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News for Restaurants in New Orleans
October 2015 Archive

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RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

The increasingly popular El Gato Negro has opened its third location. This time, the Mexican restaurant opened in the Warehouse District in the space formerly occupied by the short-lived Tacos and Tequila. Other locations are in the French Quarter and Lakeview. The space has a large bar area, so this location uses that to its advantage and offers seating and service in the bar, as well as the dining room. The same menu is served as the other locations. El Gato Negro, 800 S. Peters St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-309-8864.
 

News Bytes

Willie Mae Seaton
In August, President Barack Obama stopped by the famed Willie Mae’s Scotch House to sample what some say is the best fried chicken in the country. Now, just weeks later, owner Willie Mae Seaton has died at age 99. Seaton opened the place as a bar in 1957, but it morphed into a national institution that couldn’t even be stopped by Hurricane Katrina. Although the restaurant was badly damaged from the storm, a joint effort between the Southern Foodways Alliance and Mississippi chef John Currence brought the building and the business back to life. Seaton was well known for decades as so hard working that she started cooking her renowned white beans and chicken at 4:30 every morning. Until the late 1990s the place remained a simple neighborhood “joint,” but little by little it became nationally known, and a true tourist destination in the Treme section of New Orleans. A highpoint of her career happened when she was honored as an America's Classic by the James Beard Foundation in 2005. Seaton is survived by her two sons and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat. Willie Mae's Scotch House, 2401 St. Ann St., New Orleans, LA 70119, 504-822-9503.
 
Chef John Besh Releases New Cookbook
John Besh may be widely known as a restaurant empire builder, TV personality and New Orleans ambassador, but he still knows how to relate to the everyday cook. His new book, Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes, is geared so much to everyday home cooks, it even has a flexible binding that allows it to lie perfectly flat on the kitchen counter. The recipes are largely those that can feed a whole family, that require minimal shopping and can be produced at minimal cost. Perfect examples are Besh's recipes for such meals as green onion sausage and shrimp stew, "Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Gumbo," and a tradtional beef brisket daube. The book is divided into five sections: appetizers, soups, stews, gumbo and vegetables. While some of Besh's previous books have been big, coffeetable tomes, this one will most likely stay in the kitchen. Restaurant August, 301 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-299-9777.
 
Chef Paul Prudhomme has passed away at the age of 75 Remembering Chef Paul Prudhomme
Paul Prudhomme introduced the country to true rural Louisiana cooking. There is probably not a chef in New Orleans today who hasn’t been influenced by, mentored by or worked with Prudhomme. The 75-year-old culinary master has died following a brief illness. For more than 35 years, his famed K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen has been attracting crowds from all over the world, even though for a long time the restaurant did not take reservations, did not allow substitutions from the menu and kept the menu pretty much the same year after year. If you never had the pleasure of dining there, you probably saw the chef on television. If you never saw him on television, you probably have one or more of his nine cookbooks in your kitchen. Further, by now almost every grocery store in America stocks Prudhomme’s line of Magic Seasoning Blends. Prudhomme became a national figure, but never really left Louisiana for very long. Having grown up in the small city of Opelousas in the middle of Louisiana, Prudhomme always stayed true to his roots in his cooking. He is credited with bringing authentic Cajun cooking to New Orleans, exemplified by his time as chef at Commander's Palace in the 1970s. He is also the one chef who introduced blackened redfish, now a staple of many menus. But his real legacy is that of being a great guy. One of Prudhomme’s most accomplished proteges, chef Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s Restaurant, summed up Prudhomme’s life simply: “R.I.P. to legendary chef Paul Prudhomme. The world is a better place because of him.” K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, 416 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-524-7394.
 

Chef Shuffle

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Closings

CLOSED FOR GOOD
Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for New Orleans to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from the past. Dominique's, R.I.P.

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CULINARY EVENTS
Want to learn to cook
? Try new dishes? Meet a foodie friend for fun? Check out our compilation of culinary events in your area.


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RESTAURANT AWARDS

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