Traditional recipes

Beaujolais on the Bayou

Beaujolais on the Bayou

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We love it when unexpectedly beautiful wine pairings happen. Sometimes, trying a food and wine pairing that sounds kind of daring can be just the thing.

Our recent revelation was discovering that beaujolais, the fun and fruity French wine made from gamay grapes, is a perfect partner for Cajun/Creole cuisine like hot links, jambalaya, and etouffée.

Actually, the French have long known that good beaujolais — especially the premium category called villages or the top tier cru beaujolais — is a great partner for a variety of foods. (The region is just north of Lyon, the city that gave us dishes like salad Lyonnaise with thick bacon, poached egg, and frisée; pork pâté; and steak frites.)

Gamay’s soft tannins, bright acidity, and bountiful fruit flavors are well-matched with meaty, slightly rich foods, and even spicy foods.

"Beaujolais reminds you of why people have been drinking wine for 12,000 years," says Ian Becker, wine director for San Francisco’s the Absinthe Group, which includes Boxing Room. "It's really inexpensive, and simple and pure and fun."

We loved the bright cherry flavor of the MARCEL LAPIERRE Morgon Beaujolais 2010 with the spicy duck and pork sausage jambalaya at The Boxing Room. But we just as easily could have been eating shrimp and bacon over cheese grits at Wishbone in Chicago, crawfish etouffée at Bayou on Staten Island, or a rib-eye Bordelaise at Galatoire's restaurant in New Orleans.

Read below for great wines from Beaujolais to try next time you're dining on the Bayou.

DOMAINE CHEYSSON "Clos les Farges" Chiroubles 2010 (Chiroubles, Beaujolais) $17
Aromas of flowers, tart red currants, and raspberries greet you at first sniff, and the wine tastes earthy, smoky, and salty. See why The New York Times called this the best value in Beaujolais. Find it here.

GEORGES DEBOEUF "1st Prize" Régnié 2009 (Régnié, Beaujolais) $10
The newest cru in Beaujolais, the wines of Régnié are known for being zesty, fruity, and more bold than their neighbors, and the 1st Prize is a perfect example. Find it here.

CHATEAU DE LA CHAIZE Brouilly 2009 (Brouilly, Beaujolais) $14
A lively and fresh wine, the Chateau de la Chaize sings with flavors of strawberry ad raspberry. The Chateau de la Chaize is one of the best-known estates and castles in Beaujolais. Find it here.

Click here for more from The Daily Sip

Crab Boil or Steamed Crabs?

Crabs have become a popular food all over the world. From crab bisque to crab cakes, there are many different ways to prepare and eat this succulent crustacean.

TTwo popular ways to cook crab are boiling and steaming. A crab boil usually incorporates other ingredients like corn and sausage with different spices and aromatics flavoring the broth. Steaming crabs, on the other hand, keeps the crabs from getting water logged.

No matter which way you choose to cook your crab, make sure to source the freshest crabs possible for the best results!

Crab Boil

Boiling crab in salted water is pretty simple. Start by bringing a pot of salted water—about ¼ cup salt per gallon—to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, carefully place your crabs in the water and cook for about 10-20 minutes. The crabs are ready when they turn orange and start to float. Remove the crabs from the water and let them cool down enough to remove the meat without burning yourself.

A crab boil usually consists of whole crabs, potatoes, sausage, corn, onions, and seasoning. The ingredients can change a bit depending on what you like to eat.

While each recipe may vary slightly, you essentially follow these steps: boil the water add in the potatoes, sausage, corn, onions, and seasoning and cook for 15-20 minutes. After that you add in the crabs and cook another 8-10 minutes. Once finished, arrange everything on a large family style platter and garnish it all with fresh parsley.

Steaming Crabs

Steaming is another great and easy way to cook crab. To SHOP NOW, you’ll need a two-part steamer pot. If you don’t have one of these, you can use a high pot with a circular rack placed over the water. You aren’t limited to using water though. Some people use beer and vinegar to steam the crabs, and you can add herbs and spices into the mix for even more flavor.

Whether you are choosing to use water or beer and vinegar, you want to bring 2 inches of liquid to a boil. Make sure the liquid doesn’t rise above the steam rack.

Using tongs, place 3-4 crabs belly-down on the rack. Cover these crabs with a seafood seasoning blend of your choice, and then add 3-4 more crabs on top of the first layer. Add more seasoning on to this next layer and then put the lid on the pot.

Cook the crabs for about 18-20 minutes, depending on size. The crabs are done when they turn orange and the meat flakes when tested with a fork. Carefully remove the crabs from the pot with clean tongs and serve on a platter with a sprinkling of seafood seasoning and some lemon wedges.

Recipes and Pairings

Whether you would prefer a crab boil or steamed crabs, here are some great recipes to try:

You can use Old Bay seasoning or another prepared seafood seasoning when making a crab boil or steamed crabs, but here is a seasoning recipe from Epicurious if you would like to make your own!

If you love white wine, try pairing a Chardonnay or Riesling with your crab boil or steamed crabs.

Not into white wine? That’s ok—there are light and fruity reds that will pair just as well with crab. Try a glass of Beaujolais, a light and fruity wine. Zinfandel is heavier than Beaujolais but its fruitiness still pairs well with seafood.

Would you rather have a beer? An IPA or a wheat beer will pair beautifully with your crab dinner.

Buy Maryland Blue Crab Online

Cameron’s Seafood understands that sometimes, you just don’t have time to go through the process of deciding which way to cook crab.

For this reason, we offer beautiful whole cooked Maryland blue crabs for delivery straight to your front door on our online store. We steam them right after they’re caught to ensure the freshest tasting crab.

There are various other seafood products available for delivery on our online store too—be sure to browse our selection!

