Louisiana Life May-June 2017

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Majestic Monarchs Conserving the colorful butterfly as it passes through the Pelican State

may/june 2017

s A craft beer lover’ pg. 32 guide to the state

ur Check out o ! k new loo

Great Raft Brewing poured Shreveport’s first locally brewed beer since Prohibition in October, 2013.



may/ june VOLUME 37 NUMBER 5


4 From The Editor

Edwin Edwards at 90 6 Photo Contest

Renewing the Past: A man works to restore a mausoleum in St. Louis Cemetery #2 on a hot New Orleans summer day.

44 traveler

Shining Star: Community Days at the Homeplace 48 farther flung

Summering: Pensacola shines brightly on Florida’s coast



along the way

roadside dining

Crawfish Mirage: Sometimes you find the boil and sometimes the boil finds you

Feasting and Frolicking: Northern Louisiana seasonal dinner series celebrates farm-to-table ingredients and heritage cooking techniques

10 state of louisiana


Pelican Briefs: Wine, weed, work and other pursuits

great louisiana chef

Home Plate: A brick-andmortar space for Toby Rodriguez and Lâche Pas Boucherie et Cuisine

12 health

Five Facts: Stroke: Louisianians are vulnerable to stroke, so know the risks and the signs

54 kitchen gourmet


Simply Fresh: Easy meals highlighting spring’s bounty

Literary Louisiana

Industry Insider: Ralph Brennan prefers his meals served with a heaping helping of data 16 Made In Louisiana

Fog Machine: Clinton-native’s etherial, minimal images evoke loneliness and strength 20 artist

Caroline Youngblood: Living with family spirits in North Louisiana 24 home

Living History: Leonard Sullivan preserves Wyoming Plantation for future generations

62 calendar

32 28 Flight of Fancy Hoppy Trails The majestic monarch butterfly makes a colorful appearance in Louisiana during its great migration to Mexico

A craft beer lover’s travel guide to Louisiana By mark patrick spencer Photographs by melanie warner spencer

By Misty Reagin

41 The Good Life Retirement Guide Well-Aged: Louisiana designers implement universal design so you and your home can age in place and with grace

May and June: Events and festivals around the state 64 a louisiana life

Systemic Success: New Orleans nonprofit incubator offers opportunities to underrepresented entrepreneurs

by lee cutrone


Great Raft Brewing is one of many breweries highlighted in “Hoppy Trails: A Craft Beer Lover’s Travel Guide to Louisiana,” and is a favorite among craft beer aficionados. The Shreveport brewery

2 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

has been voted one of the best craft breweries in the South by Southern Living; named a best American lager by Food & Wine; and listed as one of the eight best breweries of 2015 in Paste Magazine. Located

in the Historic Fairfield District, the vast warehouse offers up enough space for the extensive brewing operation, as well as cornhole in the brewery and an impressive taproom and retail space, featured

in the cover photo. This piece is a rare collaboration between managing editor Melanie Warner Spencer, who shot the photos, and her husband, writer and craft beer lover, Mark Patrick Spencer.

AWARdS EDITORIAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Errol Laborde MANAGING Editor Melanie Warner Spencer Associate editor Ashley McLellan copy EDITOR Amanda Orr web Editor Kelly Massicot travel EDITOR Paul F. Stahls Jr. FOOD EDITOR Stanley Dry HOME EDITOR Lee Cutrone Intern Marie Simoneaux art Art Director Sarah George lead photographer Danley Romero sales vice president of sales Colleen Monaghan Colleen@LouisianaLife.com (504) 830-7215 marketing DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & EVENTS Cheryl Lemoine event coordinator Whitney Weathers

IRMA 2016

Silver Art Direction of a Single Story Sarah George Bronze Column Melissa Bienvenue Bronze Food Feature Award of Merit Reader Service Article 2012

Gold Companion Website 2011

Silver Overall Art Direction Tiffani Reding Amedeo

digital media associate Mallary Matherne

For event information call (504) 830-7264 Production production designers Monique Di Pietro,

Demi Schaffer, Molly Tullier traffic coordinator Terra Durio Administration Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde office manager Mallary Matherne Distribution Manager John Holzer Subscription manager Brittanie Bryant

For subscriptions call (504) 830-7231

Press Club of New Orleans 2016

Lifetime Achievement Award Errol Laborde 1st Place Best Magazine 1st Place Layout/Design Sarah George 2nd Place Best Magazine 2nd Place Layout/Design Sarah George 2nd Place Best Portrait Danley Romero

110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123 Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 • LouisianaLife.com Louisiana Life (ISSN 1042-9980) is published bimonthly by Renaissance Publishing, LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005; (504) 828-1380. Subscription rate: One year $10; Mexico and Canada $48. Periodicals postage paid at Metairie, LA, and additional mailing entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Louisiana Life, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2017 Louisiana Life. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Louisiana Life is registered. Louisiana Life is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Louisiana Life are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

2nd Place Governmental/ Political Writing Jeremy Alford 3rd Place Column Melissa Bienvenu 3rd Place Medical/Health Writing Amanda Wicks




EDWIN EDWARDS AT 90 By Errol Laborde

Edwin Edwards likes to tell the

story about after graduating from Law School at LSU he had to decide where to set up his practice. As a native of Avoyelles Parish, the town of Marksville would have been a natural choice. However, when visiting a sister in Crowley he looked through the phone book and was surprised at the scarcity of lawyers there, far fewer than Marksville. So he made his move to Crowley where he discovered there were more lawyers than he thought. It turned out that some pages had been ripped out of the phone book. Politically though, Crowley was no rip off — from there, he was able to parlay a political career as a state senator, followed by congressman and then, the big one, governor. This Aug. 7 will be Edwards’ 90th birthday. He has served more time in the mansion (four terms) than any other governor. (He has also served more time in prison, eight years, for gambling related racketeering charges, eclipsing Huey Long protégée Richard Leche by three years.) When he set his mind to it, Edwards could be a skilled governor and will always be remembered for delivering a new state constitution in 1973 after previous administrations failed. With his Cajun accent and mastery of Louisiana French he literally

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spoke the state’s language, but he could also talk the talk among the power people and frequently come out ahead. For a Louisiana politician, 1927 was a significant year to be born. He arrived only four months after what is still remembered as the “great flood,” a tragedy that made the state ripe for populist appeals to the have-nots. Huey Long mastered local populism in 1928; Edwards would carry it through his career displaying both political finesse and glibness. Edwards stories abound: I witnessed one shortly after Dutch Morial had been elected New Orleans’ first black mayor. Edwards, as governor, attended a fund raising event for Morial. Casino gambling was an emerging issue. Morial joked that he and the governor could go into the hotel’s back room and shoot some craps. Edwards responded quickly: “I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I have enough sense not to gamble with a black politician.” Morial, usually a stern man, was doubled over with laughter. (An Edwards classic was the amorous former governor’s comparison of himself to former Klan leader David Duke: “We’re both wizards under the sheets.”) On election night 2016, a crowd gathered at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans to celebrate the election of a different man named Edwards as governor. A security guard questioned an elderly man in the crowd until someone pointed out that that was the former governor. Related to the new governor only by political party, Edwin Edwards at least got to experience the thrill of election night at the Monteleone one more time. Next year will be the 45th anniversary of the adoption of the state constitution that Edwards guided to passage. It is the document that has governed the state since. Power passes on but Edwin Edwards was never too far from it.


renewing the past A man works to restore a mausoleum in St. Louis Cemetery #2 on a hot New Orleans summer day. Photo by Tianru

Wang from Santa Monica, CA

Submit your photos by visiting louisianalife.com

along the way

Crawfish Mirage Sometimes you find the boil and sometimes the boil finds you written and photographed by

Melanie Warner Spencer

My husband Mark and I have a

knack for happening upon crawfish boils. Every time, there’s a little hint of magic in the moment, but never as much as one late afternoon in the spring of 2014. We were walking in our Uptown New Orleans neighborhood — the sweet scent of jasmine, gardenias and magnolias mingled in the air, the streetcar clack, clack, clacked, grrred and clanged down St. Charles Avenue and the temperatures were mercifully mild. While we chatted about this house or that flowerbed, we each came to a sudden stop. “Did you see that?” Mark said. “I think so,” I said. We crept back toward a grand, two-story, gray house we’d passed countless times. The

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gate to the driveway, attached to a tall brick wall that obscured everything on the side and back of the house, was always closed. We peered through the now open gate and were spied by a 6-foot-ish young man holding a beer. He stood in the driveway over a long table piled about three-hands high with crawfish plus all of the fixins. “Hello!” said the young man, who waved with his free hand. “Looks like you guys are about to have a fun afternoon,” Mark said. The guy laughed and nodded, then to our astonishment, invited us to come in and join the party. Over the next two hours, we consumed spicy crustaceans and frosty beer and got to know our neighbor (a recent Tulane grad) and his parents (who

are from South America). They were so warm and welcoming to us — complete strangers. This was deeply touching, because having moved to Louisiana from Texas that February, we had only lived in New Orleans for a few months and hadn’t yet met many people. This would be one of countless times we made friends over food in our new state. That’s the thing about Louisiana. Eating is often a community affair, as evidenced by the sheer number of food festivals around the state. From New Orleans’ relatively new Fried Chicken Festival and the Rayne Frog Festival, to the Scott Boudin Festival and the Grillin’ for Grads barbecue cook off in Shreveport, there is something for everyone. We’re also hard pressed to find a weekend throughout the year when someone isn’t holding a gumbo party, oyster happy hour, catfish fry or, of course, a crawfish boil. Once at a Cajun boucherie we got acquainted with a fella named Tom Crosby, while he presided over an ancient cast iron pot of cracklin’. To this day Tom’s is the best cracklin’ I’ve ever tasted. He introduced himself as “brother of Big Foot, son of High Ness,” and we were glued to our spots for a long time listening to him spin tales. We’ve made new friends while breaking boudin in Lafayette, grubbing on gumbo in Baton Rouge and cracking tails all the way from New Orleans’ Clesi’s to Kim’s Seafood in Shreveport. I’ve come to believe if you can’t make friends in Louisiana, you’re likely a member of that strange breed of people who views eating as a mere basic need, rather than an enjoyable hobby or sporting event. Bless their hearts. As crawfish season comes to a close, we’ll mourn its passing until next year and celebrate the friends new and old we’ve met around the table. Interestingly, we haven’t seen the gate to that big, old gray house in Uptown open since that day three years ago. To this day, we’re not entirely sure the boil we happened upon really happened. Is there such a thing as a crawfish mirage? n




pelican briefs

Lake Charles, Lafayette

USA Tourism’s Tale of Two Cities

Wine, weed, work and other pursuits by

Lisa LeBlanc-Berry Baton Rouge

Calling All Bud Growers

New Orleans

Pour Me Something Mister Foodies and connoisseurs will be rubbing shoulders with 75 top chefs and 175 winemakers pouring 1,000 domestic and international wines at the Grand Tasting extravaganza during the 25th Annual New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (May 25-28). NOWFE’s main event, the Grand Tasting (May 27, 6 p.m.) has moved from the Convention Center to Mardi Gras World. “This venue brings the iconic scenery and culture of New Orleans together for a more unique


Targeting Millennials

experience showcasing the décor of Mardi Gras floats where they are created,” says NOWFE Fleur de Lis Culinary Awards coordinator, Kendall Gensler. “The new setting includes an outdoor pavilion and private wharf with stunning views and breezes from the Mississippi River. Guests will walk through the floats and float den to enter the event with the indoor ballroom and the Riverside Plaza flowing freely. The outdoor space will allow for new activations of food and wine.” While the chefs compete for the coveted Fleur de Lis Culinary

The Monroe-based telecom giant, Century Link, has begun construction on its 88-acre New Urbanist neighborhood, Century Village, where residents will have amenities including town centers with

10 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

Awards, guests sample the amazing array of dishes, sip wine and champagne, watch Food Network celebrity cooking demos, a seafood cook-off, strolling jazz bands and a parade. New this year: VIP tickets for the Grand Tasting and Friday night Royal Street Stroll, which debuts its costume contest for Krewe of Cork revelers. The Big Gateaux Show after-party follows the Grand Tasting at 9 p.m. (Marriott Convention Center Ballroom) featuring sexy burlesque starlets, cocktails and a pastry competition with celebritychef judges. nowfe.com

walkable shops, parks and restaurants. Robert Daigle, owner of Southern Lifestyle Development (the creators of River Ranch in Lafayette), says the project is designed to draw workers to Century Link and IBM in

Monroe, which is becoming a port of technologybased careers. To accomplish this, Daigle did intense research into what millennials want so that Century Village can be a recruiting tool. He notes that the

Who says money can’t grow on trees? If you want to invest that $10 million you have socked away in your piggy bank and you’re blessed with a green thumb, LSU is accepting offers from contractors to produce medical marijuana for the state for a new growing operation to be located in an undisclosed East Baton Rouge Parish location. The law dictates that it must be grown indoors and no students can be involved. A contractor is to be hired by June. The first crop should be ready by the end of 2017.

instant demand of the IBM and Century Link employment bases have been essential to the project’s speed. The development is a construction, infrastructure and improvements investment of $150$175 million into

In their “Flavors of the USA” series, the official YouTube channel of United States Tourism recently featured both Lake Charles and Lafayette as “two delectable stops on Louisiana’s culinary trails” and noted that both cities have a “thriving cultural scene.”

