in our party house living and dining area that looks out over Bayou Teche. Invite a few friends over for a cozy, leisurely supper. (Heck, they can bring their PJs and we could have a sleepover.) Set up a comfy dining area with lots of throw pillows in front of the fire. If we are lucky enough to get some freshly-shucked oysters, we can snack on some on the halfshell before dinner. Dipped in a tangy horseradish and ketchup-based sauce, and plopped on a cracker, the slippery oysters go down easy, washed down with ice-cold beers. Follow that up with a rabbit stew or rabbit bathed in a Dijonnaise sauce. For dessert, an apple galette is ideal for this time of year. When visiting the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France several years ago, I enjoyed the rabbit Dijonnaise at a local bistro. Having a penchant for anything featuring tart-tangy Dijon mustard, and after playing with several recipes, I came up with this. Note: I suggest a rich chardonnay or a pinot noir to pair with the rabbit dish. n


ac adiana profile october/november 2019

Airline chicken b r e a st i s a c u t com p r i s i n g o f a bo n e l ess c h i c k e n b r e a st w i t h t h e d rum et t e at tac h e d. Th i s e l ega n t c u t ha s t h e s k i n o n b r e a st w i t h t h e f i r st w i n g j o i n t a n d t e n d e r lo i n at tac h e d, ot h e r w i s e bo n e l ess . Th e c u t i s a ls o k n ow n a s a f r e n c h e d b r e a st. A g o o d b u tc h e r w i l l b e ha p p y to fa b r i c at e t h es e f o r yo u.

main course

TIP You can certainly use a pre-made pie dough, usually available in the dairy cases. I prefer the refrigerated pie dough by Pillsbury. There are two in a pack. Just remember to set out the pie dough on the kitchen counter for about 20 minutes to allow to come to room temperature.

Roasted Chicken or Rabbit with Mustard Sauce (AKA Lapin Roti Dijonnaise)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Season one 4 to 4 ½ pound rabbit or 4 chicken breasts with skin but boneless (or airline chicken breasts) with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large cast-iron or ovenproof skillet.

Place meat in pan and brush with butter/ oil mixture. Scatter 24 pearl onions (peeled) in pan and roast, uncovered, until meat is golden, about 30 minutes. Cover and continue roasting for 20 minutes longer. Remove from oven and place on stove. Transfer the rabbit (or chicken) to a platter and keep warm.

Pour 1½ cup dry white wine into skillet and deglaze over medium-high heat, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Simmer until reduced by a third, about 10 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream, reduce the heat to low and cook for 4 minutes more. Pour over rabbit (or chicken) to serve. Makes 4 servings

for dessert

Thyme-Scented Apple Galette Once while visiting Eastern Townships of Canada, I was walking the grounds of Saint-Benoit-du-Lac, an abbey of the Benedictine monks, and smelled a strong, delightful fragrance of apples. I quickly realized that I was walking along a path adjacent to a lovely apple orchard maintained by the good monks. Since then, apple treats are a must in the fall. makes 4 - 6 servin g s

Pastry Dough

1½ cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into bits 1 large egg yolk 2 tablespoons cold water Filling

4 medium Gala, Braeburn or Honey Crisp apples (about 2 pounds) ¼ cup white wine ⅓ cup sugar Glaze

½ cup white wine ½ cup apple jelly ¼ cup loosely packed fresh thyme sprigs


Pastry dough: Combine flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. With a pastry blender or fingertips, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.


In a small bowl, stir together egg yolk and cold water. Add yolk mixture to flour mixture, about a tablespoon at a time, tossing to incorporate until dough is formed.

ball and flatten into a one-inch-thick circle. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.


Filling: Halve and core apples (do not peel) and cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices. In a large bowl, toss apple slices with wine.


Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Make a 15-inch round and transfer to large baking sheet. Fold in edge one inch all around to form a border. Arrange apple slices on pastry in overlapping concentric circles. Brush slices and pastry border with wine remaining in the bowl. Sprinkle with sugar.


Bake for 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and pastry is golden. Cool on baking sheet on a rack.


Glaze: Simmer wine with jelly and thyme until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove thyme with a slotted spoon, then brush hot glaze generously over apple slices. If you have some thyme sprigs remaining, garnish the top of the galette before serving.


On a work surface, smear dough in several forward motions with the heel of your hand. Scrape dough together to form a

On the side

POTATO CROQUETTES Boil 4 pounds red potatoes in salted water until they are fork tender. Remove from heat, cool and peel. In a large bowl, mash potatoes, leaving some lumps. Add 1 cup finely chopped onions, ½ cup finely chopped green bell peppers, 3 eggs (beaten), salt, freshly ground black pepper and several dashes of Tabasco. With your hands, shape mixture into balls, about two inches in diameter (or three-inch pancakes). Dredge in all-pupose flour and drop into hot vegetable oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot. Makes 6 to 8 servings

ac 27

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

Audrey II: A Beguiling Brew Channel those spirits into a compelling cocktail designed to embolden autumn evenings 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

Na med after the talking, singing,

bloodthirsty Venus flytrap character in the l986 rock musical comedy, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Matt Lahr’s Audrey II cocktail at Preservation Bar & Grill is among the award-winning bar manager’s latest hits. Combining the sweet, oaky notes of Bols Genever gin with the intense, bittersweet cherry tang of Punt e Mes, smooth Galliano L’Autentico liqueur, Demerara sweet and sour and a dash of spicy sass from Gochujang chili syrup, the Audrey II exhibits Lahr’s “unorthodox pairings and usages of misunderstood liqueurs.” “It’s an abomination of flavors that someone of sound mind wouldn’t put together, but it works quite well,” Lahr says. The pipe-wielding, piano-playing raconteur bartender has been attracting loyal fans with his theatrics since Preservation (formerly Clementine’s) opened in February, complete with new chef-owners and a charming new courtyard. The locally sourced farm-to-table concept includes pickling and preserving, hand-cut steaks and creative cocktails. “I make almost all of the components we use in house including syrups, juices and bitters, tinctures,” Lahr says. “I approach cocktail concepts from a culinary perspective. Add some showmanship and a little bravado, serve it up in an unapologetically weird manner, and that’s what the bar at Preservation is all about.” n

Preservation Bar & Grill / 113 E. Main St., New Iberia. 337-256-5377.


ac adiana profile october/november 2019


Audrey II

Add 3-5 cucumber slices, 1 basil leaf and ½ ounce Gochujang chili syrup to shaker, and muddle together with muddler or a wooden spoon handle.

Pile 1 ounce Bols Genever, ¼ ounce Punt e Mes (Italian vermouth), ½ ounce Galliano L’Autentico (Italian liqueur) and 1 ounce Demerara sweet and sour into the shaker, add ice and shake it “like a crazy person.”

Overfill a tall Collins glass (or Lahr’s favorite, a mason jar) with crushed ice and strain the concoction onto it. Top with a few splashes of Topo Chico mineral water and garnish with a few slices of cucumber or a lime wedge or both.

did you know? Demerara cane sugar is used to make simple syrup, and infused with fresh citrus juices, rendering Demerara sweet and sour.

ac 29

While the gateway cuisines of the region are

Cajun and Creole, once visitors and natives alike dig into the often downright revolutionary flavors

and fusions crafted by local chefs, they are addicted. These are the chefs whose work has recently caught our attention — and fueled our addictions.

ooking good food is about plating nostalgia, revisiting something in lived experience that sticks like warm gravy to the back of your ribcage. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that for most professional cooks and chefs, the path to their kitchen began in childhood. Acadiana is fortunate to have been a landing place for folks of many different kinds of childhoods. Its reputation as a food hub has been a beacon to world travelers eager to see the genius of Cajun and Creole

culture for themselves and devour it. Once embedded, they become part of the local conversation, wrapping their mouths on our words and speaking them in new accents. Of course, the opposite happens, too. Cooks grow up in Acadiana, learning the traditions that make this place famous and work to preserve them, day in, day out. Natives skip town and venture elsewhere, one day taking home the memories of farflung places and stirring them into their blackpots and skillets.

The exchange of the foreign and the native is what keeps traditions moving forward, refreshing Acadiana’s culinary scene with new ideas, new flavors and new experiences. In turn, these are the memories of successive generations of artisans, the germ of a wholly new but familiar loaf of bread. The trick is to conjure comfort in something unfamiliar or surprise in something known — and these are the best chefs in Acadiana at doing just that.

By C h r i s t i a a n M a d e r p h oto g r a p h s by r o m e r o & r o m e r o


eah, he forgot the caper berries,

but the Food Network’s “Chopped” judges loved the fish, Chef Jude Huval recalls. It was arctic char, he pan-fried it like he would back at Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf in Henderson and served it with a mango chutney (with black licorice for an edgy twist). That may have been a little unusual, but he rolled with it. Only just out of culinary school — he was 38 at the time — he aced the audition in New Orleans and found himself cooking in Times Square for the popular Food Network competition show within the year. He was out by the appetizer round. Those damn caper berries were hiding beneath the chaos. No matter. Huval was just glad to be there. It sure beats selling crawfish tails and jarred roux out of the back of your truck, the job he worked for years in his dad’s empire. Pat Huval, Jude’s father, was a larger-than-life figure, an entrepreneur and raconteur. He served as the first mayor of Henderson and became sought-after counsel for a pedigree of Louisiana politicos — the Longs, Edwin Edwards, Fox McKeithen. Pat the man loomed over Jude like the red lighthouse over Henderson Levee Road, just outside the restaurant. Now 50, Jude is making his mark on a family tradition. His father died in 2018. Jude, his brother and sister now run the restaurant.