Stay up to date with what we’re up to here at Cameron’s Seafood by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Sign up to our email newsletter to get access to exclusive promotions and giveaways!

Cafe Beaujolais Restaurant Cookbook Mendocino California by Margaret S Fox Vintage Memoir Books State Gifts for Chefs or Cooking Lovers

Редкая находка! Этот товар не так просто найти.

Read the full description

Cafe Beaujolais-Mendocino, California by Margaret S. Fox (Owner-chef of a small-town cafe with a national reputation) and John Bear (who eats there a lot) 1984 "Of the 256 pages in this book, 132 are devoted to specific recipes and how to prepare them, and 124 are not. That in part is why it say Cafe Beaujolais on the cover and not "Cafe Beaujolais Cookbook" It includes, recipes for most of the dishes that made the restaurant famous but it is also a book about food and the restaurant business, and how to start one (and shy maybe you shouldn't) and it is about Margaret Fox , the woman who owns, runs, and cooks at the Cafe Beaujolais" (from inside)

The cafe isn't owned by her any longer, but it's in interesting read, and a fun memoir for those who used to frequent it back in the day.

Publisher: Ten Speed Press 1984

Condition: Good, but there are marks here and there with cover wear, and some light stains on outside edges of pages.


Taken from the Orient section, the Canton cocktail is named after the Chinese port city on the Pearl River now known as Guangzhou considered the birthplace of dim sum. Once serving as the setting for the Anglo-Chinese “Opium Wars”, this cocktails aims to unite the best of East and West via Jinzu cherry blossom gin, lychee wine, osmanthus syrup and frozen longhan.

Bayo Beans

4 large dried ancho chiles 2 dried chiles de arból (omit if you prefer a milder sauce) ½ small onion, chopped 8 ounces canned tomato sauce 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 3 tablespoons Ponzu sauce (or substitute ½ soy sauce, ½ lime juice) 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup mayonnaise 2 kilos Pargo blanco or red snapper (huachinango) one 2-kilo fish or two 1-kilo fish. Butterflied from the belly out. Remove and discard the stems and seeds from chiles. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover completely with boiling water and then soak for 40 minutes.
Remove the chiles and place in a food processor with ½ cup of the soaking liquid, the onion, tomato sauce, garlic, Ponzu, Worcestershire and the salt. Process until very smooth. Sieve the mixture into a bowl, then add the mayonnaise and blend.
Set aside 2/3 cup of the blended sauce to serve with the cooked fish. The rest will be used to prepare the fish for the grill.
Slather the flesh-side of the fish with the sauce and then place, skin-side down on a hot charcoal or gas grill. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fish. (About 15 minutes for a one-kilo snapper on my gas grill at medium-high, lid closed).
Place cooked fish on a large platter use a spoon to remove the flesh.
Serve with fresh tortillas and pickled onions. Pass the reserved sauce.
Pickled Red Onions
Thinly slice a medium red onion into a glass bowl, toss with the juice of a large lime, one or two finely minced serrano chiles and ¼ teaspoon salt. Best if marinated overnight in the fridge.

Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a dish which meets holiday requirements. It is easy, and it doesn't need sophisticated ingredients or an oven. A frying pan is enough. Quesadilla, the dish in question, is a tortilla with melted cheese. The rest of the ingredients you choose at your discretion. Red beans, pepper, chorizo or fried meat all work brilliantly. I added fried pieces of turkey leg. Thanks to this, my dish could be a holiday dinner.

Ingredients (for 2 people)
4 tortillas
300g of turkey leg
half a chili pepper
half an onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of oil
200g of tinned sweetcorn
200g of tinned red beans
fresh pepper
200g of mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Cube the meat. Fry the diced onion, garlic and chili pepper in oil. Add the spiced-up-with-salt-and-pepper meat and fry on a low heat until the meat is soft. Cube the pepper. Drain the sweetcorn and red beans and slice the mozzarella cheese. Put the tortilla into a dry, heated pan. Arrange the meat, sweetcorn and red beans on it. Cover with the slices of the mozzarella cheese and the second tortilla. Fry on a low heat for a while. Turn it and fry a bit more until the cheese has melted. Put it on a plate and cut it into triangles.

Mexican Rice
Serves 4 as Side.

1 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1-1/2 c long-grain rice
3 c low-salt chicken broth or stock
2 med-size tomatoes (about 12 oz total), chopped
1 can (4&1/2 oz) chopped green chilies
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 c pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan over med-high heat until hot. (Make sure you use a large enough pot, I tried to make it fit into a 3&1/2 quart pot and it was very tight). Add onion & garlic, cook until soft. Add rice, and stir well, cook, stirring occasionally, until rice toasts a bit and turns golden, about 3-5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, and S&P. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is done, about 25 min. You may have some liquid still left.
Turn off heat and stir in cilantro and olives, Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Keywords: Side, Rice, Mexican, Easy
( RG2089 )

Greens Tacos
I like to make these for breakfast or lunch: I try to eat dark leafy greens most days one way or another.

3/4 lb greens, cleaned well and sliced into approximate 1 inch pieces (today I used arugula and radish greens, leaving the radish ‘roots' in the fridge to be munched on later. the greens are good to eat, but
2 tsp cooking oil
2 stalks green garlic, cleaned as a leek and chopped, or another allium family, whatever you have on hand (onion, green onion, garlic, leek. )

Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
2 T cream cheese
4 small corn tortillas or 2-3 larger flour ones

Heat the oil and add the garlic, having the greens ready to go, and cook garlic for about 30 seconds. Then add greens and cook until bright green and wilted, add red pepper (and salt and black pepper if you like). Take off heat and stir in cream cheese. Heat tortillas, divide filling among them. Eat and enjoy.
Keywords: Vegetables, Easy, Vegetarian
( RG1521 )

Peaches, 2016

We’re not even to the halfway point of calendar summer and I’m already starting to miss it. Nowadays public schools start ridiculously early and the place where I teach will be starting its fall semester before long. All of these things contribute to the feeling that summer is almost over. At least there is the salve of the impending start of college football season.

