It's no secret that New Orleanians live to eat, or that their distinctive Creole cooking is an international symbol of the city's gumbo-pot history and tradition. But in practical terms, the restaurant scene is a life force for the community, pumping about $2 billion into the local economy and employing one in 10 New Orleanians before the storm.One organization that has been doing some amazing work supplying morale, operating soup kitchens, organizing school cafeterias and providing support and good warm creole/cajun meals to those left destitute and abandoned in the Gulf Region is Share our Strength. They are sponsoring a Restaurants for Relief Night this Tuesday. Please see if there is a participating restaurant near you.
The industry took a major hit, according to the Louisiana Restaurant Association, with 54 percent of the metro area's 3,414 restaurants still closed. Among those still missing in action are neighborhood favorites such as Mandina's, Mandich, Gabrielle, and Gautreau's, some of which are being rebuilt.
Most famous restaurants in the French Quarter and Uptown, however, were spared serious damage from the hurricane. The toll of weeks without electricity in the summer swelter, though, proved to be costly enough. Emeril Lagasse's three restaurants lost $1.4 million worth of wine alone. And then there was the pervasive reek of spoiled walk-in refrigerators.
"Who knew that steak would turn to liquid and seep through the floors and walls?" said Ti Martin, whose family owns the 126-year-old Commander's Palace, which was stripped down to the studs for a $6 million-plus renovation. "We saved the molding, and that's about it." - philly.com
Chefs in Exile will document the personal stories of these chefs: how they survived Katrina and fought heroically to reopen their damaged restaurants-understaffed, with no potable water, and often homeless themselves. In the darkest days following the hurricane, these chefs provided solace through their cooking to family and friends, stranded hotel guests, and relief workers throughout the city and beyondI know what it's like to miss New Orleans, and miss the Bananas Foster at Brennans.
And, surprise.....girl scout cookies aren't just for simply snacking on anymore.
"Girl Scout cookies is a big business. That's a lot of $3 boxes of cookies," said presiding Magistrate Tom Lynett. - UPI
Blistering heat was just what Sandi Fontaine needed to bake cookies for her co-workers — on the dash of her Toyota Rav4.
With temperatures soaring Wednesday, Fontaine placed two trays of cookie dough on the dashboard, shut the doors and retreated inside to her air conditioned office.
"My husband wanted me to run some errands this morning," said Fontaine, who works at Baldwin and Clarke Corporate Finance. "I said, 'I can't. I'm baking cookies.'
Fontaine first tested her dashboard oven three years ago. She said anyone can do it; the only requirement is for the outside temperature to be at least 95 degrees, so it will rise to about 200 degrees in the car.
....."When you open the door to that car," she said, "it's like, oh my God. It's a wonderful smell." - AP and the NHUnionLeader