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BLOCK: It must be fun to channel those voices, both for the show and for the book, when you're thinking about the food that they would want from their kitchen.

Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans trailer

Boy, you got to soak your red beans before you do them the night before. Otherwise, they're going to take forever to cook. Or you need to put pickle meat in them beans. I don't know what all this vegetarian stuff is about. You need some pickle meat, that kind of thing. ELIE: Exactly. And, you know, people talk about the fact that you'd be sitting in the supermarket line in New Orleans, and people would say, oh, how are you going to fix that? Why beans and shrimp? What are you going to do with that?

BLOCK: You know, one thing about "Treme" that's so interesting is that it includes real-life musicians and real-life chefs along with the fictional story. And often in the show, we see the trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. And when we see him, he's often cooking, right? He's over a barbecue. ELIE: Well, that's exactly the kind of thing that is true. And people think, well, you know, you wrote that. You created this character.

No, that's Kermit. His parents created that character. We talk about in the book how Fats Domino used to bring his food when he go on tour in Europe so that he could cook his own food in Europe.

Treme : Lolis Eric Elie :

So there's a long tradition of musicians cooking. ELIE: Ah. I called Kermit to get a recipe, and it was clear to me that I was not going to get a recipe written down. So what I did was I went and interviewed him. And in the course of the interview, I asked him how he made his butterbeans. And so based on what he told me, I wrote a recipe, sent it back for him to look at. And so unlike some of the recipes that, you know, sometimes have that -a kind of whimsical, this is exactly Kermit recipe. This is Albert Lambreaux.

He's a Mardi Gras Indian chief.

He has in his chapter a recipe that I've got to ask you about. It's for stuffed mirliton. Am I saying it right? And the rest of the world, they call it chayote squash. It's big in Latin America and even in Jamaica where they call it cho-cho or christophene. And that is a staple here on Christmas and Thanksgiving menus. Put it back in and bake it. It's fabulous. ELIE: The mirliton itself is relatively bland.

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The stuffed mirliton tastes not unlike, say, stuffed eggplant in the sense that the truth is by the time you put all those seasonings in it, you get a whole other sense of it. BLOCK: You know, you do get a really strong sense looking through the cookbook, Lolis, of what a multicultural city New Orleans has been and continues to be and continues to be more and more ethnically diverse.


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ELIE: Well, it was important to me that the book reflect that cultural diversity, in part because as I have come to understand the city better and better, I'm realizing that we can no longer talk about New Orleans in terms of merely black and white, that we need to open up the discussion, because our food traditions have come from mixing of cultures from Europe, Africa, the Caribbean from centuries ago.

And now, what we're finding is that Vietnamese food, for example, is part and parcel of the New Orleans tradition. We have one of the largest populations of Vietnamese in the United States. Additionally, I see the infusion of Latino workers in the post-flood era as another infusion of one of the key elements of the building blocks of New Orleans cuisine before. So what happens now is you can now go and have tacos or go and have pupusas and know exactly what their country of origins are. But if I know New Orleans as well as I think I know New Orleans, years from now, those tacos are going to be Creole, and it will no longer be clear exactly when they came from Mexico or that they came from Mexico.

They're going to be ours. ELIE: First thing, you got to have gumbo. Even though gumbo is enough for a meal, it's always where we start Thanksgiving, Christmas, any major meals - got to have gumbo. The other thing I would do is go to what we call salad without papers.

Cookbook Review: 'Treme - Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans'

As you may know, wop was a derogatory term for Italians, meaning these are immigrants without papers. And so until recently and less politically correct time, you'd see wop salad on the menu. It's a salad consisting of fresh grains but also pickled vegetables. We add shrimp to that as well. And then where would I go after that? Probably to the roasted duck from Gabrielle Restaurant.

Greg Sonnier is the chef.

And this restaurant closed after the levee failures in , and so I wanted this recipe in the book because it's sort of a tribute to that restaurant. Then I suppose we'd need some sort of dessert. This man was a newspaperman. And, of course, some cafe ole.

Reviews about this book

Related Program:. All Things Considered. Share Tweet Email. View Slideshow 1 of 2. In this, his first cookbook published in , you see a legend in the making and the foundations of empire building. Even after opening Herbsaint, she is still associated with the intimate pleasures of Bayona, whose elegant, earthy recipes are found in this keeper cookbook published in Organized by seasons and festivals shrimp season, feast days, Mardi Gras, oyster season, Reveillon, etc.

Gutsy gumbos, boudin, crawfish boils, meat pies and fried shrimp shaped the James Beard Award-winning chef who opened the upscale Herbsaint and the game-changing, pig-centric, Cajun-happy Cochon. The book cleverly mixes perspectives of characters and their recipes with recipes from some of the city's top chefs. The result is a work that is as evocative as the show itself.

Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans, a Special Dinner with Lolis Eric Elie

No, Tooker - the host of the weekly radio show Louisiana Eats! With essential recipes. Cookbooks from New Orleans that provide definitive recipes of classic, traditional and beloved New Orleans foods and flavors Thursday, Aug.