What`s Cooking in New Orleans exhibition catalog

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What`s Cooking in New Orleans exhibition catalog
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Culinary Traditions of the Crescent City
1708
1718
1782
An attempt to grow wheat at the tip of
Bayou St. John proves unsuccessful due to
the area’s heat and humidity.
The first Christmas in New Orleans is
celebrated with deer, quail, snipe, and wild duck, along with wild turkey, which is in
great abundance. Native Americans provide
grain and vegetables, and the ship Neptune,
recently arrived in port, provides red wine,
white wine, and brandy.
Spanish authorities complete New Orleans’s
first covered market—a meat market.
1794– Étienne Boré plants the first commercially
1796 viable crop of sugar cane on the site of
Audubon Park and successfully granulates
sugar, laying the foundation for Louisiana’s
sugar industry.
1799
The Hotel d’Orléans is the first recorded
hotel to open in New Orleans and has a
restaurant seating 200 patrons.
1821
John James Audubon visits the French
Market and describes numerous species of
game birds, which he uses as models for his
paintings.
1822
The Vegetable Market is built as part of the
French Market, and later enlarged in 1830.
1836– The St. Mary’s Market and Poydras Market
1838 are established above Canal Street, and the Washington Market is established in the Faubourg Marigny. These are the first
public markets to be established after the
French Market.
1837 The free barroom lunch is introduced at
the luxurious St. Louis Hotel, and such free
lunches remain popular until Prohibition in
the 1920s.
1840
The Fish Market and Wild Game Market are
built in the French Market adjacent to the
Vegetable Market.
1840
Frenchman Antoine Alciatore opens a
boarding house on St. Louis Street and
is later credited with inventing souffléed
potatoes and pompano en papillote.
1868
Antoine’s Restaurant is established in its
current St. Louis Street location. Still in
operation today, it is the nation’s oldest
family-run restaurant.
1869
Schwegmann’s Grocery and Bar opens at
the corner of Burgundy and Piety Streets.
1870
The Bazaar Market—specializing in dry
goods—is built as part of the French Market.
1880
Emile Commander opens Commander’s
Palace Restaurant at the corner of
Washington Avenue and Coliseum Street.
1880s/Large-scale rice cultivation shifts to
1890s southwest Louisiana from South Carolina,
Georgia, and the Mississippi River Valley.
1884– The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial
1885 Exposition, held in Audubon Park, brings
international attention to New Orleans, its
culture, and its food.
1885
La Cuisine Creole, heralded as the “first
regional American cookbook,” is published
by Lafcadio Hearn.
1899
Jules Alciatore, proprietor of Antoine’s,
creates Oysters Rockefeller with a sauce
so rich it is named for millionaire John D.
Rockefeller.
1899
Conrad Kolb opens Kolb’s German
Restaurant at 125 St. Charles Avenue. Its
intricate system of ceiling fans comes from
the 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton
Centennial Exposition.
1901
To prevent competition with public markets,
the city enacts a law prohibiting private
grocery stores from opening within nine
blocks of a market.
1905 Frenchman Jean Galatoire opens Galatoire’s
Restaurant at 209 Bourbon Street.
1911
The 34th, and last, of the city’s public
markets opens.
1917 The legendary Begué’s Restaurant closes
after having been in operation for more than
35 years.
1918
Frenchman “Count” Arnaud Cazenave opens
Arnaud’s Restaurant at 813 Bienville Street.
1919
Piggly-Wiggly, America’s first national selfserve grocery chain—founded in Memphis,
Tennessee, in 1916—appears for the first
time in a New Orleans City Directory, with
seven franchise locations.
1920
Frenchman Joseph Broussard opens
Broussard’s Restaurant at 819 Conti Street.
1920
Through a donation from William Ratcliffe
Irby, Tulane University acquires and
renovates the grand Paul Morphy House at 417 Royal Street and rents it to the
Patio Royal, a popular restaurant of the
1920s–40s.
1929
A major streetcar strike leaves many drivers
low on funds. The owners of Martin Brothers
Restaurant in the French Market (former
streetcar workers themselves) offer free
sandwiches to their union brothers, reduced
by the strike to “poor boys.”
1938 Curators’
Comments
Electronic resources enhance the flavor of the show. Visitors may sample video clips
and podcasts, participate in a recipe exchange, and browse culinary websites. The local
food scene also comes to life in a special video commissioned for the exhibition, We Live
to Eat: New Orleans’s Love Affair with Food. A short version is on view in the exhibition
gallery; the full-length (30-minute) program is regularly screened in the orientation
center, across the carriageway.
In preparing this exhibition, we have been reminded that urban tables are fed, both
literally and figuratively, by rural gardens. Crops come to market; folks and folkways
come to town, intermingling in the city streets. Creole cuisine, so intimately associated
with the city of New Orleans, had its earliest stirrings in the central Louisiana
settlement of Natchitoches. The film A Common Pot: Creole Cooking on Cane River, with
regular screenings in the orientation center, provides a welcome regional perspective.
Three items near the entrance to the exhibition galleries—an iron pot, a cookbook,
and a painting—also nod in the direction of Natchitoches. Each item is associated with
Clementine Hunter, the self-taught painter who worked a “day job” as cook at Melrose
Plantation. Her kettle, her recipes, and her creative spirit remain with us, today, as
evidence of the ingenuity and indomitability of the Creole tradition.
The Original Fabacher’s Restaurant,
Oyster House and Hotel by J. Earl
Rogers, publisher, ca. 1910
(94-743-RL)
The French Market complex is rebuilt with
the assistance of the PWA (Public Works
Administration).
1946
Schwegmann Brothers Giant Supermarket
opens on St. Claude near Elysian Fields.
1948
Dinner at Antoine’s, by popular novelist
Frances Parkinson Keyes, is published.
1956
Owen Brennan moves Brennan’s Restaurant
from Bourbon Street to its current 417 Royal
Street location in the Paul Morphy House.
The cuisine that defines New Orleans today has been nearly three centuries in the
making. Consider What’s Cooking in New Orleans? an appetizer: an introduction to the
complex cultural, economic, and social factors that have shaped the Crescent City’s
culinary traditions. The materials gathered here—cookbooks, menus, photographs,
and other memorabilia—span the 18th through the mid-20th centuries, with an array
of kitchen gadgets carrying the storyline right up to the present day.
Lucky Dog Vendor on Iberville by Josephine
Sacabo, photographer, 1976 (1976.128.12)
John H. Lawrence
Pamela D. Arceneaux
Susan R. Laudeman
John Magill
Gerald Patout
3
Food Traditions
of Louisiana
Cultural historians divide Louisiana into three major regions—North
traditions of different cultural groups mingled. Both use a regional variant of
Louisiana, Acadiana, and New Orleans—each with a distinct food tradition
the culinary “Holy Trinity”—chopped green peppers, onions, and celery—for the
shaped by different settlement patterns.
start of most dishes, and filé powder to thicken gumbo.
