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Review: Enjoying ‘zydeco cooking’ at T-Coon’s

Photo by Patricia Gannon -- The fried chicken and fried pork chop plates at T-Coon's in Lafayette comes with cornbread dressing, a roll and your choice of side.

T-Coon’s is a masculine paradise. The Lafayette restaurant has no frills, a lot of reasonably priced food, and family fishing photographs decorating the walls alongside Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and a boat sign that says, “Do not block the launch.” But while T-Coon’s may look simple, it’s guaranteed the line will be out the… Continue reading →

LaPlace cook brings French influences, 'a lot of flavor' to 'All-Star Academy' competition

Photo by JASON DECROW -- Natasha Clement prepares her dish during the first challenge on Food Network's 'All-Star Academy, Season 2.'

Natasha Clement’s long-term love affair with the Food Network is coming full circle. The LaPlace home cook is one of nine in the kitchen for the second season of the network’s series “All-Star Academy,” debuting Sunday. Clement says she became hooked on the culinary network when she was put on bed rest before the birth of her… Continue reading →

LCI offering two Cajun-theme leisure classes

The Louisiana Culinary Institute is going Cajun for two leisure classes Feb. 27. The Baton Rouge college will offer “Louisiana Favorites” with chef Colt Patin from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students will learn the ins and outs of shrimp and grits, Gulf fish Florentine, crawfish enchiladas and chocolate chip cheesecake. From 3 p.m. to 6… Continue reading →

Review: Seafood and steaks, Duke’s does it right

Photo by Randy Bergeron -- 'Duke'd Up' oysters at Duke's Seafood and Steakhouse

Duke’s Seafood and Steakhouse is new to Watson, but there’s an old hand in the kitchen. Duke Landry grew up in his family’s restaurant business, Don’s Seafood, and is a five-time U.S. Oyster Shucking Champion. Landry and business partner Rudy Chandler, a real estate developer, teamed up to open their establishment in an area with an ever-growing… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Cocktail buffs will toast to new book on gin

“Gin: The Manual” by Dave Broom, Mitchell Beazley, $19.99, 224 pages, hardcover People have plenty of excuses for raising a glass — or more — of spirits before Ash Wednesday on Feb. 10 brings a more sober note. They can celebrate Carnival season’s crescendo plus Super Bowl Sunday, and… Continue reading →

Big changes at Serop’s Express on Jefferson Highway: Remodeling begins, location to reopen in May

Photo by Matthew Sigur -- The Serop's Express on Jefferson Highway has closed for renovations and will reopen in May. The location will be remodeled to include a drive-thru.

Fans of Serop’s Express on Jefferson Highway will need to go to a different location to get their daily fix of Greek food, but only for a little while. Serop’s owner Vasken Kaltakdjian said that remodeling and demolition work on the Serop’s Express at 712 Jefferson Highway near Government Street has begun. The location, which… Continue reading →

Pudding cakes make a magical desert

Photo by CORINNE COOK -- Brownie Pudding Cake

You might call pudding cakes a little bit of magic. Easily concocted from a few basic ingredients, these cakes transform in the oven, where the batter on the bottom of the pan trades places with the thin chocolate mixture on top. The real magic happens after the cake comes out of the oven. Serve it… Continue reading →

Prudhomme’s family donates cookbooks to N.O. museum

The late Chef Paul Prudhomme’s family has donated the 600-plus cookbooks in his collection to the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) in New Orleans. The donation also includes wine and food documents, as well as technical books on food science. The archives are available for reference use in the John and Bonnie Boyd Hospitality and Culinary… Continue reading →

Fresh takes on mastering easy dinners with box of pasta

Associated Press photo by MATTHEW MEAD --  An array of dried pastas --  clockwise from top, egg noodles, ziti, cavatappi , penne and pappardelle -- can be made into easy weeknight dinners.

On crazy weeknights, sometimes the only thing standing between you and yet another order of takeout is a box of pasta. Because a box of pasta is like that been-through-it-all-with-you friend, that dinnertime Swiss Army knife that can be counted on in your time of need no matter what the day has tossed your way. When… Continue reading →

Polenta can be so simple, and so satisfying

Wild Mushroom Polenta from Union restaurant in Pasadena, Calif. (Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Sometimes, it’s easy to predict the dishes that will achieve cult status on restaurant menus. They can be flashy, engineered around ingredients that have themselves achieved cult status — marrow bones, foie gras, kale — and often double as critic bait, those plates that seem purposefully designed as order-me magnets for restaurant critics. Then there… Continue reading →

Wine & Food Experience offers tickets packages

Ticket packages are on sale for the 2016 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience on May 26-29 (Memorial Day weekend) in New Orleans. Previously scheduled for a weekend in June, organizers have moved the event back to its original, long-standing Memorial Day weekend dates. NOWFE 2016 opens with its Vintner Dinners on Thursday, May 26.… Continue reading →

