Page 1

The Seafood Business in Acadiana Commercial fishing is currently under siege as global trade continues to affect the bottom line of local fishermen

pg. 42


Anthony Goldsmith from Kajun Twist in Galliano


O u r 2018 crop of che fs wowin g th e regi o n w ith th eir creative cu is i n e

features Célébrer le mode de vie acadien


best chefs Each year we scour Acadiana in search of chefs who offer something new or are masters of regional classics. The 5 chefs for 2018 are all that — and in some cases, both.


Here’s the Catch Steeped in history and tradition, commercial fishing is a long-standing pillar of south Louisiana’s economy which is currently under siege as global trade continues to affect the bottom line of local fishermen by will kalec

by Jyl Benson photographs by Romero & Romero

oct/nov volume 37 number 5


lagniappe . . ...................................... 06

A little Extra note de l’editeur............................. 08

les ar tistes...................................... 59

Editor’s Note

Don’t Worry, Paint Happy Creating from a positive place, Lafayette artist Lauren Sibley Brasseaux found her niche by capturing what she knows and loves on canvas

lettres d’amour.............................. 10

Sunday Repast Dinner with family instilled valuable cultural and life lessons, especially deep family connections

les personnes . . ................................ 62 nouvelles de villes. . ....................... 12

News Briefs

food+drink sur le menu..................................... 23

Fill ‘Er Up! Arrive hungry to Truck Farm Tavern in St. Rose, then roll your very full self out and on down the road de la cuisine................................... 26

Autumnal Feast Oysters, roasted pork loin and cranberry tart make a cozy meal for cooler temps recettes de cocktails.. ................... 28

home+style la maison.. ...................................... 15

Mules Kicking with Cane Clementine’s new cocktail timed for sugarcane harvests and holiday soirées

Into a House of Music Brookshire Farm welcomes a revolving door of musicians and guests pour la maison.............................. 18

Closet Master Class Declutter your way to the dressing room of your dreams À la mode . . ..................................... 20

Soleful Selections Dark details take shape in fresh ankle boots

ON THE COVER: Cooking is in Anthony Goldsmith’s blood. Now at the helm of Kajun Twist in Galliano, many know his maternal great grandmother, Alzina Toups, who is still in the kitchen of her restaurant by the same name at age 91, and his grandfather, Anthony Toups, who was the proprietor of Toupsie’s, in Galliano. Goldsmith is one of our 2018 Best Chefs.

Without Reservations Lesa James-Lloyd didn’t grow up dreaming of operating her own hotel, but now that she does, she’s pouring her heart and soul (and pocketbook) into reviving The Juliet in downtown Lafayette

en français, s’il vous plaît........... 64

Une place à la table, enfin! La Louisiane francophone entre dans la cour des grands 5



A Little Extra


(n) cast net example: Les enfants et les adultes se rassemblent le long du bayou pour garrocher leurs éperviers dans l’eau en souhaitant pogner des chevrettes. translation: Children and adults gather along the bayou to throw their cast nets into the water hoping for a big catch of shrimp.

What’s you’re go-to destination “road trip restaurant” that you’ll drive for miles to get to, and what dish is it that you just have to order?


“Bonnie Breaux’s St. John Restaurant in St. Martinville has the absolute best fried alligator bites I’ve ever had and my husband agrees. They are so tender. I daydream about that appetizer!”


Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses more than 26 miles of coastal land stretching across Cameron and Vermillion Parishes, has some of the most abundant waters for casual shrimping and fishing in all of south Louisiana.

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, 5476 Grand Chenier Highway in Grand Chenier, WLF.Louisiana.Gov/ Refuge/RockefellerWildlife-Refuge.

Bronze Will Kalec for Magazine Writer of the Year

adver tising

Colleen Monaghan (504) 830-7215 / Sales Manager Rebecca Taylor (337) 298-4424 / (337) 235-7919 Ext. 230 interns Tia Suggs, Katherine Young Vice President of Sales

“We grew up traveling along Hwy 71 to visit my grandparents’ house and we’d always stop at Lea’s Lunch Room in Lecompte. I’ll still make that trip, now two hours away, just to indulge in their heavenly lemon ice box pie!” - Ashley


Cheryl Lemoine Abbie Dugruise digital media associate Mallary Matherne For event information call (504) 830-7264

Director of Marketing & Events Event Coordinator


Fishermen and women, families and kids can enjoy throwing a net for shrimp and crabs or casting a line for drum, trout and bass.

So fire up the boil pot and fryer, because after a visit to the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge you’re going to eat good tonight!

Errol Laborde Managing Editor Melanie Warner Spencer Associate Editor Ashley McLellan Copy Editor Liz Clearman Ar t Director Sarah George Lead Photographer Danley Romero Web Editor Kelly Massicot Editor in Chief

- Melanie

According to locals, catching the 25-pound per vehicle limit on shrimp is as easy as drinking a cold one on a Saturday afternoon. Shrimping and fishing does require a basic Louisiana Saltwater Fishing license, and the Refuge is open sunrise to sunset through Dec. 1.

International and Regional Magazine Association

Production Designers

Emily Andras Rosa Balaguer Meghan Rooney Traffic manager Topher Balfer “No distance is too far when I’m craving a burger from Judice Inn in Lafayette — there’s just something about that secret sauce!” - Topher


John Holzer Mallary Matherne Subscription Manager Brittani Bryant For subscriptions call (504) 830-7231 Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde Distribution Manager

office manager

Silver Sarah George for Cover Gold Denny Culbert for Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold Sarah George for Art Direction of a Single Story Gold Sarah George for Overall Art Direction Gold Cheré Coen and Denny Culbert for Food Feature


Bronze Will Kalec for Magazine Writer of the Year Bronze Danley Romero for Portrait Series Silver Denny Culbert for Photo Series Gold Denny Culbert for Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold Sarah George for Art Direction of a Single Story

110 Veterans Blvd. / Suite 123 / Metairie, LA 70005 / (504) 828-1380 / (877) 221-3512 128 Demanade / Suite 104 / Lafayette, LA 70503 / (337) 235-7919 ext. 230 Acadiana Profile (ISSN 0001-4397) is published bimonthly 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 2018 Renaissance Publishing LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Acadiana Profile is registered. Acadiana Profile is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Acadiana Profile are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

Gold Sarah George for Overall Art Direction Finalist Magazine of the Year

note de l’editeur


t doesn’t take much time spent with me in person — or viewing my social media feed — to realize I love food. While my paternal grandma was the cook in the family and passed down a love of experimenting in the kitchen, my maternal grandma and grandpa were much more inclined to dine out and bestowed upon me a passion for trying new (and new-to-me) restaurants. My family as a rule is pretty old school in their food preferences, favoring Southern classics over ethnic fare or anything remotely unfamiliar. Which makes me wonder: Where did I acquire my spirit of culinary adventure? My guess is that living in different cities and states outside of where I grew up in rural Kentucky and traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad is the root of it. Growing up, I certainly wouldn’t have imagined eating sushi, much less making it. In fact, even enchiladas, which became a staple meal when we lived in Texas and continues to make frequent appearances on my plate, seemed exotic to me until I hit my late 20s. That seems as downright absurd for me to write as it likely is for you to read. Since moving to Louisiana, I’ve learned that I love all sorts of local seafood beyond the cocktail and fried shrimp I grew up eating. Oysters (raw and cooked) and crawfish definitely top the list. For those, I almost always go out to a restaurant and let the pros do the work for me. Our story on page 42 about the fishing and shrimping business in the region is unfortunately not as happy as we’d hoped, but it’s a story worth telling and illustrates the struggle of the hardworking men and women who catch our food. This is a region filled with resilient and resourceful people and we hope to write an altogether different and brighter story in the coming years. Perhaps eating local seafood is something we can all do in the meantime. On a lighter note, one of my favorite features each year is our Best Chefs roundup. We have a heaping helping of talented individuals profiled on page 30 and we hope you love reading about them and trying their food as much as we did. Cheers!

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


acadiana profile october/november 2018

ĂŠquipe de vente

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

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales 504-830-7215 9

lettres d’amour

Karlos Knott is president of the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild and of Bayou Teche Brewing, founded in 2009 with his family. When not brewing, reading or writing about beer, he searches the region for the elusive perfect link of boudin.

