For over twenty years, in a renovated molasses warehouse dating back to the early 1800s, four amazing chefs have been helping hundreds of thousands of people have fun, learn about New Orleans history and culture, and most importantly, how to make their mouths happy.
There’s always something good cooking at
Founded and inhabited in 1782 by the French, one of the first outside cultural influences in cooking came three years later when Germans moved to this swampy marsh located 110 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and brought with them cows and chickens, meaning beef, milk, and eggs were introduced to the palates of early residents.
Yes, even numerous Italians ended up in
After throwing all these various cooking methods together, what do you get as an edible end result?
Of course, you get a mouthwatering hybrid of delicious cooking styles that has been passed down from generation to generation with love and pride as if it were a religion of its very own. In this city that is literally obsessed with food, it is easy to understand just how ingrained this love of food is in everyday life just by turning on the radio to listen to their local five day a week, three hour a day food/cooking program. After years in the making, cooking and eating good food is certainly a religion that these lucky
Speaking metaphorically of religion, the “Holy Trinity” is the backbone of a majority of Cajun dishes. Comprised of onions, green peppers, and celery, these items are often joined by “the Pope,” or garlic, to be the base ingredients for gumbo, jambalaya, etouffe, and shrimp Creole dishes, among others.
Another disciple in this food religion that Kim and I have found ourselves devout members of is called roux. Roux is a mixture of flour and oil that is stirred and heated in a pot or pan until the color comes out just right. Not too light, or it will be pasty, or too dark, or it will be burnt. Answer the phone and accidentally burn roux just once and your whole house quickly fills with smoke. Trust me: you will not repeat this mistake again! With practice, and lots of good eating, the technique of making a great roux will come easily to any convert to this style of cooking.
In The Classroom
In N’awlins, they say that the fatter the chef is, the better his or her credibility is. From where we were observing as Anne’s two helpers, Tremaine and Kendrick, scurried back and forth constantly bringing out and taking away ingredients; there really was no bad seat in the house, since we could easily see and smell what was whipped up from the huge overhead mirror that was angled above the two cooktops in front of the classroom.
With the Louisiana School of Cooking, there’s no need to attempt an unfamiliar recipe on your own because you can read a recipe until you’re blue in the face and never really know how it should be prepared. These fun, hands-on classes are just the thing to make a believer out of even the most timid of chefs. Besides, what better way to impress your friends and family than by making these delectable dishes and desserts for them! It makes sense to me, I thought as my nose inhaled in the tempting aromas that were now wafting throughout the classroom, located directly behind the well-stocked general store that holds a bounty of spices, seasonings, cookbooks, hot sauces, boil mixes, etc.
Tips and Tidbits
How do you know when your okra is cooked properly? When all the slime is cooked out! Lastly, remember that true
You Will Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans
Do me a favor, just don’t tell too many people, because when we come back to N’awlins for our yearly pilgrimage we fully expect to have room for us in the New Orleans School of Cooking. Like Anne said as she bid adieu, “I had a good time. If I did, I know you did. Enjoy yourself and eat well.”
By Donald and Kimberly Tatera,