On the menu e is the sam o recipe seafood gumb learned Huval mother. from his

Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant 1008 Henderson Levee Road Henderson

“I’m a late bloomer,” he laughs. “I had to wait a long time before my wings could expand.” He hasn’t deviated from Pat’s classics. On the menu is the same seafood gumbo recipe he learned from his mother — water, onion, garlic, bell pepper, cayenne and heapings of crab, crawfish and shrimp — and that’s been a staple at Pat’s since 1948, before Jude was born. The only culinary school innovation he brought to bear is heavy cream, loading the Pat’s menu with more sauces to drown fish in. But the standout here is an homage to his father — the snapper Patrick. Two hunks

of red snapper, stuffed with lump crabmeat, stalking after roasted red potatoes while they tread in a cream sauce. Huval’s late renaissance has started to take him places more meaningful than the “Chopped” kitchen. He’s running the line at both Pat’s locations — the other owned by his nephew Nicholas in Lake Charles — and he was picked to run catering gigs at Tabasco’s McIlhenny Farms. With a wife, kids and grandkids, he’s building an empire of his own. “I’m grateful for where I am,” he says. “The Lord has blessed me.”



o ahead and ask Matt Blanchard

of Blanchard’s BBQ his secret spices. He’ll tell you straight up. Salt. Pepper. Equal parts. “If you want to invest 14 hours, I’ll tell you everything,” he says of his openbook attitude. There’s nothing to hide. His brisket is the only truly Central Texas-style hunk of smoked beef in Acadiana, a place where the smokehouse traditions are French and porcine. Blanchard’s brisket is bona fide; it was annointed and approved in the annals of The Houston Chronicle, an accolade spread on the internet such that Texans still regularly cross the state-line to sample his wares. Why not? Lafayette isn’t so far from Mecca — i.e. Central Texas itself— but Blanchard’s is home to some spiritually fatty lone star brisket. It’s a curiosity for its traditional practitioners, and all the more so for local palates in Lafayette. The bark is peppery and sweet, lightly gripping the unrendered fat cap like the soft-gooey center of a newborn brownie. His suite of sauces range from Memphis sugar to a Creole take on Carolina Mustard. The fries are spice-dusted and offered in criminally generous portions. The secret to Matt’s success was eating a lot of terrible brisket. He and his wife Kissy hatched the harebrained scheme to open a Texas-style barbecue joint in Acadiana while living in Memphis for whatever reason and embarked on the venture tabula rasa. For four years, they operated out of food truck while Matt chewed through dry briskets, bland briskets, stringy briskets, chalky briskets, sinewy briskets and burnt briskets. By year two in the truck, he found what he was looking for. The iconic flavors lodged in the depths of his brain from childhood trips to his grandma’s house outside of Dallas. Recreating the briskets of Texas was more art than science. Temperature control, fire technique. Patience. Two-thirty a.m. wake-up calls. Fifteen-minute power naps. And a whole lot of oak wood, more often



than not chopped by Matt himself on his in-law’s property in Prairieville. “It’s all by feel,” he says of the secret to good brisket. “People don’t tell the cow when it’s tender.” Since opening the brick and mortar Blanchard’s in 2018, things have taken off. Locals still occasionally wander in, confused, looking for leg quarters and rice dressing. That ain’t his thing. There are plenty of joints — that he loves by the way — that do the Cajun and Creole Sunday barbecue that, to be honest, wouldn’t pass the smoke test for most haughty Texans. Blanchard’s is about Texas. Except that it isn’t.



brisket is the

only truly

Blanchard’s BBQ 2023 W Pinhook Road Lafayette

Central Texas-style

hunk of smoked beef in Acadiana.



don’ t know how to cook a little bit,”

Veronica Alexander says, cleaning her glasses with a paper napkin. By that she means she can only cook a lot. Her restaurant, Veronica’s Cafe in Carencro, is minutes away from lunch rush, and it’s about to get slammed. Folks will pack into the low-slung cottage, air conditioner barely keeping up with the heat index. A heatwave won’t ward them away from scratch-made, Creole soul food. “I didn’t want to go out in the fields, so I learned to cook,” she says of her childhood on a farm near Breaux Bridge, mischief curling up on the corners of her lips. She’s cooked for 44 years, ever since the age of 10, she says. “You do the math,” she winks. Sure. She’s 54. All morning, Veronica’s been in the back whipping up chicken fricassée, lasagna, cabbage rolls and fried chicken, shrugging off the burns on her forearms, only taking




onica’s At Ver ming overwhel an s ’ e ther vy hitters, menu of hea go that would toe-to-toe ate lunch with any pl cadiana house in A

Veronica’s Cafe 302 Hector Connoly Road Carencro

the occasional intermission to stamp a contract or deed. She’s not just the queen of her cafe, she’s a notary, too. She only came to running a restaurant nine years ago, figuring if she could cater for large crowds and hungry church kids, she could run a restaurant. With a turnkey building available off an interstate exit, she took the plunge and became a go-to offroad destination for the highway bound — state troopers, homeland security agents, wayward journalists. What attracts them here is the dayto-day grind of Veronica’s kitchen. It’s an overwhelming menu of heavy hitters, that would go toe-to-toe with any plate lunch house in Acadiana. Red beans and rice on Mondays. Catfish courtbouillon on Fridays.

Smothered okra, oxtails and meatball stew in between. “The people curl their toes up” for the white chocolate bread pudding, she says. Veronica is the lone cook, save on the weekends when her husband mans the smokehouse for the restaurant’s wildly popular Sunday barbecue. They hire offduty cops to run security on the old ladies in the car line. Without law and order, they’re liable to cut each other off to make it to the front of the queue before the pork steak runs out by noon. Three times a year, Veronica shuts down the restaurant to take a vacation. In other words, three times a year, traffic gets better on Hector Connoly Road. Sure, her kids can cook; they run the lunch line, after all. But there’s no Veronica’s without Veronica.





gold bric k sized tamal es stu ffed with guajillo p ork, queso fres co, crema, c ilantro and onion.

uebin Sandberg was 11 years old

the first time he was told to kill a chicken for dinner. Behind his mother’s family home in the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico, where he spent childhood summers, he tied it to a tree and cut off its head. Then came a pig. Then came the tamales. “It made me respect food a lot more,” the Lafayette native says of his introduction to backyard butchery. He did the culinary school thing, studying at Le Cordon Bleu


in Dallas and staging in blue-ribbon joints around the country, but the through-line from his past to the menu at Tula Tacos + Amigos is his grandmother’s kitchen. There, he was the fat kid with his hands in the masa. He listened to the family gab while he formed larded corn, crimson with spice, around tatters of shredded, pepper-soaked pork. Learning things the hard way laid a foundation for his culinary approach at Tula, only with beachier vibes. It’s an ocean-front


_ Tula Tacos + Amigos 427 Jefferson St. Lafayette

cantina in a fresh coat of the 1970s, plucked from a fantasy island, the kind with a seaplane anchored in a nestled harbor. The atmosphere is toasted with aromatic spices and soundtracked with the kodachrome of Sandberg’s mind — Chromeo, Courtney Barnett and Paul Simon. Sandberg is in the back, slicing at a spinning cone of pork al pastor and heaping it on to tacos and tortas or plating adobo-red tamales the size of gold bricks. Beneath the brunch-crowd chic areSandberg’s childhood summers in Mexico, where he learned things the hard way under a palm roof — except the al pastor, that came from a preparatory trip to Mexico City, months before Tula opened this year. The tacos, the tamales, the tortas, the gamut of toppings are made from memory and experiment. Flour tortillas were the preferred vessel of the taquerias (flauterias, really) of Tamaulipas, but Tula’s chewy, cakey corn tortillas are the star of the show. Plenty of places make corn tortillas from scratch, starting with bagged masa and pressing them into discs. Sandberg goes a step backward, soaking and boiling dried Mexican corn — a hardy, savory kernel that barely resembles the pict-sweet stuff of American freezer dinners — in lime water to remove the husks. They call the process nixtamalization. The way Sandberg describes it, it sounds like alchemy — painstaking alchemy. Why go through all the trouble? It’s not about authenticity; it’s about flavor. Sandberg says simply, “Putting the hard work into it makes it tastes better.”



y the time he was finished

cooking, the plastic rubbish bin was still empty. Mohamed Chettouh, raised poor in Algeria, aced the audition, prepping a meal for eight in pursuit of the top kitchen job at the Houston Country Club — and he wasted nothing. “A good cook is someone who makes something great with less,” he says, an insight he took from his mom. He still wastes nothing, only it’s his own bottom line and customers’ satisfaction that matter to him now, as the co-owner and chef of Lake Charles’ white-linen French restaurant La Truffe Sauvage. The techniques and flavor profiles he learned on international waters, running the range on a cruise ship for 20 years after working his way out of Oran into Parisian-style kitchens the world over. He adapted butter and cream — the essence



_ La Truffe Sauvage 815 W Bayou Pines Drive Lake Charles

of French cooking — to the Mediterranean austerity of his upbringing. “I have olive oil in my blood,” he says of his Algerian roots and his father’s olive and pomegranate trees. French cooking is a universal language, and it bought him entry into fine dining establishments in Texas, once he decided to settle down. Now, Chettouh crafts the fineries of continental cuisine with the spoils of the Gulf of Mexico and nearby farms. Think gilded brown gulf red snapper — always wild caught, never farm raised — cantilevered on an island of piled artichokes, asparagus and capers over a shallow pond of lemon butter sauce.

The goal here is perfection, measured in the plump joy of customers who come from around the state and across the Sabine for a seat at La Truffe, in search of the refined and restrained decadence of shrimp and crab and braised beef ribs. Slices of joy, the appearance of effortlessness and ease. “We give have happiness and joy to people,” he says. “Maybe they lost money on the stock market. Maybe they had an argument somewhere. They sit down here, they have a nice meal, we change that.” For 21 years, that’s been the secret at La Truffe, a quiet dedication to holistic dining — cooking with the whole ingredient and wholly satisfying the customer.


gulf red snapper

cantilevered on an island of piled artichokes, asparagus and capers over a shallow pond of lemon butter sauce.




G o i n g t h e d i s ta n c e f o r f o o d i e f i n d s , c u lt u r a l a t t r a c t i o n s a n d h o l i d a y h a p p e n i n g s i n N e w O r l e a n s a n d N at c h i t o c h e s

By Lisa LeBlanc-Berry

othing quite does the trick like travel. Whether you’re heading to New Orleans during an actionpacked Saints game weekend designed for a nearconstant state of jubilation, or you’re planning a laid-back, family-friendly, meat pie reunion inspired by the Festival of Lights in Natchitoches, it’s best to plan with an insider’s acuity. Friends will invariably follow.