North Louisiana includes the parishes north of the French Triangle—a region
The city of New Orleans is most often associated with the tradition of Creole
roughly bounded by Alexandria to the north, New Orleans to the southeast, and
cooking. The term Creole comes from the Spanish criollo, a name originally
Port Arthur to the southwest—and the parishes north of Lake Pontchartrain in
given to people of European descent who were born in French or Spanish
the “toe of the boot.” Combining British and African culinary influences, North
colonies in the New World. The term has evolved over the years and has come
Louisiana fare is more closely aligned with the cuisine of the American South
to embrace other ancestries—and other ancillary meanings. Combining French,
than it is with the Cajun cuisine of South Louisiana or the Creole cuisine of
Spanish, African, Native American, German, English, and Italian traditions,
New Orleans—although the Cane River area boasts a long Creole tradition.
Creole cuisine was altered with each wave of immigration to New Orleans.
Both Cajun and Creole cooking have evolved over centuries as the unique
Known for its delicate balance of herbs, spices, and sauces that enhance
Tabasco Brand Whole Okra and Tomatoes by
Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer, before 1929
(1979.369.63)
4
Cookin out
1976; oil on canvas
by Clementine Hunter, painter
gift of Dr. Robert F. Ryan
1985.128.3
the flavors of the ingredients rather than camouflaging them, Creole cuisine was
firmly established by 1830. To this day, it emphasizes the use of butter, cream,
tomatoes, wheat flour, rich stocks, roux, and fresh herbs.
Cajuns are the descendants of French settlers who were forced to leave Acadia in
Iron kettle having belonged
to Clementine Hunter
early 20th century; cast iron
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of Charlotte Knipmeyer
Melrose Plantation Cookbook
by François Mignon and
Clementine Hunter
courtesy of Charlotte Knipmeyer
Canada in the mid-18th century. Because they refused to take an oath of allegiance
to the British, they were expelled, and many settled west of New Orleans in an
isolated area of swamps and bayous. Combining French and Southern culinary
traditions, Cajun cooking’s hearty, country-style specialties are its slow-cooked,
one-pot dishes served over rice, particularly its étouffées—a French term for a
cooking method of “smothering” or “suffocating” food in a tightly covered pot over
very low heat. Relying heavily on locally available wild life from the swamps and
bayous, Cajun cooking incorporates more pork and dark roux made from animal fat
or lard, in contrast to the butter and cream sauces used in Creole cooking.
Elements of culinary traditions from across Louisiana have combined to form the
basis of “New Orleans cuisine.” Only in recent years has crawfish, a distinctly Cajun
ingredient, become widely available, and embraced, in old-line Creole restaurants.
Many diners may not realize that Louisiana’s three distinctive cuisines developed
independently—and that not long ago one had to visit Acadiana for Cajun food,
New Orleans for Creole food, and North Louisiana for more traditional Southern
fare. Today all three cuisines, and various combinations thereof, may be found
within walking distance of one another in New Orleans.
Left: Place d’Armes by C. H. Edwards,
delineator, ca. 1850 (1965.91.1 i)
Opposite page: La Cuisine Creole by
Lafcadio Hearn, 1885 (77-288-RL)
6
VENDORS
The Turkey-Peddler in New Orleans—
Selecting the Christmas Dinner
from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper
December 12, 1885; wood engraving
by Hyde, engraver
1983.187
To Market
Place d’Armes/Choctaws
ca. 1850; pencil and watercolor on paper
by C. H. Edwards, delineator
1965.91.1 i,ii
“Blackberries”
“Vegetables”
ca. 1940; mechanical reproduction
by Corrina Morgiana Luria, delineator
gift of Boyd Cruise
1959.2.348; .350
The Old Praline Woman
ca. 1945; ink and pencil on paper
by Paul Ashbrook, delineator
1983.123.15
Praline Seller
ca. 1920; color halftone
by an unknown publisher
gift of Helen Kimball
1979.316.4
“Tante Clementine” the Praline Vendor
February 1, 1929; mechanical
reproduction
by George Frederick Castelden,
delineator/publisher
gift of William P. Filby
1983.110
Story of the Praline
by Léda H. Plauché
New Orleans: The Green Orchid, ca. 1940
gift of the Wyoming Historical and
Geological Society
80-454-RL
Tante Anne Mathieu, Cabildo,
New Orleans
1922; ink on paper
by Margaret Dashiell, delineator
gift of Joseph Rubinfine
2002.70
Vegetable Man at S. Claiborne
and Nashville
Roman Candy Man
Lucky Dog Vendor on Iberville
1976; photoprints
by Josephine Sacabo, photographer
1976.128.9; .8; .12
Food has been bought and sold along the New Orleans riverfront for
centuries. A long-established Native American trading site, the high ground along
the Mississippi became the primary gathering spot for food vendors in early
French New Orleans. In 1782, in response to complaints of price gouging, Spanish
authorities erected the city’s first covered market along the river at Dumaine
Street. Nine years later, the meat market was relocated to Decatur Street, between
Dumaine and St. Ann. In 1813 Jacques Tanesse, a city surveyor, designed the
Butchers’ Market, or Halle des Boucheries, to replace earlier buildings that had
been destroyed by hurricane and fire. This structure stands today and continues to
house the French Market’s oldest tenant, Café du Monde. From its original site, the
market expanded downriver, its rented stalls and wandering street vendors forming
the core of Crescent City marketing for more than a century.
Patronized by many nationalities and selling foods exotic to most American tastes,
the crowded, noisy French Market became a prime tourist attraction. Notable
were Native Americans selling baskets and herbs. Sundays were especially
busy market days, an oddity remarked upon by out-of-towners accustomed to
businesses closing in observance of the Sabbath.
Through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, smaller markets sprang up
across the city. By the time the last went up in 1911, New Orleans boasted
more than 30 publicly owned markets, more than any other large American city.
Public markets bolstered a healthy urban infrastructure: a new market typically
attracted satellite shops and served as a keystone in the creation of a thriving
business district. But the heyday of the public markets was coming to an end. The
spread of private grocery stores foreshadowed the coming of the supermarkets
with their array of national products. Clean and refrigerated, private groceries
enticed customers away from the old-fashioned, often unkempt markets. To
compete, public markets—including the French Market—were rebuilt in the
1920s and 30s, but to no avail. Some passed into private hands, others were
converted to different retail uses, while others were torn down. In the 1970s the
French Market Corporation administered the first major renovations since work
done by the Public Works Administration in the 1930s, historically reconstructing
portions of the old market and converting the open stalls into retail shops and
boutiques.