What really triggers my late-summer doldrums is the prospect of another local peach season coming to an end. On my most recent trip to Jimmie’s Peach Stand in Chilton County, one of the Harrison sons predicted that their peach trees would only be yielding for another ten days to two weeks this year. The drive to Chilton County and along back country roads to Jimmie’s is always a tonic for me and I hate to see it end each year around this time.

I have written about Jimmie’s in the past and about my regular trips during their season which usually commences around Mother’s Day and ends in late-July and occasionally into August. I try to get down every two weeks during the season and I try to only eat Chilton County peaches purchased at Jimmie’s.

In a conversation a few years ago, I asked Jimmie Harrison for recommendations of good peaches in north Alabama. “I always thought Mr. Isom grew a good peach,” he said, referring to Isom’s peach orchards near Athens. So when the Jimmie’s crop is depleted, I can usually rely on Isom’s for another basket or two (

Jimmie’s peaches without any embellishment are perfect and this year’s crop seems to bear an overall larger fruit than usual. It’s impossible to have a surfeit of peaches but occasionally they get pretty ripe before I can get to them and I have some fallback recipes to make sure that not a single peach is wasted. I don’t make many pies so when I’m ready to throw peaches in the oven it’s usually in a cobbler.

Over the years I have collected some ways to take full advantage of peach season and their abundance and, with the local season’s end upon us, it’s time to share a couple of fresh and simple peach recipes.

The peach salsa is simple and has multiple uses. Use it however you would use any other type of salsa but I love it on a fish taco. The following recipe makes a nice batch.

Peach Salsa

2 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced

3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (white and green parts)

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

¼ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

Cayenne pepper to taste

salt to taste

Simply mix all ingredients together and serve.

The Peaches and Beaujolais dessert recipe originally came from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table cookbook. Over time I have used it so much without referencing the cookbook that I think it has morphed into my own version. In fact, I pulled out his recipe not long ago to copy for a friend and realized that I have taken liberties with the original. I had forgotten that the original uses granulated sugar along with the brown sugar. Here is how I basically make it these days:

Peaches and Beaujolais

1 medium ripe peach, peeled, pitted, and quartered

1½ tablespoon dark brown sugar

4-6 ounces good Beaujolais or Morgon

Put half of the dark brown sugar in the bottom of a wine glass. Put peach quarters in glass. Drizzle the other half of dark brown sugar over the top of the peaches. Pour Beaujolais (or Morgon) over the peach and sugar mixture. For a really decadent variation, embellish the Beaujolais with Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Garnish with mint leaves.

Both of these peach recipes capture the freshness and vibrancy of the summer season for me and enhance that distinctive peach essence in an exciting way.

Make the most of the rest of your summer. Hmm … shouldn’t local figs be here soon?

Postcards from the Edge

Restaurant tips for Harlem's newest tenant a legendary Moroccan oil extreme sushi in Chicago a renowned London chef comes to Virginia a radical Paris wine bar.

Memo to Bill
TO: William Jefferson Clinton
FROM: The Editors

Congratulations on your decision to lease office space in Harlem. We do, however, feel compelled to warn you about your new neighborhood. While Harlem is rich in history, churches and Democrats, it&aposs also a dietary minefield. A slew of new restaurants has opened recently, serving the best Southern food Harlem has seen in years. You are no doubt aware of the peril such restaurants can pose for the older, less active ex-President. So with your permission, we&aposd like to offer a list of addresses to avoid. In fact, you might consider eating most of your meals in Chappaqua.

1. Bayou Most dishes here are fairly innocuous, at least for Creole food. But watch out for the fried oysters, served on buttery spinach and topped with slabs of melted brie. You&aposd have to jog for miles to erase the calories in one oyster--and you get four to a plate (308 Lenox Ave. 212-426-3800).

2. Miss Maude&aposs Spoonbread Too This place is trouble, sir. Trouble with a capital T that rhymes with P that stands for Pork Ribs, Potato Salad and Pecan Pie. Miss Maude&aposs has one of the best fry cooks in Harlem, too, so the chicken and catfish are browned to an irresistible crisp (547 Lenox Ave. 212-690-3100).

3. Amy Ruth&aposs We know you&aposve already eaten here, so perhaps it&aposs wise to adopt a been-there/done-that attitude. Otherwise you may find yourself working your way through all 12 chicken-and-waffle combinations. Or sitting by the cake stands at the counter, contemplating one more slice of that treacherous coconut cake (113 W. 116th St. 212-280-8779).

4. Jimmy&aposs Uptown Like early retirement, Jimmy&aposs is a mixed blessing. Pro: It&aposs got a virtually fat-free tuna seviche. Con: It also offers Harlem&aposs first foie gras. Pro: There&aposs a dance floor where you can work off your dinner. Con: That dance floor is filled with attractive young women. But temptations of that sort aren&apost within the purview of this memo, so we&aposll let you make the call, Mr. President (2207 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Blvd. 212-491-4000).

Driving into a valley town in southern Morocco, I witnessed an unforgettable sight: tiny black goats clambering up the branches of gnarled argan trees to get at the fruit. Later that day, in a ramshackle stall in the souk, I learned how the fruit is harvested, sun-dried and cracked to reveal a nut that&aposs then toasted and ground into a paste that releases a voluptuous oil. Argan oil tastes of nuts, toast and ripe olives the Moroccans work it into couscous and salad dressings, pour it on tagines and combine it with honey to make amalou, a concoction they spread on bread for breakfast.

