Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lolis Eric Elie signs Treme cookbook

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 4:55 PM


Former Times-Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie was a writer for David Simon's Treme, and he's compiled a cookbook of traditional and contemporary recipes titled Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans. Recipes come from local restaurants and celebrity chefs who appeared on the show, including Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert and David Chang. Broudain wrote the introduction to the book. The book is written from the perspective of characters on the HBO series.

Before writing for the show, Elie produced other projects focused on food and the Treme neighborhood. He authored Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country, which he wrote while working as a road manager for Wynton Marsalis. He also edited Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue. And he wrote and co-produced the documentary Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans.

Elie signs copies of Treme at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books.

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Jazz in the Park 2013 lineup

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Shamarr Allen
  • Shamarr Allen

The People United for Armstrong Park announced the music lineup for its fourth annual Jazz in the Park concert series every Thursday from Sept. 5 to Oct. 31. Jazz in the Park also features an arts and crafts sales area, fresh and prepared foods and more. The events start at noon, and bands perform from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The full schedule is:

Sept. 5 — Stooges Brass Band and Mia Borders
Sept. 12 — Davell Crawford and Stephanie Jordan
Sept. 19 — Corey Henry & Treme Funktet and Treme Brass Band
Sept. 26 — Shamarr Allen and Erica Falls
Oct. 3 — The Soul Rebels and Soul Project
Oct. 10 — Cyril Neville’s Swamp Funk and Gaynielle Neville & Her Sweet Stuff Band
Oct. 17 — Jon Cleary and Wes Raymond & The Soul Factory
Oct. 24 — Dumpstaphunk and The Brass-A-Holics
Oct. 31 — Rebirth Brass Band and a surprise guest

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Is Drew Brees a bad tipper? New Orleans service industry workers weigh in.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 9:13 AM

In case you missed it, Drew Brees found himself in the middle of a mini-controversy last night after the website The Dirty published a picture showing a receipt where the Saints' quarterback left a $3 tip on a $74 takeout order. Because, it seems, nobody had anything else to do, the story made the rounds, and Brees went to Twitter to defend himself (seen above). He noted that the receipt was for a takeout order (something The Dirty failed to report) and insisted he'd tip more than 20 percent if he had been served at a table.

This is, as the Los Angeles Times sports section pointed out, a completely ridiculous controversy, but thanks to the summer lull in the sporting calendar and the availability of the Internet, it's what passes as news right now. Brees has less to worry about than the waitress who allowed her receipt to be photographed and published online. It's been reported that the waitress still has her job — and she should consider herself lucky considering the restaurant she works at recently made a large contribution to the Brees Dream Foundation, an organization that funds, among other things, athletic programs in the 9th Ward and cancer treatment in the greater New Orleans area.

So yes, this is only a story because Brees is rich and famous and even his most mundane actions are held up to scrutiny. And yes, this story will probably die as soon as he throws his next pass in training camp. But the fact that Brees even took time to respond shows he's aware there are societal norms about tipping. Since Brees plays football in a city where 1 in 10 people works in food service, I wanted to know what some of them thought about the disputed tip amount.

Full disclosure: When not working as a writer or videographer, I work as a bartender at the American Sector. My wages do depend on tips, but despite the ups and downs that come with working in the service industry, I happen to enjoy my job. The clientele consists mostly of tourists visiting the National World War II Museum, where the restaurant is located, but there's also a large group of regulars from the neighborhood. Some are famous, but I would never broadcast a patron's dining habits.

That being said, working in the service industry gives me special insight into the practice of tipping and just how important it can be for workers who depend on tips to earn a living wage. Even before I became a bartender, I counted several service industry workers as my friends. After hearing about the Brees story, I reached out to everyone I know who works or has experience working in the service industry, asking how they would react if they were tipped the same amount as Brees did on a takeout order. Frankly, the answers were surprising.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Algiers ferry service suspended "until further notice"

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM


Update, July 31: DOTD announced the ferry is back in service and was scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation (DOTD) has announced that the ferry servicing Algiers from Canal Street is out of service "until further notice." The DOTD suspended service yesterday when the vessel servicing Chalmette experienced a mechanical failure and the Algiers ferry moved to Chalmette.

Service already has been slashed by DOTD when it took control of the ferry earlier this month. Service used to run until midnight — the new schedule halts the ferries at 6:15 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. weekends. Now, the ferry is effectively shut down:

Currently, there are no other boats available for service and the estimated time of service resuming at Algiers Point is unknown. DOTD is working diligently to determine the required repair.

Algiers businesses and downtown workers who live across the Mississippi River voiced concern for their businesses staying afloat — and livelihoods out of danger — at the New Orleans City Council's transportation committee meeting last week. City Council will hold a special meeting 5 p.m. Monday, August 5 to discuss the Regional Transit Authority's pitch for a fare increase. Pedestrians could pay up to $2 per trip or a monthly pass of $75.

