The Lenten fish fry is a long-running tradition in New Orleans, but not all of these events follow a traditional script. For instance, one coming up next Friday, March 8, won’t be held at a church but rather at a nonprofit urban farm for local high school students, with music, art and a menu with lighter options alongside the fried fish.
The local/healthy food advocate Slow Food New Orleans is hosting this one-night fish fry at Grow Dat Youth Farm, a youth development program operated from City Park with acres of crops and a facility built from stacked, repurposed shipping containers.
The chef Don Boyd, founder of the nonprofit Café Hope, and local Slow Food chapter president Gary Granata are preparing the food along with Moscow 57, a New York entertainment company founded by Ellen Kaye, whose family ran the legendary Russian Tea Room in Manhattan for close to 50 years. Granata and Kaye have been collaborating on pop-up food, music and art events and decided to join forces for a one-of-a-kind fish fry at Grow Dat.
If you suddenly start seeing a certain lemongrass grilled shrimp dish with ribs and crab kimchee on more New Orleans menus, that’s not because it’s necessarily the trendy new dish. Rather, it’s because this recipe cooked up by local ninth grader Sierra Torres is the “Dish That Makes a Difference.”
That’s the name for an annual student culinary program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), the high school-level arts school in the Faubourg Marigny. Begun in 2010 in conjunction with the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, the program challenges students in NOCCA’s culinary arts program with a recipe competition. In past years, winners saw their recipes prepared and served in Lagasse’s restaurants, with proceeds benefiting their school.
This year, however, the Dish That Makes a Difference has been expanded. From March 1-10, Torres’ recipe will be featured at more than a dozen local restaurants and even the food truck Taceaux Loceaux. Participating chefs have free rein to reinterpret Torres’ recipe for their own menus.
Big Class is a local organization that runs literacy programs in which children create books from writing content through publishing. The group's next project is to run a writing and tutoring center at 3718 St. Claude Avenue (below Antenna Gallery). There are two open houses (noon-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, and 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28) at which parents and children can get information about the program and sign up. Participation is free, and volunteers also can sign up at the two open houses. There's more info here.
Upcoming after-school programs start March 12. Each program starts with homework help, and each has an eight week workshop followed by a four-week book-making project.
Tuesday features a jazz centered project for 10-14 year olds. The program incorporates music, poetry and visual art.
Wednesday features a food and memory theme for 10-14 year olds. Students write reviews and essays and take photographs.
Thursday's project is a newspaper for 6-14 year olds. Students will create all sections of a community newspaper.
Sundays are open to 6-18 year olds, and each week will feature a different workshop topic.
Zack Kopplin, the 19-year-old Rice University student and Louisiana native who's spent the last two years advocating for repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act, was named the inaugural "Troublemaker of the Year" by a private foundation that seeks to honor people in their teens who stir up, well, trouble:
What kind of trouble? The good kind — when you are not afraid to speak your mind on important matters even when everyone around you disagrees, when you take a risk and bend social norms for a greater good, when you pick a direction and go for it, even if others tell you to turn around.
The troublemakers that the award seeks are young women and men from around the globe, who demonstrate inspiration, original thinking, leadership and outstanding commitment to their troublemaking cause. Their activism not only turns heads, but also delivers tangible positive impact on their local community, home town, country, or perhaps the entire planet Earth.
The organization, founded by self-described "angel investor and serial entrepreneur" Semyon Dukach, awarded Kopplin a $10,000 prize.
Zack’s bold campaign to repeal the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) has made waves in state politics and in public education. Kopplin has gathered the support of 78 Nobel Laureate scientists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the New Orleans City Council, and other major organizations. His petition to repeal the law has 74,000 supporters across the US. Working with Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Zack has fought for two bills to repeal the LSEA. He has spoken out before the Louisiana legislature and State Board of Education, debated creationist politicians, held rallies, and had been covered in hundreds of interviews in national and international media. Kopplin is preparing to fight for a third repeal bill.
Read Gambit's 2011 profile of Kopplin here.
The Carnival season king cake tradition is more than just alive and well. These days, it seems to be positively surging, with bakeries and restaurants across the spectrum giving these cakes their own spins and sometimes turning heads with their new interpretations.
