We left New Orleans with a copy of John Kennedy Toole’s a Confederacy of Dunces in our digital back pocket. We were inspired to read the comedic, novel depicting Ignatius J. Reilly’s exploits because of Cynthia LeJeune Nobles’ cookbook of the same name. The Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook is a series of dishes inspired by 1960’s New Orleans and Ignatius’ favorite foods. The research that went into this book is incredible. I’m not sure which one I suggest you read first. Maybe read them both and cook simultaneously for a real immersive trip.
More Culture Stuff
10 years ago I read a book called “The History of Food” which chronicles human eating habits from the hunters and gatherers we started as through the birth of restaurants and into today’s modern industrial food complex (disaster). A History of Food in 100 Recipes sets out to drop the same knowledge but in a more approachable less academic prose. There’s pretty pictures too which softens some of the more aggressive and outright despicable turns in our food history. For anyone who wants to not only what we eat but why we do, this is a great read.
Books seem useless these days. The content on the other hand is invaluable. Sometimes great content can’t be found with a Google search and New Orleans: The Underground Guide is one such unicorn. Packed with hidden gems, secret places and local flavor, Michael Patrick Welch outlines the food but takes it much farther. With music and art at its core this guide book will keep you far from the French Quarter disaster and get you deep into places that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
An otherworldly drink is your future, at least if it comes from Tarot of Cocktails, a deck of 30 recipe cards that promise to add some spirit to your…spirits. Created thanks to funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign, the cards have an ethereal, tarot-inspired layout featuring cocktails with names like “The Violet Twilight,” “Seer of Dreams,” and “Blood and Smoke” to make you feel like you’re communing with another world (the alcohol may help, too). The cards are mortal-friendly and aren’t meant for official divination purposes BUT we like picking a random card and letting the concoction in question predict the night ahead. We’re willing to bet that the buzz from Queen of Bees portends a better evening than The Withering Vine. But really, what do we know? It’s all in the cards, and what we see in the cards are some darn good drinks, whatever destiny awaits you.
Questlove has lots of jobs as he self confesses in an article I was recently reading about the musician turned, Tonight Show band leader turned writer (amongst 15 other jobs). His long running, highly acclaimed, Food Salons have always been on our radar as grandfathers of the underground supperclub movement. Appearances on Bourdain’s show and a journey into a fried chicken joint restaurant proves that of his 15+ jobs food sits close to the center. With Something to Food About, Questlove explores the very thing that drove us to use the kitchen for our art, creativity. Through the interviews of 10 chefs he explores how cooking fuels creativity and relates to their world vision. In his own words. ” Food is fuel. Food is culture. Food is history. And food is food for thought.” On the heals of the incredible Netflix series a Chef’s Table, this exploration of food as a vehicle to express creativity gets even more love. This time ?uestlove.