French Market/Veg. Market on Decatur by Boyd
Cruise, delineator, after 1938 (1971.113.1),
bequest of Richard Koch
FRENCH MARKET
French Market Scene
1889; watercolor on board
by Ellsworth Woodward, delineator
1961.64.1
The Bazaar, Sunday Morning—
The Celebrated French Market
from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper
September 14, 1867; wood engraving
by James Earl Taylor, delineator;
B. G. H. S., engraver
1982.93
Noon on Sunday at the
French Market
from Harper’s Weekly
August 18, 1866; pencil and
wash on paper
by Alfred Rudolph Waud, delineator
1965.13
The New Orleans Market—Soldiers
Exchanging Rations for Fruit, etc.
from Harper’s Weekly
January 24, 1863; wood engraving
by an unknown artist
gift of Harold Schilke and Boyd Cruise
1959.184.17
Indian Gumbo Sellers, French Market
ca. 1870; pencil and wash on paper
by Frank Hamilton Taylor, delineator
gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Lieutaud
1950.56
Barbue/Poisson Armé/Spatule
Chasse Général du Chevreauil
Feves/Butes de Patates
Salsafras
from Histoire de la Louisiane
by Antoine Simone le Page du Pratz;
L’Aine De Bure, publisher
1758; engravings
1980.205.29 i-iii; .23; .4 i,ii; .10
Market Scenes in New Orleans
from Every Saturday
July 22, 1871; wood engraving
by Samuel S. Kilburn Jr., engraver
gift of Harold Schilke and Boyd Cruise
1953.93 i-iii
French Market Fruit Stand by Charles L.
Franck Photographers, ca. 1920
(1979.325.3963)
Plan of Fruit Market by William H. Bell, surveyor,
1871 (1950.5.100 i-iii)
French Market by Clarence Millet, painter,
bet. 1927 and 1939 (1961.75),
gift of Charles H. Reinike
PRIVATE GROCERY STORES
Wid. J. Thibaut Family Grocery
ca. 1890; watercolor
by Richard Fourchy; delineator
gift of Marion O’Toole in memory
of Juanita Elfert
1996.95
Jackson Square Grocery—535 St. Ann
1920s; photoprint
by Georges François Mugnier, photographer
copy by Stephen Duplantier, 1976
1976.176.2
Typical Italian Fruit Stand
ca. 1905; color halftone
by Curt Teich & Co., publisher
1974.25.41.156
French Market Fruit Stand
ca. 1920; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.3963
Plan of Fruit Market
1871; ink and watercolor
by William H. Bell, surveyor
1950.5.100 i-iii
French Market
1909; pencil on paper
by John Rutherford Boyd, delineator
1990.17
French Market/Veg. Market on Decatur
Poydras Market—
Poydras at Dryades (O’Keefe)
ca. 1890; copper etching printed 1979
by Ellsworth Woodward, engraver;
Dorothy F. Gardner, printer
1979.22.2
NATIONAL CHAINS
& MERCHANDISING
How Biddy Served the Tomatoes
Undressed
bet. 1878 and 1879; watercolor
by Edward Jump, painter
1949.23
Buy Your Groceries at the Great Atlantic
& Pacific Tea Co. (Incorporated): 2038
Magazine Street
ca. 1910; color halftone
by C. B. Mason, publisher
1981.350.228
New Orleans: Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea
Company, 1911
83-593-RL
Garden District Bakery Jos. Degelmann…
Schwartz Foundry Co. with St. Mary’s
Market—N. and S. Diamond Streets
bet. 1887 and 1894; color lithograph
by an unknown lithographer
1958.2.156
Brer Rabbit’s Modern Recipes
for Modern Living
ca. 1910; photoprint with watercolor
by an unknown photographer
gift of Mrs. James P. Ewin Jr.
1984.106.19
St. Roch Market—St. Claude at St. Roch
May 1994; photoprint
by Jan White Brantley, photographer
1994.138.14
C. N. Maestri Market
OTHER PUBLIC MARKETS
1952; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.44
A Busy Corner Royal & Canal Sts.
French Market
bet. 1840 and 1850; oil on canvas
by Louis Develle, painter
1948.1
Bakery at Schwegmann Bros. Giant
Supermarket
ca. 1895; watercolor and
gouache on board
by Jules Guerin, delineator
1980.217
Ewing Market—Magazine at Octavia
French Market and Red Store
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4040
The Old Poydras Market, New Orleans
after 1938; watercolor on paper
by Boyd Cruise, delineator
bequest of Richard Koch
1971.113.1
bet. 1927 and 1939; oil on canvas mounted
to wooden panel
by Clarence Millet, painter
gift of Charles H. Reinike
1961.75
Schwegmann Bros. Giant Supermarket—
Airline at Labarre Road
1950s; photoprint
1940s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.3962
1940s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.3975
Circle Food Store—
N. Claiborne at St. Bernard
November 14, 1954; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.3958
St. Bernard Market—
N. Claiborne at St. Bernard
January 18, 1949; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.3987
Sign for Butcher—Bull and Cowhand
bet. 1870 and 1900; cast iron
by an unknown manufacturer
1957.60
New Orleans: Penick & Ford, Ltd., [1930s?]
87-043-RL
Shaw’s Confectionary and Restaurant
bet. 1888 and 1893; color lithograph
by an unknown lithographer
1958.2.128
H. G. Hill Store, Carrollton Avenue
near Bienville
January 14, 1941; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4018
Canal Villere Food Store—1539 Canal
1940s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4006
A. M. & J. Solari—Royal at Iberville
1940; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.39
McKenzie’s Pastry Shoppe
April 1954; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4030
Pap’s Food Store—
3143 St. Claude Avenue
August 16, 1951; photoprints
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4035; .4037
Circle Food Store—N. Claiborne at St. Bernard
by Charles L. Franck Photographers,
November 14, 1954 (1979.325.3958)
How to Cook Rice
by the Louisiana Rice Exhibit, New Orleans
School Children Eating Kellogg’s Cereal
New York: H. R. Elliot & Co., [1910s?]
89-436-RL
1950s; photograph
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4104
The Secret of Creole Cooking
A Campbell Kid
New Iberia, La.: B. F. Trappey’s Sons, 1978;
15th ed.
gift of Pamela D. Arceneaux
96-494-RL
ca. 1915; pencil and watercolor
by Grace G. Drayton, delineator
gift of Mrs. Edmund B. Richardson
1993.71.192
Armour Meat Display at Canal Villere
August 31, 1953; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4007
Bisquick, Pyequick and Godchaux’s
Sugar Display at Venice Garden Market—
Washington at S. Claiborne
June 8, 1950; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4048
Swift’s Chicken Display—H. G. Hill, 806
Metairie Road
1950s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4025
Morton Frozen Pie Display and John
Schwegmann at Schwegmann Bros. Giant
Supermarket—Airline at Labarre Road
1950s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4044
Jackson Square Grocery—535 St. Ann by
Georges François Mugnier, photographer, 1920s;
copy by Stephen Duplantier, 1976 (1976.176.2)
13
Dining habits in colonial Louisiana evolved through complex cultural interactions.