Lake Charles

Up, Up and Away If you’re looking to do something snazzy and daring for Mother’s Day (May 14), consider taking your favorite mom on a helicopter ride, departing from the Contraband Days festival grounds in Lake Charles (May 4-14). The actionpacked fest offers everything from pirate parades to pirogue building contests, barbecue cook-offs, a firefighter combat challenge, amateur baking contests, flyboarding (jet propulsion lifts you 45 feet in the air across the lake), canon demonstrations and amazing fireworks (contrabanddays.com).

Monroe. Fifty singlefamily homesites are part of the first phase, which includes 55 percent of the property anchored by a 100,000-square-foot, five-story tower with the top two floors dedicated to IBM.




Five Facts: Stroke Louisianians are vulnerable to stroke, so know the risks and the signs by Fritz


May is stroke awareness month. According to the American Stroke Association, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds and stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability. The good news is that strokes are often preventable and treatable. Here are five tips to arm yourself in the fight against strokes.

1 2 3 Think F.A.S.T.

Doctors use the abbreviation F.A.S.T when educating patients about strokes. F stands for facial drooping (especially on one side). A stands for arm weakness. S stands for slurred speech. T stands for time to go to the emergency room.

“Time is brain tissue,” said Dr. Satish Gadi, a cardiologist with the Cardiovascular Institute of the South. “Most strokes are very treatable if treated within three hours of the onset of symptoms.”

Call 911

If you correctly interpret ANY of the previously listed symptoms, you should not drive yourself or a loved one to the hospital. Instead, call 911 immediately so paramedics can begin treatment en route. While waiting for the ambulance, chew an aspirin (don’t swallow it). “It (chewing) is the fastest way to absorb the aspirin,” said Dr. Gadi.

4 5 A local problem

Louisiana residents are particularly vulnerable to stroke. According to the American Heart Association, Louisiana has more smokers and more obese residents than the American average. Only 70.1 percent of Louisiana adults participated in physical activity in the past month, compared to 77.1 percent for the American average.

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Identify your risk factors

The risk factors for stroke are the same for heart disease. Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, advanced age, and a family history are all risk factors. All are important, but blood pressure in particular should be carefully monitored. “Your blood pressure has to be aggressively controlled and maintained in a narrow range,” said Dr. Gadi.

Be proactive

The best way to prevent a stroke is to be honest with yourself about your risk factors. If any of them apply to you, schedule an appointment with a physician so you can be screened. Your doctor can then advise you on a proactive plan to reduce your risk.


Industry Insider Ralph Brennan prefers his meals served with a heaping helping of data by

Amanda Orr

You wouldn’t think a

business book about how data analysis is revolutionizing the restaurant industry would qualify as a beach read, but you’d be wrong. Written in the same breezy, yet informative, tone of “Freakonomics” and “Moneyball,” the authors invite you into the often-secretive world of successful restaurateurs. Damian Mogavero, founder of Avero Inc, a restaurant analytics software company, takes readers on a behind-thescenes trek, revealing the most interior secrets of restaurant chains like Fogo de Chao and California Pizza Kitchen as well as legendary establishments like Brennan’s. Chapter nine dives into a no-holds-barred account of the greatest crisis of restaurateur Ralph Brennan’s career, and includes a history of the culinary dynasty the Brennan family has created in New Orleans — rest

non-fiction kick? Here’s what I recommend

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assured, Mogavero doesn’t mince words. The point of the chapter is to illustrate that even the most established and revered restaurants can benefit from embracing new data analysis technologies, but recreational readers will appreciate the fantastic storytelling. Q: Ralph Brennan’s oncefloundering Jazz Kitchen in

California became a success due, in part, to your data analytics software. The restaurant’s profits eventually helped to offset the losses of Brennan’s other restaurants in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Do you take credit for that turn of events? A: Innovation is why Ralph Brennan’s restaurants are successful. It was his aunt,

“Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud” by Elizabeth Greenwood, $26. Find out if it’s still possible to fake your own death in the 21st century in this real-life, darkly comic foray into death fraud.

Ella Brennan, who told Ralph that in order for a restaurant to be successful it had to keep growing and striving to be better than the year before, or risk stagnation. So that spirit of innovation brought him to embrace new technology and software when they really needed to turn around the Jazz Kitchen in Disneyland. It’s a great example because it shows that you don’t need to be a sixto 12-month old restaurant to be considered New Guard, it’s about the energy and spirit of innovation. Q: Why is it important for restaurateurs to move from Old Guard ways of operating to New Guard ways? A: The secret ingredient in modern restaurant success is data. New Guard restaurants — the ones that use data technology to gain insights into and adapt to the new generation of consumers and run efficient operations — are the ones feeding the future of American diners and around the world. Old Guard establishments are watching patrons walk out their doors permanently as owners cling to outdated practices like trusting their gut to determine which dishes will sell. Gone are the days of opening a restaurant and letting it run. Q: How does this celebration of New Guard restaurants benefit consumers?

“The Schmuck in My Office: How to Deal Effectively with Difficult People at Work” by Jody J. Foster, $25.99. Despite feelings to the contrary, schmucks are people too. Find out how to reduce workplace fiascos and dysfunctional interactions.

A: Imagine we are in the courtyard at Brennan’s on a beautiful Sunday having brunch. We hear the fountain in the background, the eggs Sardou, Cajun Bloody Mary and bananas Foster are perfect, our server is gracious — we feel like we’re in another place and time. What we don’t see as consumers is that the use of data has ensured that the servers are expertly trained so that they can answer your questions about the menu, that the kitchen doesn’t run out of ingredients for your favorite dish during peak hours and we don’t have to wait 15 minutes for a table when you’ve already made a reservation. The more consistent and the more magical the guest experience, the bigger the datageekery is behind the scenes. A lot of the negative things that happen to you as a consumer can actually be corrected and addressed with data. Q: Is there still space for passion and culinary creativity while respecting data and trends? A: Absolutely. I really do think the restaurant industry is one of most creative and artistic industries out there. Technology can automate the more administrative aspects of the job. People say, ‘Well, you’re going to give up your creative style or artistic self’, when in fact I think the exact opposite. You can be a better, more innovative artist while embracing the data. The foodie base is more demanding and knowledgeable than ever before. Embracing the trends of the next generation encourages innovation and creativity. n

“The Underground Culinary Tour”

By Damian Mogavero and Joseph D’Agnese. Crown Business, $27.


“New Orleans Then and Now” by Sharon Keating, $19.95. A unique view of the city which pairs historic black-and-white photographs with new images that show the same scenes today.

“Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier” by Tatiana de Rosnay, $27.99. Fans of “Rebecca” will devour this novel-like biography, which has been endorsed by du Maurier’s own daughter.

Tuck into a good story

“The Barrowfields” by Phillip Lewis, $26. Fresh Southern Gothic novel set in what has been called a booklover’s paradise — a mansion filled with mystery and novels.

“Say Nothing” by Brad Parks, $26. The story begins when a federal judge receives a text from his wife stating she’ll pick their twins up from school — when she arrives home, the children aren’t with her and she never sent the text. LouisianaLife.com



fog machine Clinton-native’s etherial, minimal images evoke loneliness and strength By Jeffrey portrait By

Roedel Romero & Romero

Dede Lusk leans

forward in her chair inside a cozy neighborhood coffee shop and darts her eyes over to the windows at the morning light beaming in. Despite the forecast, today’s weather is clothed in unusually spring-worthy tones for late January in Baton Rouge. Quickly tapping

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out her frustrations on the tabletop, the 69-year-old firecracker exhales, staring into the gray surface beneath her fingertips — some vanquished, unrealized images roving through her brain just behind a set of steely eyes. Those pictures will have to wait. Above, the clouds are saccharine tufts of pure cotton. “It’s a beautiful day — a fine day, really” Lusk says flatly. “It’s not my day. I don’t even like to wander around on days like this.” To look through Lusk’s mythically evocative imagery on Instagram is to be met at once with the familiar and the unknown. Entering her wolrd is to leave the city for dead and explore the life of South Louisiana’s marshes and bayous from the back of a boat or around the bend of a trail on foot into the untamed, unspoiled, uncharted. Lusk describes herself as a fog-chaser. She checks the weather reports religiously and if fog is on tap, she will be up before dawn to make sure she has a few hours of prime time to create the images she likes. These are her days and quiet hours when the sounds of the city are far away, the clutter of architecture and advertising is a distant memory and only the great unknown of adventure. “I become very introspective, and that makes my heart grateful for the beauty God has created,” Lusk says. “My passion in chasing that soft, flat light of fog on the landscape is to capture in a photograph what brings soothing to my soul, and, hopefully, it brings peace to those who view it.” As a young girl growing up in rural Clinton, Louisiana, Lusk began taking pictures with the Kodak Brownie camera her grandfather gave to her. He operated a drug store there, and developed her film, too. Now with decades of experience, she has adopted digital technology, bringing her camera and her

apps-loaded iPhone everywhere she goes. Her black-andwhite nature photography — seen most recently in the book she co-created “La Louisiana Echantee” —and stark still-lifes of foraged flowers and leaves has taken on a dream-like minimalism. This isn’t work designed to stimulate but to soothe. The images are a form of catharsis for her as well. Warm and direct in person, there’s a loneliness reflected in her work, and yet an elusive strength lies within each, and this quality draws the viewer closer. Whether she’s skimming along the Atchafalaya Basin by boat or on a walk around the University Lakes at LSU, what she captures is remarkably consistent and convicting. “I do not like having a cluttered life,” she says. “And the older I get, the less cluttered I get, the more I want order for the things I have, and everything I don’t want out.” Her uncluttered life does include two talented and longtime photographer friends, Beverly Coates and Toni Goss, “the other legs of the tripod,” Lusk says. Such a support group is essential to an artist’s

My passion in chasing that soft flat light of fog on the landscape is to capture in a photograph what brings soothing to my soul, and, hopefully, it brings peace to those who view it.



Q&A What do you do for fun when you’re not taking photographs? I love to fish. I grew up fishing with my dad, and I still go often. We like going to Lake Verret or down to Cocodrie. Sometimes I’ll be in the boat and the biggest debate I’ll have with myself is whether to pick up my camera or my rod. I follow what art exhibits are coming through town and I try to go to as many as I can.

continued creativity, she says. Together they go on adventures, or wanderings, she calls them. Last year Lusk, Coates and Goss rented an RV and camped in the desert of Joshua Tree, California. “A lot of it is just being together,” Lusk says. “We go our separate ways in the wild but are never out of eyesight of each other. Then we meet back up and go over each other’s work. We’re real encouragers for each other.”

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Once back in Louisiana, Lusk will be right back hunting cypress trees and osprey nests through the thick blankets of the fog. She feels a responsibility to share something beautiful from the state she loves. Lusk is currently editing the images she took on a return trip back to Clinton, where she photographed the red brick schoolhouse she attended for twelve years, her childhood home and church, and the

very places she went to her first dance and roller skated afternoons away. “I could feel myself walking down the street again as a girl,” Lusk recalls of the homecoming. “It was remarkable. More than anything, that’ll be a book for myself.” n Dede Lisk

Dedelusk.com @dedephoto

If you weren’t a photographer, what kinds of creative things might you be involved in? I love woodwork, mostly sculptures and bowls. Rigsby Frederick is a friend, and I love his wood pieces. I’ve always felt if I could have tried that at a younger age I’d be more involved with it now. Maybe creating some of my own. The feel of it is amazing. There was an exhibit in Baton Rouge recently of woodwork, and there were ‘Do Not Touch’ signs all over everywhere, and all I wanted to do was rub my hands on them. I gather you are very involved in your church? I like to stay involved there for sure. My faith is very important to me and how I live my life. There have been mission trips and prayer groups and events. And helping out with those things uses a lot of creativity, too.


Caroline Youngblood Living with family spirits in North Louisiana By John R. Kemp

Monroe painter Caroline

Youngblood lives with memories of long dead ancestors seemingly at ease in moments of normal family life. The walls of her studio and early 20th-century craftsmanstyle home in Monroe’s Garden District are lined with her paintings of grandparents, great grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and her father as a child, scenes all taken from softly blurred home movies shot in 1937, almost a half-century before her birth. These faded images have shaped her life and art. A walk through Youngblood’s spacious but crowded studio where unfinished paintings are stacked against walls awaiting their turn on the easel reminds one of William Faulkner’s thoughts about the past — “The past is not dead,” he wrote. “It’s not even past.” To Youngblood, her family’s past is still with her. It is always with her. These spectral images are direct links to her life growing up in North Louisiana at Breston Plantation on the Ouachita River near Riverton. Her great grandparents purchased the historic 1835 cotton plantation in 1900. Youngblood has memorialized these long-deceased family members in two series of paintings, titled “Riverton, 1937” and “Riverton, 1937: Part 2,” completed in 2012 and in 2016. She painted the first group during a three-month residency in France, an adventure underwritten by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. “I opened a time capsule when I first viewed an 8mm family film shot on my family’s farm in 1937,” Youngblood says in an artist statement. “I got to peer into the lives of our ancestors enjoying their lives in a way that before I had only heard stories. As I began dissecting stills of this relic, I noticed that individual frames in the film looked like paintings; the grainy, faded nature of the old film has an appearance like that of a watercolor…

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Exhibitions and Events through May 21

New Orleans New Orleans Museum of Art, “A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s.” Through magnificent 18th century paintings and objets d’art see the grandeur and pageantry of life and celebration in Venice, Italy, during the 1700s, City Park, 1 Collins Deboll Circle, 504658-4100, noma.org through Nov. 11, 2018


R. W. Norton Art Gallery, “Enlist! Art Goes to War, 19141918.” See what life was like in Shreveport and Caddo Parish during World War I and how artistic posters were used to urge men to enlist, women to become nurses and join the Red Cross, 4747 Creswell Ave., 318865-4201, rwnaf.org through Aug. 12

Lafayette Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, “Spiritual Journeys: Homemade Art from the Becky and Wyatt Collins Collection.” An impressive encyclopedic survey of Southern selftaught, outsider, fold and visionary art, 710 East St. Mary Blvd., 337-482-0811, hilliardmuseum.org June 2 through Aug. 26


Alexandria Museum of Art, “Painting a Nation: Hudson River School.” These singularly American Hudson River School landscapes explore the romantic and idyllic glory of rural 19th century America, 933 Second St., 318-443-3458, themuseum.org

The scenes are reminiscent of French Impressionist compositions that mirrored every day life of the Paris bourgeoisie in the late 19th century. But, the figures are not those of Parisian society; they show a glimpse into lives of Southern characters enjoying the riches of life in post-Depression Era North Delta, Louisiana.” Because the 1930s film was so fragile, Youngblood copied them to computer disks, which enabled her to stop and print individual frames. “I got to know the personalities of these people by seeing them in motion,” she says. Youngblood, who was born in Monroe but spent most of her life at Breston Plantation, studied art at LSU in Baton Rouge before going on to her graduate studies in art at Syracuse University in Upstate New York. She transferred to Louisiana Tech in Ruston where in 2011 she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing. In recent years and with the help of grants, Youngblood has developed a keen business sense in marketing her art. As a result, her paintings have appeared on Louisiana Public Television and in numerous solo and juried group shows, including the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s 2015 “Louisiana Contemporary.”

