Paul Freedman at SoFAB, & Toups South

Saturday, December 14 from 2-3:30p with RSVP, SoFAB (Southern Museum of Food and Beverage) in New Orleans will host Paul Freedman. From the site:

Paul Freedman’s new book, “American Cuisine and How It Got This Way,” has just been published. Paul will speak at SoFAB about community cookbooks and their role in developing American cuisine. Join us for this informative and delicious event! Paul will sign books (available for sale at SoFAB), and some goodies from community cookbooks will be served.

This event is free with museum admission.

This talk will be taking place during SoFAB’s special exhibit, “Talk About Good, Celebrating 40 Years,” running December 7, 2019 through February 28, 2020. Featuring the stories of the women who created the cookbook, George Rodrigue’s original paintings that appear in “Talk about Good,” the tools and equipment popular during the late 70’s and early 80’s, interactive videos on Cajun cooking techniques, and food products popular during this period, Paul Freedman’s book will be honored in the context of American community cookbooks.

Coincidentally, I have that book checked out from the library right now. I mean, part one sounds like a downer: American Regional Cuisines and their Decline. The author talks about how by 1880, regional dishes like chili have become national and Southern possum and Rhode Island johnnycakes have become extinct. I loved seeing that he mentions “a special barbecue style confined to Decatur, Alabama, is smoked chicken with a mayonnaise-based white sauce” though it’s not really *confined* anymore. The group at SoFab will love to hear him talk about Creole cuisine: “no other part of the United States has preserved its regional cuisine to the degree that Louisiana has.”

So many cookbooks and guides are included, also: the history of grocery stores as we know them (Piggly Wiggly’s modernization), food conveniences, fads (gelatin concoctions), and diet trends, “ethnic” restaurants, celebrity chefs…

Under the same roof as SoFAB is Isaac Toups’ Toups South restaurant. I met him there once; he was working on his Chasing the Gator cookbook — he’s super nice and even asked if we wanted to take a picture with him. Uh, sure!

Toups South, New Orleans Toups South, New Orleans

Toups South, New Orleans Toups South, New Orleans

Seared Toups Burger: buckboard bacon, bourbon bbq sauce, pickled jalapenos, aged cheddar, pommes frites — and yes, that was delicious.

Toups South, New Orleans

Thinking of Isaac Toups’ time on Top Chef: it is *past* time we got to KBC in Dothan, this past season’s winner Kelsey Barnard Clark’s restaurant. Look at their IG. Yassss.