About the Author:


Sunday Repast Dinner with family instilled valuable cultural and life lessons, especially deep family connections by Karlos Knott illustration by Christina Brown


acadiana profile october/november 2018

hough he lived and worked all the way in Baton Rouge, my Uncle Lambert would make the trip every Sunday with his wife Faye (my dad’s sister), and their daughter Lorna to my grandfather’s house in Bayou Portage, a tiny community just outside of Arnaudville. I can’t recall a Sunday my Uncle Lambert and Aunt Faye weren’t at my grandparents’ home — and this was in the days before the I-10 Atchafalaya Bridge was open, so for them it was quite an excursion. My parents and I, and my two brothers, were obligated to be there every Sunday as well — as were my father’s other three sisters and their families. Years later, just after my grandfather’s funeral, my Uncle Lambert told me there was no getting out of those Sunday visits to Papa’s house. He said on those rare occasions when he could think of a good excuse, my grandfather would phone him and say, “That’s a shame, we’re cooking one of your favorites Sunday, guinea gumbo.” Uncle Lambert said he would usually give in, but on the one or two times he replied, “Sorry, we really can’t make it,” my grandfather would come back with, “Too bad; I caught a lot of sac-a-lait that we’re going to fry.” My grandfather knew the promise of fried fish always worked on Uncle Lambert. For my cousins and me, these Sundays were centered on large midday meals that we called dinner. There was a rotation of boucheries, cochon de laits, fish fries, seafood gumbos, crawfish boils and rice and gravies, every meal cooked with the animals and vegetables raised right there on my grandfather’s farm. These dinners always concluded with courses of desserts and demitasses of café noir. In one room the adults would cut up and joke around in French, and in the other room (at the small table) the kids would speak English. My brothers and I watched over the years as my older cousins rose in seniority and were promoted to the grownups’ table. We’d spend the rest of the day playing on my grandparents’ farm. We’d stick two chicken feathers in a corncob to make a pretty low-tech toy helicopter. My brothers and I would build makeshift traps to catch chickens, or explore the woods behind the farm. On Easter Sundays we would Pacque eggs, and on the Sundays nearest New Year’s Day we’d exchange presents, just like the Cajuns did in the old days. Some Sundays there was work to do. There were field peas to shell, pecans and blackberries to pick or hay to bale. We looked forward to blackbird season, when my grandparents would give my brothers and me a shotgun, some shells and an old empty onion sack and tell us, “Don’t come back until this is full of blackbirds.” Returning like big game hunters with a sack full of trophies, my grandmother would reward us with a gumbo de tchoques — and if you’ve never had blackbird gumbo, well you just haven’t lived. I miss those Sundays — they are my nearest real-world experience of an imagined utopia. During those Sundays together, my grandparents, parents and family taught and entrusted us kids with our unique Cajun and Creole culture, and exposed to us the values of freedom, responsibility, work — and most importantly, family. We learned how to show love by cooking and eating and being together — a generational gift perhaps not unique to the Cajun culture, just perfected by it. n 11

nouvelles de villes news by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry calendar by Kelly Massicot

Food App Update


Festivals for October

UL Lafayette graduates Thomas Trahan and Gerald Huffman have created a new and improved version of their real-time, user-friendly PLATE app ( featuring the best local bar and restaurant deals. Launched in Lafayette, expansion plans across Louisiana and beyond are in the works.

1 Festivals Acadiens et Créoles OCT . 11-14 / Lafayette

Since the 70s, Festivals Acadiens Et Créoles has evolved into a fun-filled weekend of authentic Cajun food, dancing and art. The official opening of the festival is Oct. 12 with the ceremonial cutting of the boudin, followed by a traditional fais do-do.


Rice, Frogs and Fiddles

2 International Rice Festival OCT . 18-21 / Crowley

One of Louisiana’s biggest and oldest festivals celebrating agriculture in the state, the rice-themed weekend includes parades, music, a pageant and ricerelated activities. Guests can also experience an arts and crafts exhibit in conjunction with the festival and adjacent to the festival grounds.

3 Rougarou Festival OCT . 20-21 / Houma

Set at the end of October and themed after the mythical rougarou creature — with the head of a wolf and human body, like a werewolf — the Rougarou Festival blends Halloween fun with Cajun appreciation. The festival includes costume contests, a Krewe Ga Rou Halloween parade, music and more.


photo by david simpson


Headliners and Hot Bands Festival favorites like Grammy award-winners Wayne Toups, Steve Riley and Chubby Carrier and three-time Grammy nominee Roddie Romero return to Festivals Acadiens et Creoles ( Oct. 11-14, joining such newcomers as Daiquiri Queens, Mason Trail and Autumn Wild (performing tunes from a new CD honoring their legendary grandfather, D.L. Menard). Celebrations include the 30th anniversary of Grammy winners at the opening night fais do-do and the 50th anniversary of CODOFIL (Louisiana French: Myths and Movements exhibit). Catch the Veillée reunion or join in the jam sessions with Horace Trahan and other greats in Girard Park. A concert at Warehouse 535 ( Oct. 11 features hot bands and Grammy winners in a big musical revue plus various artists on the Legacy of Caesar Vincent album. Sample wild game jambalaya, BBQ boudin and shrimp-on-a-stick, cool off with Geauxcicles and see live cooking shows before two-stepping the night away.

acadiana profile october/november 2018

A non-GMO high-protein rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivar called Frontière was recently developed. It’s the first high-protein rice cultivar developed for commercial application anywhere in the world, say professors at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley.

Playlist Refresher

Grab those earbuds and pick up the pace in this lovely fall weather with energetic new albums: “Madness” by Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, “Kreole Rock and Soul” from Sean Ardoin, Yvette Landry’s “Louisiana Lovin’” and “Blackpot” by Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band. You’ll be dance-walking in no time.

Lake Charles

Loving Paula, Aaron Multi-platinum recording artist, Grammy Award winner and dancer, Paula Abdul performs hits like “Straight Up” at Golden Nugget Oct. 19 ( Early tickets are advised for A Magical Cirque Christmas Nov. 30 and Aaron Neville’s Christmas Show Dec. 14.


Cameron, Vermilion, Lafourche, Terrebonne

Festivals for November

Directly from the Docks Want the freshest seafood for those Thanksgiving dressings and casseroles? Check out a handy new website, louisianadirectseafood. com/ to find fresh-fromthe-boat seafood near you. Access the “Fresh Catch” messages in each region as fishermen post what they’re selling, in real-time, and how to buy their fresh catch just as it arrives on the docks. Info is also posted automatically on the Facebook pages of the four program areas: Direct Seafood hubs in Cameron, Delcambre, Lafourche-Terrebonne and the Southshore.

1 Yellow Rails and Rice Festival oct . 31-Nov. 4 / Jennings.

Festival organizers say the four-day event’s goal is “to provide participants a unique venue to view Yellow Rails while at the same time bringing birders and farmers together to realize the value to birds of the area’s ‘working wetlands.’”

2 Cracklin Festival NOV. 8-11 / Por t Barre

Since 1985, the Port Barre Lions Club holds the Cracklin Festival each year as an annual fundraiser for their philanthropic efforts. The highlight of the festival since its inception is the cracklin cookoff. Amateurs and professionals alike can parade their crackling-making skills in hopes of trophies and bragging rights. Guests can also experience rides, games, food and drinks, pageants and a parade.

3 Flea Fest Nov. 10-11 / Lake Charles

Flea Fest is a huge flea market festival that includes four acres of over 300 art and food vendors to explore. Flea Fest is set to include antiques, handcrafted items, collectibles and more, while offering a petting zoo and pony rides to include the whole family. Parking is free and Flea Fest tickets are only available at the event gates.

Hunting Made Easier

St. Landry, Evangeline, Acadia, Baton Rouge

Yams of Distinction As we ponder recipes for Thanksgiving turkey and the Cajun Holiday Trinity (rice dressing, maque choux and yams laced with Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup), there’s a buzz going around about a sassy new sweet potato. LSU AgCenter’s Don LaBonte says they’ve developed a promising new line that has excellent eye appeal. The LA 13-81 (current name) has showy, bright-red skin that maintains its sheen and flavor. Such new and improved sweet potato varieties started emerging 27 years after the state’s first commercial sweet potato district originated near Sunset in 1910. Prevailing as the leader: the copper-skin 1987 Beauregard yam with sweet, deep-orange flesh, a favorite among other varieties grown in St. Landry, Evangeline and Acadia parishes. Could the LA 13-81 possibly ascend as the new king of yams? Watch for updates.

Hunting licenses for the 2018-2019 season may now be purchased online at the following link: The e-license can be printed or saved to an electronic device which is kept with you while hunting.

Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Vermilion

Philanthropists Celebrated A Leaders in Philanthropy Award is given to individuals in each of the eight parishes of the Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) service areas each year. Designed to honor those who have made a major philanthropic impact on their communities, the 2018 CFA awards for Leaders in Philanthropy will be honored Nov. 15 in the Cajundome Convention Center (visit cfacadiana. org/ for a list of honorees and ticket info). 13


acadiana profile october/november 2018

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

la maison

Into a House of Music Brookshire Farm welcomes a revolving door of musicians and guests by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry photos by Chad Chenier

The imposing cherry wood customdesigned organ was built by Fritz Noack and his team after extensive collaborations with the Blanchets. It took nine months to build and then five weeks to reassemble, install and fine-tune to perfection after it was shipped from Georgetown, Massachusetts. The voicing has very distinct characteristics.

home + style

la maison


grove of majestic live oaks surrounds the circa-1840s house centered on Ben and Anne Blanchet’s 360acre property known as Brookshire Farm. Their cattle graze in pastures acquired by Ben’s ancestors after their arrival from France in 1795. “When the house was built, buffalo were roaming the prairie,” says Ben. “This was like the wild west.” A working farm near Abbeville, Brookshire sells “100% grass-fed, pasture-finished beef” at the Farm Store, at numerous farmer’s markets and online ( An organist, Ben is a businessman and a former New Orleans attorney with a law degree from Harvard. Anne, a singer with a vocal performance degree, runs the farm with their son, Bob. The prevailing musical talent (dating back generations) ranges from the Blanchets’ children and grandchildren to Anne’s brother who plays bagpipes in New Orleans carnival parades and Ben’s brother who plays the ukulele in his band in Hawaii. When the extended family gets together for annual Thanksgiving feasting, up to 60 members join in for Christmas carols and hymns. The final evening meal is Anne’s turkey-sausage gumbo with Ben’s homemade bread, enjoyed on the large “Thanksgiving porch” flanking a grand music room. “Since the porch looks west, you get wonderful sunsets across the pond and through the trees,” says Ben. Brookshire Farm’s original 1840s main room, still insulated with bousillage, remains intact as the current living room. The house expanded in size from the 1940s until 2011. The latest addition includes the vaulted-ceiling music room created for a 13-foot-tall, custom-designed Noack organ built in Massachusetts. The organ’s pipe shades were artfully carved to resemble the graceful branches of the 250-year-old live oaks. The music room has become a new public venue, thanks to the vision of Abbeville artist/photographer Megan Bertrand, president of the Vermilion Arts Council. In August, she debuted a benefit concert series, “Live at Brookshire Farm,” starting with an internationally acclaimed concert organist imported from Paris. The concerts benefit the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming premiere in Abbeville’s historic St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church on Feb. 15, 2019. The Dec. 1 Madrigal Dinner brings elaborate Christmas decorations, wassail, roasted boar’s head on the king’s table, a royal court presentation, humorous skits and carolers. (Tickets are available at While newcomers are discovering this storied house, the sound of music prevails on the prairie. n


acadiana profile october/november 2018

Designed with a respect for the great German organbuilders whose instruments were admired by Johann Sebastian Bach, Noack organs appear in cathedrals and prestigious universities worldwide.

An acoustical engineer from Chicago put the finishing touches in the music room, enhanced with a vaulted ceiling designed with five planes. Large windows and a porch provide grand views of the oaks. Guests gravitate to an expansive gourmet kitchen with a La Cornue built-in rotisserie after concerts. The music room extends from the main house, next to a master suite/ nursery building. Top right Segments of the house were built in stages around the original 1840s living room, a bousillage structure with cypress flooring. Upstairs bedrooms are entered via separate stairways. Bottom right Anne teaches their twin grandchildren piano. Left 17

As a certified professional organizer, Jenny Gautreaux, has decluttered homes from Wichita to New York City. Now back home in Lafayette, she’s creating order in the Acadiana area through her business, Complete Organization. About the Organizer:

home + style

pour la maison

Closet Master Class Declutter your way to the dressing room of your dreams by Marie Elizabeth Oliver photo by Romero & Romero steps

Master closet organization

1 Make a game plan. What kind of storage are you lacking?

2 Edit, edit, edit. Get rid of anything you don’t wear.

3 Categorize and color-code everything.

4 Hang clothes facing the same direction.

5 Store other items neatly, using bins, cubbies, hooks and racks.



rganizing your home can feel like a monumental task — especially when words like “magic” and “life-changing” are thrown into the mix. The good news? Just a few hours invested in decluttering high-traffic areas, like your closet, can save time and provide you with a sense of calm while getting dressed each morning, says Certified Professional Organizer Jenny Gautreaux of Complete Organization. Gautreaux first recommends thinking about the storage you wish you had. There are plenty of hacks and gadgets that can expand your space without a total closet reno. But before you buy anything, think about what can go. (You knew this was coming, right?) Gautreaux says she doesn’t have strict rules about determining what to toss, but questions like, “When is the last time you wore this?” usually do the trick. “When I work with my clients, sometimes all I have to do is look at them, and they know, ‘you caught me, I don’t really wear this,’” she laughs.

acadiana profile october/november 2018

Sorting clothes by category and color can also illuminate where you need to edit, Gautreaux adds. Once you have everything categorized, you can start determining the best spot for each group. Although she’s usually flexible, one thing Gautreaux insists on, is matching hangers all facing the same way — she’s partial to Huggable Hangers. If your closet doesn’t have built-in cubbies, Gautreaux opts for fabric bins and baskets. She always hangs belts, ties and jewelry — install a few hooks or invest in specialized hangers if you need. If you’re still out of space, you may have to cut even further. “We wear 20 percent of our wardrobe, 80 percent of time,” stresses Gautreaux. Chances are, you won’t miss it.n 19

home + style

a la mode

Fall fashion brings heavier textures into our wardrobes. However, Louisiana weather doesn’t require as much protection from the elements. Dabble in trends with accessories that are a fit for autumn in the south.

Soleful Selections Dark details take shape in fresh ankle boots by Ashley Hinson photo by Romero & Romero

Mind the cap

A black beret is the dark cherry atop fall outfits

The color black is elegant and modest, striking and nonchalant. The contradictions of French style echo these sentiments by drawing attention without asking. It gives the impression of uncomplicated cool. Take a nod from the original cool girl’s playbook with a woven black beret, like this piece from Amuse Society. For the fall fashion maven who doesn’t want hat hair, the black beret is the perfect hat. Hemline, 1910 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette, 337-406-1119,


ewel tones are autumn’s way of injecting color into the darker pieces of one’s wardrobe. Why limit yourself to your coat or sweater? Excellent accessories come in many fall colors, but it’s hard to beat the deep cranberry of these patent Alias Mae ankle boots. Its T-straps are suspended with the help of circular silver hardware, and the exposed heels are ideal for Louisiana’s warmer introduction to the holiday season. Shoe La La, 1921 Kaliste Saloom Road, Suite 119, Lafayette, 337-984-8618, n


acadiana profile october/november 2018 21


acadiana profile october/november 2018

food+drink Ça c’est bon

sur la menu

FILL ‘ER UP! Arrive hungry to Truck Farm Tavern in St. Rose, then roll your very full self out and on down the road by Jyl Benson photos by Jo Vidrine


Pecan smoked chicken, baby greens, roasted beets, goat cheese, grape tomatoes, sliced cucumber, fresh citrus, candied pecans and maple cane syrup vinaigrette

Roasted corn, poblano and cheddar cheese grits, pickled peaches, smothered collard greens and a bourbon-laced jus gravy accompany a hefty grilled pork chop

Bourbon Glazed Pork Chop:

food + drink sur la menu


3 Dishes to Try 1 Combination Smoked BBQ Plate of the Day

The size and heartiness of barbecue portions are a reminder of the building’s blue-collar past This plate serves up portions that may include smoked brisket, smoked chicken, smoked ribs, and smoked chicken wings. All barbecue is smoked daily and served with fresh bread from Wild Flour Bakery, a zippy house barbecue sauce, smothered collard Greens, baked beans, and a creamy potato salad.

