Whenever I have company coming, I go into total Southern hostess mode. Well, sort of. I intend to make a strata or buy a king cake or at least have milk for coffee. I usually don't. In fact, while Meryl Rosofsky was here from the NYU Food Studies program working on her thesis which is about New Orleans food organizations and how they have contributed to the rebuilding of the city, I came dangerously close to running out of toilet paper. Martha Stewart I ain't. But I do know how to show people a good time. We hit Dick and Jenny's, Parkway Bakery and Tavern, Commander's, The Amite Oyster Festival, Middendorf's, Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House, Tipitina's, The Howlin Wolf and The Clover Grill. SOmewhere in there, Meryl actually interviewed people about her project. And she left yesterday and now Jamie Tiampo is on his way here, also from NY to scout out locations to photograph the ingredients in gumbo for a book to benefit the food museum, which will be shot by IACP food photographers. And he's staying here too. And nope, I still have nothing for breakfast (except the Babka from Russ and Daughters that Meryl brought me) though I did pick up some TP. Why am I writing this? Because the reason these guys are staying with me is because of work. I count them as friends, but also colleagues. I want to show them a good time, but I'm also still working as ambassador of New Orleans and want to make sure they leave able to talk about the food scene (and all the other scenes) as articulately and accurately as possible. And even though it's been hard to get the writing done I need to (like, um, this blog for instance) I keep reminding myself that when I'm slurping oysters, dancing the two step and knocking back I mean sipping Sazeracs, I am also working! Man my job is great.