New Orleans Vol. 4
“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” -Tennessee Williams
July 13th - 18th
Table of Contents
Cajun Bloody Mary
Crawfish ’s id S n a it Cap pg. 3
z Player Jimmy thepg.Jaz 7 new orleans
Commanders’ Chef Tory pg. 8
The Elms Mansion pg. 13
Captain Sids Cajun Crawfish “I’ll tell ya the secret to the perfect crawfish there ain’t none. All you gotta do is make sure they are spicy and everyone is drinkin’ and havin’ a good time.”
he infamous Captain Sid’s is a local favorite if you are in the mood for some traditional cajun crawfish. Sid’s is family own and run for the past 30 years. They started off by simply making crawfish for events and from there they decided to open up their own store in Meterie, LA. From there the business has spread across the country. The do shipments all across the US and they do home deliveries around town. Their crawfish is so well respected they make the crawfish for some restaurant in town. One of the workers, Clint, says their busiest days are in the summer time. “A popular thing that people do here in Louisiana is have get together during the day on a Saturday or Sunday.” What the locals do is buy a few pounds of crawfish from us and they take it with them to eat and enjoy their weekend afternoon with friends.
In the making The next step is to boil the crawfish. They large vats of water are pre seasoned with their own homemade recipe - which you can buy in the store. The crawfish are boiled in separate containers from the potatoes, corn and sausage. This is not only for food allergies but to help the food all taste the same. The do different amounts of seasoning per product.
The crawfish are first imported in. Captain Sid used to catch his own but with the booming business and running he store he now has a group of men that he buys the sea food from. The crawfish are then moved in large mesh bags into their freezing unit. This keeps them alive and gives Sid’s more wiggle room with guessing the amount of crawfish being used.
Once they are finished boiling they are put into containers to purchase. Once the customers come in they say the amount of crawfish they want in pounds and they are packaged up and sold right after they are done being boiled.
“It is crucial to boil the crawfish when they are alive. If you boil them when they are dead they will have a straight tail. This is a good indicator that the crawfish are not safe to eat.”
The employees will then take the bags and put them on a confectionery. This process helps the staff take away the dead crawfish and it also helps them sift through and find objects or other animals such as turtles or shrimp. Once the crawfish have been sifted through they are put in large bins. These bins are used as measuring units to tell the staff how many buckets can fit per boiling unit for the next step. The crawfish are still alive at this point. It is crawfish to boil the crawfish when they are alive - if you boil them when they are dead they will have a straight tail. This is a good indicator that the crawfish are not safe to eat.
This is a quintessential New Orleans experience. I highly recommend stopping on by and grabbing a few pounds before going to a park or Jackson Square. Some crawfish and a ice cold beer is a great way to see New
How to eat a crawfish
First start with a hot boiled crawfish - make sure the tail is curled and it is fresh.
Twist the tail and the body in opposite directions and pull.
Discard the front half of the crawfish and peel the rest of the tail out - it is easiest to peel from the underside of the tail.
12 3 4 5 6
Next put a firm grip on both the tail and the body of the crawfish.
Make sure they meat of the tail is coming out and it is intact.
Commander's Palace Chef Tory
Life of a Chef Tory McPhail has followed a path, forged from hard work to arrive at the historic Commander’s Palace restaurant’s storied chef legacy, which has cultivated the likes of Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, and Jamie Shannon. McPhail hails from Ferndale, WA, a small town near the Canadian border, where he learned to appreciate local goods and the comfortable gathering place of his parents’ kitchen. Corn planted in the spring would become dinner in the summer; fish caught in the afternoon from his family’s stocked pond would make it to the plate by dusk. “I knew food didn’t just come from the grocery store and magically appear there,” he says. “Being able to watch it all grow gave me a passion for natural foods.” After high school, McPhail attended Seattle Community College and received an ACF-accredited degree in culinary science. Compelled by New Orlean’s history, soul, creold dishes and Mardi Gras celebrations won him over, he moved upon graduation and at just 19, he was hired by Commander’s Palace Executive Chef Jamie Shannon. He worked diligently through all 12 stations in the kitchen, honing his craft and making a positive impression on his boss.
Las Vegas. Though he loved his job there, New Orleans and Chef Shannon beckoned, and he returned to the Big Easy where the Brennan family named him executive chef of the original Commander’s Palace in January 2002.