Melons, beans, squash, nuts, wild game, and seafood—staples in the diet of local
LOUISIANA FOODS
AND PRODUCTS
Native Americans, who were critical suppliers of foodstuffs to the colonists—
Woman’s Club Brand Molasses
gradually entered the European diet. Other crops, such as rice and okra, were
after June 3, 1906; color lithograph
by an unknown lithographer
1979.369.58
introduced to Louisiana via the slave trade. Matters of taste—a penchant for
sauces and spices, and the habit of drinking wine with meals—also determined
culinary practice.
In antebellum Louisiana, the plantation economy that developed around the cash
crops of sugar and cotton was the dominant agricultural model. Daily sustenance,
Pelican Cracker Factory Biscuits
ca. 1915; color lithograph
by Walle & Co. Ltd., lithographer
1973.13.24
Daisy Fancy Mixed Candy
by homeowners and slaves supplied food for both urban and rural tables. Surplus
ca. 1915; color lithograph
by Walle & Co. Ltd., lithographer
1973.13.32
crops could be sold at the expanding system of New Orleans public markets. The
Lou-Anna Brand Cane Sugar Syrup
1838 Nouveau Jardiniere de la Louisiane, an agricultural manual, suggests the
ca. 1925; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.52
however, depended on smaller-scale farming. Produce gardens (potagers) managed
variety of food grown locally. Local produce was supplemented by food shipped
from overseas through the port of New Orleans, or downriver from the midwestern
states and territories that used the Mississippi as an artery for bringing crops to
Sirop Père Labat
market.
ca. 1925; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.56
The 20th century saw the persistence of such traditional crops as sugar, cotton,
Capitol Brand Hominy Grits
crawfish—once harvested in the wild—were domesticated, the former cultivated
ca. 1940; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Inc., lithographer
1979.369.29
in coastal beds and the latter in fields flooded for rice production. Today, as the
Indian Corn Brand Table Syrup
global marketplace tests the viability of both old and new agricultural enterprises,
bet. 1898 and 1900; color lithograph
by Walle & Company, lithographer
gift of Sharon Dinkins
1979.378.8
rice, and citrus and the introduction of new crops like soybeans. Oysters and
the demand for innovative marketing ideas has intensified. In recent years,
the not-for-profit marketumbrella.org has begun to operate sites where growers
and producers of specialized food products can find a willing public for their
wares, a movement that may in time replicate the former citywide system of
open markets.
Gulf Turtle Meat by Walle & Co., Ltd.,
lithographer, ca. 1920 (1979.369.39)
Eating Crabs by Charles L. Franck
Photographers, 1950 (1979.325.4131)
Local Ingredients
Access to a wide variety of raw and prepared foods is such a cornerstone
of contemporary life that it is difficult to imagine a time when choices were more
circumscribed. Although the bounty of Louisiana’s flora and fauna served as a
natural pantry, early European settlers struggled to supplement the food supply.
Something as elemental as wheat bread was scarce because wheat and its
flour had to be imported from France or, later, from the fields and flour mills of
Upper Louisiana. By the early 1720s, farmers from the Germanic states of Europe
had been recruited to come to Louisiana. They established vegetable farms
upriver in present-day St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes (still known
as the German Coast) and sold their produce in New Orleans. As the 18th century
progressed, domestic cattle raised on the prairies of southwestern Louisiana, in
the Attakapas and Opelousas regions, found a market in New Orleans.
15
Louisiana Seafood Delight:
The Crawfish
by Michael W. Moody
[Baton Rouge]: Louisiana State University
and Agricultural and Mechanical College,
Center for Agricultural Sciences and Rural
Development, 1980
92-649-RL
Nutria for Home Use
by Leslie L. Glasgow and Lavon A. McCollough
[Baton Rouge]: Louisiana State University
and Agricultural and Mechanical College,
Agricultural Experiment Station, 1963
98-083-RL
“Creole” Brand Oysters
Red Hot Creole Pepper Sauce
ca. 1935; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Inc., lithographer
1981.179.6
ca. 1930; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
gift of Corrado Pironti
1978.247.20
Oysters G. W. Dunbar’s Sons
bet. 1881 and 1907; color lithograph
by an unknown lithographer
gift of Harold Schilke and Boyd Cruise
1953.119.1
Oyster Camp near Grand Ecaille/
Man Culling Oysters
creolization. Gumbo bears the imprint of many cultures, as evidenced in its name,
gumbo embodies the essence of Louisiana’s Creole heritage.
1930s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4109
Arnaud’s Restaurant,
Preparing Oyster Dishes
THE ENVIRONMENT
OF COOKING
The Oyster Bar
ca. 1945; pencil on paper
by Paul Ashbrook, delineator
1983.123.6
Fort Pike
Flounder
Drum
Sheephead
Old St. Joe Tower/
Lake Borgne Lighthouse
ca. 1880; pencil on paper
by L. D. S. (?), delineator
1974.25.4.104; 1974.25.40.31; .32; .33; .34
Cooking Shrimps
ca. 1880; wood engraving
by an unknown artist
1974.25.23.39
Grand Isle Brand Fresh Shrimp
bet. 1900 and 1929; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.38
Gulf Turtle Meat
ca. 1920; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.39
Kajin American White Flake Crab Meat
before 1929; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1974.25.1.120
Cotton Bale and Gulf Bay Shrimp
ca. 1925; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.37
Honesty Brand Louisiana Oranges
1920s; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.5
its ingredients, and its methods of preparation. In its complexity and adaptability,
Tabasco Brand Whole Okra and Tomatoes
Man with a Net Full of Crabs
1950; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4131
best examples of cultural blending or—as the process is called in Louisiana—
after 1927; color lithograph
by an unknown lithographer
1974.25.1.158
before 1929; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.63
1940s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4665
Gumbo, the most renowned of Louisiana’s favorite foods, is one of the
Blue Plate Mayonnaise Made
with Wesson Oil
1940s; photoprint
by Elemore Morgan Sr., photographer
gift of Leonard V. Huber
1976.139.61
Eating Crabs
Gumbo
The word gumbo stems from the Bantu word nkombo, for okra, which is often
used to thicken the soup-like dish. Usually served over rice, gumbo contains two
or more meats or kinds of seafood and can be roux-based or thickened with okra
or filé, which is a powder made of ground sassafras leaves.