Local foodies adore Chef Justin Devillier and Mia FreibergerDevillier’s La Petite Grocery, one of the city’s defining culinary destinations (tip: order the blue crab beignets and turtle Bolognese). The couple recently opened the lavish 200-seat Parisian brasserie, Justine.

n e w a n d N ot e wo rt h y i n N e w O r l e a n s

For your next weekend getaway in the “big city,” consider a few new downtown attractions sure to spark interest, even turn heads. Who wouldn’t want to come face-to-face with a live shark and live to tell the tale? Take your chances at the Aquarium of the Americas, where a 60-foot-long, 13,000-gallon “Shark Discovery” touchpool exhibit debuts in October, allowing visitors to both feed and touch “trained” live zebra sharks, coral catsharks, whitespotted bamboo sharks and rays. If you’re taking the party to Harrah’s, check out the posh new Fillmore, a live music venue on the second floor (run by Live Nation, famed for the House of Blues) complete with a massive mural of Louis Armstrong. Visit the National WWII Museum’s stunning new Bollinger Canopy of Peace landmark

rising 148-feet above the museum’s center (with a lighting system designed to rival the Superdome’s) plus the snazzy rooftop bar at their new 230-room, eight-story, Higgins Hotel, opening in December and complete with Art Deco design elements. Do you want to learn a few cocktail tricks? Head to the interactive, five-story Sazerac House cocktail museum opening in October (free), featuring a hightech microdistillery, tasting rooms and virtual bartenders showing guests how to make cocktails on Canal Street. Even the best home chefs are signing up for the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute’s two-hour, hands-on “Enthusiast Courses” for non-professionals, held in the stunning five-story, 90,000-square-foot state-of-the-art school for culinary and hospitality professionals that opened in January (near the WWII Museum). In City Park, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has completed an elaborate six-acre expansion of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden with an outdoor amphitheater, and Café du Monde is now open in the newly renovated Casino Building (serving beignets until 1 a.m. on weekends). Steps away from NOMA, couples linger beneath the giant branches of the majestic Singing Oak, where dangling sculptural chimes ring dreamily in the pentatonic scale (it’s a favorite spot for popping the question).

ac 43

As a million dazzling holiday lights flicker in the park’s giant oak trees starting Nov. 29 (kicking off the 33rd annual Celebration in the Oaks), families flock to the $47 million Louisiana Children’s Museum that is newly situated on 8.5 acres in City Park, featuring a kids’ farm-to-table culinary lab, hourly interactive mist sculpture shows, a Mississippi River simulation and an interactive coastal erosion area plus Acorn, a new café by restaurateur Dickie Brennan.

NOLA’ s B est B i t es It would be impossible to take in everything new the city has to offer in one weekend, but for those looking to dig into a plate of New Orleans’ best, consider trying some of the top (Instagrammable) restaurants that are currently all the rage. If you’ve ever spent a romantic Sunday afternoon sipping fine wines and sampling small plates while listening to gypsy jazz in Bacchanal’s twinkling Bywater courtyard, you’ll find their new Faubourg Marigny hot spot, Elysian Bar (a 2019 James Beard Award semi-finalist) is the place to be. It’s tucked within a circa-1875 rectory belonging to a familiar provenance: the former Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church complex that has been transformed into the stunningly renovated Hotel Peter and Paul (named one of the “best new hotels in the world” by Travel & Leisure in 2019). Masterminded by Bacchanal’s proprietors, the buzzworthy Elysian Bar features specialty cocktails (try a Parisian Mai Tai if you dare), niche wines and acclaimed Chef Alex Harrell’s intricate, evolving small plates (best bets: baked sunchoke custard with shaved asparagus and warm bacon vinaigrette; crispy beef cheeks in hot and sour broth with pickled peaches). The ambitious dessert program introduced in August is led by new pastry Chef Bronwen Wyatt, formerly of the James Beard award-winning restaurants La Petite Grocery, Shaya and Willa Jean. Drapery-ensconced double parlors with Italianate marble fireplaces and Parisian banquettes (facing chess tables) flank a center hall leading to the buttery yellow, candy-red-tiled dining room with French doors overlooking a tropical courtyard. Keep going. Step outside and grab a courtyard table overlooking the church’s towering stained-glass windows. The adjoining bar (a romantic sanctuary), staffed by local mixology stars, was abstractly sculpted from images of cypress trees.

Before joining Elysian Bar, Chef Harrell was asked to helm The Franklin, a recently reopened, art-filled gastropub that’s worth a look in the Marigny. After Harrell chose the Elysian, Chef Dane Harris (formerly of Cochon) was chosen for The Franklin. The interior was stylishly revamped with contemporary art, and a notable new owner joined the team: Ken Jackson (Herbsaint’s original partner with James Beard Award-winning Chefs Donald Link and Susan Spicer). This might explain the superb small plates (Herbsaint’s calling card). A hidden local gem, it’s a cozy spot for meeting up with friends before heading to nearby Frenchman Street for live music (check for schedules). Order a Jungle Cat cocktail, nibble on the “bar snacks” (smoked fish rillettes, duck liver mousse), get a round of fresh oysters or some beef tartare with pho garnishes to get the evening started. If your bucket list includes giggling with the girls at a drag brunch, The Country Club guarantees a highly entertaining Saturday. The vibe at this local Bywater pool and dining complex has changed considerably since the swimming-inthe-nude option ended in 2014. But it’s still wildly popular, LGBTQ-friendly and fun for all. In the French Quarter, the utterly Parisian Justine is the biggest thing to happen since the $20 million rebirth of Brennan’s in 2014. Once part of the Hurwitz Mintz furniture store, the elegant 200-seat brasserie from La Petite Grocery’s James Beard Award-winning Chef Justin Devillier has been drawing Francophiles since opening in January. Enjoy a progression of distinctly different areas: a casual café, an elegant formal front dining room, a sleek bar with a DJ station, a rear dining room with Parisian murals and a candlelit patio with an absinthe-spout fountain, plus burlesque shows. Expect the classics: croque monsieur, filet au poivre, foie gras, moules frites. For a fabulous lunch, set your sights on Gianna, the hottest new Warehouse District haven and the latest from Chef Donald Link’s Restaurant Group (since Peche Seafood Grill opened in 2013). Gianna’s Chef Rebecca Wilcomb earned a Best Chef: South at the 2017 James Beard Awards while she was a chef at Link’s first triumph, Herbsaint. Simply put, Gianna dazzles. It is at once elegant and youthful, capacious and chic, enhanced with a massive unicorn sculpture that seemingly rises from twisted branches, and a giant octopus painting creating an illusion of crawling behind the long, gleaming bar. Rustic southern Italian dishes (from Wilcomb’s grandmother) are given an unexpected spicy boost with bold New Orleans seasonings. Full-time forager, Ashley Locklear, scours local farms for the freshest produce used for antipasti and small plates (begin with tuna-stuffed peppers, crisp panelle chickpea fritters with honey and the oyster and artichoke gratinato). To enjoy the chef ’s full spectrum of flavors, ask for the “Feed Me” menu with fresh pastas, to be sure. There is an extensive bar menu

NE W ORLEANS Aquarium of the Americas 1 Canal St. • 800-774-7394

Sazerac House 101 Magazine St. • 504-910-0107

Louisiana Children’s Museum 15 Henry Thomas Drive • 504-523-1357

La Petite Grocery 4238 Magazine St. • 504-891-3377

Fillmore New Orleans 6 Canal St. • 504-881-1555

New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute 725 Howard Ave. • 504-891-4060

Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits 600 Poland Ave. • 504-948-9111

Shaya 4213 Magazine St. • 504-891-4213

The Elysian Bar at Hotel Peter and Paul 2317 Burgundy St. • 504-356-6769

Willa Jean 611 O’Keefe Ave. • 504-509-7334

National W W II Museum 945 Magazine St. • 504-528-1944


City Park 1 Palm Drive • 504-482-4888

ac adiana profile october/november 2019

Recipient of the 2019 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Kelly Fields is famed for her biscuits, cakes, cornbread, country bread and pastries at Willa Jean. Now offerings shipping nationwide.

The Franklin 2600 Dauphine St. • 504-267-0640

Gianna 700 Magazine St. • 504-399-0816

True Food Kitchen 801 St. Charles Avenue • 504-555-3900

Coquette 2800 Magazine St. • 504-265-0421

Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant 701 St. Charles Ave. • 524-4114

Peche Seafood Grill 800 Magazine St. • 504-522-1744

Bar Marilou 544 Carondelet St. • 504-814-7711

Claret Wine and Cocktail Bar 1320 Magazine St. • 504-766-9425

Country Club 634 Louisa St. • 504-945-0742

Otra Vez 1001 Julia St. • 504-354-8194

Grill Room at Windsor Court 300 Gravier St. • 888-897-6345

Drink Beauty 3424 Magazine St. • 504-766-0873

Justine 225 Chartres St. • 504-218-8533

Thalia 1245 Constance St. • 504-655-1338

ac 45

and the wine list includes specialties from the Veneto region (Wilcomb’s family still resides there). Out of curiosity, you may want to explore the latest novelties while in the Warehouse District: The rapidly expanding Oprah Winfrey-backed True Food Kitchen featuring vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options arrived in September in the The Julia, a new $50-million mixed-use development. Pop into the New York-linked Otra Vez for innovative, upscale tapas. Better yet, visit the fashionable Bar Marilou, which opened in fittingly grand fashion in the Maison de la Luz guesthouse by Atelier Ace, courtesy of Paris-based Quixotic Projects. Think caviar and bubbly. Hang around long enough, and you can almost hear the tiger carpets growl beneath rows of stilettos as chic millennials gather to sip and savor in the sultry, salon-like setting. If you’re feeling nostalgic about the recent passing of Art Neville or former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, look closely within The Grill Room’s marvelous murals on the second floor of the Windsor Court Hotel. Uptown, places are opening at a wild clip. Get a taste of the ultra-casual, rustic Thalia orchestrated by an acclaimed chef duo. The kid-friendly, 37-seat eatery offers creative interpretations of salads, pastas and snacks (plus a cool alligator mural). Opened by Coquette owners, Chefs Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus (recurring nominees for Best Chef: South), who decided to move Coquette’s Ana Castro (James Beard semi-finalist for Rising Star of the Year in 2019) to Thalia’s nascent kitchen. The owners of Tujague’s recently launched Claret, a stylish new wine and cocktail bar with minimalist décor in the Farmhouse building on Magazine, and Drink Beauty is the city’s first matcha-focused hybrid café with an L.A. vibe, complete with neon lips over the beverage bar and a no-cash policy (joining a string of recently opened places not accepting cash).

