Reality TV

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Top Chef casting calls today in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 9:40 AM

Local chef Isaac Toups is competing on the current season of Top Chef. - BRAVO TV
  • Local chef Isaac Toups is competing on the current season of Top Chef.

Think you’ve got what it takes to compete on Top Chef? The Bravo series is hosting a casting call for local chefs and aspiring food television stars today (Feb. 11) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The open call takes places at Pigeon and Prince (129 Camp St.), the new event space in the former Le Foret spot from chef John Besh (Besh is a Top Chef Masters Season 1 alum). Interested chefs need to fill out an application packet, available on the network’s website here. 

The show, currently in its 13th season, features local chef Isaac Toups of Toups’ Meatery (845 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-252-4999), who, to date, is still in the running for the Top Chef title. Part two of the show's Restaurant Wars episode airs tonight at 8 p.m.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Watch: Big Freedia gets "Crazy" in jail

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 4:35 PM

If you've ever wondered what a Big Freedia "whoa" sounds like echoing from a cell block, well, here you are. The queen of bounce released the video — in which Freedia twerks in an orange jumpsuit — for her latest single "Crazy" this week.

The single follows her first full-length album, 2014's Just Be Free, which adds club music, EDM and big pop production to BlaqNmilD's sturdy bounce beats and Freedia's charismatic, supercharged commands.

The fourth season of Freedia's reality TV series Queen of Bounce airs 10 p.m. Wednesdays on Fuse.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Real World is holding a casting call in Baton Rouge

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 12:30 PM


For anyone looking for their next career in reality TV stardom, the show that started it all hosts an open casting call this month in Baton Rouge. MTV's The Real World seeks a new gang of misfit, misunderstood 20-somethings who may or may not be there to make friends for its next slate of programming from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15 at The Station (4608 Bennington Ave., Baton Rouge).

In a statement, Real World executive producer Jonathan Murray — the Dick Wolf of shows about people in hot tubs — said the show seeks "characters from real life; people who are unafraid to speak their minds." In other words, people who stop being polite, and start getting real.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Politico: James Carville was almost the next Judge Judy

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 11:53 AM


Score one for yesterday's Wikileaks hack: Out of that document dump came the news that New Orleans-based professor and political consultant James Carville shot a pilot last October called Carville's Court, which would have put Carville behind the faux-bench of a faux-courtroom in a New Orleans-shot faux-judge show. Politico's "On Media" column broke the story:

The reality show featured the former Bill Cinton campaign strategist presiding over small claims cases in New Orleans and issuing both legal rulings and moral advice. In a pilot episode, Judge Carville rules that a man owed $3,800 to a woman for failing to adequately decal her car in Betty-Boop paraphernalia. In another case, Carville denies a woman's request for $1,000 from injuries sustained while she and her future sister-in-law were drunk on a rafting trip.

And now you can watch the pilot and dream of what might have been — the Ragin' Cajun faux-adjudicating over neighbors suing noisy French Quarter bars, Brennans vs. Brennans, and all manner of small-claims cases ginned up for Hollywood South. But Sony Television passed, and the crown of Judge Judy Sheindlin seems safe for now.

CARVILLE'S COURT CC Master V3 110114 h264 from BLP on Vimeo.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chef Nina Compton's restaurant to be called Compere Lapin

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 10:02 AM

Chef Nina Compton moved to New Orleans to open her first restaurant. - ELSA HAHNE
  • Chef Nina Compton moved to New Orleans to open her first restaurant.

Nina Compton, a runner up in season 11 of Top Chef, which was filmed in New Orleans, announced the name of her new restaurant in the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery. It will be called Compere Lapin, a patois French name for a trickster figure in Caribbean folk tales, roughly translated as "brother rabbit." Compton grew up in St. Lucia and attended culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

The restaurant is expected to open in June. It will have an open kitchen and a raw bar. Sample menu items include conch croquettes with pickled pineapple tartar sauce, crispy pig ears with smoked aioli and pork cheeks over orecchiette with arugula. For dessert, banana zepploes will the topped with salted rum caramel.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Angeline to open Tuesday and new restaurant news

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 2:33 PM

Angeline will serve butter bean tortellini with red-eye gravy and shaved Parmesan. - DENNY CULBERT
  • Angeline will serve butter bean tortellini with red-eye gravy and shaved Parmesan.

After four years at the French Quarter gastropub Sylvain, chef Alex Harrell left in mid-fall 2014 to open his own restaurant. Named for his mother, Angeline (1032 Chartres St.) will open in the Hotel Provincial Tuesday, filling the space formerly occupied by chef Scott Boswell's Stella!.