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Brewsday Tuesday: local beer news

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM


I’m wrapping up a visit to New England and the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston. I hope the tips and tricks I’ve picked up will benefit Brewsday Tuesday and promote beer in the New Orleans area in general.

In the meantime, some big pieces of news have hit over the last couple of weeks that affect the local craft beer community.

• NOLA Brewing has announced an upcoming collaboration with New Belgium called Swamp Grape Escape, a Belgian tripel-style brewed with muscadine grapes, that will be released to coincide with Louisiana Craft Brewers Week Sept. 23-29.

Continue reading »

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Out now: Dumpstaphunk, Missing Monuments and Native America

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM


The Ivan Neville-led New Orleans funk staple Dumpstaphunk celebrates a decade of performing with its latest release Dirty Word, out now on Louisiana Red Hot Records. It's the band's second full-length release, following the acclaimed 2010 album Everybody Want Sum.

Dirty Wordwhich you can stream in full here — is wrecking ball of funk, with lock-tight grooves leaving room to branch off into jam-filled universes. In the band's release statement, Neville writes, "The whole record speaks to the righteousness of music. We're not necessarily telling a specific story, but expressing how music makes things right for everyone in their own way. Our fans can feel that vibe and let it take them wherever they need to."

The album features guest appearances from Ani DiFranco, Art Neville, Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Dumpstaphunk performs at an album release party at The Maple Leaf at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31.

Missing Monuments, King Louie Bankston's garage-punk misfits, releases his band's self-titled follow-up to 2011's Painted White. Bankston fills Missing Monuments (Dirtnap Records) with hook-heavy power-pop anthems and cheeseball guitar shredding — 11 tracks of no-bullshit four-on-the-floor rock 'n' roll.

The album is streaming in full at Spin.

Dream pop outfit Native America returns to New Orleans to release the EP Bad Weed / But Still Weed, a five-track collection of fuzz-covered shoegaze and psychedelic garage-pop. The band performs with Chicago's California Wives, New Lands and The Tix at 10 p.m. tonight at Siberia.

The EP follows the January release of the full-length album Get Well Soon.

You can stream the EP here.

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Gemellis pop-up planned at Lilette

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Edward Charles at work at a previous Gemeliis dinner.
  • Courtesy of Gemeliis
  • Edward Charles at work at a previous Gemeliis dinner.

Twin brothers Edward and Anthony Charles hope to open an Italian restaurant together someday, and they’re taking a pop-up path to help build finances and a following. The vehicle is Gemellis (based on the Italian word for twins), which offers a set-price, family-style Italian feast, and the latest edition is coming up on Aug. 9.

Edward Charles is sous chef at the Uptown bistro Lilette, and that’s where he’s been hosting Gemellis dinners periodically since late 2012. These dinners have always been on Monday nights when Lilette is normally closed. But Lilette is now on its annual summer break through Aug. 13, so this next Gemellis will take over the restaurant for a primetime slot on Friday night.

The setting at Lilette is stylish, but the Gemellis format is laidback, with four courses served family style on shared platters. Wine is included in the $60 price, and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Here’s the menu.

For reservations, e-mail or call (504) 432-1380.

3637 Magazine St., (504) 895-1636

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Y@ Speak: problem solvers

Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM

We're an industrious people, New Orleans. We won't let a water boil order disrupt our morning, or let oil get in the way of our wetlands. Or maybe we do. OK, sometimes we do. But we try really hard, right? We are all God's barf, after all. In this week's Y@ Speak we reflect on trying times and how many shots Craig Robinson will buy for us to get through them.

Continue reading »

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McClure’s Barbecue opens Uptown

Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 11:14 AM

McClures Barbecue has an array of sauces, seen here during the pop-up edition.
  • McClure's Barbecue has an array of sauces, seen here during the pop-up edition.

Neil McClure grew up in a family that went whole hog for barbecue. In fact, outside his childhood home in Florida the McClures rigged up a barbecue spit using a washing machine motor and the rear axle from a 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia for pig roasts.

“For every family get-together we cooked a whole pig,” McClure says. “My first job was watching the fire.”

After a career in fine-dining restaurants, McClure is back to a grown-up version of that first job. His new Uptown restaurant McClure’s Barbecue opened over the weekend, and he can usually be found in the back tending a smoker full of ribs, brisket, chicken, sausage and the makings for pulled pork.

Continue reading »

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Gambit's Digital Edition: July 30, 2013

Posted on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 8:35 AM

All content included on or in this issue, such as text, photos, logos, advertisements, graphics, computer code, and the arrangement and selection of such content, is protected by copyrights, trademarks, and/or other intellectual property rights of Gambit Communications and/or its third-party content providers. You may use material from this issue only for your own personal, non-commercial use. Neither this issue nor any portion of this issue may be republished, reproduced, duplicated, copied, uploaded, downloaded, posted, transmitted, modified, sold, or otherwise exploited for any purpose that is not expressly permitted by Gambit Communications or under copyright law or other applicable law.

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