Tag Archives: New Orleans – LA

Alan Richman steps in it

Food writer Alan Richman takes on New Orleans, and proceeds to insult an entire city. Some choice quotes:

The citizens of New Orleans might not be the most energetic Americansâ??I believe their morning exercise regimen consists of stumbling out of barsâ??but they are joyful, expressive eaters.


I know we are supposed to salvage whatâ??s left of the city, but what exactly is it that weâ??re trying to cherish and preserve? I hope itâ??s not the French Quarter, which has evolved into a illogical mix of characterless housing, elegant antiques stores, and scuzzy bars, a destination for tourists seeking the worst possible experience. The entertainment values are only marginally superior to those of Tijuana, Mexico.

The response to his piece has been vitriolic, with Pim likening Richman to a jackass, Robert, over at Appetites, calling him a penis, and no less than the New Orleans Times-Picayune inferring that applying the label of “journalist” to Richman would only be correct if it’s definition included the use of wisecracks, sweeping generalizations and out and out inaccuracies.

I realize that this isn’t really food-news worthy per se. But Alan Richman is one of the bigger names in food writing, and it’s noteworthy when someone of his stature pens something like this:

During my time in New Orleans, I sought to keep some perspective. For example, when the sommelier at August brought me an incorrect vintage of the wine Iâ??d ordered, I tried not to be too distressed, knowing that somewhere in the Lower Ninth Ward a house was sitting atop a car.

This is quite possibly the worst food writing I’ve ever seen. It has all of the worst traits of criticism – entitlement, arrogance, and comparing the frustration of receiving the wrong vintage of wine to that of someone who LOST THEIR HOUSE!

tags technorati : Alan Richman Food Criticism

The Return of the Restaurants of New Orleans

It’s been over six weeks since Katrina, and New Orleans is slowly getting back to life. Robert at Appetites has a few posts with pictures from some of the restaurants that have re-opened.

Sadly, I think the difficult part is not in re-opening, but in staying open. I wish the owners, chefs and staffs all the luck and skill in the world.

Hurricane Katrina Restaurant Blog

From their site:

“Find out how restaurateurs are reacting to the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. Through our “Restaurants Respond” update, we’ll help spread the word about operators who organize fundraisers, employers trying to contact employees and personal accounts of restaurateurs affected by the devastation.”

Thanks to Josh for the tip.

Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Day

It was February of 1998. For the first time in years, I could take a trip that was not business related in any sense of the word. My choice of destination?

New Orleans.

My friends and I were there a week before Mardi Gras, and we had a blast…from what I can remember of it.

We hit Bourbon Street of course, where we sampled many of the local drinks. We collected beads, and my friends had no concerns in…ahem…displaying their wares.

But it was the meals in which we truly indulged. Po’Boys, mufalattas, crawdads, etouffee…you name a local delicacy, we sampled it.

Even more memorable? The people. Everyone, both known and newly known, gave us nothing but smiles and pats on the backs (and the occaisional drink). There was not a single unpleasant incident the entire week we were there.

What they must be going through at the moment is beyond my own comprehension. As somone wrote elsewhere, when you watch a drenched woman guide her husband’s corpse downriver that makes you realize that what’s going on in your life really pales in comparison.

As everyone knows by now, Hurricane Katrina has devastated New Orleans and several states in the Gulf region. Right now, many people need food and shelter. So along with many other blogs, today I’m going to ask for readers to help out.

There will be time in the near future to answer important questions: How many people have died? When will people be allowed to go home? Did government ineptness make matters worse?

But today? Today we need to feed and shelter the dispossesed.

Today is Blog for Relief day. Your help is needed. Click on the graphic in this post, or the one directly to the right. Donate money. It’s that simple.

Please give any money you can spare to America’s Second Harvest, my (and eGullets) charity of choice. Help them provide food for those who’ve survived and to those who have been displaced by Hurrican Katrina.

Technorati Tags: flood aid, Hurricane Katrina

New Orleans and Katrina Aftermath

A flood wall broke and water from Lake Pontchartrain is flooding the city at an alarming rate. According to WWLTV.com, residents will probably be allowed back in town in a week, with identification only, but only to get essentials and clothing. You will then be asked to leave and not come back for one month.

That’s approximately six weeks without a home.

I’ve heard from one of the New Orleans food blogs and they’re out of state and all right, considering their house is under 12 feet of water. Ive yet to hear word from the others.

As for the rest of the City? It remains to be seen…

You can help out by sending money and/or volunteers to any of the below charities.

America’s Second Harvest
Phone:312-263-2303 ext. 147

American Disaster Reserve
Phone: 804-287-1246

American Red Cross
Phone” (202) 303-8635

Disaster Psychiatry Outreach
Phone: 212-598-9995

Humane Society of the United States
Phone: 301-548-7774
Cell Phone: 301-526-5081