Madame Langlois, the housekeeper of New Orleans founder Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, is said to have taught French colonists how to adjust their continental cooking to New World staples, taking the first steps toward developing local Creole cuisine.
That's why cookbook author Amy Cyrex-Sins thought the name would be fitting for her new business, Langlois Culinary Crossroads (1841 N. Rampart St., 504-934-1010; www.langloisnola.com), which straddles the line between restaurant dining and culinary instruction. Think "cooking class meets chef's tasting table," she says.
"We don't call it a cooking school, because we don't teach all the ins and outs. We're not giving degrees," Cyrex-Sins says. "What we are doing is creating an entertaining dining experience for people who love food and want to recreate the food they have in restaurants themselves."
Langlois Culinary Crossroads opened this month in the Faubourg Marigny. Housed in a former corner grocery, the new interior could pass for the set of a contemporary cooking show, with gleaming food prep and cooking demonstration areas, dining bars and large-screen monitors to show the action around the room.
Participants can sign up for specific classes, which are scheduled Fridays through Sundays with brunch, lunch and dinner options. Groups can book private classes.
Participants can take a hands-on role preparing the multi-course meal for the class, or they can simply watch the meal come together before digging in. Cyrex-Sins recruited a team of chefs to guide participants from meal prep to dessert. The menus for scheduled classes cover Creole and Cajun classics and, at least for now, meals are BYOB.