Cochon Butcher has been making specialty king cakes for the past few seasons. Rhonda Ruckman, pastry chef for the Link Restaurant Group, prepares both single-serving size and family-size cakes in flavors that are traditional, like cinnamon, or decidedly not, like the “Elvis,” with peanut butter, banana, bacon and marshmallow. Domenica is getting in on the action this year too, with pastry chef Lisa White making an elaborate version filled with salted caramel, sliced bananas, pecans and mascarpone and iced with a praline glaze sprinkled with gold leaf. You can order these a day in advance for pick-up at the restaurant, or place a day-of rush order for an extra fee.
Science and science fiction website io9 yesterday ran a lengthy profile of Zack Kopplin, the young Louisiana man who took on Big Sea Monster — the creationism education lobby — when he was still in high school. (Zack is also son of city of New Orleans Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin.)
His efforts, needless to say, have not gone unnoticed — particularly by his opponents. He's been called the Anti-Christ, a stooge of "godless liberal college professors," and was even accused of causing Hurricane Katrina. Kopplin cooly brushes these incidents aside, saying they're just silly distractions.
But some of the most aggressive broadsides, he says, have come from state legislators.
"I'm not talking threats or name calling, but they were really something to experience," he says.
Also see Gambit's story on Kopplin from 2011.
(Via Lamar White.)
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation sponsors many programs and festivals throughout the year. It offers free jazz lessons to kids ages 11-17 in the Don "Moose" Jamison Heritage School of Music. Classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced students take place Saturday mornings at Dillard University. Auditions for class spots are 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Dillard's Cook Fine Arts Center, second floor. Instruction is available in voice, guitar, piano, brass, woodwinds, bass and drums. Visit the foundation website for details about audition requirements and classes, or call (504) 558-6100.
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Gov. Bobby Jindal has created a task force to review school safety procedures, from prekindergarten through university level campuses. The multi-agency group includes the departments of safety and corrections, education, health and hospitals, children and family services, and boards from state universities, to be co-chaired by State Police Superintendent Col. Michael Edmonson, and James LeBlanc, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Jindal's executive order says "This study group shall collaboratively review and assess the State’s current programs and plans in order to identify any necessary improvements or changes in light of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut."
The order states: "When such a tragedy occurs it is imperative that those involved with school and campus safety for the more than 1,700 public and private schools, colleges and universities work collaboratively to re-examine the plans and measures in place to identify any areas needing improvement, incorporate new strategies and work together to exercise existing response plans."
The group's three stated goals will "identify and implement improvements" in respective departments before any necessary bills can be filed in Legislature this session.
The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) voted in favor of two policy amendments proposed by outgoing president Thomas Robichaux at last night's December meeting at McDonogh 35 College Preparatory High School.
Robichaux's updates included adding "zero tolerance," among other discipline actions, to its "bullying, intimidation, harassment and hazing" policy," and ensuring creationism, intelligent design and "revisionist history" are left out of textbooks. Read more about the policy changes in Gambit.
The textbook selection update says "No history textbook shall be approved which has been adjusted in accordance with the State of Texas revisionist guidelines nor shall any science textbook be approved which presents creationism or intelligent design as science or scientific theories."
It also applies to teachers: "No teacher of any discipline of science shall teach any aspect of religious faith as science or in a science class. No teacher of any discipline of science shall teach creationism or intelligent design in classes designated as science classes."
Zack Kopplin, who campaigned to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act (which City Council called to repeal in May 2011), was the only speaker on the textbook policy: "Creationism certainly is not science," he said, warning that students not only will not meet higher education standards, but they "won't find New Orleans jobs in the Bio District."
God's speed, Rodrigue
A word to the wise. NEVER celebrate after you have been declared cancer free. You…
to "Clancy's Reckoning;" If you have any doubt about Gambit's judgement of character chew on…
George was a rare person who never said a bad thing about anyone and likewise…
From the Spin article: "While Hope Road legally has the trademark to the phrase in…
This stuff is not good, smoked it for a few months straight and I would…
Tempred to call CPS?
No case here. You can't copyright or trademark a song title.
The Marley estate was foolish not to trademark the phrase themselves. They have created a…
Double D, you don't make up the majority. It's just that local and state politicians…