2 Oyster Toast

Crispy fried Gulf oysters are set atop bed of Rockefeller spinach which is piled atop thick toasted bread slathered with rich lemon aioli

3 St . Rose Peacemaker

Crispy fried Gulf oysters, pecansmoked brisket debris, lush housemade tomato jam, and Creole cream cheese fondue are piled within a Leidenheimer loaf


acadiana profile october/november 2018


’ve always had a thing for places near the Mississippi River, thrilling in the twisting drive along curvaceous River Road as it winds its way up from below New Orleans into Acadiana and beyond. I delight in the verdant, reassuring levee to one side while ignoring the power plants and patches of industry that keep time with the occasional plantation and numerous decaying shacks on the other. About 30 minutes from New Orleans and just within the easternmost edge of Acadiana, the Truck Farm Tavern pops up, a colorful, pleasant surprise on the side of the road. Crafted from the restored and revamped roadhouse that was once home to the historic St. Rose Tavern, there are now large outdoor spaces for communal dining and events. Within, the colorful farmhouse decor is awash in natural light complemented by salvaged materials, antique farm implements and masses of vibrant art, including a dreamy rendering of the harbor in Havana, Cuba painted by William Woodward in 1921. It once hung in the United Fruit Company building in downtown New Orleans. The environment sets the stage for Chef Scott Bourgeois’ fun and inventive menu where classic comfort fare and Southern standards are tweaked and rethought. Everyone I have ever dined with at Truck Farm Tavern has fallen in love with the place. The location, the art collection, friendly, efficient service and the very easy prices immediately earn this place a top rating. A word to the wise: You may show up with your virtue intact but you will probably leave with it in tatters. The portions are as gigantic as the price tags are small and you will probably take home enough to graze upon for days. Case in point: One of my regular dining companions is my daughter’s 6-foot, 6-inch, 21 year-old boyfriend, whom I refer to as The Bottomless Pit. Even he hits the bottom at Truck Farm Tavern. Truck Farm Tavern is open Thursday through Saturday for lunch and closes early — 8 p.m. on Thursday and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. n

Bonus Bite

The 13th annual Blackpot Festival and Cookoff is Oct. 26 and 27 in Lafayette’s historic Vermilionville. One of the most distinctive festivals in Louisiana, this one celebrates with two days of dancing, food, camping and jamming. Musicians, artists and southern culture enthusiasts come together to create a gathering of south Louisiana’s hottest roots bands, as well as groups from all over the country. Live performances range from Cajun and Zydeco, to Creole, Swing, Hot Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, Americana, Irish and Old-Time. There is an old-fashioned blackpot cookoff, accordion contest, square dancing, and ample camping space for tents and RVs.

Blackpot Festival and Cookoff 300 Fisher Road Lafayette 337-233-4077 Truck Farm Tavern 11760 River Road. St. Rose 504-699-0099 25

pork loin tip: Calvados is an apple brandy from the Normandy region of France. It can be a bit pricey, and since you need only ¼ cup, regular brandy will work just fine.

food + drink de la cuisine starter

Cream of Artichoke and Oyster Soup 1

Autumnal Feast Oysters, roasted pork loin and cranberry tart make a cozy meal for cooler temps

To make croutons

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place 2½ cups cubed white bread in a large mixing bowl and drizzle generously with olive oil. Toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again. Place croutons on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from oven and cool completely before using.

2 In a large saucepan, melt 1 stick (8 ounces) butter over medium heat and add ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Whisk for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.

3 Add ¾ cup chopped onions and cook, stirring, until just clear, about 5 minutes. Slowly add 2 quarts chicken stock, whisking, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups chopped and drained artichoke hearts or bottoms (packed in water) and 6 ounces heavy cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 2 pints freshly shucked oysters and their liquor and simmer until the edges curl, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and Tabasco to taste. Serve warm.

by Marcelle Bienvenu photo & styling by Eugenia Uhl


ummer, my favorite season, has come and gone. No more casual suppers on the patio. It’s time for indoor gatherings featuring heartier fare. When the cooler autumn days arrive, I like to host a sit-down dinner with the table set with my mother’s sterling silver, china and crystal. If there’s a nip in the air, a fire in the fireplace makes for a cozy evening on Bayou Teche. The bald cypress trees have showered their leaves to the ground making a sienna-hued carpet along the banks, and we often hear the hooting of owls after the sun makes an early descent. The menu is simple but on the hearty side — a creamy soup with freshly shucked oysters for the first course, a main course of roasted pork loin flavored with Calvados, and cranberry tart for dessert. This is a good opportunity for me to use Mama’s collection of demitasse spoons from around the world, and her set of demitasse cups and saucers that I rarely take out of storage. We set the mood with music by Harry Connick, Jr. and Frank Sinatra. n

the desser t

Cranberry Crumb Tart Serve the tart with sweet whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a festive touch.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


acadiana profile october/november 2018

1 Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, combine 1½ cups all-purpose flour and 1¾ cups of sugar. Cut in 1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Continue cutting until mixture forms nickel-size clumps that crumb easily.

main course

Pork Loin with Apples, Cider and Calvados 1 (4½ to 5 pound) pork loin, trimmed 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon cayenne

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary 4 tablespoons butter 3 cups chopped yellow onions 1 tablespoon minced garlic 5 firm apples, cored and quartered ½ cup hard cider ¼ cup Calvados (apple brandy) Preheat the oven to 325 F. Tie pork loin at two-inch intervals with kitchen twine to hold its shape. In a small bowl, combine flour, cayenne, salt and pepper and rosemary. Rub this mixture evenly all over the loin. Heat two tablespoons of butter in a large heavy skillet and sear meat over high heat, turning often until evenly browned.

2 In a medium-size bowl, combine ¾ cup sugar (or more if you want it sweeter) with ½ teaspoon salt. Add 6 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed, drained and picked over (about two 12-ounce bags) and toss to coat well.

Transfer loin, with the pan juices to a large baking pan. Scatter onions and garlic around the roast. Cut up remaining butter and distribute evenly over vegetables. Cover with foil and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes, then add the apples and the cider to the pan. Baste everything with pan juices. Cover and cook for 30 minutes more. Increase oven temperature to 400 F and remove foil. Baste and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer the loin to a cutting board. Carefully remove twine and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer onions and apples to a platter. On top of stove, reduce the pan juices by half. Warm Calvados and carefully pour into the pan. It should flame, then die down. Keep a pan lid nearby in case the Calvados flares up. Simmer the sauce while you slice the pork loin. Arrange meat over apples and onions and serve with the sauce. Makes 8 to 10 servings

3 Spoon cranberries into the prebaked tart shell (visit to get our recipe to create a tart shell from scratch), mounding slightly in the center. Using your fingers, lightly squeeze pieces of crumb topping and drop gently over the berries. Do not press the topping into fruit.

4 Bake until the topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling around the edges, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. Unmold tart and place on a serving platter. Serve at room temperature. Makes 1 tart to serve 8 to 10

If there are no fresh cranberries available, buy frozen cranberries and place them on several layers of paper towels to allow them to leach out, then pat dry if necessary.

Rather than offer dinner rolls, you can opt to garnish the soup when serving with crispy croutons. These may be stored in an airtight container (after cooling completely) for up to 2 days.

Select firm apples such as Honey Crisp, Fuji or Gala for this application. 27

113 E. Main St., New Iberia 337-321-4003,

Clementine on Main:

food + drink recettes de cocktails

Mules Kicking with Cane Clementine’s new cocktail timed for sugarcane harvests and holiday soirées by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry photo by Romero & Romero


ustomers belly up to the 1890s tiger oak bar, gaze at Clementine Hunter’s soulful self-portrait, sip martinis, mules and margaritas, and then “cut da rug” at Clementine on Main, which reopened under new owners with live music, new chefs and craft cocktails. It’s Saturday night, and the place is jumping. We feast on dark-roux gumbo, juicy char-grilled filets dripping with whipped herb butter and fluffy bourbon-laced bread pudding by co-owner Jennifer Dold after strong libations by veteran mixologist and manager, Kyle Gonzales. He takes a chef-driven, seasonal approach with his craft cocktail creations. Most recently, it’s the new Sugarcane Apple Mule, laced with holiday pie spices and Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup, inspired by New Iberia’s festival and the October through December sugarcane harvest. A riff on the Moscow Mule (vodka, lime, ginger beer), it starts sweet with a tart undertone, and finishes slightly spicy with a tingle. “The Moscow Mule is one of the most popular cocktails in the mixology world right now, so we decided to create New Iberia’s very own version,” says Gonzales. “Our sugarcane history dates back to the 1750s, and it seemed only right to incorporate Steen’s [100% Pure] Cane Syrup to add a unique flavor. The apples and pie spice inspire the holiday season.” n

make it at home

Sugarcane Apple Mule Mule, also called a buck, is a name for a family of historical mixed drinks that involve ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus juice and any of a number of base liquors.


1 In a cocktail shaker add 4 slices Granny Smith apple, 1 tablespoon homemade apple butter, and 1 ounce Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup then muddle together.

acadiana profile october/november 2018

2 Add 2 ounces apple cider and a scoop of ice in the same shaker, then shake for 10 seconds. Strain the mixture from the shaker into a copper mule cup.

3 Add 1 pinch pie spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice), 1 ounce Tuaca (caramel and citrus liqueur) and 1½ ounces J.T. Meleck Vodka to the cup. Fill the cup with regular cubed ice. Top with 2 ounces ginger beer.