“Cotton on Rainbow Quilt” by Caroline Youngblood. In recent years, Youngblood has created several new series that depict in large, colorful paintings, stems of cotton, oyster shells or pelicans – all iconic symbols of life in Louisiana and the South. Her paintings of cotton bolls over collaged, early 20thcentury plantation store receipts call to mind her early life surrounded by cotton fields on Breston Plantation near Riverton in North Louisiana.



Riverton Paintings – “Family Dinner” (previous page), “Aunt Georgia, 1928” (top) and “Couples in Front of the Bentley Hotel, Alexandria, La., 1947” (bottom) – In June 2011, Youngblood began working on “Found in Riverton,” a series of large and colorful paintings created after she found in her family home at Breston Plantation recipes and other ephemera that her grandmother had saved during and after WWII. Youngblood used these artifacts to create geometric collaged abstractions beneath painted images from magazines and family photographs.

Travel also has become important in her work. In 2015 she spent time in India, studying Yoga. Since then, meditation each day at sunrise and sunset has become a vital part of her life and art. “It calms my mind,” she says. “I am more settled and open to God’s energy. My motivations to paint are led by spiritual energy. I feel connected to God through my paintings and that energy flows through me. That meditation opens connections to my ancestors.” When Youngblood moved to her own home in Monroe late last year, she brought with her their spirits in the form of paintings. They stare out from walls throughout her house. She walks from room to room and talks about the people in each painting.

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“I have strong connections to my ancestors because I grew up in the family home,” she says. “Most of these people I never knew, but I grew up with those spirits. I want to preserve the way I felt when I was in that home. When I moved up here, I had to bring them with me to protect me. I am keeping their energy alive.” She points to a couple of paintings. “This was my great grandfather and this was my great aunt who drowned in Bayou DeSiard. Nobody ever talked about her, but my grandmother kept this huge portrait of her in the living room.” Other large and colorful paintings incorporate recipes, scraps of paper and fabric, and records that her grandmother, Carrie Josephine Hill Youngblood, had saved and stored away during the 1940s and ‘50s. Several paintings depict magazine advertisements for kitchen appliances and family gatherings. Others include old family settings that she found in color Kodachrome slides taken in the 1950s and ‘60s. To these images she often collaged pieces of yellowing letters and old plantation store receipts for goods such as candy, recipes, soft drinks, food and an old bloodhound sold to plantation workers. All are memories of a place, a way of life and loved ones present now only in her imagination and paintings. “My grandmother never threw away anything,” Youngblood says. “These things were valuable for me. I started using things she left behind for my art work.” In 1998, Youngblood and her grandmother were in an automobile accident in which her grandmother was killed. “When I got out of the hospital,” she says, “my grandmother was gone. I feel that these paintings are unresolved issues. I believe she left all of these things for me to go through.” In recent years, Youngblood has created several new series that depict, in large, colorful paintings, stems of cotton, oyster shells or pelicans. These images are not meant to be clichés but iconic symbols of life in Louisiana and the South. Her paintings of cotton bolls, for instance, call to mind her early life on a cotton plantation. “My great-grandfather farmed cotton and my grandfather farmed cotton,” she said in a 2015 public television interview. “I’ve always had a connection with cotton, the smell of cotton, watching the process of it, watching the farmers plant the seeds, watching it grow into a flower, the harvesting.” Faulkner was right. Youngblood’s family past is not past at all, but lives on in her paintings. For more information about Youngblood and her art, visit carolineyoungblood.com. n

Exhibitions and Events through July


Masur Museum of Art, “54th Annual Juried Competition.” This annual competitive art exhibit showcases contemporary artists from throughout the United States, 1400 South Grand St., 318329-2237, masurmuseum.org through Sept.

Baton Rouge

LSU Museum of Art, “When the Water Rises: Paintings by Julie Heffernan.” Allegorical paintings depict alternative and imaginary human habitats in response to environmental disasters,100 Lafayette St., 225-389-7200, lsumoa.org April 6 through May 12

Lake Charles

Shearman Fine Arts Center, McNeese State University, “30th Annual McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition.” The annual juried show features art works on paper created by artists from across the nation, 4205 Ryan St., 337-4755060, mcneeseartonline.org




Living History Leonard Sullivan preserves Wyoming Plantation for future generations By Lee Cutrone Photos by Craig Macaluso

Not far from the center

of St. Francisville is one of West Feliciana Parish’s most significant historic landmarks: Wyoming Plantation. A place of exceptional beauty and history, it’s best known as the site where artist John James Audubon stopped on his way to tutor young Eliza Pirrie, daughter of Oakley Plantation’s Pirrie family, and also as the home of Robert Wickliffe, governor of Louisiana from 1856 to 1860. Given the setting — 1,100 acres with a 106-year old raised cottage, several centuries-old barns, live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, lakes, azaleas and camellias — it’s easy to imagine Audubon’s arrival in 1821 and the governor’s antebellum household several decades later. But Wyoming is more than a window into the past. It is a cherished, full-time residence. Owner Leonard Sullivan and his late wife Elaine, who purchased the home from Elaine’s family in 1988, have lovingly preserved, elegantly furnished and comfortably renewed it for generations to come. “There is so much history in St. Francisville and we live it every day,” says Sullivan, a native Mississippian whose children and grandchildren visit Wyoming as often as possible. “It’s important to me that we keep all of the area’s old homes like they were as much as we can.” Wyoming is in the Sullivan’s blood. Elaine’s grandfather, Sam Vinci from New Orleans, bought it in 1928 and built the current house for his family in that (Right) Wooden rocking chairs line the rear porch, which overlooks lake and lawn. The 19th century carriage house in the distance was once used by Robert C. Wickliffe, the last antebellum governor of Louisiana, 1856-1860. (Facing Page) The porch walls are made of old cypress. To the left of the porch is a bricked parterre garden designed by Michael Hopping.

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(Left) Old brick, used in the original home, rustic beams and 125-year old heart pine floors from a school in Memphis add to the historic character of the house. (Top Right) Leonard Sullivan on the front porch of Wyoming Plantation. (Bottom) The library is home to an antique baby grand piano. (Facing Page) Antiques in the breakfast area include a 19th century Irish Wake table, Windsor chairs from England and a verdigris hunting scene chandelier. French doors lead to the parterre.

same year (the original home, built in 1805, burned in 1911). Though Sam and his wife never lived there fulltime, Elaine grew up at Wyoming and is interred on its peaceful grounds today. Leonard carries on the couple’s quarter-century-long tradition of caring for the home. In March, it was part of the Annual Audubon Pilgrimage, a spring festival that celebrates the heritage of the area. The first project the Sullivans completed was a full renovation of the house. Working with architect Billie Ann Brian, whose experience included practicing with A. Hays Town, they extended the front of the house on both sides, moved the original interior staircase, opened the central living area and used rustic materials such as rough-hewn beams and old brick to enhance the character of the home. With help from interior designer Patrick Tandy of St. Francisville, they decorated the house with period

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antiques, references, and art. Highlights include pieces by Prudent Mallard and Alexander Roux, block printed wallpaper depicting a 19th century panorama, and a portrait of John Dawson, a former owner of Wyoming. The Sullivans purchased the painting (which hung in the original house) when it came up for sale at Neal Auction and returned it to Wyoming. They also refurbished its gardens (Elaine was a master gardener), one of the barns (now outfitted with a bar, tables, and other amenities for parties and fundraisers), and a three-bedroom guest house overlooking several of the lakes. Future projects include restoration of the carriage house and of re-establishment of the cemetery, both of which date from the 1800s. “People are always asking ‘how do you keep it this way?’” says Sullivan, who loves the task. “It’s constant upkeep and a work in progress.” n

The majestic monarch butterfly, listed as a species of Greatest Conservation Need by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, makes a colorful appearance in Louisiana during its great migration to Mexico By Misty Reagin


M onarch butterflies — best known for their color pattern of black, orange and white — are one of the most beloved species of North American butterflies (or even insects for that matter). They are notable for their role in pollinating flowers and for their annual migration across the United States. In late summer and autumn, the western North American monarch population (those found west of the Rocky Mountains) migrates to southern California, while the eastern North American monarchs (those from the northern and central United States east of the Rocky Mountains) migrate to Mexico. The monarch butterflies we spot in Louisiana are of the latter variety, making their way to and from Mexico in a migration that is quite simply an astounding act of nature. During the fall migration, monarchs cover thousands of miles with a corresponding multi-generational return north. According to Beau Gregory, state zoologist at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, there are no distinguishing physical characteristics between the eastern and western monarchs. “Although they winter in different locations, genetically they are one population and should still resemble each other for the most part,” Gregory says. “Why monarchs migrate is a splendid question,” says Zack Lemann, curator of animal collections at the Audubon Butterfly Garden Insectarium. “Most insects that live in places that get cold — let’s say under 50 degrees for a month or more at a time — have adapted means of surviving that period of the year. Monarchs, instead of having a diapause when they are simply inactive, migrate instead. We know that the ancestors of monarchs were tropical, so even though time has enabled this species to expand its range northward, the physical ability of monarchs to remain in cold places did not follow along. It’s a neat mystery.”



Fun Facts A group of butterflies is called a swarm, a flutter, a rabble or a kaleidoscope. The toxin that monarch caterpillars eat is called a cardenolide. Even though the insect goes through an incredible metamorphosis in which its entire body changes shape, these poisons stay in the butterfly so that it is defended from predators as an adult. Monarchs are not confined to North America. In fact, the same species occurs in places as distant as Australia and New Zealand, where they are referred to as “the wanderer.” Other common names (depending on region) include milkweed, common tiger and black-veined brown.

What is definite though, is that monarchs migrate as an evolutionary strategy triggered by changes in day length and temperature. “These changes produce hormonal changes in the adult insects that changes their behavior to migratory mode,” says Dr. Chris Carlton, LSU Department of Entomology taxonomist/systematist and director of the Arthropod Museum. While the monarch migration is in response to temperature changes, their migratory route is mostly tied to dietary requirements for their young and necessary environmental conditions. “Like many children, monarch babies (the caterpillar phase) are very picky eaters,” Gregory says. “In fact, they only have a taste for one group of plants: the milkweeds. In order to reproduce successfully, monarchs need milkweed plants to lay their eggs on and thus they spend the warm time of year in areas where milkweeds grow. The only problem with that is that they also require very specific environmental conditions in order to survive the winter. There is one small place monarchs have found in the mountains of Mexico that most consistently provides those conditions, and that is why the majority migrates there for the winter.” Because milkweed is so important to the monarch caterpillars, the locations of plants can vary their migratory route. “The vast majority of the North American population spends the winter in one small area in Mexico or a few places in California,” Gregory says. “These few sites consistently provide the proper conditions for winter survival. When they migrate north, they spread out to

any areas that contain adequate flowers for food (nectar) and milkweed plants for their caterpillars to eat.” While monarch populations follow similar patterns during their migrations, the details are not well understood. One generation of monarchs flies south, but it takes two to three generations for the monarch population to return from Mexico to the northern United States. According to Lemann, the southbound monarchs generally will not lay eggs during their trek to Mexico. Rather, it is the northbound monarchs that over-wintered in Mexico and start to lay eggs as soon as they hit the shores of the Gulf Coast. “During migration, monarchs generally follow the same route both directions,” Gregory says. “However, in the spring, they typically start spreading out or dispersing as soon as they reach the United States. In the fall, a larger proportion of the population comes together in the Midwest and passes directly through Texas.” Here in Louisiana, it’s easy to spot a monarch almost any time of year. That is because both migratory and nonmigratory populations are here. According to Carlton, estimating populations of resident and migrating insects is difficult and the necessary resources are not available. “Monarch migrations occur from September to December, with some adults lingering into mid-winter,” he says. “Migratory and non-migratory populations seem to be genetically distinct from each other.” For those looking to spot migrating monarchs, a good time to be on the lookout is during the fall. During this time, the southbound migration happens in a smaller time-frame than the trickling-in effect of the northbound monarchs that happens in March and April.