Now New York chefs have taken up argan oil. Gerry Hayden of Aureole drizzles it over roast baby lamb stuffed with dates and lemon confit. Philippe Schmit of Orsay sauces a pistachio-crusted snapper with argan oil and a vinaigrette of caper berries and blood orange juice. Mediterranean-food expert Paula Wolfert has been a fan of argan oil for years: This recipe is from her Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. When the oil was scarce in the States, she advised substituting walnut oil now you can make amalou with the real thing (available from Todaro Brothers 212-679-7766).

The Living End
At Heat, a sushi restaurant near the El on the edgy side of Chicago&aposs Old Town neighborhood, moray eels, rockfish and flounder peer out at diners&apos legs from tanks below the bar. Up above, sea urchins nestle on smoking clouds of dry ice. They are the tragic players in an ancient Japanese drama known as ikezukuri (roughly translated: prepare live). Sushi "so fresh it jumps on your plate" is a cliché, but at Heat it is literally true. Executive Chef Kee Chan and his crew serve seafood while it&aposs still alive and squirming.

Nobu Matsuhisa introduced ikezukuri to American diners in Los Angeles a few years back, but Californians did not welcome the tradition. Protests and bomb threats from animal-rights organizations forced Matsuhisa to drop all his live offerings except one, lobster sashimi. Chicago, historically a carnivorous town, has proved more receptive. Everywhere I&aposve gone for the past month, people want to know if I&aposve been to "the place that gives you sushi that&aposs still flopping around." The curious wander into Heat in droves to gawk at the saltwater aquariums outfitted with a $10,000 air-compression system for oxygenating the final residence of many a fish and crustacean.

Chef Chan insists that the taste of live sushi is unparalleled. When a fish is killed and refrigerated before serving, he claims, its natural oils seep into the flesh and give it a stronger, more pronounced flavor. To taste sashimi as it should be, I embark on the ikezukuri adventure. Pushing aside the intriguing menu of nonliving delicacies (glass-eel tempura, baby abalone, and the Sake Shirako Shooter, a sake-and-cod-sperm cocktail) in favor of far fresher delights, I order suzuki, or Florida sea bass.

Chef Chan proudly presents a clear plastic box containing suzuki-san himself, freshly plucked from his tank. Chan leaves, then returns moments later. Suzuki-san is a skeleton of his former self: Glistening slices of sashimi encircle his twitching head, fins and tail. "Still moving!" Chan exclaims. I ask how the fish are put to rest. "It&aposs like an operation," he says. "We make a thin slit in the tail, and the fish passes out from the shock." Then the fish are skinned and filleted--without gutting, he explains, to keep violence to a minimum.

Next come a briny giant orange clam and a pearly North Atlantic scallop the size of a golf ball, each sliced and returned, quivering, to its respective shell. The peak of the meal, though, is ise ebi, a clawless spiny lobster. It arrives sashimi-style and in its carapace. After I have swished the meat in a mixture of Heat&aposs own soy sauce and fresh wasabi, and eaten every last slice, the chef takes the plate away, only to come back bearing the cut-up carcass and its roe in bowls of fragrant miso broth. A dramatic two-course dish, well worth its $52 price tag.

Chan slays up to 10 kinds of seafood each night. Other chefs are said to be readying copycat versions, but for now, Heat is the liveliest sushi bar in town (1507 N. Sedgwick St. 312-397-9818).

The Unfiltered Truth
Le Verre Volé, a tiny, friendly Paris wine shop and bar that opened a year ago in the newly trendy neighborhood near the Canal Saint-Martin, doesn&apost seem like the setting for radical ideas. So I was totally unprepared for my first sip of Prieuré-Roch Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire. This unfiltered, unsulfured wine tasted more like it had been siphoned out of an aging barrel than poured from a bottle. Unlike similar wines I&aposd tried before, the flavor was fresh, with lots of great fruit, rather than complex and deeply extracted.

Seated at one of Cyril Bordarier&aposs four small tables, I learned more about what he calls vins naturels. Bordarier, who is 32 and studied wine at the Université du Vin in Suze-la-Rousse, told me about his favorite rebel winemakers: in the Loire, Pierre and Catherine Breton in the Beaujolais, Yvon Métras in the Rhône, Michele Laurent at Domaine Gramenon and the team of René-Jean Dard and François Ribo. all disciples of wine guru Jules Chauvet. A négociant in the Beaujolais, Chauvet feared that chemical-based agriculture was wiping out the all-important influence of terroir (the character that the soil and climate of a place impart to its wines and foods), which spurred him to reject techniques like filtering wine and adding sulfur to it.

The noninterventionist approach to winemaking, while contrarian, is not exactly new wine consultant Michel Rolland has famously advocated it for years. But Rolland&aposs wines are rich and concentrated. The lively, uncomplicated wines Bordarier champions are something else entirely.

Bordarier&aposs passion for terroir extends to every item on his short blackboard menu. Each has a pedigree: boudin noir and caillette (a pork sausage with Swiss chard and herbs) from local charcutier Joël Meurdesoif, andouillette from Thierry Daniel in Troyes, delicious cheeses and butter from Jean-Yves Bordier in Saint-Malo even the chewy baguette comes from a nearby baker, Jean Hautecoeur. After four hours, when we finally ended our afternoon with Joseph Landron&aposs experimental Muscadet from the Loire, I felt like Le Verre Volé had been around for decades. It may be a newcomer, but it has an old soul (67 rue de Lancry 011-33-1-48-03-17-34).

New Maestro in Town
For years, Ritz-Carlton Hotels called each of their luxury restaurants the Dining Room and left it at that. But recently, in deciding to overhaul that rather generic approach, Ritz-Carlton hired 27-year-old Fabio Trabocchi to relaunch the restaurant at its Tysons Corner property in McLean, Virginia. So who is this boy who merits a restaurant with a real name--Maestro--and a $1.5 million renovation?

