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Acadiana Lifestyle

Acadiana’s Food Bloggers Showcase Local Cuisine

10/31/2014 11:38AM, Published by Aimee Cormier, Categories: Shop+Eat+Drink


Gallery: Acadiana's Food Bloggers [12 Images] Click any image to expand.



By Michelle Matthews Calloway  |  Submitted Photos


Whether people are here by virtue of birth or relocation from another locale, I have yet to come across anyone who refuses to praise Acadiana’s cuisine. From spicy Creole dishes to down home Cajun standards to Grandma’s secret recipes, we know good food. Because we have the best food, we also naturally have the best restaurants. Thankfully, we can’t keep that kind of good news to ourselves and that’s where Acadiana’s food bloggers come in.

Wondering where to get the best sandwich, the freshest sushi or the most delectable dessert? Want to try the trendiest new cocktail prepared by a certified mixologist, sample a tasty vegan dish or chow down on a “melts-in-your-mouth” Porterhouse steak? Have no fear; a trusty foodie complete with a blog and Facebook page is happy to point the way. From five star restaurants with 3-month waiting lists to the hole-in-the-wall with customers lined down the block to snag a po’boy, these bloggers willingly share and photograph the mouth-watering details. 

We checked in with some of Acadiana’s most popular food bloggers and asked them seven questions so that we could learn more about their gastronomic escapades. We invite you to follow their blogs and Facebook pages to stay plugged in to the local cuisine scene (and drool over the photos of the food!). 

Eat This, Lafayette

Andre Arceneaux

eatthislafayette.com

facebook.com/eatthislafayette


How did you get your start as a food blogger?

I’ve always had a passion for food and creative story telling so blogging was a perfect marriage. I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea to write about my favorite foods in Lafayette, and to be a source for out-of-towners and new residents who don’t know where the locals hang out. I told my wife, Amanda, (now my editor/photographer) my idea and she said, “Let’s do this!” We created eatthislafayette.com and have been eating great food and meeting cool people ever since. 


What is your favorite restaurant and why? 

Bread & Circus Provisions in Lafayette. Chef Manny Augello makes creating great food seem easy. The menu always has new specials and I have to stop myself from eating there every day it’s open. Every single day...I’m not kidding.


 What would you name as the “best meal ever?”

I absolutely love the Veggie Banh Mi from Bread & Circus. It’s fresh, simple, and the combinations of flavors are like nothing I’ve ever tasted. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 


To you, what makes Acadiana unique? 

Our love for food and people is a feature unique to this area. There is Southern hospitality, and then there is the hospitality you can find only in Acadiana. There is nothing better than starting a conversation with a stranger in a grocery store or restaurant and later becoming friends.  


What was your best “geeked out” moment? 

Amanda and I pulled for Chef Justin Devillier during Top Chef New Orleans. On a recent trip to NOLA, we visited Justin’s La Petite Grocery and featured it on the “Eat This Road Trip” section of our website. He was gracious enough to send out a couple of items he wanted us to try, and we were able to visit with him a bit. It was a lot of fun. 


What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?

I once tasted a Durian gelato. Durian is a fruit with flesh that smells like raw sewage and tastes the way propane smells. No matter what I did, I was not able to get the taste out of my mouth. 


What is the one food/dish/vegetable, etc. you 

won’t eat? 

Amanda is an amazing cook. When we were dating, she cooked a sweet couscous that had dried cherries and almonds in it. It was so delicious that I ate almost the whole dish, made myself sick, and now I cannot stomach any couscous.


Lafayette Food Junkie

Tiffany Decou

lafayettefoodjunkie.blogspot.com

facebook.com/lafayettefoodjunkie


How did you get your start as a food blogger? 

I started the blog because I was not happy with the reviews in the local publications. I was also tired of my favorite hole in the wall restaurants closing up because no one knew about them. I figured this would be a way to give small locally owned restaurants some publicity and for me to find a new creative outlet. Plus I love dining out!


What is your favorite restaurant and why?

This is hard for me to say. People who follow me know I am a fan of Top 5 lists. I’ll name my top three:
1) Bread and Circus Provisions because it’s a farm to table restaurant that consistently puts creative things out of the kitchen. I wrote their fried chicken a love poem once.
2) Village Café; it’s a hidden gem and Chef Jeremy Connor is a quiet, humble guy. His plates, however, are pure works of art. 3) Phares Kitchen, because Chef Pat Waters is not afraid to be bold and take chances. We need more of that audacity in the culinary scene around here!


What would you name as the “best meal ever?”