“If you were to drive over Lake Pontchartrain between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15 on any given year, I would bet that you’d spot monarchs — sometimes two or three every minute — flying in a generally southwesterly direction as they cross the lake,” Lemann says. “There may be aggregation spots of which I’m unaware, but the I-10 and Causeway crossing points are pretty good bets for seeing flight.” How long a monarch lives depends on temperature and larval food quality. The life cycle from egg to adult is six to eight weeks; when it’s warm, adult monarchs live only two to four weeks on average. “The generation that flies to Mexico arrives in high elevation forests where the cool weather slows down their metabolism,” Lemann says. “The result is that less energy is used, and, even though the butterflies may be hanging on trees doing nothing, they end up living for several months. After it warms up and these particular butterflies begin flying again, they do not live more than a couple of weeks.” According to Carlton, the number of individual butterflies is unknown, but during 1990, an estimated 1 billion monarchs migrated south. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing the percentage of migrating butterflies that survive the trek each year. Immature butterflies experience high mortality rates, so only a small percentage reach adulthood and reproduce. “They compensate by producing far more progeny than required for simple replacement,” Carlton says. While the Endangered Species Act does not list monarchs as threatened or endangered, they are considered to be an “at-risk species” — they have been petitioned for listing as threatened or endangered, but a decision has not been reached by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“They are labeled as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,” Gregory says. “Causes for the current decline in monarchs have primarily been attributed to deforestation in their wintering grounds and a widespread reduction of milkweed plants in their breeding range. Effects due to climate change have not surfaced at this time, but significant changes to average summer and winter temperatures could have negative impacts in the future.” Additionally, the mass overwintering populations in Mexico may be endangered and could be eliminated through forest mismanagement and possibly climate change. “Complete elimination of the Mexican winter migrants would have a significant impact on the species as a whole, and would be a biological tragedy,” Carlton says. This beautiful creature can be supported by creating a butterfly garden that incorporates native milkweed plants. However, be sure to stay away from tropical milkweed. It is not indigenous to Louisiana and can actually be harmful to monarchs. “On a larger scale, it is important to promote the conservation and proper management of native habitats, especially open habitats — such as savannas and prairies — that support monarch host plants and adult nectar sources,” Carlton says. “Monarchs are great, charismatic insects that are great poster species for conservation and insect awareness, but they are only a single species among many thousands of smaller, less charismatic, native insects that require conservation initiatives and environmental activism to insure their survival in the best interest of global stewardship.”

Fun Facts Butterflies have a long, curled tongue that they use like a straw to feed on nectar and water. It’s a mystery how monarchs know how to find the exact same wintering grounds year after year. There are several fun citizen science projects where members of the public can collect important data that scientists will use to determine the best way to stabilize monarch populations. Find a partial list of available projects at monarchjointventure.org. For more information on monarchs, visit monarchwatch.org and journeynorth.org.



iana A craft beer lover’s travel guide to Louis Story by Mark Patrick Spencer Photos by Melanie Warner Spencer

en route to visit a brewery in Lake Charles — listening to Lucinda Williams spin tales born of memories — when I realized how my life was filled with craft-beer memories. From having pride in the old-school Cincinnati beer culture during my wild Northern Kentucky youth through falling in love with Shiner Bock in my 20s just because it was different. Drinking Yuengling 10 years ago in Pennsylvania, because the locals couldn’t wait to introduce me to it. Vacations spent drinking Sierra Nevada in San Francisco and Uinta’s Traders IPA getting me through tough movie jobs in Salt Lake City. Fairhope, Alabama to that Sweetwater in Georgia — so many memories, distilled, vivid, a craft beer in my hand. Isn’t it weird how craft-beer memories stick with you? I’ve obviously had it, but I don’t have any great memories sponsored by AB Inbev, the makers of Budweiser. Though, I guess those Clydesdales are cool. The craft beer scene in Louisiana is a tricky beast. Due to legislation, it has wallowed in the lower echelon of breweries per capita ever since they kept track of such things. Fortunately, making money talks, nonsense eventually walks and the folks in Baton Rouge started listening and got into the craft brewery game — a game which involves over 5,300 breweries across the United States. Yet, including brewpubs, there are only 29 breweries in the state of Louisiana. There would be a lot less if it weren’t for House Bill 232, which was passed in the 2015 regular session and allowed breweries to sell up to 250 barrels of beer a month. This flexibility allowed a vital source of revenue for craft brewers and enabled smaller companies to expand slowly if need be. If you’re drinking at a craft brewery that opened in the past two years, you can probably thank this bill for the pale ale in your hands. Yes, Abita Brewing has been around since 1986 and NOLA Brewing cranked up in 2009, but the industry is still in its growing stages and, with the support of the government, could roar into a bright Louisiana future. A lot of legislation causes Louisianans to throw their hands up in the air, both in confusion and frustration. But with the support of the state government, we can all throw our hands up in the air, bring our hands together and start clapping for an industry that is built with brick and mortar and provides permanent jobs in the Pelican state. Louisiana craft beer is here. Now, let’s get to some breweries, turn the music up and have a good time.

Great Raft Brewing poured Shreveport’s first locally brewed beer since Prohibition in October, 2013.

Shreveport and Bossier City are so far

north, I considered putting snow chains on the Saturn to get there. Of course that’s ridiculous, but Shreveport does have a hockey team, so maybe I’m not that far off. The first sights welcoming ramblers into town are whimsical, large-scale murals by artist Chris Opp dotting the cityscape. If you see a mural of a young girl sleeping on a pile of books under the sea (it’s called “Blowing Bubbles”), then you’re right next door to Flying Heart Brewing (700 Barksdale Blvd., Bossier City, 318-584-7039, flyingheartbrewing.com) in Bossier City. Two couples that were home-brewers and wanted to take a shot at making some coin in a business they loved created Flying Heart. Ben and Leah Hart teamed up with Ben and Elizabeth Pattillo and purchased an old fire station in what is soon to be, after all of the construction clears, the epicenter of Bossier City. I knocked back a few smoky Barrel 52’s and some Black Heart Ales on the patio and realized that if you start going to the brewery now you can be one of those people who say, “Oh yeah. I remember what Flying Heart was like before everyone started coming downtown.” I was standing in Red River Brewing (1200 Marshall St., Shreveport, 318-317-4110, redriverbeer.com) the moment I discovered Louisiana still has a hockey team. Jared Beville, co-owner, told me that the Shreveport Mudbugs hockey team was a local favorite, so much so, that Red River used the Mudbugs logo on its dynamite Penalty Bock Lager — a lager that compares favorably to the Texas legend, Shiner Bock. Another hit is the Hay Ryed Louisiana Wheat Rye. If you can’t find the Red River beers yet, believe me, they’re coming. Our ramblers rambled on to Great Raft Brewing (1251 Dalzell St., Shreveport, 318-734-9881, greatraftbrewing.com), a stellar compound in a warehouse district. Great Raft is easily one of the most respected breweries in the state. “Drink Real Beer” is the motto and the crowds have shown up to do just that. We dug into the latest release, an easy drinking saison called Farmhouse Slang. We left with the latest volume of Provisions and Traditions and saluted the Louisiana state flag that hangs over the brewery. Speaking of flags, head east to Monroe and check out the Flying Tiger Brewery (506 N. 2nd St., Monroe, 318-547-1738, flyingtigerbeer.com). This joint wants you to drink heroic beers such as the Burma Blonde and Man At Arms amber ale. A replica of the shark-faced Curtis P-40 “Flying Tiger,” as the flyboys say, “checks your six,” while you sit at the bar. Just across the Ouachita River, sits the original craft brewery in Monroe, the appropriately named Ouachita Brewing Company (95 McClendon Ave., West Monroe, 318-387-9816, ouachitabrewing.com), a brewery — like so many others — that hosts events at the brewery and promotes charities around town.


Homewood Suites by Hilton

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TOP TO BOTTOM: You can’t miss Great Raft brewing in Shreveport’s Historic Fairfield District. The taproom is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday 12 to 9 p.m. Flying Heart’s Louisiana Amber, (left), is smooth and flavorful. The brewery is located in a former firehouse in downtown Bossier City. Great Raft’s Southern Drawl (right) is an easy drinking lager.

in Bossier City is a solid pick for those who like complimentary breakfast, large, apartment-like suites and a sweet pool and putting green.

Patrons check out the craft beer selections at Flying Heart Brewing in Bossier City. The reporter recommends the Black Heart Ale.

For only having one brewery,

Lake Charles should be ecstatic that the Crying Eagle Brewing Company (1165 E. McNeese St., Lake Charles, 337-990-4871, cryingeagle.com) fell into its lap. Eric Avery, local businessman (and eventually brewery co-founder and president) hooked up with Bill Mungai, a local home brewer who would become Crying Eagle’s brewmaster. The doors opened July 2016 to a taproom built for hanging out. Rolling into the building you find a lounge with comfy chairs to the left and to the right, just outside the taproom, you have a courtyard with the standard, nationally accepted game of craft breweries — cornhole. Crying Eagle launched its beers into the Lafayette market by building a nest overnight in the city. The nest contained


L’auberge Casino Resort

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three, beer can-filled eggs. After word got out, the big reveal was a new brand of brew in town. Now that’s a great way to open up a beer into a new market. Another great way to open a beer is with your hands, which I did repeatedly wandering around Lake Charles. We tasted an excellent American-style lager at the brewery and hit Sloppy’s Downtown later, a restaurant and bar that has that “it” factor and Louisiana brew on tap. Luna Live with its 44 beers on tap and Rikenjaks Brewing Company are also great places to kick back for a few local cold ones. On our way out of town, and at the insistence of my social media feed, we hit Darrell’s Po-Boys. I knew we were in for some goodness when I counted 54 people

gobbling down sandwiches. The “Special” seemed more sub sandwich than poor boy, but the bread was fantastic and as the house mayo rained down upon my shirt and shorts I knew I had made the right choice. Don’t eat poor boys and drive, folks. Doesn’t it seem like Lafayette would have more breweries? This town is too cool not to have craft beer coursing through its veins. Thankfully the Wurst Biergarten exists right downtown, sporting a large selection of beer (with a large courtyard to match) from Louisiana and beyond. Cajun Brewing (206 Rayburn St., Lafayette, 337806-9196, cajunbrewing.com) however, is currently the only brewery in town. This brewery is far from a one-trick pony but the Cajun Wit is definitely its TOP TO BOTTOM: big horse in the craft beer Crying Eagle’s second floor taps. Canebrake race. Wits are a perfect beer six packs at Parish for the Louisiana summer Brewing. The long, wooden bar at Parish time, the kind of beer you Brewing. can drink all day long and ponder if you’re really going to talk about dogs in the next paragraph. You see here’s the thing about Murphy and Mr. Claude. They don’t brew any of their own beers — because they’re dogs at Parish Brewing Company (229 Jared Dr., Broussard, 337-330-8601, parishbeer.com) and that would be odd. Pro-tip for when you visit the brewery: Mr. Claude is all about meeting the humans and Murphy is all about following Mr. Claude. So, they’re sort of a package deal. Blame my general sense of direction (or lack thereof) for not realizing that Broussard is a suburb of Lafayette. I always pictured these guys making the near legendary Ghost In The Machine IPA or Doctor Hoptagon Black IPA out in the bayou somewhere. So color me surprised when I left Lafayette, blinked and my Waze app told me I was at the brewery. North of Lafayette, sits Bayou Teche Brewing (1106 Bushville Highway, Arnaudville, 337-754-5122, bayoutechbrewing.com) — one of the oldest breweries in the state. Of course, old is a relative term when you’re talking craft beer in Louisiana, be that as it may, the Bayou Teche crew formed way back in 2009. Way back in my earliest days of visiting New Orleans, I stumbled upon the LA 31 tap and inhaled my first LA 31 Biere Pale. It was wonderful. Bayou Teche also makes the Ragin’ Cajuns Ale, which is the first officially licensed beer involving a university. I assume everyone in Lafayette drinks this beer, as they try to figure out how to get everyone else to call their school the University of Louisiana without mentioning the Lafayette part. If you’re driving through the countryside and find yourself in Thibodaux you should hit up Mudbug Brewery (1878 LA-3185, Thibodaux, 985-859-4899, mudbugbrewery.com) makers of the satisfying, singular Café Au Lait Stout. Head the other way off I-90 and you can have some pints at Spigot’s Brew Pub (622 Barrow St., Houma, 985-333-3103).

is the place to be if you’re in town for the craft beer, McNeese State football or just to live that groovy casino lifestyle.

I’ve been holding off

talking about Baton Rouge because I know when I say, “Baton Rouge,” you think, “traffic.” It’s a strange vortex of steel where no matter what time you hit town, you’re too late and traffic is a mess. So let’s get off the highway, shall we? Tin Roof Brewing Company (1624 Wyoming St., Baton Rouge,

225-377-7022, tinroofbeer.com) is the big beer in town. It opened in 2010 and has been a major player in southern Louisiana ever since. Tin Roof’s starting line up is built for easy drinking with the Bayou Bengal Lager and a couple of light ales (Tin Roof Blonde, Turnrow Coriander, Perfect Tin) at the forefront. The newest brewery in production

on the Baton Rouge scene is the Southern Craft Brewing Company (14141 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, 225663-8119, socraftbeer.com) — a company that makes the superb Red Stick Rye. While you’re in town, and since traffic is a mess, you should stop by the Chimes restaurant, which features over 70 taps of beer on draft.

After freeing yourself from the entanglement of Baton Rouge traffic, don’t start driving too fast or you will blow by multiple opportunities to remind yourself about the good things in life on the North shore of Lake Pontchartrain, such as the scenic woods and bayous, quaint town centers and, of course, the wealth of breweries.

Brew master Bill Mungai checks out one of his and brewer Joel Prudhomme’s latest creations. The American Style Lager excels and Peanut Butter Porter is a nice change of pace.

