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SoFAB expansion, new Whole Foods, Donald Link cookbook and more on the 2014 New Orleans food scene

Jul 17, 2014 - New Orleans Roast

Judy Walker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Judy Walker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Looking into future food news at the beginning of each year is dicey. Will this really happen? Only one thing can we say for certain: A lot is on the table. Before 2015 dawns, New Orleans should have a vastly expanded food museum, with a restaurant and a commercial kitchen in it; a new Whole Foods Market on Broad Street with other exciting programs happening in the same center; a reopened St. Roch market and a revived Edible New Orleans magazine. And, maybe, a new culinary school collaboration in the defunct Louisiana ArtWorks Building.Some things can be counted on, such as publication dates. The biggest national release will be chef Donald Link's sophomore cookbook. Local offerings include ethnic cookbooks, a Tujague's cookbook and "Magic in a Shaker: A Year of Spirited Libations" from one of New Orleans' most respected barkeeps, head bartender Marvin Allen of the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone.Here's a look at what's to come.***

The new Whole Foods Market on Broad Street is set to open Feb. 4, but there's much more in the renovated ReFresh site. For the past 18 months, the world's first teaching kitchen in a medical school has been quietly teaching medical students, physicians and community members how to make food that tastes good and is good for you. In early April, the visibility of the Tulane University's Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine will take a quantum leap as it joins Liberty's Kitchen and Whole Foods Market. The Goldring Teaching Kitchen is a 4,500-square-foot cooking school that can accommodate 20 in hands-on classes or up to 50 for demonstration and lecture classes, which will be free, focusing on healthy nutrition to prevent obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The program is part of a multi-dimensional project to fight obesity, spearheaded by the Tulane University School of Medicine in collaboration with Johnson & Wales University and community partners including the Edible Schoolyard Program and more. Dr. Tim Harlan, who is the trained chef behind the Dr. Gourmet books and website, practices medicine and teaches in the School of Medicine, but he doesn't teach the culinary classes. He calls himself the salesman for the whole program; just one component is a curriculum that other medical schools have already purchased. Dr. Harlan said the program has hired chef Leah Sarris from the Johnson & Wales nutrition program, and Tulane medical students are teaching the cooking classes as part of their required community service. Plan to read more about this program in the coming months.***

The financing is lined up, and founder/president Liz Williams says the new location of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum will open in early or late summer at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd."Purloo is coming with us," Williams said of chef Ryan Hughes' restaurant, and specialty cocktail classes from the Museum of the American Cocktail will move back to the museum and expand. In addition, entrepreneurs or existing businesses can rent the commercial kitchen in the kitchen innovation center.In the meantime, a big urban garden with bees and chickens is going in behind the SoFAB Culinary Library and Archives that opened in the fall at 1609 O.C. Haley Blvd. with the largest culinary literary collection in the South. The garden will be incorporated in the museum's annual summer camp for kids, and the site of children's events. In addition, storytelling at the library starts Jan. 18.***

A big new culinary school collaboration? It could happen, and maybe we'll know soon. Three bids are being considered to buy the Louisiana ArtWorks building on Howard Avenue, but the board evaluating them isn't saying how much the offers are or when they'll announce their decision. One is a company that provides services and office space to start-ups; another is The Civil Rights Museum. The third bid is from The New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute, an academy spearheaded by Commander's Palace restaurant with the culinary and hospitality programs of Delgado Community College, the University of New Orleans and Tulane University. It could be a game-changing institution.***

"We're still waiting to hear from the city," said Seth Hamstead of Cleaver & Co. He's part of St. Roch Community Partners Inc., which has put in a bid to lease the newly restored St. Roch Market, owned by the city. Other partners in the culinary uber-alliance are St. James Cheese Co., Bellegarde Breads, Faubourg Wines and Redmellon Restoration and Development. "We hear there may be other applications, and we're not sure if that's just rumor or not."Hamstead said if the group wins the lease, they would hope to open the historic market within six months, if not sooner. They have an email for prospective vendors: info@strochmarket.org.***
Good Eggs NOLA, which changed the local food map in 2013, is an online service linking local food purveyors and home grocery delivery. The business has moved and expanded three times since it opened in May. At the end of the year, the virtual market announced expansion of its delivery area to Metairie, Jefferson, River Ridge, Algiers and Gretna, and they soon will add the Lower 9th Ward and Chalmette. In January, they will be delivering four times a week to all areas.***