4 Add 2 apple slices, 1 pinch of pie spice on the apples and 1 sugarcane spear as garnish. 29

be s t

Each year we scour Acadiana in search of chefs who offer something new or are masters of regional classics. The 5 chefs for 2018 are all that — and in some cases, both.

by jyl benson photographs by romero & romero

for the miseries the French Acadians endured at the hands of the British during Le Grand Dérangement when they were forced from their homes in Nova Scotia under threat to pledge allegiance to the English king or face death. Many of those who fled resettled in 22 parishes throughout southwestern Louisiana. They started again, often with nothing but the black pots they had carried on their long journey. They remained largely isolated and lived off of the land until Interstate 10 was cut through their part of the state beginning in the late 1960s. Centuries after their arrival Louisiana's Acadians are in possession of an enviable culture undeniably rich in language, art and —especially — music and gastronomy. ¶ While most world cuisines are based on the bounty of either the land or the sea, the Acadian pantry is based on both: game, fowl and domestic meat — mostly pork — pour in from the prairies along with vegetables and spices, and both finfish and shellfish are hauled in by the bushels from the rivers, lakes and bayous. ¶ When it comes to eating and living well the Acadians have it all. What follows are the riches of Acadian chefs and cooks who best reflect the area's current culinary culture. The result is as diverse as the culture itself: men and women of different ethnicities and life experiences sharing in, and sharing of, the bounty of Louisiana's swamp floor pantry. Perhaps it is divine payback



was born into Cajun culinary royalty, a distinction bestowed upon him by his maternal great grandmother, Alzina Toups, the legendary cook behind the eponymous operation that still has her in the kitchen three nights a week at age 91, and his grandfather, Anthony Toups, who was the proprietor of Toupsie’s, Galliano’s only five star restaurant until the family sold it in 2009. Culinary school was unnecessary for Goldsmith, 28. Instead he absorbed his craft organically through large Sunday dinners and endless extended family gatherings. “Food and family are the basis of our culture,” he says. “Our culture down here is one outsiders don’t realize or really understand. It always comes as a surprise to them.” Those in the family who do not cook for a living earn their way plying the area waters for the shrimp, oysters, crabs, and finfish, all of which Goldsmith serves at Kajun Twist. Located just blocks from the neighborhood where Goldsmith grew up and his extended family still resides, Kajun Twist is a casual place that grew out of a gas station founded in 1986. Checkered linoleum floors, walls sheeted in galvanized metal, and unclothed, red-topped tables form a festive backdrop for a menu that ranges from excellent fried chicken, chicken fricassee made with a rich, dark roux, smothered meat, strips of duck breast with a dipping sauce, and hefty poor boys stuffed with deliciousness like friend, salty Gulf oysters and shrimp boulettes.


Duck Tenderloin Strips You don't see duck tenderloin strips offered very often. Try them here breaded, fried and served with a zesty dipping sauce.

Seafood Platter

Country fried steak

It's not on the menu so you will have to ask for the seafood platter. It arrives heaped with expertly friend catfish, shrimp and oysters that were surely on the boat no more than a couple of hours before you ordered. Goldsmith has major family connections.

On Mondays the daily special is country fried steak served with mashed potatoes, the ultimate comfort meal.

Food and family are the basis of our culture. Our culture down here is one outsiders don’t realize or really understand. It always comes as a surprise to them. 32

acadiana profile october/november 2018

Anthony Goldsmith Kajun Twist 17972 W. Main St. Galliano 985-632-7272 33

Jacqueline Salser Chez Jacqueline 114 East Bridge St. Breaux Bridge 337-277-4938


acadiana profile october/november 2018

lassically-trained chef and native of Saint Germain-en-Laye, located about 20 miles outside of Paris, Jacqueline Salser is a fascinating woman of 60-something years. In 1989 she visited tiny Breaux Bridge on a whim following a divorce from a Texan and stuck around to open a Chinese restaurant, which she operated for 11 years before moving down the block to open Chez Jacqueline, where she executes her native culinary genre with a Cajun flair. The atmosphere here is as charming and eclectic as Salser herself. There’s a player piano that’s been for sale (with 55 scrolls) for “$3,500 OBO” for at least 10 years, seemingly random collections of family photographs, oil paintings by noted Breaux Bridge artist P.G. “Demo” Demorelle, silk flower arrangements, stuffed toy animals, and a curious spaceship-like light fixture. A paper mache likeness of the Eiffel Tower rises from the corner bar, which is encircled by an armrest clad in red pleather under a glittering sign that reads “Top Chef.” The sign looks just like the backdrop seen on the Food Network show by the same name but, in reality, it was part

of a headdress Salser wore when she served as a dignitary for the Royal Order of the Unicorn, a local Mardi Gras krewe. Juxtapose all of this with bisque bobbing with stuffed crawfish heads, coquille St. Jacques thick with cheese and cream, escargot swimming in a classic French garlic butter kissed with parsley, and Parisian-style stuffed eggs topped with lump crabmeat and a memorable experience is certain to ensue. Come for the food, but stay for the gracious hospitality served up by Salser and her daughter, Flo.


Coquille St. Jacques For the Coquille St. Jacques a large scallop shell arrives brimming with shrimp and small scallops that are heavily cloaked in a rich cream sauce and topped with cheese before it toasts up under the broiler.

Large Sautéed Shrimp and Golden Peaches Seafood Ceviche

Though Jacqueline already has an extensive menu she adds on as the desire strikes. A recently visit was a delight with large, fresh shrimp served in a simple sauté and a golden ceviche brimming with fresh seafood.

Stuffed Eggs Get an order of the Parisian-style stuffed eggs for the table. Rich and decadent, they arrived topped in a heap of lump crabmeat bound with homemade mayonnaise. 35


Housemade bacon

drove up and down Johnston

Street a half dozen times, my GPS insisting Avec Bacon was right there until I finally broke down and just called the place. “Look for the Baskin Robbins,” Paul Ayo said. “We’re right behind it.” So then I was obliged to drive up and down a half dozen times until I finally spotted the faded sign, obscured by a palm tree in one direction. There, behind a noodle joint at the end of the parking lot, Avec Bacon finally came into view. While the exterior of the small restaurant is pure strip mall the interior is straight up juke joint with tin and weathered wood surfaces, folksy art and a menu scratched out on a blackboard behind the counter. Ayo, 43, bald, lavishly bearded and sporting a full colorful sleeve tattoos, positively thrums with high-strung energy as he takes orders, cooks, runs

the cashier and deals with the line, which is close to flowing out the door. It takes a while to find the place and you will wait— first in line then at the table—your stomach growling. It’s worth the wait. Ayo’s route to the place he opened earlier this year was a circuitous one. A child of south Louisiana, he started cooking at an early age, unpredictably favoring a stainless wok over a castiron Dutch oven as his vessel of choice. Then be became a dog trainer. Then he spent 10 years managing a motorcycle and ATV dealership. Then he opened an upscale kitchenware shop in River Ranch. Finally he started Avec Bacon. At first it existed as delivery, exclusively via Waitr. However, demand for Ayo’s unique bacon forced him into a brick and mortar location in just a few short months. The secret to the toothsome, chewy bacon starts with center-cut pork belly that is rubbed with unrefined raw sugar, sea salt, black pepper and a bit of curing salt. The meat cures for three days before the rub is washed off and the belly is smoked overnight over maple wood. Ayo then sells the bacon — his muse — au naturel from a cooler as well as worked into sandwiches (the LGBT combines spring mix, gouda cheese, bacon, tomato and spicy mustard on multi-grain bread from Poupart’s Bakery), entrée salads, cinnamon rolls(!) and two different incarnations of bread pudding — white chocolate with bacon and bark bread with bacon caramel. It’s all good.

Buy a slab of house-made bacon from the counter, bring it home and use it in everything. The toothsome, chewy bacon starts with center-cut pork belly rubbed with unrefined raw sugar, sea salt, black pepper and curing salt. The meat cures for three days before it is smoked overnight over maple wood.

Avec Bacon BLT That insanely good bacon is layered with spring mix, sliced of ripe tomato, and spicy mayo then served on multigrain bread from Poupart's Bakery. Add melted Gouda cheese for a LGBT.

Bread Pudding Available in two varieties; white chocolate with hunks of bacon; and a dark bread variety topped with rich with bacon caramel.