“I first came to New Orleans for the food – Creole cuisine is the only indigenous food in North America and knew it was the perfect place to learn my craft.” Today, McPhail continues his dedication to creating and sustaining strong relationships with local purveyors, as well as executing exciting dishes in the Commander’s kitchen. “I’m always thinking very forward when it comes to Creole food,” he says. A passionate and resolutechef who pursues culinary perfection, McPhail delights in exploring a variety of flavors in his seasonal menus—embracing Creole traditions while updating classic dishes with fresh, local ingredients. His Creole Seared Gulf Fish, for example, showcases farm-fresh produce like Spring Mushrooms, Corn, Fingerling Potatoes and seared Speckled Trout McPhail’s masterful work has not only kept Commander’s Palace at the top of critics’ lists, but has also led him to numerous TV appearances, including Bravo’s “Top Chef,” on which he was a guest judge along-side Commander’s Co-Proprietor Ti Adelaide Martin; NBC’s “Today”; CBS’s “Early Show”; “Paula’s Party” with Paula Dean; “After Hours With Daniel Boulud”; and numerous Food Network programs, including “Sara’s Secrets,” “My Country, My Kitchen,” “Into the Fire,” and “Bobby Flay’s Food Nation.” Tory also co-hosted “Off the Menu,” which aired on Turner South Network for six years.
In search of “as much experience as possible, as quickly as possible,” McPhail later completed a series of stints at several culinary hot spots, including the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, FL; the Michelin-starred L’Escargot in London and its sister restaurant, the Michelin two- star Picasso Room; and the Caribbean/Creole-intensive Mongoose Restaurant in the U.S Virgin Islands. In spring of 2000, McPhail returned to the Commander’s family as executive sous chef at Commander’s Palace
A James Beard Rising Star Chef and Best Chef South winner, McPhail was also named one of the best chefs in the country by TheDailyMeal.com in 2013, as one of Saveur magazine’s inaugural “Tastemaker Chefs” in 2012; awarded the winner of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in 2009; co-authored Commander’s Wild Side with Martin, a collection of recipes taken from the legendary restaurant’s kitchen; has served on the Nutrition Advisory Board for Cooking Light magazine; and has been a spokesperson for Wild American Shrimp and for McCormick’s Old Bay seasoning.
Our favorite dishes Seared Gulf shrimp crusted with rosemary, garlic and lemon zest over goat cheese grits with charred chilies & New Orleans barbecue butter Tory’s New Dish “Maque Choux Lamb”
Seared Gulf shrimp crusted with rosemary, garlic and lemon zest over goat cheese grits with charred chilies & New Orleans barbecue butter New Orleans Speciality “Barbecued Shrimp”
Griddled buttery brioche filled with Breaux Bridge crawfish tails & pepper jack cheese. Served with warm crawfish boiled potato salad & crispy sweet potatoes. Commander’s Classic “Crawfish Grilled Cheese:
Cajun Bloody Mary Glass
First start with a pint glass that has been chilled in the freezer for a few minutes. Then salt the rim with either salt or some creole spices - we recommend the spices. Then throw some ice in the glass and get started.
Pour 1.5 ounces to 2 ounces of vodka in the glass. Anything less than that and it’s not a drink - think is New Orleans after all.
Put a pinch of salt and three dashes of pepper along with 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish. To add a little Cajun zip we say throw in some spices such as ‘Slap Ya Momma’ or ‘Tony Chachere’s’.
Next, put 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce Following that be sure to add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce, we love Crystal.
Add 1/4 cup (2 ounces) tomato juice. Put about a 1/4 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice in there as well - This balances out the acid and base levels. 12
Last but not least - make sure you have a pretty looking glass. Throw a celery root in the and a lime wedge. Skewers are recommended as well - we like to use Zataran’s olives, bacon, lemon peppers, onions and some pickles. Once you’re satisfied - bottoms up and enjoy!
iding one’s identity is the theme behind wearing masks at masquerade events. No one would reveal who they are until well after midnight. This tradition goes back to Venice, Italy; where privacy and anonymity was hard to come by and being judged by others came too easily. You couldn’t do anything in the dark or be shady without someone knowing who you are. However, the lower class citizens of Venice who didn’t want to be judged or ridiculed by the upper class found that “the mask” gave them privacy and a chance to hide their true
character and personality, even if by chance they were a menace to society. New Orleans is the most popular cities to host such a party. The first masquarade recorded to have taken place in this city was in 1857 by Comus at the Gaiety Theatre (later called the Varieties Theatre) on Gravier Street between Baronne and Carondelet. This ball was thrown for Mardi Gras by a large groupe of people called a krewe. From there these balls have been thrown anually once a year.