When it comes to preparing gumbo, there are few strict rules and as many
variations as there are cooks. Yet distinct trends can be traced to particular
Kitchen of the Christian Women’s
Exchange—Hermann Grima House
cultures or regions of Louisiana. Residents of Louisiana’s prairie region, west of
1930s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4136
the Atchafalaya Basin, typically use a roux that is almost black, while those who
live southeast of the basin start with a lighter brown roux or add tomatoes to
Preparing the Thanksgiving Dinner
the stock. Coastal communities tend to prefer seafood gumbo and use okra as
a thickener. Hunters will frequently add their contributions to the pot: squirrel,
1920s; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.60
December 4, 1880; hand colored wood
engraving
by S. G. McCutcheon, delineator
1979.119
Three Rivers
Regal Yams
rabbit, venison, wild duck, even alligator. Residents of Tangipahoa Parish, near the
southwestern Mississippi border, may add sausage to gumbo, invoking Hungarian
The Kitchen of the Restaurant
tradition, while Louisianans of German descent are likely to pair gumbo with
1920s; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.45
bet. 1866 and 1871; pencil and whitewash
by Alfred Rudolph Waud, delineator
1965.14
potato salad. And many Catholics, particularly African Americans, use various
Hopkins Salad and Cooking Oil, Salco
Cook at His Stove
1920s; color lithograph
by an unknown lithographer
gift of Corrado Pironti
1978.247.18.1
1940s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4111
Colonial Brand
1950s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4139
1920s; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.44
Ole Mammy Shortening
ca. 1920; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.27
Autocrat Brand Spices
ca. 1910; color lithograph
by Walle & Co., Ltd., lithographer
1979.369.41
Horse-Shoe Brand Gumbo Filé
Sour Relish
Onions
Cayenne Pepper
ca. 1930; color lithographs
by unknown lithographers
gifts of Corrado Pironti
1978.247.8; .6; .7; .9
greens to prepare a meatless gumbo z’herbes during Lent, a period of religious
preparation before Easter.
Couple in a Kitchen
Salsafras from Histoire de la Louisiane
by Antoine Simone le Page du Pratz,
1758 (1980.205.10)
Courtyard of 921 Chartres
ca. 1917; pencil and watercolor
by Wallace Morgan, delineator
1983.150
The Three Sisters—200 Block of Rampart
ca. 1915; pencil on paper
by Gideon Townsend Stanton, delineator
gift of Albert L. Lieutaud
1960.11.4
Kitchen of George Forschler Home—
4935 Perrier
1921; photoprint
by C. Bennette Moore, photographer
gift of Vivienne W. Lindsay
1984.149.5
Barbue/Poisson Armé/Spatule from
Histoire de la Louisiane by
Antoine Simone le Page du Pratz,
1758 (1980.205.29 i-iii)
17
FINE DINING/
RESTAURANTS
Complimentary Dinner Given to the
Hon. J. P. Benjamin by Members of the
Boston Club, St. Charles Hotel
November 21, 1853; printed menu
by The Picayune, printer
1981.263.6
Dinner Served at the
St. Charles Hotel…
June 8, 1853; printed menu
by The Picayune, printer
1981.263.5
Eating Out
“Once upon a time, being seduced by certain poetic words of Thackeray, I made a
special trip to a café in Paris to eat bouillabaisse. I found it distinctly worth while.
Later I went to Marseilles, the home of this dish, and there ate it again and found it
better. And then I came back to America and ate it at Antoine’s in New Orleans and
found it best of all.”—Irvin S. Cobb
From the 1803 Louisiana Purchase gala—which lasted until eight o’clock in
the morning and featured 24 gumbos along with a buffet of Bavarian sweets, teas,
chocolate, and consommés—to the famous six-course, three-hour breakfasts at
Begué’s, fine dining has been a vital part of New Orleans life for centuries.
Restaurant culture took root in the high-rolling 1830s, and banquet menus of
this period indicate a preference for French and Anglo-American fare. In 1840,
French expatriate Antoine Alciatore started serving meals at his boarding house,
the predecessor of his namesake restaurant, which moved to its present-day
location on St. Louis Street in 1868. Galatoire’s, Commander’s Palace, Tujague’s,
Arnaud’s, and Broussard’s are among the other celebrated restaurants that have
defined and redefined Creole cuisine in New Orleans for generations of diners.
Yet despite a remarkable degree of continuity, the dining landscape has changed
in ways both subtle and sudden. Beloved establishments like Fabacher’s, Childs,
Kolb’s, and Maylie’s are now only fond memories—while nearly a century has
passed since the original Begué’s served its last Sunday breakfast. A survey of
contemporary New Orleans menus reveals the ongoing appeal of classic French
and Creole cuisine, but also an influx of other ethnic influences. And roughly 50
percent of the restaurants open in the metropolitan area before Katrina remained
closed in early 2007.
St. Charles Hotel…Table D’Hote,
Gentlemen’s Ordinary
July 10, 1854; printed menu
by The Picayune, printer
1981.263.13
The St. Charles
1916; oil on canvas
by Louis Oscar Griffith, painter
1959.22
Crescent Hussars. Complimentary
Dinner to Lieut. H. H. Baldwin, at the
Veranda Hotel
January 12, 1850; printed menu
by The Picayune, printer
1981.263.3
Un piti diné créole. Aux delégues de
New Orleans Press Clob, La League
International de Presse Clob dans
l’Athenaeum
February 19, 1898; printed menu
by Geo. G. Boitier, designer
gift of Celia Seiferth Kornfeld and
Robert Kornfeld
94-282-RL
Restaurant De La Renaissance
1904; oil crayon on board
by William Woodward, painter
1976.181
View of Begué’s Restaurant,
Dining Room
before October 19, 1906; photoprint from
glass positive
by an unknown photographer
1981.261.29
Madame Begué’s Famous
Breakfast House
copyright 1908; color relief halftone
by C. B. Mason, publisher
1989.77.37
Mme. Begué and Her Recipes
View of Begué’s Restaurant, Kitchen by an
unknown photographer, before October 19, 1906,
(1981.261.32)
by H. M. Mayo and Elizabeth
Kettenring Bégué
[San Francisco]: Southern Pacific Co.,
Sunset Route Passage Dept., 1900
82-552-RL
18
Begué’s Restaurant, New Orleans, La.