Paul Ayo Avec Bacon Cafe 4807 Johnston St. Lafayette 337-789-6121 37

Madonna Broussard Laura’s II 1904 W. University Ave. Lafayette 337-593-8006


acadiana profile october/november 2018

nthony Bourdain hit Madonna Broussard

with a double-edged sword this year. First, he immortalized her, most deservedly, on his hit show CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” when he visited the region to cover the Courir de Mardi Gras (Cajun Mardi Gras). Then, news of Bourdain’s death by suicide broke on June 8, as Broussard was planning a viewing party for the episode set to air June 17. First Broussard, 49, hosted a vigil for Bourdain. Then, in the same week, she hosted the posthumous viewing party. “It was a thrill and a shock, happy and sad, all at once,” Broussard said. Bourdain’s fondness for the food and culture of Acadiana was well documented as he returned again and again seeking content for his TV shows. During his February visit to Laura’s II he raved about the succulent turkey wings for which the restaurant is famous. Like her mother and her grandmother before her, Broussard uses the same recipe: Every afternoon she first marinates, then stuffs about 80 meaty skin-on turkey wings with garlic, trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper), and spices before she nestles them closely together into aluminum steam table pans. She then bakes them, uncovered, to achieve a texture that stays crisp on top while the meat on

the bottom becomes tender to the bone, melting down to make rich brown gravy that soaks the rice in the bottom of the pan. Laura’s was founded 40 years ago under very humble circumstances in Broussard's grandmother’s home. Broussard says it was the first AfroCreole restaurant in Lafayette and, after her grandmother’s house burned down, the restaurant operated out of a trailer for a while before settling into its current location and garnering the moniker Laura’s II. Since that time the only real change is the availability of those soughtafter turkey wings. First, they were available once a week. Thirty years ago you could find them twice weekly on Tuesday and Wednesday. Now they are available every day during the four or five hours when Laura’s II is open. Today Broussard hints at a possibility of expanding into another city to capitalize on her hard work and newfound fame.


Stuffed Pork Roast Stuffed Baked Turkey Wings Head in on a Sunday for the stuffed pork roast that comes with rice dressing and two sides. The creamy potato salad and smothered green beans are particularly good with it.

The meaty wings are stuffed with trinity and spices, then baked slowly to form their own gravy that sinks into the rice underneath. You get two side with it. Gild the lily with creamy macaroni and cheese, and mustard greens studded with porky goodness.

fried chicken The fried chicken is coated in a thick, shaggy, greaseless batter and it is served every day.

It was a thrill and a shock, happy and sad, all at once. 39

ike so many chefs and cooks

in Acadiana Chef Kevin Templet was born into the world of Cajun cookery. His professional training started at his uncle’s meat market and grocery store when he was a teenager then advanced to the white tablecloth Flanagan’s where he ultimately worked his way up to executive chef before he left in 2006 to assume the top spot at the elegant, historic Fremin’s in downtown Thibodeaux. With a hearty personality that quickly transforms strangers into friends, Templet is a natural in the arena of cooking competitions, the first of which he experienced in grade school. “My mom was with the 4H Club and I started competing when I was very young,” Templet said. Years later in 2012, he took second place in the highly competitive Louisiana Seafood cook-off. Templet’s role as mentor is important to him and he frequently employs students from the nearby Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University to work the kitchen with him at Fremin’s. The chef’s focus is on regional favorites like charbroiled oysters sizzling in rich garlic butter and reinterpretations of Cajun classics like lumps of backfin crab meat in cream sauce under a crisp crackle of Italian breadcrumbs and melted cheeses; smoked duck and andouille gumbo; fillets of fresh flounder rolled into roulades around butter seafood dressing and topped with sautéed jumbo shrimp, tomatoes and mushrooms; and fried soft shell crabs crowned with lumps of yet more crab and a brandy and mushroom cream reduction sauce. He uses his days off to fish, work a vegetable and herb garden, cook and plan menu specials. Recent features included diver scallops wrapped in crisp bacon, set atop a puree of sweet potatoes and finished with pecan dust, and cakes of local boudin topped with medallions of filet mignon and sauced with Madeira demi-glace.


Crabmeat St. James Start your meal with Crabmeat St. James hunks of jumbo lump backfin crabmeat in a zesty cream reduction topped with Italian breadcrumbs, Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. It brown up under the broiler before it's served with garlic toast points. This rich one is for sharing.

Crawfish Tortellini Carbonara The Crawfish Tortellini Carbonara combines fat, sautéed Atchafalaya Basin crawfish tails in a cream reduction sauce with Parmesan, bits of fresh tomato, bacon and tasso cream served over plump, cheesefilled tortellini.

Flounder Roulades For Fremin's signature Flounder Roulades fresh fillets are rolled into roulades around a buttery seafood dressing and topped with sautéed jumbo shrimp, tomatoes and mushrooms;.

My mom was with the 4H Club and I started competing when I was very young.


acadiana profile october/november 2018

Kevin Templet Fremin’s Restaurant 402 W. Third St. Thibodaux 985-449-0333 41


acadiana profile october/november 2018

Steeped in history and tradition, commercial fishing is a long-standing pillar of south Louisiana’s economy which is currently under siege as global trade continues to affect the bottom line of local fishermen By William KaleC 43

Down here, fishing the fertile inland waters and the bountiful Gulf of Mexico for sustenance and a salary has been a way of life for as long as anyone can remember It’s not just what the fishermen do. It’s who they are. 


acadiana profile october/november 2018

“Yeah, this is my job, but it’s more than that,” says Acy Cooper, Jr., a longtime commercial shrimper and board member at Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing — a state-run advocacy group for the industry. “My family’s life has been spent on the water. A lot of families have grown up on the water.” That sense of generational pride — a routine wrapped in romanticism — is the backbone of the economic powerhouse that is commercial fishing in Louisiana. As the nation’s second-leading seafood supplier, Louisiana accounts for 70 percent of the oysters caught in the United States, harvests 313,000 alligators annually, 110 million pounds of crawfish per year and boasts a shrimp industry that employs 15,000 people and generates a $1.3 billion annual economic impact. As a whole, Louisiana Seafood is responsible for a $2.4 billion yearly economic impact.  One out of every 70 jobs in Louisiana is tied to the seafood industry. “There was a time where kids would drop out of school early — I’m talking 8th grade — because of the opportunity to make money on the water, fishing and shrimping,” Cooper says. “I tried to get my boys to go to college, but they got into the family business with me. “But it’s not like that anymore. That’s becoming rarer and rarer with the ways things are today. Why would you want to do this?” Though fully-ingrained into the south Louisiana culture, independent commercial fishermen have seen their profit margins dip dramatically in the past decade, as operation costs continue to rise while an influx of foreign imports — particularly from Asia — have driven down the price per pound to break-even-at-best levels.  “For generations, Louisianans have developed a culture and economy surrounding our seafood industry,” Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, said at a press conference in July 2018. “We are especially proud of our shrimp harvested directly from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico; however,

“We are especially proud of our shrimp harvested directly from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico; however, the entire seafood industry has been in severe decline over the last decade due to unfairly imported seafood.” Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser 45

the entire seafood industry has been in severe decline over the last decade due to unfairly imported seafood.” Recognizing the issues plaguing the seafood industry — particularly in the shrimping sector — Nungesser implored Louisiana’s Congressional delegation to introduce a 10-cent-per-pound inspection fee on all shrimp imports. The legislation would first insure the safety of foreign-raised seafood, which often is injected with antibiotics and other chemicals to produce a larger haul. Second, the inspection fee would make Louisiana-based seafood more competitively priced. While holding foreign seafood to the same health standards as domestic seafood, will aid the cause of those who make their living on the south Louisiana waters, it won’t solve the issues dogging local fishermen completely.   One potential solution would be for the federal government to subsidize certain fishermen or certain types of seafood catches the same way it subsidizes American farmers who grow certain crops when that crop commodity falls in price. For instance, sugar cane and sugar beet farmers receive more than $1 billion annually in government subsidies. Cooper strongly endorses placing a firm cap on foreign imports allowed to enter the American marketplace annually — a suggestion that seems somewhat radical to free marketers except that these restrictive policies are already in place for many agricultural goods. Doing so would prevent foreign sources from flooding the market with product, thus artificially driving down the price per pound to the point where it financially cripples domestic operators.   “Once this gets in your blood, you can’t get it out of you,” Cooper Jr. says. “I wouldn’t know what else to do, honestly. I know a lot of us on the water are the same way. But we’re older, and it’s just getting harder and harder at these prices. You start to worry about things like expenses, and how am I going to pay my bills? “For as hard as we work, those are things a shrimper should never have to worry about.”


acadiana profile october/november 2018

THE IMPACT OF A SPECIES shrimp The shrimp industry accounts for 15,000 jobs and an annual impact of $1.3 billion for Louisiana.

oyster Seventy percent of the oysters caught in the U.S. are from the Gulf Coast. Louisiana’s commercial oyster industry, which accounts for almost 4,000 jobs, has an economic impact of $317 million annually.

CRAWFISH Louisiana has more than 1,000 crawfish farmers, plus more than 800 commercial fishermen who catch wild crawfish. The 110 million pounds of crawfish harvested each year have an annual economic impact of $120 million.

alligator 313,000 wild and farmed alligators are harvested per year in Louisiana. Alligator harvests have a total annual economic impact of $104 million.

fish CRAb Crabs from Louisiana generate an annual economic impact of $293 million and more than 3,000 jobs.