Well, Trabocchi won a Carlton London Restaurant Award as Best Young Chef of 1999 for his cooking at Floriana, whereupon British Vogue pronounced his food "already legendary." When I asked a British restaurant hound about him, she swooned: "Oh, Trabocchi! He&aposs a genius! Where is he now?"

Having now sampled a preopening lunch, I can confirm that the Brits did not exaggerate. Trabocchi&aposs food is soulful and passionate--not simple, not pretentious. A steamed dorade stuffed with sea urchin featured a porcini custard and a triangular shard of crisped skin it looked as if Frank Gehry had seized the plate. A spiced and roasted mallard came in two unfussed-with parts: the rich confit leg with a honeyed pear, and the breast (hallelujah, it was well done!) with tiny, Armagnac-marinated cherries. There aren&apost many reasons to go to Tysons Corner, but trust me, that duck is enough (1700 Tysons Blvd. 703-506-4300).


Founded in 1975, BeauSoleil (often billed as "BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet") released its first album in 1977 and became one of the most well-known bands performing traditional and original music rooted in the folk tunes of the Cajuns and Creoles of Louisiana. [2] [1] In early years they appeared at CODOFIL's annual "Tribute to Cajun Music" in Lafayette, Louisiana. [2] [3] They were part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1983. [4]

BeauSoleil tours extensively in the U.S. and internationally. While its repertoire includes hundreds of traditional Cajun, Creole and zydeco songs, BeauSoleil has also pushed past constraints of purely traditional instrumentation, rhythm, and lyrics of Louisiana folk music, incorporating elements of rock and roll, jazz, blues, calypso, and other genres in original compositions and reworkings of traditional tunes. Lyrics on BeauSoleil recordings are sung in English or Cajun French (and sometimes both in one song).

According to the band's website, BeauSoleil's musicians "take the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blend elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more into a satisfying musical recipe." The band's name is a tribute to Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, an Acadian resistance leader who led many Acadians to Louisiana following their expulsion by the British.

BeauSoleil has appeared on soundtracks to films The Big Easy, [1] Passion Fish and Belizaire the Cajun. The group plays at jazz and folk festivals and has appeared on numerous television shows, including CNN's Showbiz Today, Austin City Limits, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Emeril Live. BeauSoleil appeared regularly on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion radio show. Keillor has hailed the group as the "best Cajun band in the world". BeauSoleil has also performed in concert with Mary Chapin Carpenter and opened for the Grateful Dead. Carpenter featured them on her 1991 single "Down at the Twist and Shout", [1] in which they are also mentioned by name. [5]

BeauSoleil is one of a few groups performing traditional Louisiana music to win a Grammy Award. L'Amour Ou La Folie (Love Or Folly), recorded in 1996 and released on Rhino Records, earned the 1997 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. In a review on, Richard Gehr wrote, "By now the sextet transcends the dancehall, possessing the ability to transform nearly any traditional Cajun, Creole, or French tune into high art while preserving a clear sonic bloodline back to its roots."

In 2005, BeauSoleil's Gitane Cajun, released on Vanguard Records, earned the group its tenth Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Folk Album. A reflection of its versatility is that BeauSoleil has also earned a Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Folk category, for the 1999 album Cajunization, with songs that effortlessly span Cajun, calypso, French ballad, blues and other musical styles.

In 2005, BeauSoleil won the Big Easy Entertainment Award for Best Cajun Band, the tenth time the band was honored in the 18-year history of the awards presented by the New Orleans music and entertainment publication Gambit Weekly.

In 2005, BeauSoleil founder Michael Doucet was one of 12 artists awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 2008, BeauSoleil won another Grammy in the then newly created Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album category for the album Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

BeauSoleil was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2011. [6]

The BeauSoleil Quartet was interviewed by Stephen Winick of the American Folklife Center to preserve their oral history on June 28, 2017. [7]

France without Pretense

The winemakers of Beaujolais are not happy this year.

That seems odd, considering they live in some of France’s most beautiful villages, where old stone houses are decked with flowers amid hillside vineyards heavy with grapes, a half-day’s drive south of Paris.

But to hear the growers tell it, the world is in a perilous state. New wines from Australia are flooding the market, even in France. The cost of labor--each grower hires students, retirees and migrant workers to pick the grapes--keeps going up every fall. The European Union wants to reduce production by ripping out thousands of vines. Even the weather is causing trouble--by being too good: An unusually warm spring meant that this year’s harvest began in August, throwing summer vacation schedules into chaos.

Worst of all, the bright, fruity Beaujolais Nouveau that became a worldwide fad in the 1980s has gone the way of all things, throwing these villages’ once-booming economy into a palpable slump, if not quite a bust. It’s still released on the third Thursday in November, but there’s no longer quite the same exuberance for the autumnal rite of passage.

Shaking his head as he led a walk through the vineyards, winemaker Jacques Perraud said, “The demand isn’t there.”

Happily for visitors, the winemakers’ worries haven’t made them inhospitable. Quite the contrary: They are happier than ever to see you. They want you to know that Beaujolais isn’t just its Nouveau, a novelty wine that many of them were never that happy to be famous for.

No, the vintners of Beaujolais would much rather be known for their high-end work: the 10 special crus, such as Moulin-a-Vent and Morgon, the best of which can compete with the elegant wines of Burgundy to the north. The worldwide wine glut has held down prices: A bottle of perfectly nice Beaujolais can be bought at a winery for $6, a good cru for $11, and much of the best for $16.

Even better, Beaujolais may be France’s prettiest wine region, worth visiting for its summer and fall landscapes even more than its wines.

Real wine enthusiasts, when they come to France, may aim for other spots on the map: Bordeaux in the southwest or Burgundy in the center. But the terrain that produces the world’s most refined wines in those regions often turns out to be, well, disappointing: nothing but long rows of vines marching along gentle river valleys.