N o s ta lg i c N atc h i to c h e s When you want to slow down, disconnect from technology and reconnect as a family, Natchitoches provides an ideal setting. The oldest settlement in Louisiana, this picturesque haven is filled with historic homes and holiday happenings. Celebrate 30 years of “Steel Magnolias,” the beloved Southern flick featuring Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field and Julia Roberts that was filmed in Natchitoches, during Blush

and Bashful Weekend (Nov. 8-14) complete with a red-carpet movie premiere, an armadillo cake contest and the unveiling of the Natchitoches Film Trail featuring various site tours. Take the family for a weekend of holiday cheer during the 93rd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival, which has evolved into a six-week-long celebration (Nov. 23-Jan. 6). During Festival of Lights, children of all ages are dazzled by 300,000 Christmas lights and 100 lighted set pieces illuminating the Natchitoches Historic District and Cane River Lake every evening at dusk. Each weekend also brings a Holiday Kids Fest to the downtown riverbank with live music and Saturday night fireworks. The celebrations continue with a Christmas Tour of Homes, special holiday concerts and caroling lessons, boat parades, street parades, visits with Santa and the separate Christmas in the Park event featuring more than 250,000 LED lights and decorations, holiday treats and nightly Christmas character meet-and-greets. Step into a magical winter wonderland as Dark Woods is transformed for the holidays into four acres of enchanting, lighted walkways that include a candy cane lane and twinkling canopies complete with light shows that are synchronized to traditional holiday tunes. Natchitoches also has a 33-block National Historic Landmark District with antebellum homes and abundant bed-andbreakfasts (don’t miss a visit to the Steel Magnolia House B&B). A walk down brick-paved Front Street appointed with wrought-iron balconies (similar to the French Quarter) brings quaint shops, restaurants and art galleries. A must while in town is Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant, the iconic eatery for the finest version of this beloved local fried pastry. While Mama’s Oyster House serves terrific oyster poor-boys and blackened catfish (with a backdrop of moose heads and neon signs), opt for the more upscale Mariner’s Restaurant, a nautically-themed seafood haven with a splendid view of sunsets and succulent, salty oysters on the half shell. One of the newest attractions is the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame heralding Louisiana’s top athletes. For a step back in time, there are several notable plantations nearby, including Melrose dating back to 1796. Owned by a freed slave, it’s where celebrated folk artist Clementine Hunter blossomed; her murals and paintings are displayed throughout the picturesque plantation. Natchitoches and New Orleans will always attract those seduced by weekend wanderlust. Only four years apart, both cities celebrate their heritage, yet are worlds apart in temperament: Natchitoches is the settled, stately matron with a flair for entertaining, refined and cultured, yet playful with a side of sass; New Orleans is her sexy younger sister, constantly reinventing herself, complex and messy, yet hauntingly beautiful and impossible to forget.

NATCHITOCHES Blush and Bashful Weekend

Christmas in the Park 4343 University Parkway in Dark Woods

Christmas Festival

Steel Magnolia House 320 Jefferson St. • 318-238-2585

Festival of Lights


Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant 622 Second St. • 318-352-3353

ac adiana profile october/november 2019

Mama’s Oyster House and Papa’s Bar & Grill 608 Front St. • 318-356-7874 Mariner’s Restaurant 5948 Hwy. 1 Bypass • 318-357-1220

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame 500 Front St.• 318-238-4255 Melrose 3533 LA-119 • 318-379-0055

The French and Spanish architecture of Natchitoches’ downtown is reminiscent of the New Orleans French Quarter. A beautiful holiday destination with spectacular lights from mid-November until after New Year’s Day, the entire 33-block area has been designated as a National Historic Landmark District. A tradition dating back to the 1700s, meat pies abound downtown. ac 47


ac adiana profile october/november 2019


Acadiana Profile magazine’s Kingfish section acknowledges accomplished businessmen of Acadiana. Generous, durable and unflinching in character, these Kingfish give more to others than to themselves, and for this they are recognized in this issue of Acadiana Profile magazine. Clothing and styling provided by Mr. Frank Camalo with F. Camalo’s. We would like to thank River Oaks our venue host for our Photo shoot.

River Oaks catering and event center


RIGHT TO LEFT: Travis R. Godley, David L. Callecod, David Allie, Matt Chiasson, Raghotham R. Patlola and Malcolm J. Stubbs



Dr. David E. Allie,

David Allie MD Founder of the Louisiana Cardiovascular & Limb Salvage Center

Founder of Louisiana Cardiovascular & Limb Salvage Center (LCLSC) and Chief of Cardiovascular and Endovascular Surgery, and his partner, Dr. Raghotham R. Patlola, Chief of Interventional Cardiology, recently purchased the old, 39,000-sqft. Wilson Street Oil Center Park Place Hospital and are converting it to a first-of- its-kind, non-hospital-based, outpatient center called the Allie & Patlola Medical Center. “This has been a dream of ours for a very long time,” says Allie. “Our vision was to create a place where patients could see their doctors in their office and could receive advanced cardiovascular and limb salvage procedures and even advanced wound care and go home the same day.”

Clothing provided by F Camalo Clothing provided by F. Camalo


The Allie & Patlola Medical Center will be the first to house four distinct but interrelated practices and advanced procedure treatment centers including the LCLSC office, an ARISE outpatient cath lab (OBL) for peripheral endovascular and limb salvage care, an ARISE acute surgery center (ACS) for more advanced cardiovascular procedures, and an advanced Louisiana Limb Salvage Wound Care Center with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment. The unique Center will employ dozens of healthcare providers and staff, bringing both economic growth and medical innovation to Acadiana as a local, regional, national and international premier center of excellence, setting a new standard of healthcare.

Raghotham R. Patlola MD, FACC Co-Founder of the Louisiana Cardiovascular & Limb Salvage Center

Clothing provided by F Camalo

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Malcolm J. Stubbs, MD Orthopedic Surgeon, Lafayette Bone and Joint Clinic

A fellow of the

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr. Malcolm Stubbs is fellowship trained in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic Surgery, specializing in treatment of the shoulder, knee, and hip. After serving as Major in the USAF during Operation Enduring Freedom, Dr. Stubbs entered private practice in Opelousas before joining the Lafayette Bone and Joint Clinic in 2007. A member of the Board of Governors of Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital since 2015, he currently serves as Chairman. Dr. Stubbs is a devoted father and community member and was elected King Dom Pedro XI of the Krewe of Rio in 2016.

Clothing provided by F Camalo 50

ac adiana profile august/september 2019


David L. Callecod, FACHE President, Lafayette General Health

As President of Lafayette

General Health (LGH), David Callecod has helped grow the organization from two humble facilities to a seven-hospital system with nearly 4,700 employees and the area’s only Level II Trauma Center serving Southwest Louisiana.

Since becoming President in 2008, Callecod has helped LGH adapt in an ever-evolving healthcare industry. He has led LGH to numerous national recognitions, including Modern Healthcare’s “Best Places to Work” and CHIME HealthCare’s “Most Wired” health systems. “We are seizing opportunities that enable us to thrive in the new healthcare landscape and will continue to align with partners who honor our mission to restore, maintain, and improve health,” he says.

Clothing provided by F Camalo ac 51


Travis R. Godley President of Godley Wealth Management

Godley Wealth

Management is an independent financial services firm that provides comprehensive financial services with unbiased advice. As the Founder and President of Godley Wealth Management, Travis Godley puts his heart into perfecting the investment process for Acadiana’s families, organizations, and individuals. “I enjoy learning about the lives of others and finding ways to support their goals. It’s not just a business for me; I have a passion for people,” says Godley. A Louisiana native, Travis has always valued community. He serves on the Investment Policy Committee for the Community Foundation of Acadiana and has repeatedly sponsored the construction of Acadiana’s St. Jude Dreamhome. Securities and Advisory Services offered through Prospera Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC |

Clothing provided by F Camalo


ac adiana profile august/september 2019

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

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


Matt Chiasson Oil and Gas Executive

As Founder, President,

and CEO of Orbit Energy, LLC and Planet Operating, LLC, Matt Chiasson leveraged his education from USL in Petroleum Land Management and his abilities and experience in executing large onshore oil and gas projects in becoming one of the more active exploration companies in Lafayette, focused primarily on South Louisiana.

An active community supporter, Chiasson gives his time and financial support to many local nonprofit organizations through his various entities. “I am humbled by what my team has helped me accomplish and especially proud of what we’ve been able to give back to Lafayette,” he says.

Clothing provided by F Camalo

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1103 Kaliste Saloom Rd # 104 Lafayette, LA 70508

(337) 289-9129


ac adiana profile august/september 2019

Southern Spine Institute is an outpatient physical therapy clinic that treats a wide variety of orthopedic conditions. These conditions include but are not limited to neck and back injuries; shoulder and upper extremity injuries; and hip, knee or ankle injuries. The staff at Southern Spine Institute is committed to providing quality physical therapy services with an emphasis on returning the client to the highest level of functioning. We now offer dry needling. Most insurances are accepted.

7 GORGEOUS GOWNS PLUS: Stationery, Flowers, Cakes and Gifts! Big Day Locales that Wow








INVITATIONS ........................08

VENUE .................................. 38

Tropical Front: A nod from nature helps these invitations stand out with bright colors and playful fonts

Location, Location, Location: Fabulous wedding venues from industrial chic warehouse to romantic gardens that fit any couple’s style



FLOWERS .............................. 12

Full Bloom: Shades of green and ivory are perfect for the modern bride

GIFTS ................................... 20

Oh So Gifted: Give your wedding party gifts they’ll love and use in soft pinks and forest greens

HONEYMOON ........................ 42

Northern Exposure: Adventure by day and cozy by night, an Alaskan honeymoon is romantic and cuddling for warmth is encouraged

LAGNIAPPE ...........................44

Take Flight: Your friends have been there from the beginning. Thank them for making the drives, the fittings and the photoshoots with a tequila flight set – and Patrón, of course.