When I had just started doing the blog, the manager of Village Cafe at the time, Ben Leger, invited me to have dinner there. He asked what I wanted to try, and I told him to have the chef make me his favorite dishes. It was course after course of beautiful plates paired with wines. I had never experienced anything like this before. That meal holds a special place in my heart.


To you, what makes Acadiana unique? 

The teamwork, love and respect the chefs have here are not seen in other areas of the country. I get misty-eyed every time I go to a dinner and see the chefs work together. Lafayette really supports their own.


What was your best “geeked out” moment? 

I’m pretty much geeking out over “Runaway Dish,” an event happening in a few weeks. I have a countdown calendar. I also just got asked to judge Black Pot Festival this year. 


What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?

I ate fish eyes off a fish head at Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro. After I asked everyone to save me an eye they all agreed I could have every fish eye. 


What is the one food/dish/vegetable, etc. you won’t eat?

I’m a big believer in trying everything. However, I am not a fan of cucumbers or watermelons in general but like them in some dishes I’ve tried.

My Cajun Trinity

Celina Allemand

mycajuntrinity.com

Facebook.com/mycajuntrinity


How did you get your start as a food blogger?

I started My Cajun Trinity in December 2013 as a way to not only share healthy living tips, but also to share DIY projects and other fun findings with my family and friends. 


What is your favorite restaurant and why?

Pamplona Tapas Bar which is located in downtown Lafayette. My fiancé and I love the ambiance of this restaurant and are also huge fans of the food...especially the Beer Braised Pork Cheeks. 


What would you name as the “best meal ever?”

Boiled Crabs. If I had a choice, this would be my last meal on Earth. I love the taste of these wonderful creatures, but what is most important to me is the experience of a crab boil. I absolutely enjoy visiting with family and friends while partaking in the feast. 



To you, what makes Acadiana unique? 

Having moved here from Baton Rouge just less than three years ago, I appreciate the incredible community, unique cuisine, outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, boating, vibrant culture and the quality of life that makes South Louisiana attractive to residents.

 

What was your best “geeked out” moment? 

I ran into Chris Pratt in New Orleans over the summer. He doesn’t really have anything to do with food blogging, but come on...it was CHRIS PRATT! 


What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten? 

The most exotic meal I’ve probably ever tried was Sweet Breads, the thymus or the pancreas of a calf or lamb.


What is the one food/dish/vegetable, etc. you won’t eat?  

For some reason my taste buds cannot agree with Brussels sprouts or any type of tea.



Acadiana Table

George Graham

acadianatable.com

facebook.com/acadianatable


How did you get your start 

as a food blogger?

I grew up in a restaurant family and have always been intrigued by the art and science of food. I’ve discovered that my years of living in Lafayette have placed me smack dab in the center of an exciting Cajun Creole culinary landscape. I am happy to report that this year the national magazine SAVEUR named my  blog Acadiana Table as a Best Food Blog Finalist.  


What is your favorite 

restaurant and why?

There is no easy answer. Generally speaking, if I write about it, it is worth a visit.  


What would you name as the 

“best meal ever?”

Creole Red Beans with Fried Pork Chops. Over 30 years ago, during a visit to a Creole soul food kitchen I was served a huge bowl of smoking hot red beans along with a couple chunks of smoked andouille sausage and a pile of pipin’ hot, fried pork chops.  It was glorious! 


To you, what makes Acadiana unique? 

As a food writer, I’ve found that the people of Acadiana celebrate food and have a reverence for its cultural importance. Acadiana revels in its connection to growers, processors and culinary artisans.  


What was your best “geeked out” moment?

It’s been six years since I traveled from Lafayette to compete in Napa, California, on the nationally televised Food Network Challenge. It was the Sutter Home Winery Build-A-Better-Burger cook-off where, as a finalist, I cooked my Bluesiana Burger and won the respect of the judges. I guess that out of 9000 burger entries, first runner-up was pretty respectable. 


What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten? 

Here in Acadiana, that would be my recipe for Smoked Ponce -- pork sausage with sweet potatoes stuffed into a pig’s stomach and smoked.   


What is the one food/dish/vegetable, etc. you won’t eat?

I hate the taste of buttermilk in its purest form. As a prank, my sister poured me a drink of the vile liquid when I was 8 years old and I’ve not gotten over it since.  

Dixie Lust Blog

Michelle Broussard

dixielustblog.com

facebook.com/dixielustblog


How did you get your start 

as a food blogger?

