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Tributes to beloved Camellia Grill waiter Marvin Day on display, summed up with one 'Word'

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - A tribute to Marvin "Word" Day is displayed at the Camellia Grill, where the popular waiter worked since 1990.

Breakfast unfolded at the familiar pace this morning at the Camellia Grill, under the same pink walls, around the vintage diner counter and with the aroma of bacon and hash browns sizzling on the griddle. But today, when people here said “word,” they were shaking their heads in sadness and surprise instead of beaming with delight as usual.… 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 →

A different fried shrimp fix: peppery, twice-fried seafood is a change of pace for a staple of Lent around New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Deep fried then wok fried, the shells on salt and pepper shrimp at Little Chinatown acquire a pleasing crunch.

Seven Weeks of Seafood: This week we begin a series showcasing different reads on the bounty, traditions and interpretations of seafood around the New Orleans area. Seafood consumption always soars this time of year for reasons that can be religious, cultural, seasonal or some combination thereof. We’re featuring dishes and styles of seafood to take you beyond… 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 →

New Uptown restaurant Cavan plans to open in mid-February with chef Kristen Essig at helm

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Cavan is a new restaurant slated to open at 3607 Magazine St. early in 2016. Chef Kristen Essig will lead the kitchen.

A new Uptown restaurant developed by a local restaurant group plans to open later this month. Cavan, described as a “classic coastal American restaurant,” will open for dinner and drinks during the week of Feb. 15, according to a news release. It will be the fourth project by New Orleans-based hospitality group LeBlanc + Smith, which also runs Meauxbar, the… Continue reading →

Tiny downtown Mexican restaurant has big expansion plans on Oak Street

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - The menu at La Casita is built around large, well-composed tacos, like brisket under broiled cheese and shrimp with pickled cabbage and avocado. The cantina is adding a second location on Oak Street.

The name La Casita has always fit this Warehouse District eatery well. “The little house” is in the ground floor of one of the Julia Row townhouses, and it is tiny, with just a bar, a handful of tables, a small courtyard and a correspondingly small menu. Now, La Casita is expanding Uptown with a much larger… Continue reading →

Chewing it over at Chewbacchus: finding quick bites, drinks and a sci-fi dance party along new downtown parade routes

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty -- Boudin links, boudin balls and meat pies are staples at the Cheezy Cajun, a new eatery on St. Claude Avenue.

Nothing is ever normal when it comes to Carnival. But at least along the Uptown parade route there’s precedent. Families have thrown the same parties for years, friends have staked out the same spots and the bars and eateries along the route have their own routines too, refined season after season until it’s almost business… Continue reading →

Hungry crowd expected at Champions Square to try pastries from 27 bakers

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Visitors pack Champions Square during the 2015 King Cake Festival benefiting babies and children at Ochsner.

Now in its third year, the King Cake Festival — held by Ochsner to benefit the babies and children at Oschner — takes over Champions Square on Sunday, bringing together bakeries from all over southern Louisiana and Mississippi. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the event will see well-known New Orleans king cake hawkers set up… Continue reading →

NOWFE jiggers schedule to broaden event’s appeal

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH--  The Royal Street Stroll is a one of the signature events of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, which has new plans for 2016.

In the way that people in New Orleans will discuss the next meal while still enjoying the one before them, here in the midst of Carnival we are getting news about the springtime festivals. In addition to the newly announced Jazz Fest lineup, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience recently revealed its own new… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty: in the ever-changing realm of king cakes, why the classic style still matters

Advocate staff photos by Ian McNulty - Plain and traditional king cakes  (clockwise from top left)  Adrian's Bakery, Marguerite's Cakes, Hi-Do Bakery, Rouses Supermarkets and McKenzie's at Tastee Donuts.

The king cake is no longer a mere dessert or Carnival season indulgence. Now, king cake is a cultural statement, a movement, and one of those emblems that New Orleans uses to celebrate itself. King cake has become a muse for creative exploration, a flavor profile and a marketing hook, one aimed at tapping local loyalties and pride… Continue reading →

Family of late New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme donates his cookbooks to museum

FILE -- Paul Prudhomme

. NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The family of the late Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme has donated his extensive cookbook collection to a New Orleans museum dedicated to Southern cuisine. The Southern Food & Beverage Museum said in a statement Monday that Prudhomme's wife, Lori, donated the approximately 600 cookbooks, as well as wine and food documents and books on food… Continue reading →

At Catahoula Hotel, filling a niche in the CBD, and serving flavors of Peru on the menu and at the bar

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Catahoula Hotel is taking shape at 914 Union St. in the CBD. The property was vacant for many years.

A cluster of construction in the CBD is turning a number of high rise buildings into hotels. Right in the midst of them, however, a much smaller boutique hotel is also taking shape down at street level, and this one promises a different approach, a very modern bar and a casual Peruvian eatery from some familiar names… Continue reading →