Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Post-Katrina Recipes Collected in Cookbook

November 19th, 2008 · No Comments

Looking for a super gift for a food friend? Pick up the just-published Cooking Up a Storm: New Orleans Recipes for Recovery. It’s edited by my fellow food editor, Judy Walker, and New Orleans food expert, Marcelle Bienvenu.

This book is a treasure of heirloom and contemporary New Orleans food and cooking. From favorite restaurant dishes to home cooks’ long kitchen traditions like red beans and rice and ettoufee, the recipes represent the foods that thousands of residents of the Crescent City lost when the city was decimated by Hurricane Katrina.

Imagine losing all your cookbooks and recipes clipped from all kinds of sources – swept away in a mind-numbing catastrophe. At the time, cookbooks and recipes were the last of their worries, but residents eventually settled as storm refugees in nearby and far-flung cities and began to rebuild their lives.

The Times-Picayune kept the fragile community together before, during and after the storm.  As food editor, Walker started a column to help residents locate missing recipes. Readers begged her to compile the recipes in a book — and the result is Cooking Up a Storm.

The stories and letters from the readers and contributors have been compiled, along with 250 recipes and their histories, in the 400-page cookbook. More than just a cookbook, however, it represents a written record of one of the most important food cities in our nation. It would have been tragic to lose this heritage of great recipes — we salute Walker and Bienvenu for their work to bring us this treasury of New Orleans foods.

Cooking Up a Storm: New Orleans Recipes for Recovery ($24.95) is published by Chronicle Books, and is available in major bookstores everywhere.

Tags: Recipes: What's Cooking!

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