Restaurant Maylie, 1009 Poydras Street
Jerry’s Restaurant
1890s; relief halftone and lithograph
by an unknown maker
1977.117.1
ca. 1960; printed menu
by an unknown printer
gift of Richard and Rima Collin
93-404-RL.444
ca. 1938; printed menu
Boyd Cruise, delineator; Works Progress
Administration of Louisiana and Historic
American Buildings Survey, sponsors
gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Lieutaud
1952.21 i-xvi
View of Begué’s Restaurant, Kitchen
before October 19, 1906, photoprints from
glass positives
by an unknown photographer
1981.261.31; .32
600 Block of Canal showing Childs
Restaurant (to the left)
1934; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4943
Childs the Place that Leads the Race for
a Quick Lunch—620 Canal
bet. 1913 and 1916; ink with
pencil and crayon
by Louis Adolph Winterhalder, delineator
1985.71.58
The Original Fabacher’s Restaurant,
Oyster House and Hotel
ca. 1910; printed menu
by J. Earl Rogers, publisher
94-743-RL
Main Dining Room Original Fabacher’s
Restaurant, corner Royal and Iberville
Streets…
ca. 1910; color halftone
by an unknown publisher
1974.25.41.203
Fabacher’s Restaurant
bet. 1904 and 1907; halftone
by J. Earl Rogers Co., publisher
gift of Boyd Cruise
1958.85.90
Original Fabacher’s Restaurant,
Ladies Grape Arbor
postmarked February 8, 1911; color relief
halftone
by J. Earl Rogers Co., publisher
1998.27.17
Menu…Galatoire’s
January 29, 1910; printed menu
by an unknown printer
93-360-RL
The King’s Dinner to the Crown Council of
the Mystic Club, Galatoire’s Restaurant
February 22, 1941; photoprint
by an unknown photographer
1981.129.1
Maylie & Esparbe Café, 1000 Block of
Poydras Street
1950s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4713
Maylie’s Restaurant, Poydras corner
O’Keefe
ca. 1980; printed menu
by an unknown printer
gift of Richard and Rima Collin
93-404-RL.445
A Portion of Holmes Restaurant…
ca. 1925; color relief halftone
by Progress Printing Company, printer
1981.350.167
Holmes Tidbits
ca. 1930; printed menu
by C. Ball, delineator
91-192-RL
The Orchestra Stand in
Holmes Restaurant
ca. 1940; color relief halftone
by Progress Printing Company, printer
1982.55.59
Mack’s Magic Bar and Crystal Room,
619 Canal Street
Hotel New Orleans (Jerry’s Restaurant
next door)
1930s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4561
Luncheon Solari’s
ca. 1955; printed menu
by an unknown printer
90-427-RL
Solari’s Lunch Counter
ca. 1945; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4734
Franklin Delano Roosevelt at
Antoine’s Restaurant
1937; photoprint
by Information Services W. P. A. of Louisiana
1974.25.27.386
The Restaurant Antoine, 713 St. Louis St.
ca. 1938; printed menu
by Rogers Printing, publisher
gift of Bill Dagg
97-201-RL
1938; relief halftone
by Roy Louis Alciatore, publisher
1982.135.60
View Down Canal Street along 600 Block
1959; printed menu
by an unknown printer
1974.25.29.146
July 21, 1953; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4941
Brennan’s French Restaurant,
417 Royal Street
ca. 1965; printed menu
by an unknown printer
gift of Richard and Rima Collin
93-404-RL.57
417 Royal Street: Patio Royal
(now Brennan’s)
ca. 1930; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4720
Chef Drawn on Brennan’s Menu
ca. 1960; watercolor on printed menu
by Alfred Bendiner, delineator
gift of Alfred Bendiner Foundation
1990.48.5
Waiter Drawn on Brennan’s Menu
ca. 1960; watercolor on printed menu
by Alfred Bendiner, delineator
gift of Alfred Bendiner Foundation
1990.48.4
19
Restaurant Antoine
Commander’s Palace
ca. 1965; printed menu
by an unknown printer
gift of Richard and Rima Collin
93-404-RL.129
Waiter Drawn on Brennan’s Menu by Alfred
Bendiner, delineator, ca. 1960 (1990.48.4),
gift of Alfred Bendiner Foundation
La Louisiane
Commander’s Palace Restaurant, 1403
Washington Avenue
ca. 1980; printed menu
by an unknown printer
87-405-RL
1950s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4681
Kolb’s Established 1899, 125 St. Charles
Avenue
Diamond Jim Moran’s La Louisiane 725
Iberville
ca. 1960; printed menu
by an unknown printer
gift of an anonymous donor
94-761-RL
La Louisiane Restaurant, 700 Block of
Iberville Street
ca. 1930; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4705
The Story of La Louisiane
by Edward H. Seiler
New Orleans: [La Louisiane], 1945
90-324-RL
ca. 1965; printed menu
by an unknown printer
gift of Richard and Rima Collin
93-404-RL
Kolb’s Restaurant,
125 St. Charles Avenue
1950s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4700
Kolb’s—St. Charles Near Canal
ca. 1940; color halftone
by an unknown publisher
1974.25.41.209
Part of Main Dining Room, Kolb’s German
Tavern
ca. 1925; color relief halftone
by Alphonse Goldsmith, publisher
1982.55.55
New Tea Room, Second Floor, Kolb’s
German Tavern
ca. 1915; color relief halftone
by Alphonse Goldsmith, publisher
1981.350.168
T. Pittari’s
ca. 1970; printed menu
by an unknown printer
gift of Richard and Rima Collin
93-404-RL.635
T. Pittari’s Restaurant,
4200 S. Claiborne Avenue
1950s; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4736
The Beacon Restaurant, Corner of
S. Claiborne and Napoleon Avenues
October 14, 1954; photoprint
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
1979.325.4667
The Beacon Menu
ca. 1965; printed menu
by an unknown printer
gift of Richard and Rima Collin
93-404-RL.32
20
Gizmos & Gadgets
21
Ice tray
Food storage containers
Jar opener
Egg beater
1970s; plastic
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
21st century; plastic
by NewellRubbermaid Company, manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
mid-20th century; plastic
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Ice tray
Ricer
Gilhoolie jar and bottle opener
patent pending 1921; stainless steel
and plastic
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of Susan R. Laudeman
the house—provided a safer and cooler model for urban as well as rural dwellings.
1970s; plastic
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
late 20th century; metal
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of Susan R. Laudeman
mid-20th century; metal
by Gilhoolie, manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
In the French Quarter, open courtyards were sometimes employed as extensions
Ice tray
Mezzaluna (half-moon chopper)
Pivoting jar opener
of the kitchen. Ice and perishables were typically stored outdoors in an ice box.
mid-20th century; aluminum
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
probably 19th century; hand-forged
metal and wood
by an unknown craftsman
courtesy of the Peter W. Patout Collection
mid-20th century; metal
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Grater
late 19th century; iron
by an unknown manufacturer
2006.0426.3
Louisiana’s climate puts a premium on keeping cool—and keeping one’s food
cool. Because meals were prepared over an open fire throughout much of the
region’s history, the detached kitchen—a separate structure located apart from
Metal tongs were employed to handle the blocks; ice picks to reduce the blocks
to a manageable size; and shavers to produce a product nearly as fine as snow.
By the early 20th century, a number of factors—the advent of indoor plumbing;
modern appliances that eliminated wood smoke and contained cooking flames;
and the widespread use of refrigerators—combined to make indoor kitchens
Ice tray
mid-20th century; aluminum
by Frigidaire, manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Ice tray
the norm.