Top Tier: Wedding cakes get a refreshing up-do with pretty pastels and fabulous florals

Pull Up to the Station: Crowdpleasing food and beverage stations are kicking buffets and bars to the curb



Exotic Elegance Embracing the romance of subtropical climates throughout the year






ur wedding was a small, intimate affair. To be honest, we really wanted to elope, but knew that our family and friends would be upset at missing our Big Day. As a compromise, my now husband and I planned a small wedding. It ended up slightly larger than we envisioned, but at the end of the day, the less than 100 people who surrounded us were our closest loved ones. The country church I grew up attending was welcoming and familiar; my bridesmaids and I carried simple wildflower bouquets and the groom and groomsmen donned matching boutonnieres, all built around my favorite — white and yellow daisies; and our reception venue was decorated simply with white twinkle lights strung into fig trees and a candle on each white tablecloth-covered round table. The mimimalism suited us. That’s the thing about weddings, they can be as simple or as eleborate as you’d like for them to be and it’s all about what makes sense for you as a couple. In 1998, when we got married, there weren’t nearly as many choices as there are now and that, along with the fact that we were all of 25, definitely had an impact on the end result. For example, rather than a buffet, we would have opted for fun food stations (hello macand-cheese bar!) and in lieu of just beer, wine and the usual booze and mixers, a craft beer bar and signature cocktail would have entered the mix. When couples ask me for recommendations or advice, I suggest looking at magazines like this one and visiting wedding blogs and Pinterest for ideas, but that what really makes a wedding stand out is when it reflects the personality of the couple. If the two of you are a casual couple who prefers kicking back with a few beers with friends on the porch on a Friday night over getting dolled up and hitting the newest fine dining establishment, consider going less formal with your venue, food and decor, for example. If your courtship involved countless Taco Tuesday dates or Saturday afternoons spent hitting your favorite breweries, a taco station and craft beer bar might be natural elements to your food and beverage offerings on the Big Day. You will feel more confident and comfortable and your guests will love that you are sharing such a fun aspect of your relationship with them on your special day. We attended a wedding this spring in which the reception was one giant pizza party. The pizza was a hit and set a laid-back tone that was a spot-on reflection of the couple. Things will go “wrong” during the course of any wedding day and there are decorative or food decisions you may regret down the line, but if at the end of the day you are married to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with — it was a success. Happy wedding planning!




Managing Editor Melanie Warner Spencer Associate Editor Ashley McLellan Copy Editor Liz Clearman Web Editor Kelly Massicot Contributing Writers Ashley Hinson, Marie Elizabeth Oliver, Megan Romer Art Director Sarah George Photographers Danley Romero, Theresa Cassagne

Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan Advertising Sales Manager Rebecca Taylor (337) 298-4424 / (337) 235-7919 Ext. 230

Director of Marketing & Events Jeanel Luquette Event Coordinator Abbie Dugruise Digital Media Associate Mallary Matherne For event information (504) 830-7264

Traffic Coordinator Lane Brocato Production Manager Emily Andras Production Designers Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney

Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde Distribution Manager John Holzer Administrative Assistant Mallary Matherne Audience Development Claire Sargent For subscription information (504) 828-1380

A Publication of Renaissance Publishing 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123 Metairie, LA 70005 128 Demanade, Suite 104 Lafayette, LA 70503 (337) 235-7919 ext. 230 Acadiana Weddings is a publication of Acadiana Profile which 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. Postage paid at Lafayette, LA, and additional mailing entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Acadiana Weddings, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2018 Renaissance Publishing LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Acadiana Weddings is registered. Acadiana Weddings is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Acadiana Weddings are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.






joli i n v i tat i o n s p.0 8

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Gif ts p. 2 0

Create a fresh, tropical look with lush greenery, petite blooms and buds


Tropical Front A nod from nature helps these invitations stand out with bright colors and playful fonts c ap tions By A lIce p h I lI p S photogr aphs By ThereSA KINg cASSANge


AcAdiAnA Weddings


The GG Palms Suite invitation uses jeweltoned palm designs and hints of gold foil for a natural yet classic touch. The invitations are wrapped together with blush raw silk ribbon with an option to customize to your preference.



AcA di AnAW e ddi ng .co m



shop aurea


AcAdiAnA Weddings


Coastal and summer vibes are the highlight of these brightcolored invites. Soft vellum wrap binds them together and knotted jute mixes both modern and traditional styles.

AcA di AnAW e ddi m


joli flOwerS

2 3




Full Bloom Shades of green and ivory are perfect for the modern bride By ASh ley h I N SON photogr aphs By rOm erO & rO m erO






From jewelry to potted plants, the monstera is having a moment. The massive leaf, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, balances delicate, intricate orchids.

Feathery and light touches of greenery from the orchids balance the robust monstera for a fresh touch.

Is there any flower more elegant than a white orchid? The serene orchid represents innocence, beauty and virility.

A truly fitting name, the white lace flower adds airiness to a summer bouquet.

Beautiful either in bloom or within the bud, the white freesia is a member of the iris family. Its bell shape adds dimension and strength, gorgeously contrasting with delicate white lace.




White Lace

White Freesia

thistLe company 115 E. St. Peter St., New Iberia. 337-380-5327.


AcAdiAnA Weddings


For your bouquet, capture various stages of growth with buds and blossoms paired with lush greenery for a clean and earthy effect.

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joli cAKeS

A blend of simplicity and elegance, this vanilla cake with Swiss meringue buttercream is adorned with white roses and ferns perfect for a whimsical wedding.

Top Tier Wedding cakes get a refreshing up-do with pretty pastels and fabulous florals c ap tions By A lIce p h I lIp S photogr aphs By rO m erO & rO m erO


AcAdiAnA Weddings


Heads up chocolate lovers. Pink buttercream, handmade ranunculus flowers and a hammered gold faux tier garnish this two-tier chocolate cake with Oreo cream filling.

piece oF cake

1507 Kaliste Saloom Road, Suite H Lafayette 337-565-2753

AcA di AnAW e ddi m


joli cAKeS

The handmade sugar flowers might seem like the stars of the show, but what’s on the inside counts too. White velvet cake with pecan praline filling and white chocolate ganache icing make up the three tiers of this elegant cake.

FaLLon rae cakes



AcAdiAnA Weddings


Four tiers of chocolate cake with caramel filling and milk chocolate ganache filling will satisfy your cocoa cravings. It is topped with edible gold leaf and handmade sugar flowers.

AcA di AnAW e ddi m


joli cAKeS

Green ombrĂŠ tiers keep this cake simple but on trend. White almond cake with raspberry cheesecake filling and chocolate fudge cake with praline fudge filling make up the layers with a blush sugar flower for added flair.

sky's the Limit cakes

1418 Eraste Landry Road Lafayette 337-592-2068


AcAdiAnA Weddings


Green buttercream ruffles, stenciled buttercream and pearls add unique texture to this threetiered confection of French vanilla cake with mascarpone cream cheese and fresh-fruit filling.

AcA di AnAW e ddi m


joli gIfTS



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Show your bridesmaids and groomsmen a little love with these fun and fabulous gifts. Or gift your spouse-to-be — just because.




AcAdiAnA Weddings


oh So Gifted Give your wedding party gifts they’ll love and use in soft pinks and forest greens By ASh ley h I N SON photogr aph By rOmerO & rO merO



Baxter shave tonic

tom Ford soLeiL BLanc eau de parFum

This multitasking product combines rosemary, eucalyptus, camphor and spearmint essential oils to cool razor burn and prevent ingrown hairs. Apply before and after shaving.

This scent has key notes of bergamot, pistachio and coco de mer. The warmth of solar amber elevates this floral eau de parfum to sultry, yet refined, heights.





Local designer Inga Woods, of Pineville, creates glass jewelry coated in gold luster. Airy and pretty, this necklace is peak minimalist cool.

This flashlight/flask is perfect for outdoor bachelor party excursions, camping trips and hurricane parties. Get lit.

3 soap

Sometimes, a 3-in-1 won’t do. Upgrade your groomsmen with this woodsy scent in an aesthetically pleasing package.

4 candLe

This beautifully designed candle may be wrapped in watercolor flowers, but its aromatics are for no shrinking violet.

5 earrings

Alexis Bittar’s lucite leaves are fun, lightweight and suitable as a statement piece for day or night. These also come in many colors: one for each of your bridesmaids.


1910 Kaliste Saloom Road Lafayette 337-406-0904 genterie

408 Jefferson St. Lafayette 337-401-3833 inga Woods

AcA di AnAW e ddi m



AcAdiAnA Weddings



TREND WATCH Shiny Ribbons: wide, silky ribbon used as a headband or ponytail wrap adds an eyecatching twist to a trendy but casual bridal look.

Our instinct is to fight the steamy days and nights that, even in the cooler months, often make an appearance. But, lush botanicals, flowing gowns and floral themes are always in style.

Exo ele 24

AcAdiAnA Weddings


(PREVIOUS PAGE) Kite and Butterfly Rena French lace gown from Pistache; Pomellato Victoria rose gold and white agate earrings from Kiki (LEFT) Hayley Paige Arden rosĂŠ lace and tulle gown from Le Jour Couture; Alexis Bittar long leaf earrings in sunset from Kiki

tic gance Embracing the romance of subtropical climates throughout the year

STYLING: Marie Elizabeth Oliver PHOTOGRAPHY: Theresa King Cassagne MODELS: Lauren Shipp, Ibrahim Nofal, Darby Miles and Brianna Hunter HAIR AND MAKEUP: Kelly Snesrud TREND WATCH: Megan Romer THANK YOU TO: Intercontinental New Orleans Hotel

AcA di AnAW e ddi m


TREND WATCH Accessories are very in: While brides are toning back the sparkle elsewhere, Lake Charles hairstylist Jade Jouett Kingham is seeing some serious love for hair-bling. “Sparkly clips, cute little bobby pins with flowers or beads attached, tiny flowers…” These all work particularly well tucked into long waves or a piecey updo.