Harrell's menu focuses on Gulf seafood and modern takes on Southern cuisine, and there are some Italian and Mediterranean accents. Harrell says Southern food has been stereotyped as, "heavy, fried everything, over-cooked vegetables and pork everywhere." His vision is a cleaner, brighter, fresher one, and he finds some common ground with some Italian cooking. He explains the concept through his butter bean tortellini.

"The butter bean tortellini personifies our philosophy," he says. "It's a take on a traditional Italian dish from Bologna, tortellini en brodo. We view it through a Southern lens. The tortellini are filled with butter beans and ricotta and lemon zest and herbs brighten it. Red eye gravy is something you see in the South, but typically on biscuits in the morning. We make a broth so there's the flavors of ham, coffee and a touch of bourbon."

The opening menu also features Southen-fried quail over hoe cake with local honey and house-made hot sauce, confit duck leg with sausage, farro verde, currants, pecans and sprouts and Mississippi rabbit Milanese with smoked carrot puree, spoon bread, bacon, braised collard greens and tomato gravy. There also is a charcuterie board with cured meats, pickles, cheese, cherry confiture and grain mustard. The menu will focus on local, seasonal produce and be updated often, Harrell says.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

John Waters on Robert Durst's arrest in New Orleans

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 2:59 PM

Robert Durst, son of New York real estate mogul Seymour Durst, was arrested in New Orleans Saturday night. Durst has been a suspect in the deaths of three people and admitted he cut up a body in Texas in 2001. He's also the subject of the HBO documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

I spoke to John Waters this morning for a preview of his appearances at the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival next week and asked him about the Durst situation. Waters likes to watch criminal trials and famously attended several Manson Family trials. (He also attended Watergate trials and said he'd like to be at the Boston Bomber trial.)

In his book Role Models, Waters includes a very long essay about Leslie Van Houten, a Manson Family member convicted of stabbing Rosemary LaBianca.

The Durst news was still fairly new to Waters, but here's a transcript of that part of the conversation. 

John Waters: I never got arrested in New Orleans. I bet that’s not a great place to go to jail in. I have a feeling it might be rather ... primitive.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ron White added to Krewe of Orpheus celebrity riders

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Ron White joins the list of celebrity riders for Orpheus 2015. - RONWHITE.COM
  • Ron White joins the list of celebrity riders for Orpheus 2015.

The Krewe of Orpheus is known for its celebrity riders, and this year's lineup ranges from a country star to the cast of NCIS: New Orleans to a Real Housewife. To that mix is now added Blue Collar Comedy star Ron White, who is described in the krewe's press release as a "Multi-Platinum Award-Winning, Scotch-Drinking, Cigar-Smoking, Top-Selling Touring Comedian."

White will ride on the Captain's float with Orpheus captain Sonny Borey. Other riders include country singer Dierks Bentley (who will perform at the krewe's Orpheuscapade), NCIS: New Orleans cast members Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan, Rob Kerkovich and CCH Pounder with show creator Gary Glasberg; Real Housewives of Beverly Hills performer Lisa Vanderpump; and the most recent winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, New Orleans' own Bianca del Rio.

Orpheus rolls on Lundi Gras (Feb. 16) on the Uptown route, and while you're waiting on the neutral ground with your cooler and your iPad you can read Gambit's 2009 interview with Ron White here — and a 2014 cover story about Bianca Del Rio as well.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

La Cocinita owners to compete on Restaurant Startup Feb. 10

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 4:31 PM

Tim Love and Joe Bastianich host Restaurant Startup. - FREDERICK BROWN/CNBC
  • Frederick Brown/CNBC
  • Tim Love and Joe Bastianich host Restaurant Startup.

Benoit Angulo and Rachel Billow, owners of the La Cocinita (504-309-5344; food truck, will compete on the CNBC reality TV competition Restaurant Startup. The episode aires 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, and it will pit them against the owners of a Buffalo, New York food truck to attract an investment offer from the hosts, chef/restaurateur Tim Love and New York restaurateur Joe Bastianich. In the show’s format, each team pitches its concept, and one of them gets the opportunity to set up a prototype restaurant for a one-night test in Los Angeles.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce returns Feb. 25

Posted By on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 12:45 PM

  • Big Freedia.

Fresh from a Guinness World Record-setting twerk session, bounce superstar Big Freedia has announced the return date of Freedia's reality TV series Queen of Bounce. The third season premiere is 10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 on the Fuse network.

The series — Fuse's most-watched show to date — was renewed for a third and fourth season earlier this year. In its third season, it will follow "the excitement and stress of a nationwide tour, a blossoming romantic relationship, and the lingering personal loss of Freedia's mother."

At the eighth annual Central City Festival Nov. 15, Guinness recorded a record-setting 408 people as "the most people twerking simultaneously." It topped Freedia's record-setting attempt in New York City last year.

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