Beaujolais, on the other hand, is worth a journey and a stay. Most of its wine is merely fun, not quite distinguished. But the countryside is lovely: rugged hills and winding roads, villages with ancient stone churches, forest ridgelines touched at sunset by tendrils of fog. It’s like the wilder parts of Napa, but with church bells and chateaux.

And the food--this being arguably the “foodiest” part of France, where people talk about the provenance of not only their wines but also their chickens--is simply splendid.

A visit to Beaujolais is mostly about simple pleasures, because that’s the only kind here: a countryside made for walks, bike rides or lazy drives, vest-pocket villages with flower-lined paths, hundreds of little wineries with owners who want you to taste their wares, dozens of little restaurants trying to outdo one another with local ingredients, and plenty of good inns. This is France at its least intimidating. The wine is unpretentious, and so are the restaurants and hotels. Jeans and khakis are fine most of the time at dinner, a casual dress or blue blazer will do. Tourists are valued here, and many people speak workable English. All are gently supportive when an American bravely tries to use his high school French. There are no real museums to visit (except one--more on that later), no serious art to admire, no historical monuments to speak of--just landscapes, food and wine.

The French come here mostly for the walking and biking trails, and so did we. In late May my wife, Paula, and I headed into the Beaujolais hills armed with little more than a rented Peugeot, a Michelin guidebook and walking shoes. At 3 o’clock one afternoon, just as the guidebook promised, a winemaker appeared on the steps of the old stone church in the center of Vauxrenard, a village of tile-roofed houses clinging to a west-facing slope. It was Perraud, a rangy, silver-haired man with a sun-baked face and wary eyes that made him look like a Gallic Gary Cooper, a third-generation grape grower and, that Saturday, the village’s designated vineyard guide.

“You’re here for the walk?” he asked, allowing a tentative smile. “Good, then. Let’s go.”

As we followed him on the village’s well-marked, two-mile “wine path,” here and there a few tiny plots of vines had been taken out of production in exchange for subsidies from the European Union.

“They’re talking about building houses on this one,” Perraud said, gesturing with disapproval at a sandy, denuded slope between two fields of glorious spring-green vines. (The sandy soil, produced by slowly eroding granite, is what makes the wine so good.) But the rest of the view, from the pine-green mountain range down across symmetrical vineyards to the broad Saone River Valley below, was sunny and glorious.

“On a clear day you can see the Alps,” Perraud said brightly, the troubles of wine-selling forgotten for a moment. He bent down to a gnarled root. How old? “Forty years old, maybe more,” he said with respect.

A few minutes later, we were inside the Perraud family winery--a small but tidy workshop with a mechanical presser, a handful of fermentation tanks and a total of four oak casks for the family’s best product, its Moulin-a-Vent. (The name means “windmill,” after an old mill in a vineyard it’s one of those 10 special crus.) The tasting room was spartan--a small wooden bar and a picnic table set on a pea-gravel floor--but the tasting was free, and the wine was delicious. “Not bad,” Perraud allowed. The price for a bottle of his best 2-year-old Moulin-a-Vent: $9.50.

Another winery was just around the bend in the road, and another after that. The family-owned wineries of Beaujolais are tiny. Twenty-five acres of vines is considered a good-sized property 18 acres is the average. A holding that size produces enough grapes for about 38,000 bottles of wine a year, but most of the fruit is sold to Georges Duboeuf, Louis Jadot or other big winemaking houses. In the Perrauds’ case, two-thirds of their grapes go to Duboeuf of the 20,000 or so bottles they make under their label, only about 1,000 qualify as Moulin-a-Vent.

In the evening, a few hours later, we stood on an old terrace in Julienas, two villages to the north, and watched the sun set over the same ridge after bathing the vineyards in golden light. We sat down for dinner in the courtyard of a charming restaurant, Le Coq a Julienas (coq au vin, delicious cheeses, several pages of wines from the neighborhood). And we repaired happily to a country inn, the Auberge de la Boucle, whose sole defect was the noisy debate, early the next morning, between the innkeeper’s dog and a neighbor’s angry goose.

The villages here are only a few miles apart, tantalizingly close on the map. But the landscape is rugged enough--all hills and canyons and switchbacks--that our initial plans to hike a neat circuit through three or four villages a day turned out to be overly ambitious.

Happily, each village came to the rescue with its own little walking map: one trail for vineyards, one for forests, one to take you by the old chapel and so on. We discovered it was easiest to choose a village, start at the main square (inevitably centered on the church) and chart a hike along one or two of the designated paths, depending on how energetic we felt and how much time we had before the next meal. There are well-marked bike paths too, both along the main highways and a converted rail bed. (Rails to trails has taken hold in Europe too.)

Up in the hills, the traffic is sparse and unthreatening, unless you count the otherworldly appearance of insect-like high-rider tractors built for straddling 3-foot-tall vines.

From the village square in Fleurie, just down the hill from Vauxrenard, we followed a well-marked trail through a vineyard (the farmer politely returned our wave from his tractor) and a little wood, down paths lined by purple delphinium and along country roads punctuated by farmers’ ornamental rosebushes. (Is there any other country where farmers adorn their working fields with flowers just for enjoyment?)

The reward, after a 35-minute climb, was a hilltop chapel with another breathtaking view. The downhill walk to the village took only 25 minutes, and the reward was lunch under an umbrella on the veranda of an old bistro: salade beaujolaise, a local specialty made with a poached egg, croutons, chopped tomatoes and chunky bacon on top of greens.

Fleurie also boasts the best restaurant in the area, the Auberge du Cep. Owner Chantal Chagny is something of a local legend: She started out doing classic French cuisine--"elaborate dishes with elaborate sauces, lobster, all that sort of thing,” she said--and won two Michelin stars, achieved this year by only 65 restaurants in France.

