Friday, January 30, 2009


Last time I checked, oysters were a great way to lure your lover. As an adieu to January, and just in time for Valentine's day, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum presents Chef Tenney Flynn's (of GW Fins) Gulf Oyster Class/Demo/Tasting. While raw oysters are sexy, why not put a little extra work into your V-Day Oyster Feast with oysters on the half shell with American Sturgeon caviar and uni with mignonette sauce, pickled oysters, creamy oyster stew with oyster butter, oyster and mushroom pie? After all, the only thing sexier than an oyster is a person who knows how to use one.

The event takes place Saturday, January 31 at 2 p.m. You must reserve a spot for this event by emailing More information on this event and others? Check out our events section on out website. Can't make it? You could have gotten the recipes if you were a SoFAB newsletter subscriber. Click here to sign up. The sign up is on the left side of the screen.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Doctor Is In!


The SoFAB Museum Store is happy to announce that it is representing the works of Louisiana Folk Artist, Dr. Bob. While Dr. Bob may not be the person you want to go to if you are ill (unless you have a hangover) - he is the man when it comes to Louisiana Folk/Swamp/Alligator/Beer Bottlecap/Music/Food/9th Ward art.

Thanks to purchases of his patented "Be Nice or Leave" works by celebraties such as Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey, Emmylou Harris, Ellen DeGeneres and John Travolta, Dr. Bob has become a national figure on the Folk Art scene. In New Orleans, his works can be found in some of the finest and not-so-finest restauraunts and bars in the French Quarter and Marigny/Bywater areas. And best of all, our prices are about half of what he charges for his works on ebay.

Click on the link below to read Dr. Bob's biography, which no doubt includes some extreme exaggerations.

Joe Sunseri

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Children and food

Today I spent a very active 90 minutes talking and cooking with 24 second grade children at Lafayette School in New Orleans. We talked about the importance of smell in the tasting process. We made root beer - learning a lot about measuring along the way. We made fruit salad with satsumas, oranges, bananas and strawberries. I was reminded that children are ready and happy to eat healthy foods. We teach them not to.

We say, "Children won't eat this or that. We have to make a special meal for them." But let us not forget that children in Japan eat nori and children in Spain and Italy eat squid.

Especially if we engage them in the cooking process, children eat with adventurousness. They eat a variety of things, which is healthy. And when we cook together, we have the added benefit of growing closer by doing something meaningful together. Children will often talk while they work, so we learn things about them that might otherwise not be shared. And we can share our own thoughts with them, without lecturing.

I remember cooking with my own children. Today I cooked with surrogates, but had a wonderful time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Let's DISH

In a matter of days, SoFAB will launch DISH, the city’s only book club that focuses on the culinary arts.

Dish meets at noon on the third Saturday of each month at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, in the Riverwalk Marketplace Shopping Center near the Food Court. This Saturday, Jan 17, the club will discuss The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

Published in 1825 after three decades of research, The Physiology of Taste probably is the most famous book ever written about food. It remains among the most comprehensive, stimulating, and just plain enjoyable works ever published on the subject of the senses and their pleasures. In a work spiced with style and wisdom, Brillat-Savarin declares that "Animals feed themselves; men eat; but only wise men know the art of eating."

The day will consist of three events: discussion of the book; a presentation by Sharon Vercelotti, a chemist who works with food companies and who will talk about taste and conduct some fun quizzes with fruit juices and broths; and a cheese tasting. The St James Cheese Store has three different versions of Brillat-Savarin cheese that we will taste.

Participants also will get a behind the scenes tour of the museum.

Readers of all stripes are welcome to read book club selections and to attend meetings. Admission to book club meetings is free to SoFAB members; $10 for non-members. Participants also are encouraged to sign on in advance for book club meetings.

For more information, contact Chris Smith, coordinator of the book club, at

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Healthy New Orleans Cooking an Oxymoron???

While "healthy New Orleans cooking" may sound like an oxymoron, the fact is that it is possible to enjoy the tastes of our region in a more healthful way. To that end, the Museum Store has assembled the beginnings of a health-oriented section of cookbooks.

Currently in stock are two of Chef Jude Theriot's tomes : Cajun Healthy (1994) and Cajun Low Carb (2005). Theriot's "Healthy" manages to offer up an array of traditional recipes- but in a no fat/lowfat way. His "Low Carb" offers recipes as expected- low carb.

The Pennington Cookbook (2000) by Chef Kelly Williams offers great, healthy recipes while at the same time giving a breakdown of nutritional information, including calories, total fat, cholesterol, and sodium for each recipe.

The New Orleans Program (2006) by Dr. David Newsome and with 95 recipes from Chef John Besh includes critiques of current diet fads, commentary and facts on balancing the intake of alcohol, protein and carbohydrates- and advice on exercise, vitamins and more.

Healthy New Orleans Cuisine (2007) is the brainchild of New Orleans Chef Mark Gasquet. In this book, Gasquet, who is diabetic, rearranged some great recipes to suit his disease by cutting fat and salt while keeping the flavor and managed to lose 40 pounds along the way- without compromising his taste buds.

All of these cookbooks are currently available at the Museum Store. Please drop by for a visit and watch our collection grow.
--- Joe Sunseri

Friday, January 2, 2009

Good, Better, Best!

This is the traditional time to examine the previous year and to look ahead to the new one. I am going to let our previous year speak for itself (we opened!) and concentrate on the one ahead of us. This year will be the time to thoroughly ground all of our nascent projects and, we hope, plant the seeds for new projects.

1. Our exhibits will grow in depth and breadth, including more artifacts and interesting design.
2. Our menu collection will grow and become more organized for researchers.
3. Our library will be open to the public and we will double the number of volumes.
4. Our children's programming will expand and increase in substance and numbers of children reached.
5. Our e-zine will launch and thrive.
6. Our e-commerce site will make Southern food and beverage items available all over the world.

Whether you raise a glass of iced tea or champagne to toast the new year, we look forward to sharing it with you.