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Friday, January 23, 2015
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and the Louisiana Office of Tourism have deemed 2015 the “Louisiana Culinary Celebration!” With that in mind, how can I possibly diet? Plus, it’s almost Mardi Gras, so King Cakes are in no short supply and my office is directly across the street from Steamboat Bill’s on the Lake. I can practically hear the boiled crawfish calling my name every day after work.
Eating in Cajun Country means good food prepared by the people who know what to do with the bounty that nature provides. My mom recently “borrowed” kumquats from her neighbor’s tree to make a marmalade. My brother-in-law knows a thing or two about preparing ducks and geese after the hunt.
With seafood, everyone has their preferred methods of cooking. You won’t find a shortage of fried foods in Southwest Louisiana restaurants! Don’t get me started on boudin. Or cracklins.
One of my favorite gumbo stories was covered recently by Michelle Winner on www.CulinaryTraveler.com mentioning Chef Lyle Broussard from Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill®. He was telling Jay Ducote, Bite and Booze food blogger, how he knows when the roux is ready – he recalls the flavor from when he was a small child, standing on a stool with a big heaping spoon of “chocolate” on his mother’s stove. Little did he know, the “chocolate” was actually roux! He’ll never forget that surprising taste!
Check out The Culinary Trails Taste-umentary YouTube video that celebrates the local food scene and features local restaurants at www.visitlakecharles.org/seafood. Other culinary videos can be seen on the Visit Lake Charles YouTube channel.
Cajun food is simple. And it’s complex. It is a conversation starter. Food in Southwest Louisiana is filled with passion. Don’t take my word for it- come and taste for yourself!