A myraid of factors, both foreign and domestic, have severely cut into the profit margins for those who make their living on the water's bounty. 47

special promotional section

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 1

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acadiana profile october/november 2018

specialspecial promotional promotional section section

RIGHT TO LEFT: Cary B. Bryson, Bart Bernard, Gus Rantz, Frankie Russo, Dave Romagosa and Ruffin Rodrigue 3

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Bart Bernard Personal Injury Lawyer

Bart Bernard, a Lafayette native, has committed his life and career to helping people. In addition to helping people who have been injured in accidents, or harmed by pharmaceuticals and other devices, he has always been substantially involved in this community. He participates in annual charitable giving to organizations such as Dreams Come True of Acadiana, Susan G Komen, Ragin Cajun Athletics, and multiple academic and athletic programs. Bart was voted Best Personal Injury Lawyer two years in a row by The Times of Acadiana and named Top 100 Lawyers of Acadiana 2018 by Acadiana Profile. He also serves on the boards of the Lafayette Bar Association and Louisiana Association for Justice. Despite his demanding work life, he always manages to balance the personal and academic lives of his three children. Whether he’s at the practice field or in the courtroom, Bart is relentless at giving it his all.

Clothing provided by F Camalo Clothing provided by F. Camalo

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Frankie Russo Founder & CEO of Potenza Inc.

Frankie Russo never flinches. He’s learned the value of every success and every failure, going all out in every situation to bring the highest value to Potenza Inc.’s stakeholders, employees, and clients. He credits an early decision to prioritize re-investment in his company and products rather than divert profits away and into other investments as a large part of Potenza’s success. As the primary shareholder, he’s also the primary investor. “Today, my mission in life is to help other entrepreneurs succeed both in the U.S. and abroad. Our company’s innovations and services help us fulfill this mission and our profits help us share it with the world through micro finance for small entrepreneurs,” says Russo. He believes every “Kingfish” should also invest in a full personal life. For Russo, that’s enjoying a rich family life, traveling, and working towards a private pilot’s license.

Clothing provided by F Camalo 5

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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.

Clothing provided by F Camalo


acadiana profile october/november 2018

special promotional section

Ruffin Rodrigue Owner/Proprietor Ruffino’s on the River

A former Louisiana State University All-American lineman, Ruffin Rodrigue is the owner of Ruffino’s on the River, the premier Italian-Creole fusion restaurant in Lafayette. Rodrigue also owns and operates Ruffino’s in Baton Rouge. Named Louisiana’s Marketer of the Year by SME Baton Rouge in 2016 and Restaurateur of the Year by the Louisiana Restaurant Association in 2015, Rodrigue has also earned praise from Emmy-winning college football analyst and anchor Kirk Herbstreit, who named Ruffino’s the “Best Restaurant in the Country” on ESPN’s annual Herbie Awards. Rodrigue is proud to offer financial and fundraising support to a number of regional organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Elite Group, No Kid Hungry, Dreams Come True, Cypress Springs Mercenary Center Foundation, and countless others. Rodrigue’s forthcoming first book, Beyond Genuine, covers the remarkable stories and theories behind extraordinary hospitality experiences.

Clothing provided by F Camalo 7

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Gus Rantz President/Principal at AMG Specialty Hospitals

As President of Acadianabased healthcare company AMG, Gus Rantz has transformed a small, regional company into a national, top-ten, post-acute care specialty hospital provider serving the most critically ill patient populations across the country.  “I’m constantly amazed by the physical and mental strength that our patients demonstrate when dealing with very difficult health circumstances. It makes it hard to complain when I think I’m having a bad day,” says Gus.  While Gus has successfully led AMG through acquisitions, turnarounds, and ever-changing regulatory red tape over his 13-year tenure, he gives the credit for all of AMG’s success to its employees.  “I have been blessed professionally with mentors, partners, and a leadership team that have helped grow AMG to amazing heights, but none of it would be possible without the thousands of amazing, life-saving people that go to work every day with ‘AMG’ on their shirts and scrubs,” he says.


acadiana profile october/november 2018

special promotional section

Dave Romagosa Founder of the Cornerstone Financial Group, Inc.

As Founder and President of the Cornerstone Financial Group, Dave Romagosa provides estate, tax, retirement planning and investment services to individuals, businesses, and nonprofits. Known for their “southern-style,” personal service, Dave and his associates are privileged to work with successful entrepreneurs and closely held businesses in South Louisiana and Texas. A ULL graduate and adjunct faculty member, he holds a Master’s Degree in Financial Services as well as Certified Financial Planner ©, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, and Chartered Financial Consultant designations. Cornerstone is a branch office of LPL Financial, a member of FINRA and SIPC*. “Mary and I are humbled by what our community has given to our family; now, it’s our turn to return the favor,” says Dave. He has served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana and Hospice of Acadiana. Having served as co-chairs of The Night of the Child, he and Mary have provided numerous programs with fundraising and financial support. *Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC

Clothing provided by F Camalo 9


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acadiana profile october/november 2018 57


acadiana profile october/november 2018

culture joie de vivre

les artistes

DON’T WORRY, PAINT HAPPY Creating from a positive place, Lafayette artist Lauren Sibley Brasseaux found her niche by capturing what she knows and loves on canvas by Will Kalec portrait by Romero & Romero

“I’m obsessed with detail,” Lauren Sibley Brasseaux says. “I really focus one thing, one element. I don’t like distraction, so I tend to paint one thing, which allows me to capture every part of that one thing — bringing out elements that you otherwise couldn’t if you didn’t have that center of attention.”

detail oriented:

culture les artistes


hen it comes to art, explanation of inspiration is often insufferable. The mere mention of the word serves as a launching pad for lengthy dialogue, for waxing poetic, for overusing commas and avoiding periods, an excuse to put the tornoff pages of that old Secret Santa Word-of-the-Day desk calendar to exhaustive use. Then, there’s Lafayette artist Lauren Sibley Brasseaux. Here’s her artistic inspiration: “Yeah, I paint what makes me happy,” she says. Annnnnd that’s it. Simply stated. Yet don’t be fooled, because what Brasseaux lacks in long-windedness she more than makes up for with her signature style – whimsical yet realistic, she’s been told – and a rare ability to cause observers to re-examine what they see in their everyday, and view it again, for the first time. For those reasons, Brasseaux has made her mark on the cluttered and competitive Acadiana art scene, landing coveted invites to The Big Easel event for the past couple years and seeing her pieces hang in places like University Medical Center in New Orleans and City Club in Lafayette. “I’m obsessed with detail,” Brasseaux says. “I really focus one thing, one element. I don’t like distraction, so I tend to paint one thing, which allows me to capture every part of that one thing – bringing out elements that you otherwise couldn’t if you didn’t have that center of attention.” In addition to her paintings, Brasseaux opened up her own custom stationary company in 2014 called Sibley Designs. Incorporating similar flair found on her work in canvas, Brasseaux designs invitations for myriad events including bridal showers, baby showers, graduation announcements, Mardi Gras balls and, of course, weddings. “The invitations and the paintings … you’re creating but the vision is often different,” Brasseaux says. “With the invitations, I do a lot of weddings and showers, so you’re main goal is to make it about them — whether the bride wants a certain color scheme, or to feature their China on the shower invitations. So it’s a different gear, even though it’s still done in my style. “With painting, it’s yours to create. Even in a commission piece — let’s say someone wants you to do a painting of their house — they’re picking the subject but I’m choosing what to bring out and what to emphasize. I’m finding and choosing those elements to bring out with great detail, which is my style.” n


acadiana profile october/november 2018

BUSINESS AND PLEASURE: In addition to doing commissioned paintings, Brasseaux also runs a custom stationary company specializing in invitations for events like weddings, showers and graduations.


Lauren Sibley Brasseaux

You mentioned that your inspiration is generally things that make you happy, but how does inspiration hit you? “It can be driving down the road, anywhere, and I’ll be taking pictures of stuff I just know I have to paint….I can’t just let it pass. I can’t just let it roll by. I like to capture that moment, and the pictures are a reference point. Now, I won’t always do it as it is in the picture — I’ll change colors or something — but it is that reference point.” But how do you decide something is worthy of a picture? “Wow, I guess it’s pretty automatic. I went to Italy with my family this summer, and they knew in advance that if I saw something we were going to have to stop. ‘OK, let’s wait for Lauren while she takes 500 pictures of that tree.’ But I’ll see it — a flower, that tree — and I can’t not stop. Put it in the ol’ memory bank for later. I have to take it.” So, then, it’s not easy to travel with you is what you’re saying? “If you don’t know me, then yeah, it probably would be a pain to travel with me. [Laughs] But my friends and my family know what to expect. And I’m great a catching up. ‘Go ahead, I’ll catch up with you!’ So it’s not too bad.” 61

Despite a sharp learning curve, James-Lloyd dedication to her guests has breathed new life into the building, making it a must-stay for out of towners.


culture les personnes


Top 3 hallmarks for any top-notch hotel 1 Customer Service

“You have to have an attitude to serve. I tell my staff, ‘If you came to work at 75, I need you to raise your energy to 125.’ We’re a female-owned, independent hotel. So we aim high. We want to give you an experience. Something to remember. Something to tell a friend about. A reason to come back. Once we have your business, we want to keep your business.”