Covington Brewhouse (226 E.

Lockwood St., Covington, 985-893-2884, covingtonbrewhouse.com) is actually pretty old school, having sprung from the seeds of the old Heiner Brau brewery. Its Anonymous IPA is the real deal and even though I don’t dig on fruity beers, a lot of my friends like the Strawberry Ale. Just a walk or bike down the Tammany Trace trail gets you to the Chafunkta Brewing Company (21449 Marion Lane, Mandeville, 985-869-0716, chafunktabrew.com) I implore you to go buy the Kingfish Ale immediately. It’s listed as a cream ale but doesn’t really strike me as such. Either way, I love it and go on major kicks with this brew. While in Mandeville, check out the Old Rail Brewing Company, a brewpub downtown. Gnarly Barley (1709 Corbin Rd., Hammond, 985-3180723, gnarlybeer.com) in Hammond, makes an IPA more interesting than most with their Radical Rye IPA. Yes, it’s hoppy like most but also has a peppery spin. For something a little different, head 20 miles up the road to Chappapeela Farms Brewery (57542 Hillcrest School Rd., Amite City, 225-2819474, chapbrewery.com), this outfit makes a quality saison. Chappapeela does not have a taproom and you should call ahead as its not always open to the public for farm tours. If you’re talking craft beer on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain you have to talk about the current godfather of it all — the Abita Brewing Company. It might be common for new New Orleanians to point to NOLA Brewing as the first craft beer brewery in the area even though Abita Brewing (166 Barbee Road, Covington, 800-737-2311, abita.com) has been doing craft beer since way before it became cool, or even a trend. Abita Brewing opened its doors in Abita Springs, a quaint whisper of a town, way back in 1986 in what is now the company’s brewpub. Abita has been, is still, and will be the largest brewer in Louisiana by far. Abita is the only craft brewer carrying the “regional” designation. Regionals are defined as brewers who make between 15,000 and 2 million barrels a year. In 2015, Abita produced more than 160,000 barrels of beer. All of the other breweries in the state are listed by the Brewer’s Association as microbreweries (under 15,000 barrels of beer a year). For a long time a craft beer aficionado only had two brewpubs, Crescent Brewhouse (527 Decatur, New Orleans, 504-522-0571, crescentcitybrewhouse.com) and Gordon Biersch (200 Poydras St., New Orleans, 504-552-2739, gordonbiersch.com) to whet their appetite. After so many years of wondering why New Orleans was a craft

38 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

beer desert, the Crescent City is starting to get its groove on. The seed that was planted by Kirk Coco and NOLA Brewing (3001 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, 504-8969996, nolabrewing.com) gave flower to the Courtyard Brewery, Second Line Brewing (433 N. Bernadotte St., New Orleans, 504-248-8979, secondlinebrewing.com), Urban South Brewery (1645 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, 504-267-4852, urbansouthbrewery.com) and Michael Naquin’s 40 Arpent Brewing Company (6809 N. Peters St., Arabi, 504-444-3972, 40arpentbrewery.com) out in Arabi (creator of the superb Red Bean Ale). Justin and Kristen Boswell’s Wayward Owl Brewing Company followed next and now another wave of breweries will crop up with the opening of Brieux Carre (2115 Decatur St., New Orleans,

504-304-4242, brieuxcarre.com) in April and forthcoming openings of Parleaux Beer Lab (634 Lesseps St., New Orleans, 504-702-8433, parleauxbeerlab.com), Royal Brewery (7366 Townsend Place, Building TOP TO BOTTOM: B, New Orleans, 504-415Kristallweizen Ale tops the writer’s 8444, royalbrewerynola.com) must drink list at and Port Orleans Wayward Owl. The brewery is housed Brewing Company (4124 in a the circa-1940s Tchoupitoulas St. New Gem Theater in Central City. Orleans, no listed number, portorleansbrewingco.com). The mother ship, NOLA Brewing, is the heavyweight with plenty of beers to choose from on store shelves and even more in the taproom. Its Mecha IPA is a standard in my household, and by household I mean my stomach. Whenever I want to switch things up I hit the Courtyard Brewery

in a bar looking at all of the Louisiana taps we have to choose from, either way, on that day remember all of the hard work that it took by the craft brewers, and state legislators, to get one of nature’s oldest creations into your hands. And with my hand, I raise a glass to you. Cheers, Louisiana.

The New Orleans chapter of the Pink Boots Society, a group of female brewing professionals, debuted their “You Don’t Own Mead” Braggot/ honey ale at Wayward Owl Brewing.

located in New Orleans’ Central Business District, has hipness to spare, a rooftop bar, dining, entertainment and a select group of Louisiana craft beers on tap.

I must admit, I’m getting thirsty, folks. One day, say 10 years down the road, we might look back on 2017 and laugh about how we didn’t have many options for craft beer in Louisiana. Maybe we’ll be standing around at a crawfish boil grabbing cans out of the cooler or sitting

The Ace Hotel,

one beer in town to pick from to get a newbie to join the craft beer revolution, you have to offer them the Kristallweizen Ale from Wayward Owl (3940 Thalia St., New Orleans, 504-827-1646, waywardowlbrewing.com). It is the supreme “all day” beer in the city. With that,


(1020 Erato St., New Orleans, no listed number, courtyardbrewing.com) owned by Scott Wood. Courtyard doesn’t put product on shelves so that Wood can bring in other craft beer from around the country to sell alongside his own creations such as the Baby IPA. If you have

Retirement Communities, Weekend Getaways + Healthy Lifestyle

Well-Aged Louisiana designers implement universal design so you and your home can age in place and with grace By Lee Cutrone As the baby boom

population ages and faces the question of whether they will need to live in an assisted care environment at some point in the future,

Curbless shower with built in bench

These Bamboo Pull-Out Drawers can be purchased at containerstore.com and installed at a fraction of the price for new cabinets

designers and architects are working on ways to help them live at home as long as possible. At the same time, a still-burgeoning type of design, geared not only toward the elderly and those with physical disabilities (an area that gained recognition in 1990 with the passage of the American Disabilities Act), but toward making homes safe and livable for all stages of life, is gaining traction. Known as universal design, this increasingly important design discipline that crosses boundaries by utilizing common sense principles that apply to people of all ages and abilities, and accommodate everything from strollers to wheelchairs. “As the boomer demographic wave moves into retirement, this issue is more relevant than ever,” says Tracy Lea, an architect with Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, who’s made universal or barrier-free design a career Wallmounted sink

focus since he began practicing architecture in the 1980s. “People are finding that making upgrades to their home can be far less expensive than getting into a facility and you have the comfort of living in your own home and environment,” says interior designer Maria Barcelona, whose current list of clients includes both an assisted care facility and homeowners determined to make their homes comfortable and practical for the years ahead. The term universal design broadly refers to the concept of designing products and environments to be usable by all, to the greatest extent possible, without adaptation. The goal is safe and independent living for people of all ages, sizes and abilities. It’s based on seven principles: equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error (designs minimize hazards or have fail-safe features), low physical effort and appropriate size and space (for approach, reach, manipulation and use). The term is sometimes used interchangeably with other terms such as inclusive design and barrierfree design. Examples of this kind of design include: single-floor living spaces, ramps, adjustable height cabinets, base cabinets with roll-out trays, extra wide doorways, lever handles, well-lit entrances, motion sensor lighting, visibly contrasting stair treads, curbless showers, wall-mounted sinks, thermostat-controlled showers, and grab bars. As the name suggests, universal design makes sense for everyone. “A lever door is helpful for someone with arthritis, but a mom with a child on her hip can also open a lever door with her elbow,” says interior designer Nancy Bounds, who works in Louisiana and Mississippi and teaches about universal design at the university level (through the University of Mississippi’s interior design program). “It’s more than just trying to accommodate people with disabilities,” says Lea. “It’s got secondary benefits. It’s easier for parents with strollers or someone with a bag full of groceries. All of these things apply to retirement age people as well.” Adapting a home or apartment to suit the needs of residents as they age or encounter disabilities is an option. Widening

doorways, adding ramps, changing hardware, adding grab bars, improving lighting and so on are all within the realm of possibility. Both Barcelona and Bounds have fulfilled such requests for many clients. By taking aging into consideration when building or renovating (before those needs arrive) however, the same goals can be accomplished at little or no extra cost. Architect Jared Bowers of Albert Architecture says that most of the private residential work done by his firm is still driven by special client needs. However he adds that many clients, particularly those who are building homes (which usually means long-term commitment) want flexibility built into the design. According to Bowers, universal design speaks to the dignity of aging by removing some of the stigma associated with it. It takes into account both personal comfort and aesthetics. “As you age, you don’t want to necessarily advertise that you have special needs,” he says. An important part of the universal design movement is the idea that designs that support aging-in-place need not be institutional looking or unattractive. The design market has responded by expanding its offerings of products that meet the criteria. Manufacturers in the field of home design now sell a range of stylish options in everything from cabinets and plumbing fixtures to grab bars and slipresistant finishes. Five or six years ago, Bowers says there were one or two options for cabinets that could be modified for special needs (with such things as adjustable legs for varying height and removable panels that allow wheelchairs to fit below them, for example). Today, there are many. “There are different finishes, materials and looks,” Bowers says. Casey Stannard, assistant professor of apparel design at LSU, says the principles of universal design are taught in other areas of design, including apparel design (think Velcro closures and button-less garments for example). She believes the brightest future for universal design is in architecture, interior design and product design, particularly in relation to aging in place. “Universal design is a positive thing,” she says. “As we live longer, designers are becoming more mindful of that.” Bounds agrees. “Especially if undertaken at an early stage of design, these kinds of accommodations can be integrated seamlessly and no one would know the house is set for aging-in-place.”




Shining Star Community Days at the Homeplace BY Paul

F. Stahls Jr.

The delta of Northeast Louisiana,

wide, flat and fertile, has been tilled for cotton, soy, rice and corn for 300 years, including the lands around Oak Ridge in Morehouse Parish where Joe Cooper Rolfe and ancestors have farmed for two centuries. In the midst of Rolfe’s cornfields today, in a space cleared generations ago, stand two homes and 17 dependencies ranging in age from 60 to 160. These days they serve as workshops and mini museums, all bursting with collections of tools and implements related to farmstead labors or to art. Rolfe calls the amazing complex the Starr Homeplace in honor of his creative and community-minded wife Starr, who died in 2001. “She inspired all this and started it with me,” he says. Like Starr’s memory, her oil-oncanvas works fill the homes and museums. Large equipment acquired for the farm through the years is displayed in the immense, circa-1927 barn and around the grounds, supplemented with dozens of machines and accoutrements from the personal collection of the late, legendary Dave Pearce. Gathered during his 21-year stint as State Commissioner of Agriculture, the Pearce Collection is now entrusted to Starr Homeplace for safekeeping. The nine-acre “collection of collections” is accessible most any day, and creative types who’d actually like to use certain tools are especially welcome. In fact, Rolfe

do! Visit Starr Homeplace’s blacksmith off the farm

Heat, hammer, repeat and slowly, in the hands of blacksmith Oma F. Lee of Bastrop, a lowly railroad spike becomes a conversation piece and a razor-sharp utility knife. That’s fun to watch, but

44 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

Lee’s real claim to fame is his instant-heirloom camp knives and hunting knives of fine tempered steel. Those involve working the metal to perfection, sanding and shaping “presentation quality”

lengths of black oak or exotic hardwoods for grips, then hand-crafting and sewing fine leather to create the sheaths. Find him at a Starr Homeplace Day event, or visit his home smithy at

9476 McCowin Road in Bastrop (318-281-4855). For other local points of interest, visit Bastrop’s Information Center at 110 N. Franklin (318-281-3794, bastroplacoc.org).

DETOURS Poverty Point Promotion La. Hwy. 134 zigzags a bit but leads, as the crow flies, a short 25 miles east from Oak Ridge to the 3,500-year-old earthen ridges and mounds of Poverty Point on Bayou Maçon. That’s way too close for visitors at the Starr Homeplace to skip the chance to visit to that immense complex of 3,500-year-old mounds, thought to have been the center of a trading network that spanned the continent. With the ridges’ ¾-mile sprawl plus outlying mounds, it was the largest such site in America — and would be for 2,000 years. Poverty Point was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and a State Commemorative Area in 1975, but the big promotion came in 2014 when it became the 22nd in the U.S. to make the United Nations’ list of World Heritage Sites (318926-5492, crt.state.la.us/ louisiana-state-parks, and povertypoint.us).

is so interested in the public’s use of his facilities, that he hosts six Community Days a year (including the second Saturdays of May, June, July, September and October throughout 2017) where craftsmen and artists demonstrate their skills as visitors watch and ask questions. During a short walk through the compound on a typical Community Day — say from the 1870 schoolhouse with its music-related collections to the 1835

dogtrot cabin with its needle arts and loom room — it wouldn’t be unusual to pass an artist or two at their easels, David and Amy Howard displaying their glass beadwork and a meticulous leatherworker giving it her awl. These days the interest of master-ofall-trades Tim Anderson is focused on wooden boat building, so, as guests exit the wheelwright and cooperage displays in the 1927 corncrib — perhaps headed for the “Primitive Kitchen” or “1950s Kitchen”

(Left) A Paulownia (Empress) tree blooms by the 1927 barn. (Top) Balik work by Tammy Matthews. Photo by Eric Sutherland. (Bottom) 1909 butchering stove for rendering lard.