Then six years ago, she decided to simplify her life and her restaurant. She rewrote the menu to focus on ingredients from the surrounding provinces--no more lobster, but some of the finest meat, fowl and freshwater fish in all of France. She told Michelin to feel free to take away her two stars. (“They said no one had ever told them that before,” she recalled with a wicked smile.) Michelin stripped her of one, but prudently left her with a single star, to see if this Alice Waters-style experiment in regional cuisine could work.

We had cream of asparagus soup (it was asparagus season) that was heavenly, mild spring lamb that was a revelation and, for dessert, a pungent homemade sorbet of cassis--black currants--that would have been worth the trip by itself. The meal was expensive by local standards--about $230 for two, including a bottle of Fleurie from a winery whose vines we probably walked by earlier in the day--but oh, was it memorable.

“Americans are our best clients, Americans and Germans, because they love the idea of good regional cooking,” Chagny said. “The French still aren’t quite sure.” She might have been exaggerating out of hospitality as far as we could tell, most of her 14 tables were occupied by French patrons (although there was one Briton who dined by himself, looking positively ecstatic).

Still, a reservation can be hard to get. Last year, the late R.W. “Johnny” Apple Jr. of the New York Times listed Chagny’s restaurant as one of 10 in the world that merited a journey his two-paragraph mention provoked newspaper and TV stories in France and Germany and sent armies of European gourmets to Fleurie to discover a jewel that had been hidden in plain sight.

Among the region’s wineries--which could, by day three, turn into a bit of a blur--the Chateau de La Chaize, the only classic big-chateau winery among the 10 crus, is worth mentioning. Relatives of Francois de La Chaize, one of Louis XIV’s military officers, have been growing grapes and making wine here since 1676, clinging to the property through the revolution and wars. The winery is newer than the castle it was built between 1771 and 1811 and is still being used.

The vaulted stone cellar didn’t need air conditioning to stay cool in 1771, and it was just as cool when we walked through it on a hot day last spring. The current proprietress, the Marquise de Roussy de Sales, inherited the chateau from an aunt who married into the La Chaize line even if she’s not technically a La Chaize, she has devoted herself to maintaining the winery, the chateau and its gardens full of boxwood and lavender. She has responded to the challenge of slumping consumer demand by marketing some of her low-end production in 5-liter boxes (only in France) even as her high-end reserve de la marquise wins glowing reviews.

The marquise and her 242 acres are an exception though. For most Beaujolais growers on smaller holdings, bottling proprietary wine is not economical.

Three-quarters of the region’s grapes are sold to the wine merchants, the negociants, who blend, bottle and market Beaujolais worldwide. The largest, of course, is Georges Duboeuf, the marketing genius who made Beaujolais Nouveau a global phenomenon two decades ago. Duboeuf is the Robert Mondavi of Beaujolais, respected and resented in almost equal measures. He and his son Franck, his designated successor, buy about 20% of the grapes produced in this area. Like the Mondavis and Gallos of California, they would like more respect for the best wines their giant company makes, but the ocean of just-pretty-good wine that made the family fortune keeps getting in the way.

Down in the Saone River flatland by the old railway station of Romaneche-Thorins, from which much of his wine was shipped, Duboeuf has built a tourist-friendly wine museum that’s one part industrial visitors’ center, one part mini-Disneyland. Call it Georges Duboeuf World. (Might as well Mr. D’s signature--part of the trademark on his wine label--is emblazoned on every building.) There’s the usual winery tour, in this case a big one, with impressive stainless-steel fermentation tanks and row upon row of oak aging casks. But there’s more: a spectacular gallery of old wine tools and machinery, games for kids to play (quizzes, not drinking games), a not-quite-Disney-caliber audio-animatronics show about life in the vineyards, a tasting room built as a reproduction of a 19th century brasserie and an outdoor cafe. Also, a train museum with Mr. D’s model trains, a big formal garden and a first-rate gift shop with all the wine tchotchkes you ever dreamed of. Did we mention one of the prettiest Victorian-style restrooms in France?

The ladies at the ticket counter--it’s $21.50 a head--recommended four hours to do it justice. We gave it 90 minutes. Don’t tell anyone, but we actually enjoyed it.

What to do with all the wine you’ve bought? As you know, you can’t carry liquids onto the plane anymore. We packed three of our best finds--wines that aren’t sold in the U.S.--inside our sturdiest suitcase, cushioned by shirts and sweaters. (Serious oenophiles buy Styrofoam packing forms.) All three bottles made it home, and we’ve already served them at dinner parties. It’s hard to resist: “We found this outside the nicest little village in Beaujolais. Can’t buy it here they don’t make enough to export. The winemaker said it was one of the best he’d ever made.”

From LAX to Lyon, the nearest airport to the Beaujolais region, connecting service is available on American, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, United, Air Tahiti Nui, Delta and British Airways. From Paris, the region is about 41/2 hours by car and a little more than two hours by high-speed train. From the train station in Macon (a famous white wine town), Fleurie and Julienas are about 12 miles away, reachable by rented car, bicycle or taxi.

Bicycles are available for rent in Beaujeu at Les Sources du Beaujolais, Place de l’Hotel de Ville, 011-33-04-74-69-20-56, and in Macon at ProCycles, 011-33-03-85-22-81-82. For more information, go to or visit tourist information offices in Fleurie and Beaujeu.

The most elegant hotel in the area is the Chateau de Pizay, Morgon, St. Jean d’Ardieres, 011-33-04-74-66-51-41, (doubles from $183). Others include Hotel Les Maritonnes on Route de Fleurie in Romaneche-Thorins, 011-33-03-85-35-51-70, (from $108) Hotel Le Villon, Boulevard du Parc, Villie-Morgon, 011-33-04-74-69-16-16, (from $82) Hotel des Grands Vins on Rue de la Grappe Fleurie in Fleurie, 011-33-04-74-69-81-43 (from $92).