The Carnival ball is a formal party given by a krewe for its members and their guests. It consists of a royal court with king and queen, dukes and duchesses and the like, who are presented in lavish costumes to an audience of invited guests. The more traditional balls present tableaux, which are staged pageants that depict stories, usually from mythology or history. A queen’s supper, which might be a dinner dance or informal party, often is held after the ball. Sometimes balls are also cotillions.
The Elms Mansion
hen you hear the words, New Orleans, what comes to mind? The masquerade balls, the parades and lively dancing? How about the shiny, plastic beads being thrown off the balconies during Mardi Gras? Do you think of too much alcohol and a good time in which you will later regret the following week? What about the Cajun food that will be sure to put some hair on your chest? Maybe the swamps and the bayou, or the faint sound of jazz music that is always floating around your hears? What I can tell you is you donâ€™t think of is the architecture. Behind all of the glitz and gleam of New Orleans are the bones of the city. Behind the facade of what is know as the iconic New Orleans is a beauty of its own - the structures that hold up the city. The Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion is a beautiful example of Italianate style architecture, providing exquisite grandeur to St. Charles Avenue and the Garden District of New Orleans. The historical Elms Mansion is complemented with period furnishings and surrounded by lovely gardens and patios. It is one of the most sought-after private party venues in New Orleans, and continues to host special events for individuals and corporations including The mansion features elegant touches such as an imported mantel of handcarved marble, ornamental cornices, 24-karat gold sconces, and a 48-foot grand ballroom lined with jeweled wind.
This home is the fact that this house is set back from the fence. This might be a common theme you see around these parts, why is that you ask? It is probably not what you think. The French influence comes into play here, the houses are set back from the street in order to have a garden for their vegetables.
These are hospitality doors w open up from the dining roo is done serving desert and c their company out the doo the porch with some cockta
which are meant to om. After the host coffee, they escort ors to entertain on ails and sweet tea.
The double gallery house is a direct descendant of the townhouse, adapted for less urban and more residential neighborhoods. This is type of house contains a upper and lower porch. These southern porches were meant to help the homeowners withstand the heat and humidity.
Large white columns were often used as inspiration from antebellum homes. These white pillars emphasized the grand architecture. The details at the top of the pillars are all hand made and showed the wealth of the family with the subtle hints.
Gazebos back in the 1800â€™s were a social sign of wealth and status. They were commonly placed on the side of the house to show viewers that they are often hosting large groups of people as well as able to have a yard big enough to fit one in there.
New Orleans Wedding Traditions
he tradition for the second line handkerchief originated from the famous New Orleans jazz funerals. Many involved in the second line would either have an umbrella or parasol to add to the spirit of the precession. Those who did not have the umbrellas and wanted to join in the festivities would grab the nearest white handkerchief to wave in the air. The white handkerchiefs were often in the pockets of the gentleman in the old days, or the ladies personal handkerchief. Today any paper or cloth napkin has been used to wave in the air to allow you to join in and be part of the fun. The true origin of the second line umbrella was never really documented, but the common sense of necessity combined with the rigors of a second line stroll through the French Quarter or older neighborhoods of New Orleans before air conditioning hit the city makes it easy to figure out. The idea of carrying an umbrella for shade was very common and it was also a symbol of southern style, femininity and grace. This umbrella became an accessory
of choice for many southern weddings and was often an indicator of societal statue. Second Line Umbrellas now reflect attitude and personal style as they twirl and spin as if to say â€œlaissez les bons temps roulerâ€?! One of the most popular traditions during New Orleans weddings is the famous Second Line. At a wedding if signifies the start of a new beginning of life for the bride and groom. The Second Line Band leads the bridal party and the guests from the church to the reception venue or it may take place at the reception itself. A Second Line has two parts. The first line is usually a brass band and the ones being honored, the bride and groom. The newly married couple leads the Second Line holding uniquely decorated umbrellas or parasols. All of there guest who want to join in the celebration make up the Second Line. They form a line behind the band and the newly married couple, dancing and strutting to the lively music with handkerchiefs or cocktail napkins!