Soon after touching down for CulinaryCorps trip number five, we were on our way to creating a delicious week. Our version of the name game had us sharing an edible introduction. Our table quickly began to groan with bbq sauce, Tastycakes, Vermont Common crackers, bourbon pecan cookies, jerky, mango chutney and personal deliciousness that was both touching and humorous. Unfortunately, we missed out on a homemade blueberry jam. We hope the airport security supervisor responsible for its confiscation is enjoying a slathered scone this evening.
Our mission was made clear that evening as Ashley Graham from Share Our Strength brought us on a recovery tour of the city.
Our trip ended at the New Orleans Cooking Experience where Poppy Tooker and her husband, Nicky, were waiting for us with the tastiest, most succulent, Belle River crawfish you could ever hope to suck. The spice made our lips tingle but that didn’t stop us from eating the tasty morsels hidden within the boil itself…corn on the cob, andouille sausage, potatoes, garlic and a welcome surprise…edamame.
We were up early this morning to enjoy our first cup of chicory coffee of the trip.
Then an impromptu stop at P&J Oyster where owner Al Sunseri donated a GALLON of freshly shucked Louisiana oysters. A treat to bring with us to Habitiat Humanity’s Camp Hope. When we arrived, we met our AmeriCorps NCCC kitchen mates and created a truly global menu. Vegan tamales, chicken stir-fry, German Chocolate cake…
…chilled red pepper soup, baked catfish, mashed root vegetables with roasted garlic, spinach fritatta, lemon bars…and those heavenly fried oysters!
It was a meal fit to feed 250…and feed them we did! We capped off the evening with a traditional Creole-Italian meal at the stronghold of red sauce and red beans…Mandina’s. Sara Roahen, author of Gumbo Tales, made both excellent menu recommendations and insightful conversation. Here’s hoping that the next 48-hours is as tasty and rewarding!