Kitchen tools have undergone equally dramatic transformations, especially over
mid-20th century; aluminum
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of Irma M. Stiegler
the last two generations. While many cooks still prize their cast-iron cookware,
Elma hand-cranked coffee grinder
aluminum has become a metal of choice for pots and pans—and non-stick
1920s; cast iron, wood
by Elma, manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
surfaces have revolutionized both cooking and cleanup. The daily cup of coffee
was once prepared by parching and grinding the beans manually, then slowly
dripping hot water through the grounds of a traditional “French drip” coffeepot.
From beating eggs, to peeling garlic, to opening jars, nearly every conceivable
kitchen task has been transfigured over the years by special gadgets and tools.
Coffee pot
20th century; enameled metal
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
Electric coffee grinder
in America, innovative and entrepreneurial cooks have responded to the heat,
1980s; plastic, metal
by Braun, manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
humidity, and bountiful wetlands with unique inventions—from machines that
Jug
finely shave ice for snowballs (New Orleans’s famous take on the snow cone)
mid-19th century; glazed earthenware
by an unknown manufacturer
2006.0426.1
Although Louisiana culinary technology differs little from that utilized elsewhere
to propane-powered rigs for boiling shrimp, crabs, and crawfish. Yet despite
these unique innovations and the endless supply of up-to-the-minute accessories
available for the modern kitchen, the most critical element remains the cook.
Jug from Solari’s Food Store
late 19th/early 20th century; glazed
earthenware
by an unknown manufacturer
Milk Bottle, Cloverland Dairy, New
Orleans
Chip Chop multi-pronged ice pick
mid-20th century; metal, wood
by Chip Chop, manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Kitchen Technology
Ice tongs
late 19th century; iron
by an unknown manufacturer
2006.0426.2
Arctic Ice Shaver
ca. 1920; cast iron
by Grey Ironcasting Co., manufacturer
courtesy of Susan R. Laudeman
Ice pick
mid-20th century; wood, metal
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
Ice pick
mid-20th century; wood, metal
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
early 20th century; glass, paper
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of Irma M. Stiegler
Grease can
mid-20th century; metal, rubber
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Ball mason jar
21st century; glass, metal, rubber
by Alltrista Consumer Products, manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
probably 19th century; tin over
hand-forged metal
by an unknown tinsmith
courtesy of the Peter W. Patout Collection
Skimmer (strainer)
ca. 1900; forged iron, coated tin
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of the Peter W. Patout Collection
Skimmer (strainer)
early 20th century; carved wood
by an unknown woodcarver
courtesy of Irma M. Stiegler
Oval roaster with bail handle and lid
Spider (cooking pot on raised legs)
probably 19th century; iron
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of the Peter W. Patout Collection
Ideal Fireless Cooker
early 20th century; metal
by The Toledo Cooker Company, manufacturer
courtesy of Fritz Dahlberg
Crock Pot Slow Cooker
Chopping board from Spanish Custom
House, New Orleans
1990s; glass, metal, rubber
by Rival, manufacturer
courtesy of Susan R. Laudeman
ca. 1800; carved wood
by an unknown woodcarver
courtesy of the Peter W. Patout Collection
Non-stick pan
Cutting board
21st century; plastic
by Arrow Plastic Manufacturing Company,
manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
Citrus reamer
mid-20th century; glass
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Fresco Lime and Lemon Squeezer
mid-20th century; cast aluminum
by Fresco, manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Universal juicer
mid-20th century; cast aluminum
by L. F. & C., manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Bird form lemon squeezer
mid-20th century; metal
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of Irma M. Stiegler
Triumph Fruit Jar Wrench
patented 1903; metal
by Benjamin P. Forbes, manufacturer
courtesy of Susan R. Laudeman
21st century; metal and non-stick coating
by Mirro, manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
Larding needle
ca. 1950; stainless steel
by Rostfrei-Inox, manufacturer
courtesy of Susan R. Laudeman
Garlic press
1980s; plastic
by Chef’n, manufacturer
courtesy of Susan R. Laudeman
Pudding mold
ca. 1880; tinware
by an unknown tinsmith
courtesy of the Peter W. Patout Collection
Box of artificial crab shells
mid-20th century; paper, aluminum
by Lorco Industries, manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Kitchen scale
early 20th century; metal
by Charles Forschner & Sons, manufacturer
courtesy of the George F. Herdling Collection
Donut batter dispenser
ca. 1950; plastic, metal
by Popeil Product, manufacturer
courtesy of Irma M. Stiegler
Spatula
probably 19th century; carved wood
by an unknown woodcarver
courtesy of the Peter W. Patout Collection
Spatula
probably 19th century; carved wood
by an unknown woodcarver
courtesy of the Peter W. Patout Collection
Spatula
mid-20th century; rubber, wood
by an unknown manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
Spatula
21st century; plastic
by NewellRubbermaid Company, manufacturer
courtesy of an anonymous lender
22
COOKBOOKS
Le trésor des ménages
ed. by Chez Friedel et Gasc.
Limoges: F. Chapoulaud, 1828
2004.0123
La petite cuisinière habile
by Louise-Béate-Augustine Friedel
(“Mlle Jeannette”)
Nouvelle-Orléans, 1840
courtesy of Atlanta History Center
The House Servant’s Directory
by Robert Roberts
Boston: Munroe and Francis, 1828
2006.0205
Cookbooks
Educational and inspirational, cookbooks have chronicled our fascination
with food for millennia. The earliest known cookbooks date to ancient Greece;
the first printed cookbook emerged from Renaissance Italy in 1485. An American
printer, William Parks, entered the culinary trade in 1742 with The Compleat
Housewife, a reprint of an English publication. By the early 19th century, a
handful of American cookbooks—featuring distinctly American recipes—had
been published. But New Orleans, despite its emerging reputation as a food
mecca, would not see its own cuisine immortalized in print until the late 19th
Verstille’s Southern Cookery…
century.
by Mrs. E. J. Verstille
New York: Owens and Agar, 1867 ©1866
courtesy of the LSU Libraries Special
Collections
The early American publishing industry was concentrated on the eastern seaboard—
and Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore dominated the cookbook trade.
The Creole Cookery Book
What eastern cities lacked, and New Orleans had, was a vital French presence.
by the Christian Woman’s Exchange
of New Orleans
New Orleans: T H. Thomason, 1885
gift of Mrs. Ashton Fischer and
Mrs. Carl Corbin
81-983-RL
In 1840, La petite cuisinière habile, America’s first French-language cookbook,
was printed in New Orleans. That same year, French expatriate Antoine Alciatore
started serving meals at a boarding house in the French Quarter. Oyster houses
and chophouses, saloons, and hotel dining rooms flourished in the antebellum
era. Creole cuisine was taking root—but still, no Creole cookbook existed.