Too many to list, but here are a few: Auberge du Cep, Place de l’Eglise, Fleurie, 011-33-04-74-04-10-77, mercurebeaujolais/cep.htm (dinner $61 to $129) Chez la Rose, Le Bourg, Julienas, 011-33-04-74-04-41-20, www.chez-la- and Le Coq a Julienas, Place du Marche, Julienas, 011-33-04-74-04-41-98,

Doyle McManus has been a reporter for the Los Angeles Times in Washington, the Middle East and many other places for more than 40 years. Born in San Francisco, he’s a graduate of Stanford University.

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Two Southern Cookbooks

Back when I first got interested in learning about food and foodways, I discovered the pleasure of reading well-written cookbooks by chefs with a point of view. I read them cover to cover like a novel – focusing on the commentary and comments. I generally skim over the individual recipes, making note of particular dishes I might like to come back to and tackle at some point.

In the last year I haven’t had a lot of time to check out cookbooks. However in the past month I made the time to read two great ones by two Southern chefs whose food I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying at those wonderful Alabama Chanin dinners at the company’s Florence factory.

Vivian Howard was the chef for my first Friends of the Café dinner. At the time the PBS show A Chef’s Life was already chronicling her restaurant Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina. That award-winning program has familiarized audiences with Howard’s point of view and with her husband and partner, Ben Knight, her parents and family, and staff. Many people first learned about Glenn Roberts and his preservation of endangered grains at his South Carolina Anson Mills operation through an episode of A Chef’s Life. Farmer Warren Brothers and his staffer Lillie Hardy are popular semi-regulars on the series. I was able to access a bushel of my mother’s childhood favorite apples, Hackworths, based on an apple episode of A Chef’s Life.

In each episode of her show, Vivian Howard explores a local ingredient by going to the source. She then features a traditional preparation of the ingredient and goes back to her restaurant and “exalts” the ingredient with her restaurant’s culinary take on the basics.

Vivian Howard’s long-anticipated Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South (Little, Brown and Company 2016), with photographs by Rex Miller, hit the shelves in October. I bought it on the day of its release. Actually, I showed up at my local bookseller a day early and had to come back the next day to get a copy.

Anyone who is familiar with the television show will be immediately at home with the packed cookbook. Each section focuses on an ingredient and features Howard’s essay (she’s an excellent writer, by the way) and a blend of recipes suited to every kitchen and skill level.

When people who are familiar with Chef Howard find out that I attended Howard’s Friends of the Café dinner at the Factory, the first question is “Did she serve Tom Thumb?” I regret that she did not (although she did serve a version of her famed Cherokee purple tomato sandwich, so there!) but Howard aficionados know that Tom Thumb is a sausage mix stuffed into the cleaned and rinsed cavity of a pig’s appendix. It is unique, apparently, to eastern North Carolina where she grew up. Her Tom Thumb recipe comes from her father’s mother’s family. You can find the details in the book but I will never tackle that one. I’ll wait until I can taste Vivian Howard’s preparation of it one day.

Howard’s book also includes her mother’s recipe for chicken and rice that she and her mother, Scarlett Howard, made famous on the show. I can vouch for that one.

Vivian Howard is endearing and prickly and I suspect that her show’s award-winning success is due in part to the way those qualities are balanced. Her show is addictive and her book is compulsory for any cook who wants to explore authentic Southern cuisine off the beaten path. She writes:

This is a Southern cookbook, but not one that treats the South like one big region where everybody eats the same fried chicken, ribs, shrimp and grits, collard greens, and gumbo. Instead, I interpret Southern cooking the way we understand French, Italian, and Chinese food: as a complex cuisine with variations shaped by terrain, climate, and people.

Vivian Howard is what my Grandmother Harbison would have called a “pistol ball.”

So is Chef Sean Brock. His cookbook, Heritage, with photographs by Peter Frank Edwards (Artisan 2014), synthesizes his Virginia heritage with his culinary training and his adult experience as the acclaimed chef of Charleston’s McCrady’s and of Husk, with locations in Charleston and Nashville.

Sean Brock was the chef of my most recent meal at Friends of the Café in Florence. Now, after eating his meal and reading his cookbook, I feel like he might have been my best buddy in another life.

Heritage is as compulsively readable as Deep Run Roots and each treads some of the same territory, albeit with somewhat different perspectives. Brock’s passion for farm to table seems even more compulsive than Vivian Howard’s and his gorgeous book is an educational text as much as it is an autobiographical and culinary one.

Brock plays loose and free with his opinions on every page of Heritage. While Vivian Howard focuses each chapter of her book on a specific ingredient, Brock titles his chapters with subjects like “The Garden,” “The Yard,” “The Creek and the Sea,” “The Public House,” and “The Sweet Kitchen,” etc. and includes a plethora of applications for each category. I love anything pickled but have had a fear of the pickling process Sean Brock and Vivian Howard have given me the courage to pickle, maybe.

Sean Brock’s respect for his heritage, his ingredients, his colleagues, and his methods are contagious. I was already inquisitive about food and foodways and now I want to find out even more. I realize that questioning the growers, chefs, home cooks, and purveyors is not invasive but a way of preserving and “exalting” a culture and its ingredients. I already knew that but Heritage reinforced it.

A few years ago Alabama native chef Scott Peacock moved to Marion, Alabama, and was interviewing older home cooks throughout the state in an effort to archive and preserve their methods and techniques. This is a mission that Brock and Howard exemplify and carry forward in their debut cookbooks.

If you are a cook, or if you just appreciate thoughtful and well-prepared food with a human touch, these are texts you will cherish.

Watch the video: Discover Beaujolais in 5 minutes (July 2022).


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