(LEFT) Wild Azalea redesigned and reconstructed vintage wedding dress from JoiJohnston. com; Jolie Petale handmade headpiece from Pistache; Elizabeth Bower Sakura Rose Drop earrings from Le Jour Couture; custom magnolia diamond engagement ring by Dianna Rae Jewelry (THIS PAGE) Ike Behar Sebastian navy tuxedo from Squires Formalwear; Original Penguin Micah solid tie from Nordstrom Rack

Viktor&Rolf Mariage embroidery patchwork dress with detachable skirt from Le Jour Couture; White gold diamond studs, solitaire engagement ring, wedding band and 18K diamond tennis bracelet all from Armentor Jewelers; “Jane” bouquet by Something Borrowed Blooms (FACING) Reem Acra “Veronique” strapless beaded ball gown and floral stud earrings from Le Jour Couture; “Shelbie” floral crown and bouquet by Something Borrowed Blooms


AcAdiAnA Weddings


(LEFT) From left to right: Kenneth Cole Lenox light grey tuxedo and waterfall romance bowtie from Squires Formalwear; Essense of Australia (Style: D2548) layered lace gown from Sposa Bella; Alexis Bittar oversized teardrop earrings from Kiki (THIS PAGE) From left to right: Jenny Yoo Corinne bridesmaid dress in petal from Bella Bridesmaids; Baublebar drop earrings; Adrianna Papell (Style: 40112) beaded bridesmaid gown from Bella Bridesmaids

TREND WATCH Dramatic Headbands: Instead of fascinators, be on the lookout for high-drama headbands featuring giant pearls, complex metalwork or flowers.

(THIS PAGE) From left to right: Ike Behar Warren black tuxedo with black vest and trim fit pants from Squires Formalwear; Le Jour private collection off-shoulder gown, Lasting Memories drop earrings, MalisHenderson headband all from Le Jour Couture; custom magnolia diamond engagement ring by Dianna Rae Jewelry (RIGHT) Viktor&Rolf Mariage jumpsuit, Justin Alexander white moto jacket, Lasting Memories gold hairpiece all from Le Jour Couture 30

AcAdiAnA Weddings


Hayley Paige (Style: 6657 “Vionnet”) ivory beaded net fit to flare gown from Le Jour Couture; Alexis Bittar tassel pendant necklace from Kiki; Ambrosia scalloped oval diamond ring with blue diamonds from Dianna Rae Jewelry; White gold diamond studs and 18K white gold diamond tennis bracelet from Armentor Jewelers (FACING) Justin Alexander (Style: 88008) v-neck lace gown with illusion long sleeves from Sposa Bella; Yellow gold Moroccan earrings from Dianna Rae Jewelry; “Stella” bouquet by Something Borrowed Blooms; Allure granite gray tuxedo with merlot bow tie and vest from Mary Ellen’s Tux Shop; Yellow gold hammered wedding band from Dianna Rae Jewelry


AcAdiAnA Weddings


(LEFT) Viktor&Rolf Mariage deep v-neck gown and Elizabeth Bower white flower earrings from Le Jour Couture (THIS PAGE) Jenny Yoo Drew bridesmaid dress in blush from Bella Bridesmaids; Alexis Bittar crystal and malachite tassel necklace from Kiki AcA di AnAW e ddi m


(THIS PAGE) White gold blue diamond pendant necklace and 18K white gold diamond tennis bracelet from Armentor Jewelers; Ambrosia scalloped oval diamond ring with blue diamonds from Dianna Rae Jewelry (FACING) Freshwater pearl yellow gold necklace, gold milgrain diamond wedding band stack, diamond hoop earrings and diamond bangle bracelets in yellow and rose gold all from Dianna Rae Jewelry

(THIS PAGE) From left to right: Jenny Yoo Tatum bridesmaid dress in blush and Jenny Yoo Ellis bridesmaid dress in emerald both from Bella Bridesmaids; emerald tassel earrings from J.Crew (RIGHT) Michael Kors Aruba tan notch lapel tuxedo with trim fit pants and waterfall romance tie from Squires FormalwearÂ


AcAdiAnA Weddings


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AcAdiAnA Weddings



FO O D + D R I N K P.4 0

Champagne and other bubbles, once reserved for toasts only, are fast becoming a regular full-reception feature.





cadiana has a variety of wedding locations, easlily rivaling venues of locales all over the world. You want a rustic repurposed building? We’ve got it! Old-world ballroom? We’ve got that, too! Cute little chapel? Check. Grand landscaped gardens? Check. Honestly, it’s probably harder for most couples to narrow it down than it is to find venues that would fit beautifully with their aesthetic and budget. Here are some of our favorites: P O IN T-AUX- LO UP S S P R IN G S BA L L RO O M

(Iota) This charming property is a 1930s-era industrial building retrofitted to become one of Acadiana’s most distinct wedding venues. The aesthetic of the ballroom interior is decidedly French Quarter, with New Orleans-style ironwork, exposed brick, mahogany furniture, and a giant chandelier, but the setting offers the peace and beauty of rural Acadia Parish. Hold an outdoor wedding under a massive white oak or in the white-columned pergola on the bank of the Bayou des Cannes, or choose a candlelit ceremony indoors. L E PAV IL LO N

Location, Location, Location Fabulous wedding venues from industrial chic warehouse to romantic gardens that fit any couple’s style BY MEG A N RO M E R




(Lafayette) Le Pavillon is one of Lafayette’s newest event venues but it has been designed with a decidedly upscale classically-French aesthetic. It’s rare to find a venue that can both host a very large wedding and which can truly be described as elegant, but Le Pavillon was designed for the purpose. (It’s not only a venue for huge weddings; intimate rooms are also available.) The carefully-appointed in-house decor makes it basically a turnkey affair for indoor weddings and receptions and a dramatic columned outdoor colonnade provides a perfect location for an outdoor wedding or bridal party photographs.


has faded today, but it still feels very much alive inside the beautiful historic Maison de Tours, situated right in the heart of the city’s historic center, across the street from St. Martin de Tours church square. The venue includes both indoor spaces complete with antique furnishings and an outdoor New Orleans-style brick patio courtyard, as well as a beautifully-appointed bridal dressing suite.

(Lake Charles) Bring the cake, the band, the flowers, and the wedding party and this Downtown Lake Charles event venue and catering company will handle everything else: furnishings, centerpieces, lighting, and more, not to mention the gourmet chefprepared cuisine. The building itself is gorgeous: a refurbished circa-1892 warehouse with exposed brick and beams, wooden floors, and shabby-chic antique furnishings. The room can be tailored to meet your needs and works well for both an indoor wedding followed by a reception or just the reception itself. R I P VAN WIN K LE G A RDE N S

(New Iberia) Rip Van Winkle Gardens, on Jefferson Island outside of New Iberia, has been one of Acadiana’s preferred wedding venues for generations, and for good reason: it’s also one of Acadiana’s most beautiful places. Sprawling ancient live oaks, carefully-cultivated tropical gardens, gurgling fountains, the stunning backdrop of Lake Peigneur, and the onsite buildings, which include the Victorian hunting lodge built by stage actor Joseph Jefferson in 1870. A full wedding planning staff makes your job as the bride or groom easy, and while most couples choose to marry outside, the indoor ballroom provides an easy backup should the weather be uncooperative. DELTA G RAND THEAT RE

(Opelousas) If you’re looking for character, this handsomely renovated Art Deco theater offers a unique and surprisingly flexible venue for weddings of all sizes. Because the theater seats have long been removed and the venue simply uses chairs, you can easily set up a small ceremony space in one area and have your reception in another, have your ceremony on the stage and just move chairs for the reception, or any number of other options. For an extra bit of fun, you can put your names on the marquee outside and feel like real stars! MAI SON D E TOURS

(St. Martinville) In the early 1800s, St. Martinville was known as Petit Paris, as it was a cultural mecca for the surrounding area, with high-end shops and even an opera house. Much of that grandeur


WA R E H O US E 53 5

(LEFT) Le Pavillon offers classicallyFrench aesthetic and turnkey service (BELOW) Warehouse 535 provides the perfect space for artsy couples.

(Lafayette) An old railroad grain warehouse that was renovated with the idea of creating a top-quality venue with that quirky, artsy Lafayette look, Warehouse 535 hits that sweet spot between rustic and funky but elegant and functional. With indoor and outdoor spaces, an in-house bar, and a gorgeous wide covered porch, there’s a lot of flexibility to be had, and the venue’s downtown Lafayette location, just a few blocks from the UL campus, makes it convenient while surprisingly peaceful. ❖

Pro Tips Hannah Trahan is the owner of Southern Couture event planning services and is the director of events at Le Pavillon. She encourages couples to:


“It’s great if your budget allows your aesthetic to lead, but that’s not always the case,” says Trahan, who encourages couples to determine their budget before they take a single step toward planning.


“If you have strong ideas about decorating, make sure the venue can accommodate that.” Lots of venues already have a strong aesthetic and rebuilding that can be harder than starting with a blank venue and decorating.


People often assume that holding an outdoor wedding is a money-saving strategy, but Trahan explains, “it not only isn’t cheaper, but it costs twice as much because you need a backup plan in case it rains.”