2 Cleanliness

“We can’t be the biggest. We can’t be the fanciest. But we can be the cleanest. In our short period of operating The Juliet, I’ve turned over some housekeeping staff, and they’ve told me, ‘You know, you’re the only hotel in town with standards like this.’ And I find that amazing, because ever hotel should be like that. I don’t want anyone to look back and wonder, ‘Did I stay at a dirty hotel?’”

3 A Sense of Pride

“It shocks me how many hotel owners don’t go to their hotels. They just look at the numbers. I can’t do that. I have to be hands-on. I have to be present. Literally, hands-on. A lot of my guests, I give them my cell phone number. If I have a bride, we doesn’t have to panic, she doesn’t have to stress. Text me at 2 in the morning and I’ll text you back first thing when I wake up.”


WITHOUT RESERVATIONS Lesa James-Lloyd didn’t grow up dreaming of operating her own hotel, but now that she does, she’s pouring her heart and soul (and pocketbook) into reviving The Juliet in downtown Lafayette. by Will Kalec portrait by Romero & Romero


o, this isn’t anything like Monopoly, Lesa James-Lloyd clarifies. Owning a hotel – especially one as historic and woven into the fabric of downtown Lafayette as The Juliet Hotel on Jefferson Street – isn’t a game. Although, upon further contemplation, James-Lloyd concedes owning a hotel is a little like the capitalistic classic from our youth. At least in one regard, anyway. Because this is the ultimate roll of the dice. On April 25, 2018 – one day before Festival International consumed downtown Lafayette – James-Lloyd reopened the doors of The Juliet Hotel, welcoming the world to this 20-room boutique abode with a megawatt smile that concealed the butterflies fluttering in her stomach. Why the nerves, especially after having three months to get this place into shape after the ownership transfer? “I’ve never worked in a hotel before,” she confesses. “So therefore, I’ve never owned a hotel before. But I walked by it one day and thought it was cute. Then, two weeks later someone at my church told me it was for sale and I figured, ‘Well, how hard can it be?’” Um, hard. Fitting that James-Lloyd is the wife of a pastor, because the revival of The Juliet Hotel over the past half-year has been nothing short of a miracle. From an afterthought plagued by iffy online reviews, James-Lloyd and her diligent staff have labored to change The Juliet’s narrative one guest at a time. As she says, “When you only have 20 rooms, you have to go above and beyond.” Doing just that has been a team effort. From January to late April, female members of the church congregation volunteered to clean up The Juliet Hotel every Saturday. For a month, James-Lloyd’s 76-year-old mother pressed pillow cases, while her daughter figured out how to operate this place. “We started from square one,” she says. “How do you take reservations? How does the phone system work? That was pretty funny. How do you get on Hotwire and Expedia? OK, I figured that out, but then it was something else. ‘We’re gonna need staff, so we need to hire them.’ And then we need to train them, because they’re a reflection of us, as a whole.

acadiana profile october/november 2018

“Just quirky little things, things that you don’t think about until you do something like give up a steady paycheck to decide you’re gonna run a hotel,” James-Lloyd continues. “The hotel industry is crazy.” It’s also demanding. Name the hat, James-Lloyd has worn it. She’s the owner, obviously. But she’s also a front desk clerk, a breakfast chef, a swimming pool skimmer, a sheet folder, a toilet paper-roll refiller and a soon-to-be Rosetta Stone purchaser since a lot of her guests speak French and she wishes to communicate with them in their own language. “It’s all about having a servant heart,” she says. “Because you’re serving people. To me, it’s an honor that they’d even consider visiting our city, our culture and when they do that, choosing to stay at The Juliet. I want to give them the service they expect, because they honored us with their presence and patronage.” Despite Lafayette’s hotel boom during the past decade – with new national chains popping up near the Cajundome and Kaliste Saloom Road – The Juliet stands alone downtown, a distinction James-Lloyd sees as a prime opportunity. Because of its prime location, The Juliet Hotel is a mere steps away from the new Rock ‘N’ Bowl in Lafayette, countless restaurants and bars dotting Jefferson Street, and scheduled festivals and outdoor music nights at Parc de Lafayette or Parc Sans Souci. Beyond that, The Juliet’s charm and original architecture makes for an ideal setting to house wedding parties or for locals to plan a romantic staycation. “The standard isn’t the owner’s standard, it’s the customers’ standard,” she says. “So that’s how you approach each room.You tell yourself, ‘If I was paying money for this room, is this clean enough for me? Is this nice enough for me?’ You answer the question yourself, so that by the time the customer checks in they don’t even need to ask it.” n 63

culture en français, s’il vous plaît

Une place à la table, enfin! La Louisiane francophone entre dans la cour des grands par David Cheramie portrait par Fusion Photography

For an English translation, visit


our clore cette série célébrant le 50e anniversaire du CODOFIL, j’aimerais vous poser une devinette : Trouvez l’intrus parmi l’Argentine, la Corée du Sud, la Pologne, la Louisiane et l’Ukraine. Si je vous demandais quel pays n’était pas membre observateur de l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie qui compte parmi ses membres la France, le Canada et la Belgique, lequel choisiriez-vous? Contre tout bon sens, la réponse correcte, c’est la Louisiane. Étonnant, non? Malgré une population

francophone, une agence d’état dédiée à la langue française, des programmes d’immersion française, des émissions de radio, une production musicale chantée en français et sa présence à plusieurs sommets de la Francophonie en tant qu’invitée spéciale, la Louisiane n’est pas, aux yeux de l’OIF, un pays francophone. Enfin, jusqu’à présent, si on avait une place à la table, c’était la table d’enfants et pas celle des grands. Mais, il y a du changement dans l’air alors que le CODOFIL s’embarque sur la prochaine phase de son histoire La nouvelle directrice, Peggy Feehan, dévoile les grands axes de son avenir : L’immersion va continuer son expansion dans la paroisse Lincoln, à Shreveport, aux Natchitoches et, après tant d’années d’effort, même dans la paroisse Vermillon, une des plus francophones de l’état; on va renforcer la formation de nos propres enseignants en immersion – UL-Lafayette aura bientôt une maîtrise d’éducation en immersion – ainsi diminuant notre dépendance sur la générosité des étrangers; et, en même temps, on va transformer les étudiants francophones aussi en professionnels francophones en développant les débouchés vers d’autres métiers que l’enseignement. Puisque nous avons une jeunesse qui n’a pas honte de parler français, nous pouvons envisager un destin sans contrainte et sans entrave. En effet, autrefois confrontés à l’opprobre quand ils parlaient français en public, les Francophones louisianais de nos jours peuvent se parler sans craindre des insultes. Au contraire, souvent les autres expriment leur regret de ne pas parler français. Qu’importe qu’on ait moins de Francophones au XXIe siècle, ceux qu’on a parlent sans complexe et sans se soucier si c’est le « bon » français ou pas. Mais la plus grande transformation pourrait avoir lieu les 11-12 octobre à Erevan en Arménie lors le prochain sommet quand l’OIF va décider si, oui ou non, la Louisiane mérite une place à la table des grands. La demande officielle était faite au printemps dernier, il ne reste plus qu’à attendre. Dans la conclusion du dossier, on peut lire, « Plus que jamais, la Louisiane reconnait que sa francophonie est une ressource naturelle et renouvelable. Elle constate, toutefois, que sa durabilité et son succès futurs dépendront des relations qu’elle entreprendra avec la Francophonie internationale, dont elle compte s’inspirer des modèles sociaux, politiques, économiques, professionnels et culturels de ses partenaires. La Louisiane est prête à prendre sa place à la table. » Dans cinquante ans, le CODOFIL a soulevé le voile sur une culture et une langue qui sont restées longtemps honnies et cachées et qui ne désirent qu’une chose, c’est de vivre sa vie en français au grand jour avec le reste de la famille.n

Profile for Renaissance Publishing

Acadiana Profile October-November 2018  

Acadiana Profile October-November 2018  

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