Natural History on Campus It’s an equally short ride, west of Oak Ridge via 134 or I-20, to the UL-Monroe campus where Hanna Hall is the new hiding place for the expansive Natural History Museum of Louisiana and regional marvels. Plan for two hours or, if you’ve got ‘em, two days. (Weekdays during semesters, then Saturdays only. 318-342-1868, ulm.edu/mnh/ visit-us.html)



Dine — he’s the fellow they’ll see test-floating a scale model of his current project in the compound’s big reflecting pool. About that time, Rolfe will ring the dinner bell and, after a big plate of beansand-rice or gumbo, blacksmith Oma Lee of Bastrop (see “Do”) will stoke his fire and lay down a hammer and anvil rhythm that always draws a crowd. Nearby, in the Woodworking Shop, stocked with chisels, adzes and froes dating from the 1700s, birdhouse craftsman Jim Free of Monroe is sharing workspace with a jeweler who’s pouring molten metal into a cast, and with a multimedia artist named Tammy Matthews of Monroe who’s decorating a silk hat in the Balik method (the old Indonesian art of applying paraffincontrolled dye to cloth). “More and more people are hearing about these get-togethers and coming out,” says Matthews, barely looking up from his intricate task. “They get excited when they see something new, sometimes even want us to give them lessons then and there. I myself would never have learned Balik if Joe didn’t have all these assets here.” With 60 species of Louisiana trees, Starr Homeplace doubles as an arboretum, and as another Community Day draws to a close Joe Rolfe will likely be found over by his state-champion hackberry tree discussing the slumping economy and quoting sources on “Creative Economics,” which holds that folks only-too-rarely consider their creative abilities as potential careers. “People can learn here, utilize the facilities and libraries here, and actually find alternative or supplemental careers,” he says. “We have and need good financial support, of course, but our greatest need is for more people to find us, to benefit from Starr Homeplace and to spread the word. Starr Homeplace, open most days but call ahead. Some camping and B&B facilities, 318-224-5700, starrhomeplace.org. n (Top) Bottle tree graces 1870 school (Bottom) Joe Rolfe presents Cultural Assets maps to librarians at Community Day event. Photograph by Cindy Ingram

46 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

In Oak Ridge dining “around” means around the region The nearest offerings are in Rayville where the Southern fried chicken and veggies at the Feed Lot will make you happy (800 Harrison, 318728-6999), where Johnny’s Pizza House offers a localized disk called the “Swamp Sweep” (crawfish, shrimp and Andouille, 1924 S. Julia, 318-728-6474), and Big John’s Steak and Seafood offers…take a guess (112 Cottonland, 318728-2177). A classic courthouse-square diner in Bastrop, called PT’s Eat-aBite, has the best breakfasts hereabouts, and a fun spot for lunch is the Country Cream Drive-In (102 Davenport, 318-647-5188) with its swell burgers and truly special ice cream in the pretty town of Mer Rouge.



farther flung

Summering Pensacola shines brightly on the Florida coast By

Mark Patrick Spencer

Do Pensacola Little Theater A downtown theatre group, that’s operated since 1926, that will forever have my heart since seeing its spectacular production of “The Rocky Horror Show.” Pensacola Blue Wahoos The local AA baseball team plays throughout the summer in front of large crowds in Blue Wahoos Stadium, a venue that looks out onto Pensacola Bay.

Louisiana is blessed

with many of life’s greatest pleasures. Remarkable art scenes, abundant wildlife experiences and culinary magic are all a part of what makes the Pelican state exceptional. Unfortunately, there is one category that the state can’t check off — a killer beach town. Fortunately the Boot state has great neighbors, and just like when you need to

Good Bets Fests for the rest of us

knock on the neighbor’s door for that proverbial cup of sugar, Louisiana can always rely on its neighbor to the east, Florida — specifically Pensacola — for its hopping downtown and pristine beaches. Let’s take a trip down I-90, shall we?

“Party Fox” Let’s start at the heart of the matter. It’s called Palafox, but really it should be called Party

Debuting in 1973, the Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival has called Pensacola home. The festival, held in Seville Square, features more than 200 artists specializing in woods, crafts, printmaking, painting, ceramics and myriad other mediums. The fest takes place

48 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

Fox. Part of it is street and part of it is place, but all of it is fun. Every city has its main drag and Palafox holds its own. This showcase of downtown is more Magazine Street than Bourbon Street, which suits this laid-back, bay town perfectly. Restaurants, music venues and bars stream through this main artery of the 458-yearold city. The strip comes alive heading into the weekends and

during the first weekend in November, a weekend that kicks off a shipload of events including the Blue Angels Homecoming Show, Foo Foo Festival, Pensacola Marathon and the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.

Pensacola Museum of Art It has a permanent collection that includes names like Warhol and Picasso, has hosted a comprehensive exhibit of Salvador Dali and has an upcoming show featuring…Legos.

the town shuts down the street once a month for Gallery Night, a block party with an artistic flair. If you like to rock out with your dock out, walk down to the bay and sip cocktails on the porch at Jaco’s Bayfront Bar and Grill overlooking the marina.

The Foo Foo Festival is a young, scrappy 12day behemoth Nov. 2 through 13 that connects all of the aforementioned festivals, creating a unique two-week cultural event. Foo Foo Fest hosts events all over the city, from downtown to the historic Belmont DeVilliers

Neighborhood, up to the First City Art Center, stretching all the way out to the state line for some music at the rambling, ever-so-popular FloraBama Lounge and Oyster Bar. Don’t sleep on this event.

Beer Here!

Walkabout Pensacola is more than one street, however. Just west of Palafox, travelers can find the Five Sisters Blues Café on West Belmont for real Southern cuisine with a Creole kick. A quick Uber ride to the east gets you to McGuire’s Irish Pub, a steakhouse that brews its own beer. When you need to walk off all of this grubbing and pubbing head to the hills — East and North Hill that is, beautiful tree-filled neighborhoods that don’t disappoint.

The Beach Let’s not kid ourselves. When you’re thinking about Pensacola you’re thinking about the beach. The waves, the sand and the quest for the endless summer is alive in Pensacola Beach, just a short drive from downtown across the toll bridge. You’re greeted by the crush of summertime fun with countless bars and retail shops at the ready on the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk. Pro-tip: If you don’t want to deal with the crowds just keep driving out past Portofino Beach Resort and the white sandy beaches will be all your own. Naps are encouraged. n

Pensacola Bay Brewery Take a left off of Palafox onto Zaragosa Street, find the big white church, look to your right and walk into an awesome craft brewery. What it lacks in size it makes up for in quality beer. Their “Li’l Napolean” IPA is the best beer in town. It’s cash only, folks, but there is an ATM on site.

Gulf Coast Brewery Still a new kid on the block, this brewery is east of town on East Heinberg Street. The ski lodge feel created by the interior lends itself to a casual vibe. The Mindbender Double IPA is a powerful affair and if that doesn’t entice you, two more words — ping pong.

Hopjacks My favorite bar in the city, Hopjacks, has more than 110 beers on draft and a delicious line of hot pizza pies. Sure, World of Beer just a few blocks down Palafox offers a bevy of beers as well, but Hopjacks has a dive-ier, more collegiate feel than its polished, franchised counterpart.



roadside dining

Feasting and Frolicking

Sweet tea, barbecue chicken with smoked sausage and cornbread

Northern Louisiana seasonal dinner series celebrates farm-to-table ingredients and heritage cooking techniques by

Jyl Benson

photos by

Romero & Romero

On a late January day,

Collard greens, baked sweet potato, hot-water cornbread and a tomato, cucumber and onion salad 50 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

with sparkling skies over Princeton just outside of Bossier City, a soft, though persistent breeze bathed 75 assembled guests at Mahaffey Family Farms with the mouth-watering aromas of spicy hand-tied tamales, roasting pork, buttery cornbread and lushly smothered greens and black-eyed peas — both rich with hunks of smoked ham. It was the fourth in the year-old Seasons & Traditions dinner series, a collaborative farm-to-table affair produced by Evan McCommon of Mahaffey Farms and Chef Hardette Harris, creator of the Official Meal of North Louisiana and the “Us Up North” tour and culinary experience. The featured guest chef for the “Feast and Frolic,” dinner was Dr. Howard Conyers, a celebrated South Carolina-

GOOD BETS Located on a gracious stretch of Shreveport’s Fairfield Avenue close to dining, shops and entertainment venues, 2439 Fairfield serves as a charmingly appointed bed and breakfast as well as a reservations-only brunch restaurant. It is a welcoming place for those not wanting to stay in one of the area’s many casino hotels. Proprietor Jimmy Harris lovingly restored the Victorian mansion in 1988 and has spent the years since investing lavishly in period antiques and adornments. Each of the four guestrooms has access to a balcony outfitted with rocking chairs overlooking the gardens. As a host Jimmy is warm, welcoming and eager to please. Breakfast, or brunch if you’d rather, is a lavish affair replete with homemade breads and jams, fresh fruit, a variety of egg dishes, creamy grits, hash brown casseroles and homemade fried hand pies served piping hot. Every sumptuous dish Harris deftly prepares with skill and pride was learned at the knees of his ancestors. He will regale with tales and memories of each of them and graciously shares their recipes.

style, whole hog barbecue pit master, who cooked on-site a Red Wattle hog raised at Mahaffey Farms using generations-old techniques he learned as a child growing up in rural Paxville, South Carolina. Conyers educated the assemblage on the history and cultural significance of traditional pit barbecue as it has been passed down to him through generations beginning with his West African ancestors who were brought to South Carolina as slaves. By day, the New Orleans resident works as a scientist testing rocket engines at NASA’s Stennis Space Center but his passion is for the culinary art he learned as a child and works ardently to preserve through Carolina NOLA, his New Orleans-based barbecue pop-up. The sold-out event included a bounty of seasonal side dishes prepared by Harris, tamales from Emerson Tamales, an open bar with craft beer, specialty cocktails, and live music. The event attracted a diverse group of enthusiasts of all ages. Mahaffey Farms is run by a small, multi-generational family growing nutrient-dense foods such as pastureraised meats, eggs and naturally grown vegetables and herbs. The farmhouse is also available for rent on Airbnb. Through the Seasons & Traditions series, Harris and McCommon work to build community while educating people about the foods they eat and where they come from, as well as preserve the culinary traditions specific to Northern Louisiana. “We are about the authenticity of our north Louisiana food,” Harris says. “These foods are commonly found on a soul-food menu and we celebrate them with the idea that if ‘you don’t think you’re pretty, no one else will either’.” The next Seasons & Traditions dinner will be held on May 28 at Mahaffey Farms. For more information on the Seasons & Traditions dinner series visit the Facebook page. n A Bed & Breakfast

2439 Fairfrield Ave., Shreveport. 318-424-2424 Chef Hardette Harris, Us Up North

281-701-7432. foodtourlouisiana.com. Mahaffey Family Farms

440 Mahaffey Road, Princeton. 318-949-6249. mahaffeyfarms.com.



great louisiana chef

Home Plate A brick-and-mortar space for Toby Rodriguez and Lâche Pas Boucherie et Cuisine by

Jyl Benson Romero & Romero

photos by

In March, Toby Rodriguez and

Lâche Pas Boucherie et Cuisine found a permanent brick-and-mortar home at the old Acadian Superette in the heart of Lafayette’s Freetown neighborhood. Already, the familiar menu tastes a bit different. Breakfast sandwiches now include house-made Cajun sausage and plate lunches include fresh seasonal vegetables. Grocery staples will remain on the store shelves but house-made pickles and condiments will soon be offered, as well. Many first became familiar with Rodriguez in 2011 when the wiry man with the fine Cajun lilt appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” The climax of the show was a traditional boucherie led by Rodriguez. In the years since, Rodriguez has travelled the world sharing the art of the boucherie. “But I’ve longed for a place of my own, a place to settle down,” says the Grand Coteau native. Over the course of the next year, an evolution will take place as a new look, new offerings, and a new name take hold. Rodriguez, a skilled builder, is doing the work himself, adding a full-service butcher shop inside, a deck with a meat smoker outside and a wine bar and restaurant in an attached building that once housed a speakeasy. The wine bar will be called The Superette. The grocery and deli side of the business will be called Lâche Pas. n

52 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

Combine 3¼ cups red wine, 3¼ cups olive oil and 3 ¼ cups sugar cane vinegar. Completely submerge 1 pork heart, 2 pork kidneys, and 1 pork spleen (all cut into 1-inch cubes) in the marinade for a minimum of 4 hours. Remove the organs, reserving the marinade and season with cayenne pepper, sea salt, course black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder as desired. Set aside, refrigerated. Add 1 pork liver, cut into 1-inch cubes to the marinade for 4 hours, keeping it segregated from the other organs. Remove the liver, reserving the marinade, and season with cayenne pepper, sea salt, course black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder as desired. Set aside, refrigerate. Add 2 whole pork cheeks and 2 whole pork tenderloins to the reserved marinade for 4 hours, keeping it segregated from the other organs. Remove meats and season with cayenne pepper, sea salt, course black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder as desired.

Pork Fraisseurs “Sometimes the most flavorful cuts of meat are treated with a lack of respect, and so it goes with organ meat,” Rodriguez says. “In the royal court of protein, the king of organ meat culmination is, of course, the swine divine. Once considered a poor man’s dish, pork fraisseur’s has crossed the tracks as a meal of true depth. It is both perfectly simplistic and shamelessly indulgent, richly layered in a symphony of carnivorous complexities.”

Rodriguez suggests serving this with a side of slow-cooked purple hull peas with pork tasso, a sugarcane vinegar and mayonnaise cabbage coleslaw, and “an ice cold Schlitz at the table is always a nice touch.”