Pull Up to the Station Crowd-pleasing food and beverage stations are kicking buffets and bars to the curb BY MEG A N RO M E R




Cheese lovers rejoice! Opt for a cheese wheel "cake" in lieu of the sweet stuff

xperience. That’s the trend word. That’s the trend feeling,” explains Angie O’Bryan, the catering sales manager for Bon Temps Grill. “People are getting away from sort of generic traditional things, like passed trays of finger sandwiches — they want their guests to have something unique.” Cajun and Creole traditions unsurprisingly form a large part of the menus that Acadiana brides and grooms choose — roast suckling pig (cochon de lait) carving stations, jambalaya, and hot boudin all feature regularly on Acadiana wedding tables. Dinner-as-decor is another trend that O’Bryan sees. Long gone are the days of a row of silver chafing dishes. Instead, Pinterest-perfect spreads feature tables of different heights, creatively scrunched fabric and unconventional servingware. “It’s all about really making those tables gorgeous,” says O’Bryan. “Even that alone provides an element of experience for the guests, who get to serve themselves from these beautiful displays. “You know, it’s a real advantage that we have this tradition of the wedding buffet in the South. Up North and around the country, it’s common to have a plated sit-down dinner, which is beautiful but it means that you’re not moving around. The buffet allows for a more interesting range of food and it lets people get up and around and circulate and see each other and talk to each other. So when it comes to experiences, this one is built in.” A particularly fun way in which couples make use of this circulation is in offering creative build-your-own stations. French fries, nachos, and sliders are not uncommon, but O’Bryan’s current favorite (and one which everyone seems to love) is a mac-and-cheese station. The macaroni and cheese is served in clear plastic martini cups to give it a bit of an upscale look, and then guests get a huge variety of toppings and add-ins which they can heap up: crawfish, lobster, bacon, green onions, extra cheese, pickled jalapenos — it takes comfort food to the next level in a unique and interactive way, and guests just adore it. Cakes have long been an area in which Gulf Coast brides have been consistent traditionalists. The bride’s cake has been white, almond-flavored, and elegant for generations and all serious creativity has been focused on the groom’s cake. As online

sources abound, though, and a web-savvy is still seeing some movement away from younger generation begins to marry, the traditional fondant-and-piping. “Naked O’Bryan is seeing a burst of creativity and cakes are becoming a big thing,” says O’Bryan, tradition-busting on the cake front. who suggests that brides who don’t like thick “Recently, I catered a wedding where the frosting be creative with their alternatives, bride’s cake was full wheels of gourmet many of which are really beautiful: fresh cheese, all stacked in tiers and decorated. The fruit, edible flowers, whipped cream, dripped groom’s cake was still a traditional sweet cake, ganache — they all have a unique look (and so people who wanted something sweet were taste!) and any good baker will happily work taken care of, but isn’t that fun?” O’Bryan with you to explore fondant alternatives, if says that she is also seeing alternatives for you’re looking for a classic aesthetic but a sweet cakes, whether it’s a dessert modern taste profile. station with a single small cake for Above all, don’t be afraid to dream ceremonial slicing and then a variety big. Far from being annoyed by Cocktailconscious of other things, or even cake pops, couples’ desire to replicate complex couples also cupcakes, tartlets or cream puffs things that they found on the web, offer minibars presented in tiers. O’Bryan and her staff think it’s great specializing in Even for brides who do want a fun. “Even if we can’t do it exactly, their favorite drinks more traditional tiered cake, O’Bryan we can usually figure out what it

is about the menu item or presentation that attracts them and create something unique for them.” D R IN KS

The beverage service is serious business at Acadiana weddings. Marcello’s Wine Market and Cafe’s Trent Roy, who does full-service beverage catering at 400-500 regional weddings each year, knows very well how seriously local couples take this part of their wedding planning, and says that he’s seeing a trend toward elegance. “The amount of couples going with real glassware — which costs at least $2 per guest more — has just about doubled in the past few years,” says Roy, though he chuckles at the suggestion that perhaps couples are just trying to be a bit more eco-friendly. “In this case, no. It’s all about that aesthetic of real glass.” Champagne and other bubbles, once reserved for toasts only, are fast becoming a regular full-reception feature. “A nice thing that some couples are doing is having a little champagne table right as people enter the reception, maybe with a few different options for sparkling wine. Prosecco is very hot right now, that’s always on there. And some people will keep this table open for the whole night, while others move the champagne service to the bar, but yeah, in the past year, this has become a big thing.” Signature cocktails remain popular and bar managers are happy to work with couples to come up with something specific to them. “Usually, it’s just a slight twist on a classic but with a cute name that references something the brides or grooms love,” explains Roy, suggesting the honeymoon destination or names of the couples’ pets as inspiration, though some cocktail-conscious couples also offer minibars specializing in their favorite drinks. On the wine and beer front, there are no dramatic changes, says Roy, though he is seeing a surprising return to White Zinfandel among the preferred options. “People started drinking dry and semi-dry rosés and it became acceptable to be seen with a glass of pink wine again.” Craft beer is a preference for discerning couples everywhere, though the cost scares some of them off (“It’s a significant upcharge,” Roy emphasizes). But those who do splurge on craft beer almost universally prefer a local option, be it Parish, Bayou Teche, or one of the other breweries in the state. “Putting that local spin on things will always be in style around here.” ❖




Northern Exposure Adventure by day and cozy by night, an Alaskan honeymoon is romantic and cuddling for warmth is encouraged BY CHE R É CO E N





n Alaska, honeymoon options are as diverse as the state. For a relaxing, quiet getaway, cruises up the Inside Passage may be in order. A flight to Anchorage with a ride on the Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park may better suit the adventurous. For those Acadiana residents who want a little of both, maybe a quiet cabin with some outstanding fishing on the side or a remote lighthouse on a private island with access into one of Alaska’s cutest cities. Here are some options for honeymooning in Alaska.

CRUIS IN G expertise is to deliver you to destinations Cruising up the Pacific coast to Alaska is with ease and style.” big business, with 37 ships sailing into the Some cruise ships combine cruising Inside Passage, the Kenai Peninsula and Icy with land travel. Visitors may cruise Royal Strait Point. Ships range from the major Princess, then transfer on to a railroad trip brands such as Cunard, Royal Caribbean to Denali National Park where Princess and Norwegian which sail out of Seattle owns lodges. and Vancouver, to the smaller vessels such as Windstar Cruises and Uncruise DE N A L I Adventures. To head straight into the Alaskan wilderness, Holland America’s Eurodam, for instance, fly into Anchorage and catch the Alaska offers seven-day itineraries from Seattle, stopRailroad to Denali National Park. The ping at the island towns of Juneau, Sitka elegant train heads north to Fairbanks and Ketchikan with a sail through the year-round with stops at North America’s impressive Glacier Bay National Park and tallest mountain. From the Denali depot, a pause in Victoria, Canada, before returning buses will shuttle visitors to various accomhome. Instead of Broadway shows and glitz, modations, which range from the cruise Holland works more to prepare their visitors line lodges to semi-rustic cabins, such as for the Alaskan experience, said Bill Fletcher, the quaint but utterly comfortable Denali senior director of destination marketing. Cabins, eight miles south of the park. The ship features an “Exploration Denali means wilderness in the Central,” for instance, where visitors truest sense of the word, so if you’re may learn about whales and Alaskan (LEFT) Horsehoe looking for peace and quiet and a lake in Denali culture and people. chance to get back to nature for National Park “It’s a classical, traditional cruise (BELOW) Sitka a honeymoon, this one takes the line experience,” Fletcher said. “Our wedding cake. There’s only one way Lighthouse

in and out of the park, a 90-mile stretch of highway with only the first few miles open to traffic. Visitors must take park shuttles or sign up for tours to enter the restricted areas. The Tundra Wilderness Tour provides a great overview of the park and visitors will spot numerous wildlife such as grizzly bears, moose and caribou thanks to the expert tour guides driving the bus. And if you’re lucky, the mountain will reveal itself; Mt. Denali is only visible to 30 percent of visitors. T H E S IT KA L IG H T H O US E

You can fly, cruise or ferry to the island of Sitka, located in the Inside Passage with a temperate climate much like Seattle. It’s a sweet village with boutique shops, a national park and the most bald eagles you’ll spot anywhere. A short skiff ride from the city harbor lies the Sitka Lighthouse on a one-acre private island. The lighthouse was built in the 1980s by a local veterinarian, registered with the Coast Guard and used as a rental. It’s since been updated by Teal West and includes a relaxing living area, master bedroom on the second floor and bunks on the third. There’s a hot tub, fire pit and patio overlooking the harbor and the neighboring snow-capped mountains. If you need to get into town, your stay at the lighthouse includes a skiff and kayaks. A LAS KA W IL D LA N D A DV E N T UR ES

June may be the opportune time to get married but it’s also salmon running season. Alaska Wildland Adventures offers the ultimate fishing excursions along the Kenai River where more than half a million sockeye salmon migrate beginning in June, with silver salmon, rainbow trout and Dolly Varden season in August and September. Stay at the Kenai Riverside Lodge with its collection of cozy private cabins and a lodge where hearty breakfast and dinner meals are served, not to mention appetizers and drinks beforehand in the bar. There’s a wood-fired sauna and hiking trails as well. For a guide into the wild, Alaska Wildland Adventures offers fishing excursions, rafting trips down the Kenai, hikes and two remote lodges for those wanting to get further away from civilization. There’s so much to see and do in Alaska so whatever your choices be sure to allow enough time for adequate exploration. And maybe a little of the unexpected. ❖




Take Flight Your friends have been there from the beginning. Thank them for making the drives, the fittings and the photoshoots with a tequila flight set – and Patrón, of course. BY ASH LEY H I N SON PHOTOGR APHS BY RO M ERO & RO M ERO

This glass and brass flight is beautiful and functional


456 Heymann Blvd. Lafayette 337-264-1037




454 Heymann Blvd. Lafayette (337) 235-4114







M a r s ha l l B l e v i n s m a k es o u ts i d e r a rt a bo u t T h e r eg i o n ’ s fo rg ot t e n pa st

cu ltur e / l es a rt ist es

Lost History Found on Four Legs Lafayette artist Marshall Blevins’ Church Goin’ Mule series has captured the hearts and minds of locals and preserved fading aspects of the region’s culture 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

For Marshall Blevins — the brains behind the

brush of the captivating Church Goin’ Mule painting series — geography was the mother of invention. “I actually started drawing mules in college, because when you go to school in Kentucky, people have seen enough horses, you know?” Blevins says. Oh. That makes sense. But what the mule lacks in cool backstory, it more than makes up for in its creative symbolism — an omnipresent vehicle that doesn’t dominate, but rather complements Blevins’ work and ties scattered moments of time and place into an artistic collective.