The single biggest trend of coffee is single-serve cups, and New Orleans Roast Coffee & Tea is on the bandwagon. The company, which is affiliated with PJ's Coffee of New Orleans, is launching single-serve cups in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas groceries, as well as online, at the beginning of April. They'll be available in Dark Roast, Dark Roast and Chicory, Southern Pecan and Decaf.***

Especially after the success of "Top Chef: New Orleans," plan to see @DaveWalkerTV cranking out more about food shows coming to New Orleans as well as New Orleans folks on all kinds of food shows. Producers continually scout here for cooks, contestants and characters. For starters, actor/baker Dwight Henry of the Buttermilk Drop Bakery is traveling to Toronto in February to participate in a doughnut showdown on the Food Network. Perhaps even more exciting for his bakery fans, Henry also is opening a second bakery location in a few weeks at 1218 Decatur St. in the French Quarter. ***

Chef Donald Link's first cookbook, Real Cajun, won the 2010 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. In February, Clarkson-Potter will release "Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything," which looks beyond New Orleans and Louisiana at other dishes in nearby states. Once again, Link teams up with writer Paula Disbrow and photographer Chris Granger. ***Culinary maven and radio host Poppy Tooker is working on the Tujaque's Cookbook, due out this fall. In addition to recipes, Tooker says the book will include archival photographs and lots of history from the second-oldest restaurant in New Orleans. The recipes will be from each period in the eatery's long life, she said. "I'm somehow turning it into a sexy ghost story," said Tooker, whose 2012 book project updated the recipes of Madame Begue, New Orleans' 19th century celebrity chef. "I am going to tell the story of the second Madame Begue ... the young kitchen assistant who Hippolyte quickly married when Madame Begue died. She puts him in the grave in five years."***Also on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, the community development company Alembic, which has offices in New York and New Orleans and works in underserved neighborhoods, is six months into the renovation of the huge old Myrtle Banks/McDonough 38 school, which it purchased in 2011. Jonathan Leit, director of the local Alembic office, said the project needs another six months or so to complete. In addition to office spaces, one of the tenants will be a fresh food market, which is bound to add to the revitalization of the old commercial corridor in Central City.Leit said Alembic plans to announce more about the market, including the tenant, in a couple of months. They hope to have it open in the fall. ***

Edible New Orleans, the free hyper-local quarterly, which published at least five issues in 2010-2011, is returning under a new owner and publisher. Editor/publisher Stephanie Carter said her first issue of the magazine will be in mid-April. Carter is the founder of OKRA, the online magazine of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum; she has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tulane as well as the Culinary Institute of America; she has worked as a chef in three countries."It will be an interesting year, having our first baby and putting out a new magazine," Carter said. ***

The Vieux Carre cocktail at the Carousel bar, New Orleans Watch as senior bartender Marvin Allen creates the vintage Vieux Carre cocktail at the Carousel Bar and Lounge in the Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., New Orleans.
Pelican Publishing has a strong lineup of local cookbooks hitting shelves in January and February, as well as a mid-year release of mixologist Marvin Allen's "Magic in a Shaker: A Year of Spirited Libations" by Marvin Allen, mentioned above.Showing up sooner will be: "Cool Kids Cook: Fresh and Fit by Kid Chef Eliana," the third cookbook (and second with Pelican) by the precocious 13-year-old radio host and kid celeb; "In A While Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes" by sisters-in-law Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller; New Orleans Best Ethnic Restaurants" by Ann Benoit, who also wrote the Broussard's Cookbook; and "Vietnamese Cuisine in New Orleans" by Suzanne Pfefferle. Pfefferle's book is the companion volume to her well-received WYES documentary about this intriguing cuisine, and includes a few well-chosen recipes from her subjects.In February, Pelican also is releasing e-books of some of its deep catalog, including several cooking classics: the two chef Leah Chase books, "And Still I Cook" and "Listen, I Say Like This"; Arthur Stanley Clisby's 1937 "Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em"; and both of the wonderful "La Bouche Creole" cookbooks by Leon Soniat.
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