Heat the remaining ½ cup olive oil to a large cast iron Dutch oven over high heat just to the point of smoking. Sear the cheeks and tenderloin until dark brown. Blackened edges are acceptable and encouraged. Set aside. Add 1 pork tongue, boiled, scraped, and cut into 1-inch cubes, the kidneys, heart and spleen and cook until dark brown. Do not over-sear to the point of protein breakdown. Remove from the pot.

Strain any charred remnants of protein from the oil and rendered fat and return the pot to low heat. Add the 1 head garlic peeled and sliced thin and sauté until golden. Add 4 onions, 2 bell peppers, and 1 bunch celery (all diced) and sauté until translucent and medium brown. Add the 4 ripe tomatoes (diced), 4 jalapenos (minced) and 1 bunch flat leaf parsley (minced). Cook down until liquid is sparse and the contents of the pot sticks. Add the liver and 1 cup of red wine to the pot, using the wine to deglaze, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook the liver until it breaks down and thickens into a gravy. Return all other protein and organs back into the pot, allowing its contents to stick periodically while deglazing with 4 cups vegetable stock. This process is vital to the quality of the gravy. It gives the desired color of the sauce and provides multiple layers of intensity of taste. Do not burn, this mistake can quickly become irreconcilable. When the desired color and consistency have been achieved, add enough water to just barely submerge the proteins. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for at least 2 hours. The longer it cooks, the deeper the flavor. Season as desired with additional sea salt and cayenne. Remove the cheeks and tenderloins, slice and return to the pot. Serve with hot, cooked jasmine rice, chopped green onions and pickled banana peppers. Serves a crowd



kitchen gourmet

Simply Fresh Easy meals highlighting spring’s bounty by

Stanley Dry

photos and styling by

Eugenia Uhl

Good food doesn’t

have to be complicated or difficult to make. On the contrary, simple dishes prepared without artifice or pretension, are often the most memorable. This is particularly so in the spring and summer, when we have such an abundance of vegetables and seafood at our fingertips. Quality ingredients, simplicity and ease of preparation are the keys to eating well on a daily basis. It’s not necessary to be a trained chef in order to produce good meals. With a little thought and some attention to detail, anyone who loves to eat can prepare nutritious and delicious food day in and day out. I respect and appreciate the intricate and sublime dishes that great chefs produce in their restaurants, but I have no desire to attempt to make them at home. Whether or not I could successfully reproduce them is beside the point. My goal is to eat well and reasonably healthfully without spending all day in the kitchen. Taste is what matters, and it’s possible to satisfy a desire for delicious food without becoming chained to the kitchen. All of the recipes this month require a minimum of preparation. Bell peppers and

54 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

MultiColored Bell Peppers Stuffed With Boudin Preheat oven to 350F and oil a shallow baking dish. Cut off tops of each 4 large bell peppers, each a different color and reserve. Remove seeds and ribs from peppers. Using a sharp knife, slit casings of 1-1½ pounds boudin. Remove boudin and fill each pepper, without packing. Place filled peppers in baking dish and replace their tops. Add ½ cup water to dish and bake for 90 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

tip Taste is primary, but color and composition are also worthy of consideration. How a dish looks affects our enjoyment of the food, which has given rise to the saying that “we eat with our eyes”—obviously an exaggeration, but not by much.

other vegetables are delicious when stuffed with meat, rice or seafood, and baked. For a change, instead of preparing your own stuffing, use boudin and different colored bell peppers. A dish of shrimp and asparagus is enlivened with a mustard vinaigrette, resulting in a dish that can be served as a salad or as the centerpiece of a light luncheon. I prefer it served at room temperature, but it may also be chilled. This is the time of year when we have an abundance of tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes of various colors make an appealing salad with the addition of olive oil and fresh basil. I like to serve it over toasted country bread. The toast soaks up the oil and tomato juices and becomes indescribably delicious. Thinly sliced cucumbers and radishes anointed with olive oil and lemon juice and sharpened with Pecorino Romano cheese make an appealing salad incorporating two seasonal vegetables. A frittata is simply an Italian-style omelette. This one, filled with sugar snap peas and asparagus, can be cut into wedges and served hot or room temperature. n

Shrimp And Asparagus With Mustard Vinaigrette Combine ¼ cup extravirgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons freshlysqueezed lemon juice and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk until

Mixed Cherry Tomato Salad With Toast, Olive Oil and Basil This is one of my favorite treats when I have ripe tomatoes from the garden. It is simplicity itself and all the more appealing for that fact. In a dish like this, quality ingredients are even more essential than usual. Use the best tomatoes and bread you can find and your finest olive oil. 4 thick slices French or Italian country bread 1 pound cherry tomatoes, mixed colors

Cucumber And Radish Salad Here we have two cool and refreshing ingredients joined together in a simple salad that can be served alongside grilled food. It is also good on a light luncheon menu as one of several dishes, perhaps including the shrimp and asparagus with mustard vinaigrette or the asparagus and pea frittata, along with cold roast beef, pork or chicken. 2 medium cucumbers 8 radishes

extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper

4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

fresh basil leaves

coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Toast bread and divide among 4 plates. Using a fourth of the tomatoes, cut them in half over one of the toasts so the juices aren’t lost. Repeat with remaining tomatoes and toasts.

¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

2. Drizzle the tomatoes and toasts with extra-virgin olive oil. Be generous with the oil. 3. Season to taste with coarse

salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tear basil leaves and strew over the tomatoes. Makes 4 servings.

emulsified. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and cayenne. Put 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined in a medium pot, add 2 tablespoons Cajun/ Creole seasoning and cover with water. Place pot on high heat. When water comes to a rolling boil, turn off heat and let shrimp soak for a few

2 tablespoons minced chives 1. Slice cucumbers and radishes as thin as possible and add to salad bowl. 2. Whisk olive oil and lemon juice until emulsified. Add to salad bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. 3. Sprinkle grated Pecorino Romano over salad, then garnish with minced chives. Makes 4 servings.

minutes. Drain shrimp in a colander, then transfer to a shallow container, such as a bowl or baking dish. Whisk the vinaigrette, pour half of it over the shrimp and toss. Adjust seasonings. While shrimp are cooking, trim ends from 1 pound thin asparagus, place in a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon coarse salt and cover with water. When water

comes to a boil, remove asparagus with tongs and drain in a colander. Transfer asparagus to a shallow container, pour over the remaining vinaigrette and toss to coat asparagus. Adjust seasonings. Divide asparagus among 4 serving plates and top with shrimp. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

asparagus And Pea Frittata Put a medium-sized sauce pan of salted water on to boil and preheat oven to 350 F. Remove strings from 1 cup sugar snap peas and break or cut off the woody ends of 8 spears thin asparagus. Blanch the sugar snaps in boiling water for one minute, then remove from pot, place in strainer or colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Blanch the asparagus spears for one minute also, then remove from pot, place in strainer or colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Cut peas and asparagus into ½-inch pieces. Break 6 large eggs into mixing bowl and whisk. Season with ¼ teaspoon coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper and ¼ cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese. Add peas and asparagus to eggs. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. When butter foams, add egg mixture, transfer to preheated oven and bake until puffy and set around the edge of the skillet, about 8-10 minutes. Place skillet under broiler for a minute to brown the top. Makes 4 servings.

Makes 4 servings.




Summer Sojourns Traveling Louisiana & Beyond



ouisiana never rests, not even in the dog days of summer when humidity’s high and mosquitos flitter about our ankles. There’s no stopping the fun here; the joie de vivre runs thick through the state’s communities. People take on the heat here with a sense of pride—by diving into one of the area’s many waterways, finding a shady nook in which to cast a fishing line, saddling up to the bar with friends for a cold beer and oysters on the half shell, or stopping in to your favorite diner for a slice of icebox pie. Summer festivals that celebrate local culture also prove to be a great distraction from the heat with delicious foods—from Cajun favorites to barbecue to Louisiana peaches—and live music that quickens your pulse and lightens your mood. Just across Louisiana’s borders, neighboring states offer their own summer escapes worthwhile for weekend adventurers. Plan your summer sojourn now and beat the heat with fantastic food and fun.

Louisiana Cities & Parishes The heart of plantation country, Iberville Parish is known for its serene landscapes, quiet swamps, and elegant history. Located be56 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

tween the diverse waterways of the Atchafalaya Basin and bustling Baton Rouge, Iberville Parish is home to magnificent antebellum homes, majestic churches, and fascinating historic sites. Explore Iberville online through a new interactive map at VisitIberville.com and plan

your journey to the Parish. From attractions such as stately Nottoway Plantation and architectural gem St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church to rounds of golf at The Island and seafood at Roberto’s River Road Restaurant, Iberville Parish welcomes visitors craving an authentic South Louisiana adventure. Whether history beckons you to the Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site or the Hansen’s Disease Museum in Carville, or the beauty of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area draws you in for fishing and bird watching, Iberville Parish promises an unforgettable escape for a day, a weekend, or more. Rest, relax, eat, and explore along the winding Mississippi River. For more information and to plan your trip, go to VisitIberville.com.

Looking for authentic Louisiana experiences that are familyfriendly and close to home? Head to Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana’s Other Side, where your family can split a po’ boy, slurp a fresh Louisiana oyster, hold a baby alligator, zipline through a swamp, treat yourself to a slice of world-famous ice box pie, dance to zydeco, and pass a good time in so many other ways. Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28, come enjoy Cajun and Creole cuisine at Mudbug Madness Festival at Festival Plaza. This is the premier crawfish festival in the South and features non-stop live Cajun and zydeco music, activities for children, and other delicious food. This festival is a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event and American Bus Association Top 100 event.


This summer, St. Mary Parish is alive with events such as Rhythms on the River, which continues on Fridays through June 16, the Freedom Fest at Lake End Park, May 27, and the Bayou BBQ Bash, July 14-15. For more information, visit CajunCoast.com.


Authentic Louisiana is closer than you think. Request the free Official Visitors’ Guide to Shreveport-Bossier by calling 1-800-551-8682, visit Shreveport-Bossier.org/Summer and start planning your road trip today. Avoyelles Parish is blooming with opportunities for festival lovers. The first weekend of May (6-7) brings the Cajun Crossroads Festival to Hessmer, which brings cookoffs, adult t-ball tournaments, and more. Call 318-359-4649 for more information. Lil Nathan will get everyone dancing at the Cochon de Lait Festival in downtown Mansura, the Cochon de Lait Capitale of the World during the second weekend of May (11-14). Enjoy decadent pork and lots of fun, and call 318-964-2152 for information. Songwriter and former Staind frontman Aaron Lewis visits the area with an 8:00pm concert on May 13 at Paragon Casino Resort, where the good times, great tunes, and dice are always rolling! On May 28, Smokey Robinson will take the stage at Paragon Casino Resort (800-745-3000). The Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana invites you to the 22nd Annual Tunica Biloxi

PowWow, May 20-21st. Visit TunicaPowWow.org for details. For more to do in Avoyelles Parish in May and June, including summer festivals, go to TravelAvoyelles.com or find TravelAvoyelles on Facebook for a complete listing of events. It’s peach season in Ruston and Lincoln Parish! That means it’s time for the 67th Annual Louisiana Peach Festival! Mark your calendars for June 23-24, and make plans to visit Downtown Ruston for this fun-filled festival. The event is even free to attend 12:00-5:00pm on Friday, June 23! Bring the entire family out for live music, kids’ activities and games, arts and crafts, downtown shopping, and so much more. And, of course, you can’t visit without sampling savory treats made from Louisiana’s sweetest peaches. Music lineup for the festival includes renowned New Orleans cover band The Chee-Weez, rising star Zach O’Neil, Katalyst, Kendal Conrad, and hit artist Uncle Kracker! Live music and peaches aren’t the only things in store for festival lovers this year. Go wild with interactive dinosaurs, a fossil dig, and more pre-historic fun!

For more information about Ruston or to plan your trip to the Louisiana Peach Festival, visit ExperienceRuston.com. St. Mary Parish, also known as the Cajun Coast, is a gem for experiencing the great outdoors in Sportsman’s Paradise. Surrounded by the waters of Bayou Teche, Atchafalaya River, and the Atchafalaya Swamp Basin, the Cajun Coast is known for its natural splendor and “road less traveled” atmosphere. Options for exploration, relaxation, and excitement abound on both water and land. Find your calm among the serene wilderness of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area or along the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway. Boaters enjoy the waters of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest overflow swamp, as well as the scenery and sounds offered by the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge. Golfers won’t want to miss a chance to hit the Atchafalaya at Idlewild, which was rated the number one golf course in Louisiana by Golfweek Magazine in 2008 and 2009 and number two by Golf Advisor in 2017.

The fifth annual Little Walter Music Festival brings two days of music, food, children’s activities, and more to downtown Alexandria. The festival, celebrating central Louisiana’s only Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, will be held at the downtown amphitheater Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27, 2017. The two-day music festival will include music by Sundance Head, winner of Season 11 of The Voice, the Boogaloo Bolden Blues Band with guests Kenny Neal and Billy Branch, Mr. Sipp the Mississippi Blues Child, Nikki Hill, Josh Hyde and John “Papa” Gros, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Lil Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers, Smoky Greenwell Blues Band, Peas and Cornbread, and 92Twenty. Music kicks off at 5:30pm on the 26th and 11:00am on the 27th. Food and beverage vendors will be on site to keep you fueled for dancing and fun. Also on Saturday, May 27, is the Little Walter Harmonica Hustle four-mile challenge and a harmonica workshop. Find a complete schedule of events and the lineup at LittleWalterMusicFestival.com or at Facebook.com/LittleWalterMusicFestival. You may also call 1-800-551-9546.

