Last week I, along with some fabulous other food bloggers, ventured out to New Orleans and the surrounding areas to learn, eat and experience everything that Louisiana had to offer. It was sure to be an excellent trip and I knew it the second I walked through security at LAX. The security woman took one look at my ticket and said honey, have you ever been to New Orleans before? I said no, because well, I hadn’t been ever, and she promptly replied, “well honey, I hope you brought your fat pants.” And man, was she right! We ate our way through the entire city of New Orleans making sure to sop up every last plate of melted butter and BBQ shrimp. It was a full on eating-fest and I enjoyed every last minute of it.
Not only did we eat ourselves silly on this trip, but we were given a full on tour of the entire seafood industry thanks to the Louisiana Seafood Board. We were able to experience the seafood industry first hand and see what fabulous seafood is available. A few of the highlights of this trip included:
Stuffing my face with Beingets – aka fried dough with powdered sugar doused on top at Cafe de Monde in the French Quarter. I’ll admit, I was a Beinget skeptic until this trip – and it’s pretty safe to say that these Beingets were the right ones to start with. Freshly fried, still warm and smothered with powdered sugar. I mean really, could you ask for anymore?
Commanders Palace for Brunch! Definitely another highlight of the trip. The service was impeccable, the wine room was stunning and the food was spot on! And I had a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bread Pudding for dessert. Be still my heart.
Ramos Gin Fizz. I heard about these way prior to my arrival in NOLA from a few good friends during IACP. Basically its Gin, fresh lemon and lime juice, heavy cream, egg whites and orange flower water. Everything gets combined into a shaker and shaken until you can’t shake no more 🙂 Then just when you thought 10 minutes of shaking was enough, you add a few cubes of ice and shake some more. Bring on those arm muscles.
Alligator on a stick. I was scared. really really scared. But then Matt and Adam got them and so I figured it was okay. I wasn’t going to die. I braced myself, took a bite and then saw my life change before my eyes. IT WAS SOOOO GOOD. Totally unexpected and not the least bit chewy and packed full of flavor. I’m going to ask my meat/seafood guy at whole foods if he can start ordering me alligator. I’ll keep you posted on that progress.
Oysters Oysters and more Oysters. We have fried oysters with and without queso and caviar, oysters on the half shell, the famous oysters from Drago’s that are grilled with butter and cheese and served with a giant baguette to mop up the excess butter, and oyster po’ boys.
Last, and certainly not least, the absolute highlight of the trip for me was being able to go deep sea fishing with my friends and see and learn first hand from Captain Eric all about life in the seafood industry post oil spill.
When the BP oil spill happened last year, there was constant media attention on the Gulf. No matter where you turned there would be images of the oil spill, a pelican drenched in oil, or video feed of the leak… you couldn’t seem to escape it, and because of this constant hype that the media shared, many people were and still are scared to purchase or eat seafood from the gulf.
Don’t get me wrong, the oil spill was devastating but after being in Louisiana and getting full access to people in the industry, I’ve learned that it wasn’t the end of the world. And here is perhaps my most favorite fact to share with you today: the thing is, is that the seafood from the gulf, I’m talking about all those crabs, oysters, shrimp and fish, all of that, it’s totally safe to eat! In fact, the testing on the seafood coming from the gulf has never been more stringent. While in Louisiana we visited with numerous fisherman, factory workers and company owners who depend on the seafood industry as their source of income, and it’s what they have been doing for generations! They are passionate people who need help getting their message out. A fellow blogger on this trip asked what we could do as bloggers to help and the answer was simple – buy more Louisiana Seafood! And that my friends, is one thing I can absolutely guarantee you that I will do!
And here is a little clip from deep sea fishing!
I am so excited you are making one of my recipes and I would love to see how it turns out. Make sure to share it on instagram and tag me @whatsgabycookin so I can see your masterpiece!