ac a diana profile october/november 2019

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Marshall Blevins How big of a leap was it for you to commit yourself to doing art as a full-time profession? It was very scary. I mean, when I went to school in Kentucky, I sold some paintings online to people I didn’t know, but that was about it. I really had no intention of doing art full-time; my focus was equine photographer. But I took the plunge (in October 2018); we had just closed on a house, so the timing wasn’t necessarily the best, but I just hoped everything would somehow work out, and it has. How has your relationship with the mule as an artist changed over the years? As I’ve gotten more comfortable with the mule, the mule is doing crazier things. As I’ve studied other artists, I’ve gotten more comfortable with shape and movement. At first, it was just the head. Then, I did the body of a white mule. But now it’s different colors and doing different things. Now, are there times I step back and wonder, ‘What the heck am I doing?’ when I try something? Yes. But I’m branching out a little bit these days. Why are these lost episodes of history that you capture in your paintings important? It shows our path as people. So much of our way of life isn’t retained generation to generation. You know, I don’t know how to farm where as my grandfather grew grapes and apples. I can’t hardly grow a tomato plant. They fed their family. They built their house. They built their barn. And I don’t have any of that knowledge. So through my work, I kind of like the idea of showing those lost traditions and remembering those people we’ve forgotten back to the forefront.


ac a diana profile october/november 2019

From its autumn 2015 social media debut — a time in which Blevins was creating content at a painting-a-day pace — the Church Goin’ Mule has appeared in “Southern Outsider Art” pieces designed to illuminate forgotten or overlooked snapshots of our past. “As an artist, I didn’t really know where I fit in, anywhere,” Blevins says. “So the mule got to be that grounding rod. “When you look back, mules have done everything everywhere for everybody, and it didn’t matter what kind of money you had, or where you lived, or what kind of work you did as a person — oil, tobacco, corn, cotton, timber … mules pulling streetcars — people had mules,” Blevins says. “They were ubiquitous. They worked six days a week and took people to town on the seventh. So in my paintings they belong to everybody, and as an artist, it belongs to me.” Scan through Blevins’ Church Goin’ Mule catalog and the evolution of the series in terms of style and substance becomes apparent. And other than there always being a mule present, the series affords Blevins the opportunity to experiment, like her recent decision to include written words and old sayings and phrases which she says makes her pieces “approachable” and oftentimes connects in unexpected ways with observers whose older relatives might have said the same things. “I don’t think art necessarily needs to be decoded,” Blevins says. “At the same time, people take away different things from each painting. And people see the mule differently — different moods, different expressions and what they might mean. It’s just all in how you look at it.” n

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cu ltu r e / l es p e rsonnes

That New Old School Sound Zydeco musician Wayne Singleton is a throwback on and off the stage, but still finds modern ways to engage and broaden his audience By W i l l i a m 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

A n y li n g eri n g do u bt o n w h eth er Z y de co

frontman Wayne Singleton lives his lyrics — timeless verses about sweating through the daily toils of farm work and sweating even harder on the dance floor when the sun goes down and the stage lights up — evaporates as he unnecessarily apologizes for being a couple minutes late. “Man, I was baling hay,” he explains, his words fighting the wind whipping through his open truck window while driving down one of St. Landry Parish’s many two-lane rural routes. When asked if he knows he’s got a concert in Lafayette in less than six hours, Singleton doesn’t flinch: “Oh, I got that. I’ll be ready. It’s just the country in me — I had to do this first,” he says through a laugh. “Man, I’m working. Most Zydeco artists are sleeping — sleeping until right before it’s time to play on Friday. Me? I’m getting up every morning at 5 o’clock and I’m getting it — whether I have to or not. If you’re a real Creole playing Zydeco, you’re up right now doing something.” As the music that shaped Acadiana’s cultural identity becomes homogenized with more contemporary sounds, Wayne Singleton and his band, Same Ol’ 2 Step, are like time capsules with stage presence — artists whose new music sounds just like the old Zydeco classics. Now, that’s not to say Wayne and crew never color outside the lines. On their new album released last month, titled “Urban Creole,” the band includes a couple of tracks in which traditional Zydeco is infused with elements of modern R&B or hip hop. While those songs definitely bump, and deserve inclusion on the album, Singleton admits to ulterior motives — namely, they’re “bait” used to expand Zydeco, Old School Zydeco, to a younger audience. “I never had the mentality to get into [music] for the money or to be popular,” Singleton says. “Because if I was, I probably


ac adiana profile october/november 2019

would have played something else, a different kind of music. But I’m about tradition. I like the tradition of Zydeco music. Our music, the music I play, has a different type of value to the people. “Plus, I never was a follower. When people go left, I’ll move right, and vice versa. I’m sticking to what was because nobody wants to do that anymore. You look at Zydeco today. You got a million different bands that are trying to do something new, but in doing that, they all sound the same. By doing it old school, and like I said, sticking to what was, you stand out from the crowd and you fill the need for the people who want to hear Zydeco music how they remembered it.” coming up A bit of a dirt road savant as a youngster, Singleton taught Wayne Singleton himself to play pretty much every & Same Ol’ 2 musical instrument featured in a Step Upcoming Zydeco band. Perhaps even more Schedule impressive, at the delicate age of Saturday, Oct. 12, 2 PM 8, Singleton somehow got permisFestivals Acadiens et sion to hang and jam at Roy CarCreoles rier’s famous Zydeco hangout, The Girard Park Offshore Lounge in Lawtell — a Lafayette weekend hub for having a good time, and a weekday makeshift musical incubator where headliners and up-and-comers could workshop lyrics and rhythms. “You talk about an education — I can’t thank Roy enough for extending that hand,” Singleton says. “I couldn’t believe it. I got to be around people like Jeffery Broussard, Robby Robinson, Zydeco Force — people I never, ever thought I’d ever meet. They all pitched in to help me, and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Just so many positive people with a positive attitude.” In a way, Singleton’s choice to not deviate too far from the Zydeco music he grew up on is his ‘thank you’ to those who paved the path he’d one day venture down. An unapologetic cultural preservationist, Singleton frequently visits local schools to spread the gospel of Zydeco, letting the kids get their first taste of scrubbing keys on a rubboard, or pushing and pulling an accordion. Beyond that, though, Singleton diligently promotes his Old School traditional Zydeco songs and upcoming appearances through the New School medium of social media (and yes, he’s aware of the irony, so don’t bring it up). He’s got a strong presence on various platforms and tries to go live on social media a couple times a week to give his followers an inside glimpse into the entire musical process. Oh, and if you’re looking for a massive bale of hay for sale, he’s got those posted on Instagram, too. “The music is a part of our heritage, but to keep it strong, you can’t wait for people to come to you. You have to come to them, at their level,” Singleton says. “Kids, and a lot of adults, are on their phones, on their computers. So to get through to them, that’s where you go — show them the music, show them something positive.”n

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cu ltu re / e n franç a is, s ’i l vo us pl aî t

Les Musiciennes Sur Scène Festivals acadiens et créoles célèbrent les musiciennes et les 90 ans de « Jolie Blonde »

enceinte de son premier enfant, venait juste de finir quatre heures de spectacle avec son groupe « Balfa Toujours » quand un monsieur lui a demandé si elle attendait un garçon ou une fille. En entendant que c’était une fille, il a déclaré, « Tant pis. Il aurait pu être musicien. » Dix-sept ans après, cette fille, Amelia Powell, prend sa place parmi une nouvelle génération de musiciennes qu’on peut trouver dans des groupes comme T-Monde, les Sœurs Babineaux, Sweet Cecilia, les Daiquiris Queens et j’en passe.

pa r Dav i d C h er a m i e p h oto g r a p h i e pa r Dav i d S i m p s o n

Christine Balfa , Balfa Toujours, Fest Acadiens & « Da n s c e te m p s - l à , s i u n e f e m m e c h a ntait

dans un groupe, le monde pensait pas grandchose d’elle, mais j’étais avec ma tante, mon oncle et mes parents alors ça pouvait pas rien dire. » Dans le documentaire « J’ai été au bal », Solange Marie Falcon exprimait l’opinion générale lorsqu’on voyait des musiciennes sur scène dans sa jeunesse. Pourtant, sa tante était Cléoma Falcon qui, avec son mari Joe, a enregistré le premier disque de musique cadienne en 1928. Ce n’était décidemment pas la place d’une femme, même en compagnie de sa famille. Le rôle traditionnel des femmes dans la musique a surtout été dans les foyers où l’on passait les soirées à chanter et à écouter des ballades passées de mère en fille, même si on ne les acceptait pas en public. Les chansons préservées par Lula Landry, Inez Catalon, Agnès Bourque et bien d’autres font partie maintenant du répertoire contemporain. Aujourd’hui, on assiste à une nouvelle vague de musiciennes, mais il a fallu longtemps avant que plus de femmes n’arrivent sur scène. Sheryl Cormier, la reine de l’accordéon cadien, fait figure de pont entre les deux époques. Sa carrière – qui a commencé en jouant avec ses parents, sa mère jouait les tambours – a traversé six décennies et a été couronnée plusieurs fois, notamment par l’Association de la culture cadienne et le Temple de la Renommée de la musique louisianaise. Récemment elle a reçu le Prix de l’héritage acadien lors de la dernière journée de la culture acadienne à Vermilionville. Les Magnolia Sisters ont aussi préservé ce lien entre le passé et le présent. Si elles ont encouragé d’autres femmes à trouver leur voix, certaines attitudes néanmoins ont persisté. Kristi Guillory, musicienne dès son jeune âge et co-fondatrice du groupe « Bonsoir, Catin » a longtemps lutté pour qu’on la prenne au sérieux et ne pas être un simple objet de curiosité. Christine Balfa, fille du « parrain » de la musique cadienne Dewey Balfa,

english translation / ac


ac adiana profile october/november 2019

Creole 2018

En plus d’honorer toutes ces femmes, les Festivals acadiens et créoles marquent les 90 ans de ce qui est considéré comme l’hymne national des Cadiens, « Jolie Blonde ». Titrée à l’origine « Ma Blonde est partie », les Frères Breaux étaient les premiers à l’enregistré avant qu’elle ne se métamorphose en l’archétype féminin que l’on reconnaît dans d’autres chansons. Là depuis le début, mais pas toujours reconnues, les femmes de la musique cadienne, en mythe ou en réalité, ne nous ont jamais « quitté pour s’en aller ». n