Tomatillo salsa offers a fresh approach to poaching salmon

Associated Press photo by MATTHEW MEAD -- Salmon Poached in Green Salsa and Topped with Baked Chips

The French love to cook fish by poaching it in a flavored liquid, usually a combination of white wine and water, leeks or onions, and some herbs. It’s a notably lean way to roll because there’s no fat involved. And the finished product is reliably tender because it has been cooked at a low temperature. So,… Continue reading →

Everything Philly, ‘authentic’ new restaurant near LSU’s north gates, to open in the spring

Everything Philly's pizza.

LSU students and Baton Rougeans will soon get a taste of Philadelphia, Pa. Everything Philly, a new restaurant at 3260 Highland Road, Suite 6, will open in March or April, according to the restaurant’s marketing consultant, Elise Patterson. The restaurant, in the old Momma Goldberg’s Deli near the north gates of LSU,… Continue reading →

Driftwood Cask and Barrel -- gastropub promising fun twist on bar food -- coming to downtown Baton Rouge

Photo provided by Sean Rivera -- Chef Sean Rivera is the chef and partner of the forthcoming gastropub, Driftwood Cask and Barrel, which will open in late February/early March in downtown Baton Rouge.

Downtown Baton Rouge will soon be home to a new gastropub. Chef and partner Sean Rivera said Monday morning that Driftwood Cask and Barrel is set to open by late February, early March. The gastropub, defined as a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food, is across the street from City Bar on Third Street.… Continue reading →

Rosemary lamb chop? Raspberry-mint lemonade? ‘MasterChef Junior's’ Avery Kyle, 9, of Baton Rouge can do that and more

Fox photo by GREG GAYNE -- Contestant Avery Kyle, of Baton Rouge, grabs some fingerling potatoes during the 'The Good, the Bad and the Smelly' episode of 'MasterChef Junior,' which aired in November.

“Seared rosemary lamb chop with a red wine reduction sauce, fried potato cake and grilled asparagus.” The name of the dish rolled off Avery Kyle’s tongue as it would from a seasoned chef, say an Emeril or a Wolfgang. At only 9, Avery has, in fact, been cooking about half of her life. The dish… Continue reading →

Review: Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro is posh, delightful

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Jolie's Louisiana Bistro is pictured Tuesday, January 12, 2016, in Lafayette, La.

Located on Pinhook Road just off the Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette, Jolie’s is a restaurant with a whiff of grand old Southern tradition like Antoine’s or Brennan’s, both in New Orleans. Jolie’s is a place to linger with special company, be it your best friend or the boss. It’s a see-and-be-seen at lunch for… Continue reading →

New Orleans native author to dine with Ernest J. Gaines and his wife

Photo by ELIZABETH R. COWAN -- T. Geronimo Johnson

New Orleans native T. Geronimo Johnson is in for a special treat. He will be among the dozen or so guests sharing a meal with famed author Ernest J. Gaines and his wife, Dianne , at their Pointe Coupee Parish home on Jan. 20, the day before Johnson is honored as the winner of… Continue reading →

Cajun 'Top Chef' competitor still going strong in Bravo TV show

Bravo photo by ANDREW ECCLES -- Isaac Toups, owner of Toups' Meatery in New Orleans, has made the top 12 of this season's 'Top Chef.'

Being among the dozen competitors still in the running on Season 13 of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef,” Isaac Toups feels good. “I’ve placed in the top a bunch of times,” the Rayne native said last week from his New Orleans restaurant, Toups’ Meatery. Although so far he hasn’t won a challenge, Toups continues to be… Continue reading →

Hydroponic gardening yields more vegetable growth faster

Photo by COLETTE DEAN -- Cutting celery, basil and mint are herbs Marcia Weilenman has growing in her homemade Deep Water Culture hydroponic system.

Marcia Weilenman loves to garden, but not the dirt that comes with it. So she’s moved her veggie plot inside. She was convinced to change her gardening ways when, while clearing out an old tomato bed, a dirty stake pierced her calf, leaving a nasty infection from a soil-borne bacteria requiring months of treatment.… Continue reading →

Passionate, lifelong New Orleans chef brings Louisiana history into dishes

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Maureen Detweiler's Eggplant Florentine.

Maureen Reed Detweiler, a lifelong New Orleans resident, describes herself as a culinary history buff. She’s passionate about good food, especially true Crescent City dishes. So much so, that in 1991 she began the “Save Our French Bread” campaign after becoming concerned that “real” New Orleans French bread made by local bakeries would be wiped… Continue reading →