One summer after I had moved back to Louisiana, I saw my college friends traveling the globe as I was settling into a “big girl” job. While they traveled, I set out to prove that the South could be the soul-stirring mecca of culture, adventure, and wonder for which I was yearning. And when you write about the
South, you ultimately write about the trinity – food, music, and people. Acadiana, of course, has countless such stories to tell. 


What is your favorite restaurant and why?

How could anyone possibly choose just one?! The St. John in St.Martinville is a top contender for its crab cakes, incredible service and one of the nicest owners I’ve ever met. I’m also always excited to see what the chefs at Bread & Circus, Dark Roux, and Social are up to.  


What would you name as the 

“best meal ever?”

Hands down, it was my grandfather’s crawfish head bisque – individual crawfish heads stuffed with a seasoned, minced crawfish stuffing served in brown bisque over rice. It’s a family recipe that’s been passed down to my uncle and now being passed on to my cousins. It takes days of preparation to clean the crawfish, stuff each individual crawfish head, and simmer on the stove – so it’s considered a really special meal. 


To you, what makes Acadiana unique?

The people. From the chefs to the diners, from the “born-heres” to the newly transplanted, everyone here has such a passion for living a good life. 


What was your best “geeked out” moment? 

Meeting Julian Van Winkle of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. 


What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?

I was raised as a picky eater in the Catholic South, so when I first moved to South Florida the traditional Jewish deli was like a whole new frontier. Latkes, kugel, rugelach, and kichel – oh my! While not text-book exotic, it was my first eye-opening food experience.


What is the one food/dish/vegetable, etc. you won’t eat?

Raw cucumbers…and yet? I’m obsessed with pickles.



South Louisiana Writer

Curt Guillory

Acadiana LifeStyle Magazine’s Food Blogger

acadianalifestyle.com

facebook.com/curtguillory


How did you get your start as a food blogger?

In 2009 I got the notion to write in general, but more specifically about food. I was a chef some years ago (more than I care to mention), and food has remained a passion in my life. I submitted a writing sample to Examiner.com and they gave me a column.  I’ve been writing about food ever since. 


What is your favorite restaurant and why?

For upscale dining, it’s a tie between Mazen Grill and Jolie’s Bistro. Both places feature innovative ingredients, excellent execution, and outstanding service. That’s what I’m looking for in an upscale restaurant. For casual dining, I pick Jefferson Street Pub. I love the atmosphere, the building, and the JSP Burger is among the best things I have ever eaten. 


What would you name as the “best meal ever?”

A gumbo that my mom, Bonnie, cooked for me when I arrived back from basic training in the Army. I was away for 5 ½ months with nothing but really bad food to eat. Winter had started to take hold in Missouri where I was, and I was missing home “something fierce.”  And home for me presented itself as a bowl of dark, smoky magic. I’ve always been a gumbo junkie and I wanted Mom’s gumbo over anything else. 


To you, what makes Acadiana unique? 

It has been said, and I agree wholeheartedly, that Acadiana is the most American place in America. We are the quintessential melting pot.  French, African, Spanish, German, Irish, English, etc., are all well represented in our culture and our food. That combination explains why our food is so good.


What was your best“geeked out” moment? 

I don’t get geeked out very often, if at all.  But when I was cooking for The City Club, the executive chef at the time was Gilbert Decourt.  He was a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a gastronomic guild that traces its roots back to 1248 in France.  Its members had asked him to host a supper – a very big deal!  No newspapers, no TV cameras, no reporters, no magazines.  Just a string quartet, 36 diners, and a meal that was the result of three months of preparation and several practice runs.  Because the experience was incredibly stressful, the standing ovation we received was very satisfying.


What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?

Sea urchin. In the Mediterranean it’s not that exotic, but in South Louisiana it is.  It looks like a big piece of crawfish fat. Eaten raw, it is very briny. It tastes like the ocean. 


What is the one food/dish/vegetable, etc. 

you won’t eat?

I am allergic to a few things namely; pineapple, horseradish and nutmeg. Other than that I’m pretty open-minded and I have a pretty open palate, you could say. Oh, I’m no Andrew Zimmerman but I’ll try almost anything. I believe candy corn and Circus Peanuts (the candy) should be banished from Earth.

Those 21-day duck embryo eggs too. I don’t think I could eat those.  The thought of small bones crunching in my mouth along with some feathers gives me the dry heaves.



curt guillory Acadiana Food Bloggers Andre Arceneaux Tiffany Decou Eat This, Lafayette Lafayette Food Junkie My Cajun Trinity Celina Allemand Acadiana Table George Graham Dixie Lust Blog Michelle Broussard South Louisiana Writer


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