Accommodations, Food, & More Fun When living the New Orleans experience, it’s important to envelop yourself in the essence of New Orleans—a feeling captured by each upscale property in the New Orleans Hotel Collection (NOHC). NOHC properties are set apart by distinctive style, personalized service, and superb location. Locally owned and operated, the collection consists of the new JUNG Hotel and Residences opening in July, the Bourbon Orleans, Dauphine Orleans, Crowne Plaza (Airport), The Whitney Hotel, Hotel Mazarin, and Hotel Le Marais. Hotel Le Marais, Hotel Mazarin, LouisianaLife.com



and Bourbon Orleans were named among “New Orleans’ Ten Best Hotels” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. A consistent guest-favorite, Whitney Hotel is conveniently close to both the World War II Museum and Lafayette Square’s Wednesday summer concert series. New Orleans Hotel Collection’s “no nickel and dime” approach provides all guests with a free breakfast, a welcome drink, in-room bottled artesian water and coffee, Wi-Fi, newspapers, and access to a business and fitness center. For a special readers’ discount better than any online travel agency for direct bookings, visit NewOrleansHotelCollection.com/big. Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter is located in the heart of the French Quarter on world-famous Bourbon Street. They offer 186 comfortable guest rooms, more than 4,000 square feet of market-leading meeting facilities, a tropical courtyard with an outdoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, and more. Café Opera, the Four Point’s full-service restaurant features a classic New Orleans menu of Creole and continental cuisine. Guests can also enjoy a wide selection of specialty drinks at the Puccini Bar. Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter is located on the site of the French Opera House (1859-1919), a legendary New Orleans cultural venue. Their performance series, “Opera Returns to Bourbon Street” features local operatic talent from the New Orleans Opera Association and local classical vocalist group Bon Operatit! Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter is located at 541 Bourbon Street. For reservations and more, call 866-716-8133 or visit FourPoints.com/FrenchQuarter. The most beloved legends always seem to come from humble beginnings, and DON’S Seafood is no different. In 1934, when Don Landry was a mere 24 years old, the young man saw an opportunity and borrowed $400 from his uncle. Prohibition had just been lifted, and Don envisioned serving drinks and offering a simple menu featuring fresh local seafood in downtown Lafayette. Four generations later, the Landry family has expanded

58 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

tion will be held May 4-6, 2017, in Downtown Alexandria, LA. This three-day festival is set along the banks of the iconic Red River and brings thousands of people together for great music, food, and fun. Dinner on the Bricks, ArtWalk, and the Louisiana Dragon Boat Races™ along with live entertainment from major musical acts, such as Robert Randolph & The Family Band, J.J. Grey & Mofro, Erick Kranso & Friends, The Main Squeeze and more. With so much to see and do, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Fête. Fête means “an elaborate festival, party, or celebration,” and that’s just what you will find in Alexandria this May. So make time to enjoy the party! As always, AlexRiverFête, promises to be an unforgettable experience. Learn more about the festival and lineup at CityofAlexandria.com/Fete.

Regional Travel


that humble beginning into the DON’S Seafood of today. Known for its authentic Cajun cuisine, relaxed atmosphere, and South Louisiana essence, DON’S Seafood serves up an extensive menu of original family recipes, the freshest Gulf seafood, and sizzling steaks. From traditional Louisiana recipes to recent additions like Zydeco Shrimp or DON’S Original Jacked Up Oysters, the menu offers the best of South Louisiana fare accompanied by timeless cocktails and new specialty drinks. Eat. Drink. Relax. For more information, visit DonsSeafoodOnline.com and locate the DON’S Seafood nearest you in Lafayette, Metairie, Covington, Hammond, Gonzales, or Denham Springs. Louisiana Fish Fry Products of Baton Rouge, LA, the manufacturer of the #1 selling Fish Fry in the country, was founded more than 30 years ago as an offshoot

of the retail seafood operation, Tony’s Seafood. Today, it is one of the fastest-growing family-owned food manufacturing businesses in Louisiana. Owned by the Pizzolato family, the company produces over 100 products, all formulated to make Cajun cuisine easy to prepare at home. Now you can “eat like a local” no matter where you live! Speaking of eating, like Louisiana Fish Fry Products on Facebook and help the company celebrate National Catfish Day on June 25! Catfish never tastes better than when fried in the fish fry that started it all, Louisiana Fish Fry’s Seasoned Fish Fry in the beautiful blue bag. Look for their Seasoned Fish Fry, boxed rice mix dinners, seasonings and more at your local grocery store, or order online at LousianaFishFry.com. Ready! Set! Fête! The fifth annual AlexRiverFête celebrating culture, community, and collabora-

Arkansas isn’t just a state—it’s an experience. From hiking your way to waterfalls and kayaking beneath bluffs, to a relaxing clear-lake fishing trip, thrilling mountain biking and road cycling, or even diamonddigging, The Natural State’s great outdoors provide endless opportunities for family fun across a variety of landscapes. Arkansas State Parks are one of the state’s biggest selling points with their gorgeous views and diverse offerings, including Crater of Diamonds, North America’s only public diamond-producing site with a finders-keepers policy. Arkansas also boasts enormous historical significance, housing the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock in addition to the Clinton House Museum and other National Historic Sites. Arkansas’s musical heritage shines through its many music venues and museums—from the boyhood home of Johnny Cash and folk demonstrations at the Ozark Folk Center to the downtown venues of Little Rock and Fayetteville. World-class art galleries, lush golf courses, scenic byways, shopping, and hot springs are just a few more reasons to visit Arkansas. Download your travel guide today and learn more at Arkansas.com.




May/June Events and festivals around the state by Kelly

Massicot june 29-July 2. Essence Festival. New Orleans. essence.com/festival-2017

Cajun Country May 4-14. Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival. Lake Charles. contrabanddays.com May 4-7. Thibodaux Fireman’s Fair. Thibodaux. firemensfair.com May 5-7. Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. Breaux Bridge. 337-332-6655. bbcrawfest.com May 6. 21st Annual Celebration of Herbs & Gardens. Sunset. sunsetherbfestival.com May 12-14. Bayou Cajun Fest. Larose. bayoucivicclub. org/features/bayou-cajun-fest

Greater New Orleans May 4-7. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. New Orleans. nojazzfest.com May 5-7. Bayou Bash. Slidell. May 6. Jammin’ On Julia. New Orleans. artsdistrictneworleans.com May 11-14. UNO Film Festival. New Orleans. facebook.com/UNOFilmFest May 13. Corset Crawl. New Orleans. creativitycollective. com/corsetcrawl May 13-14. Mother’s Day Tea. New Orleans. windsorcourthotel.com/le-salon May 19. Bayou Boogaloo. New Orleans. thebayouboogaloo.com May 25-28. New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. New Orleans. nowfe.com May 26-28. Greek Fest. New Orleans. greekfestnola.com

62 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

May 27-28. Bayou Country Superfest. New Orleans. bayoucountrysuperfest.com May 27-28. Magnolia State Feis. Kenner. irishdancelouisiana.com/feis June 2-18. New Orleans Shakespeare Festival. New Orleans. neworleansshakespeare.org June 3-4. Oyster Festival. New Orleans. nolaoysterfest.org June 10. New Orleans Pride Parade. New Orleans. facebook.com/ NewOrleansPrideFestival June 10. Youth Fishing Rodeo. Pearl River. louisiananorthshore.com June 17. Louisiana Bicycle Festival. Abita Springs. l abicyclefestival.com June 22-24. FestiGals. New Orleans. festigals.org June 24-25. Cajun & Zydeco Festival. New Orleans. jazzandheritage.org/ cajun-zydeco

May 13. Delcambre Boat Poker Run. Delcambre. facebook.com/delcambreboatparade

Jazz Fest It’s a tradition, it’s a moment, it’s seven days of food, music and culture that hundreds of thousands of people gather each year to enjoy. For decades, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has brought music lovers of all kinds together at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. What started as a one-day jazz concert has grown into a beautiful blend of music and the heritage that surrounds the city and beyond, this year highlighting the music and culture of Cuba. Giants like Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton have all played the festival stage, while local favorites like Trombone Shorty and Big Freedia all bring a familiar New Orleans flavor. Enjoy the music and artistry while munching on local favorites from the dozens of New Orleans restaurants positioned around the festival grounds. Buy tickets, check out the official 2017 poster and clothing pattern, map out the food vendors and plan your musical agenda all at nojazzfest.com.

May 13. TFAE Run For Excellence 5K and Food Fest. Houma. tfae.org 13-14. NOLA Veggie Fest. New Orleans. nolaveggiefest.com May 18-20. Starks Mayhaw Festival. Starks. mayhawfest.com/home May 18-20. Cruisin Cajun Country. New Iberia. cruisincajuncountry.com May 20. Healing Traditions in Acadiana. Vermilionville. vermilionville.org May 21. 6th annual Bayou Vermilion Festival & Boat Parade. Vermilionville. vermilionville.org May 25-27. Krotz Springs Sportsmen’s Heritage Festival. Krotz Springs. kssportsmensheritagefestival.com May 25-June 4. Cajun Heartland State Fair. Lafayette. cajundome.com/chsf.aspx

photograph courtesy new orleans jazz festival presented by shell

May 27. Splash Bash. New Iberia. 337-339-5903. iberiatravel.com June 2-4. Cajun Heritage Festival. Larose. cajunheritagefestival.com June 7-10. Swollfest Fishing Rodeo. Grand Isle. swollfest.com June 23-25. Louisiana Catfish Festival. Des Allemandes. louisianacatfishfestival.com June 24. Gulf Coast Shrimp & Jazz Festival. Lake Charles. swlashrimpnjazzfest.com June 25. Stars and Stripes - A Musical Celebration. New Iberia. iberiacultural.com

Central May 5-6. Mayfest. Leesville. vernonparish.org/MayFest

North May 6. Gusher Days Festival. Oil City. gusherdaysfestival.com May 7. Mansfield Battlefield Tours. Mansfield. facebook.com/MansfieldSHS May 8-13. Poke Salad Festival. Blanchard. pokesaladfestival.com May 26-27. Little Walter Music Festival. Alexandria. alexandriapinevillela.com/ littlewalter May 26-29. Mudapalooza. Sarepta. muddybottomsatv.com June 9-10. Grilling On Main BBQ Cook Off. Minden. visitwebster.net June 16-18. Let The Good Times Roll Festival. Shreveport. rhoomega.com June 17. Sunflower Trail and Festival. Gilliam. redrivercrossroadshistorical.org/sunflowertrail

Plantation Country May 11. Showing of “Masterpieces, The Most Extraordinary Buildings Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.” Baton Rouge. manshiptheatre.org May 26-27. Gonzales Jambalaya Festival. Gonzales. jambalayafestival.org May 27-Sept.4. STAR Tournament. Baton Rouge. ccastar.com


Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival Each May the “Crawfish Capital of the World” holds an annual festival surrounding the treasured crustacean. Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is a weekend long event highlighting crawfish, Cajun music and culture, dance contests and more at Parc Hardy in Breaux Bridge. May 26-27

Little Walter Music Festival Little Walter Music Festival is held annually at the Alexandria Amphitheater in honor of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer “Little Walter.” This year’s Memorial weekend event will feature Sundance Head, the 2016 winner of NBC’s “The Voice.” June 2-4

Cajun Heritage Festival The Larose Civic Center will play host to the 2017 Cajun Heritage Festival. Festivalgoers can experience carving demonstrations, authentic Cajun food, raffles and even a duck calling competition. Guests can take part in texturing and painting seminars, as well as show their skills in a miniature boat-building contest. May 23-25

Louisiana Catfish Festival What started as a church fundraiser has now turned the city of Des Allemandes into the Catfish Capital of the World. The Louisiana Catfish Festival, held at the St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church, offers music and games along with the state’s tastiest catfish.



a louisiana life

Systemic Success New Orleans nonprofit incubator offers opportunities to underrepresented entrepreneurs By Megan portrait By

Hill Romero & Romero

Aaron Walker’s path to New Orleans

will sound familiar to other transplants: the New Jersey native and entrepreneur visited and “fell in love with the city.” Since relocating to the Big Easy with his family, the CEO of nonprofit incubator Camelback Ventures is looking to leave his mark. Camelback provides opportunities to underrepresented entrepreneurs — women, immigrants and racial minorities. The company works primarily with entrepreneurs focusings on STEM, Innovative School Models, Higher Education and EdTech. These topics in particular inspire Walker, a firstgeneration college student and former teacher. Walker taught 9th grade English through Teach for America in West Philadelphia. The school was so under-resourced it lacked a library, and the students were one or two gradelevels behind in their reading and writing skills. “In the early part of my service I began to realize the challenge for teachers and the heroic tasks we ask them to undergo each day with so few resources,” he says. Realizing the problem was “bigger than any one teacher’s ability,” Walker sought systemic change and headed to law school at the University of Pennsylvania. After spending time raising money — more than $30 million in private investments — to fund education reform efforts for the New York City Department of Education, and dabbling in two other start-up ventures, Camelback was born. “We’re excited about this new class, and it’s the most diverse we’ve had yet,” Walker says. “We are influencing the sector in terms of what the archetype of leadership looks like. It doesn’t always have to be male, and it doesn’t always have to be white. I’m proud that we’ve been able to look different and bring a different leadership style and new ideas to the table.” n

64 Louisiana Life May/June 2017

Q&A Favorite New Orleans experience: “There’s nothing better than a Sunday afternoon with a glass of Gingeroo, a ready-made cocktail from Old New Orleans Rum.” Family tradition: “City Park, on a Saturday afternoon with our cargo bike.” Favorite restaurant: Namese in Mid-City