La Cuisine Creole
by Lafcadio Hearn
New York: W. H. Coleman, 1885
gift of Ralph Pons
77-288-RL
The Civil War years generated significant culinary ephemera. Women traded recipes
and collected them in “receipt books” later passed to their daughters. After the
war, charitable organizations sprang into action to assist war victims, and cook-
The Unrivalled Cook-Book and
Housekeepers Guide
books became extensions of their missions. National food and kitchen brokers
by “Mrs. Washington”
New York: Harper and Brothers, 1886
gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Lawrence
2004.0126
like Godey’s Lady’s Book routinely printed recipes.
Dixie Pastry Cook Book
New Orleans: Gulf Manufacturing Co., 1896
84-498-RL
promoted their products with small advertising booklets, while women’s magazines
Emerging from the financial panic of the 1870s—and the tribulations of
Reconstruction—New Orleans greeted the 1880s with renewed optimism. Civic
leaders recognized that one key to renascence was the sustenance and promotion
The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book
of the city’s unique culture. This climate of cultural boosterism deserves at least
New Orleans: The Picayune, 1901
79-442-RL
partial credit for propelling Creole cuisine into print, at long last.
Cooking in Old Créole Days
The first notable collection of Creole recipes appeared in a cookbook published
by Célestine Eustis
New York: R. H. Russell, 1904
74-86-L.21
Fisher Knows about Old Southern Cooking (1881), considered the first book of
The Old and New Cook Book
African American cooking, was written by a former slave and included recipes
by Mrs. Martha Pritchard Stanford
New Orleans: Searcy, 1904
92-141-RL
for “jumberlie,” “Creole chow chow,” and several gumbos. Will H. Coleman’s
nearly 2,000 miles from New Orleans, in San Francisco. Abby Fisher’s What Mrs.
1885 Historical Sketch Book and Guide to New Orleans and Environs, although
not technically a cookbook, contained loving descriptions of Creole cuisine. Two
other volumes published that same year—the Christian Woman’s Exchange’s
Creole Cookery Book and Lafcadio Hearn’s La Cuisine Creole—established Creole
Le trésor des ménages, ed. by Chez Friedel
et Gasc, 1828 (2004.0123)
cooking as a bona fide regional treasure.
24
Sweets and Meats and
Other Good Things to Eat
New Orleans: Seventh Street Protestant
Orphan’s Home, 1910
gift of G. K. Pratt Munson
93-027-RL
Good Things to Eat from
All the World…
Publishers outside Louisiana took notice. An 1886 New York publication, The
of the late 19th century culminated in the 1900 publication of The Picayune’s
Creole Cook Book. Revised and reprinted regularly in the following decades by
the Picayune newspaper staff, this cookbook still serves as an important culinary
guide for locals and historians.
New Orleans: A. M. & J. Solari, 1930
86-422-RL
Twentieth-century New Orleans cookbooks bear witness to economic trends, food
Gourmet’s Guide to New Orleans
fads, and changing demographics. By the 1950s and ’60s, with the city’s Creole
by Natalie Vivian Scott and Caroline
Merrick Jones
New Orleans: Peerless
Printing Co., 1933
70-30-L.8
restaurants gaining national recognition, regional bestsellers like River Road
Famous Recipes from
Old New Orleans…
New Orleans: Godchaux
Sugars Inc., 1938
87-033-RL
Louisiana’s Fabulous Foods
and How to Cook Them…
by Lady Helen Henriques Hardy and
Raymond J. Martinez
New Orleans: Hope Publications,
[1940s]
76-669-RL
Gastronomic Bibliography
by Katherine Golden Bitting
San Francisco: A. W. Bitting, 1939
2006.0255
The Rochester Clarke Bibliography
of Louisiana Cookery
by Rochester Clarke; John E.
and Glenna Uhler, comps.
Plaquemine, La.: Iberville Parish
Library, 1966
2002-89-RL
Physiologie du goût
by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Paris: Charpentier, 1844
2002-227-RL
The Historic New Orleans Collection
Unrivalled Cookbook, claimed to contain 200 Creole recipes. The cookbook boom
Recipes (1959) and Talk About Good! (1967) alerted national publishers to the
commercial potential of Louisiana cookbooks. The past quarter-century has seen
southern Louisiana become a breeding ground for celebrity chefs—and cookbooks
featuring Creole and Cajun cuisine attract salivating audiences worldwide.
Board of Directors
Mrs. William K. Christovich, Chairman
John E. Walker, President
Charles Snyder
Fred M. Smith
John Kallenborn
Priscilla Lawrence, Executive Director
Exhibition Curators
John H. Lawrence
Pamela D. Arceneaux
Susan R. Laudeman
John Magill
Gerald Patout
Exhibition Graphics
Steve Sweet
Exhibition Design
Terry Weldon
Scott Ratterree
Mitchell Long
Exhibition Staff
Warren J. Woods
Goldie Lanaux
Viola Berman
Maclyn Hickey
Jan White Brantley
Keely Merritt
Teresa Kirkland
Larry Falgoust
Jude Solomon
Jessica Dorman
Mary Mees
Teresa Devlin
Toy O’Ferrall
Anne McCall
Elsa Schneider
Amie Hubbell
Rebecca Smith
Siva Blake
Mary Lou Eichhorn
Sally Stassi
Brochure Design
Alison Cody
Producer, We Live to Eat
and A Common Pot
Kevin McCaffrey
The Creole Cookery Book by the Christian
Woman’s Exchange of New Orleans,
1885 (81-983-RL)
The Historic New Orleans Collection gratefully
acknowledges the following individuals who
shared their time, talents, and expertise as
members of the advisory panel for What’s
Cooking in New Orleans?: Culinary Traditions
of the Crescent City:
Daniel G. Abel
David Aman
H. Parrott Bacot
Patrick Dunne
John T. Edge
Eileen Engel
Randy Fertel
Tom Fitzmorris
John Folse
Pam Franklin
Kelly Hamilton
Dr. Jessica B. Harris
Dr. Jack Holden
Peggy Scott Laborde
Jan Longone
Richard McCarthy
Melvin Rodrigue
Patricia Land Stevens
Poppy Tooker
Susan Tucker
Dr. Doug Walker
Elizabeth Williams
Dr. Aaron Wolfson
The Historic New Orleans Collection gratefully
acknowledges the following institutions and
individuals that have loaned items from their
holdings for this exhibition:
Atlanta History Center
LSU Libraries Special Collections
Fritz Dahlberg
George F. Herdling Collection
Charlotte Knipmeyer
Susan R. Laudeman
Peter W. Patout Collection
Irma M. Stiegler
and other private collections
Tell me what you eat:
I will tell you what you are.
—Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Physiologie du goût, 1825
The Historic New Orleans Collection
Visit the collection online at www.hnoc.org
533 Royal Street
New Orleans
Louisiana 70130
(504) 523-4662