My interview with George Graham was originally published on September 15, 2014.
If you want to explore the uniqueness of the area of Louisiana called Acadiana, you have to follow George Graham’s blog, Acadiana Table. The blog features Graham’s life in the culturally rich area of southwest Louisiana with his wife and daughter. He shares wonderful stories with some of the finest Creole and Cajun recipes you’ll find anywhere. Besides the stories, you’ll also get lost in his photographs. His pictures are amazing!
Acadiana Table is not only receiving high acclaim from the growing number of followers, but also from the likes of Saveur magazine. Graham’s blog was recently a finalist in the popular food magazine’s Best Food Blogs for 2014. His work has also been featured in Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine.
Besides sharing his unique spin of the Creole and Cajun recipes, Graham also gives you a guide to where to go when you visit Cajun country. His “Butchers, Bakers & Boudin Makers” section offers suggestions on the best mom and pop restaurants, bakeries, farmers markets, sausage stores, and everything in between. Though he mentions that the faces and places he highlights are the ones that “are key to preserving the rich French Acadian heritage of this unique American culture,” Graham’s blog is the engine that keeps that spirit alive for the rest of us to learn about and enjoy. Stop by his guide before you step foot in Louisiana. You’ll thank him after!
Spend some time at the Acadiana Table and you’ll see the passion that Graham has for his hometown and region. He has some great stories and recipes for you!
Where’s your favorite place to order red beans and rice?
It lives on in my memory. Years ago I visited the legendary Buster Holmes lunchroom deep in the heart of the French Quarter on Burgundy Street. I took a seat at the community table and minutes later a large Schwegmann’s grocery bag was spread out before me, and three pipin’ hot, fried pork chops were plopped down on top of the sack. The grease immediately started soaking into the brown paper as the steam rose from the chops. A huge bowl of smoking hot red beans with a couple of chunks of andouille on top was seated next to it. A spoon was the only utensil needed.
Do you put any unique ingredients in your pot of red beans?
My favorite recipe has dried Camellia red kidneys, Supreme long-grain white rice, and two key ingredients – my homemade pickled pig’s feet and smoked Andouille from Poche’s. A Creole soul food cook once shared her wisdom with me as she whispered the secret of her red beans in my ear – “my baby, you gots to make the bean cream” is all she said. And I clearly understood.
What do you eat with red beans and rice?
Fried pork chops, of course. The crunchy contrast with the creamy beans is heavenly.
Do you only eat red beans and rice on Mondays?
To a born and fed Louisiana boy, a pipin’ hot bowl of beans is the key to my heritage. Red beans are more than sustenance, they are my birthright and I work to preserve the cultural reverence I hold for them. So tradition rules and I cook my red beans only on Monday. But… I’ll belly up to a bowl anytime, anywhere.
What are you currently working on?
Writing and photography — telling the stories of Cajun-Creole food culture. We are gaining fans and followers across the world.
For more on George Graham and his blog, you can visit him at www.AcadianaTable.com. He is also on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
If you’re interested in one of his cookbooks, you can follow the links to the cookbooks below for more information. Each of the links takes you to Amazon. These are affiliate links. That means that I could receive a slight percentage of the sale if you purchased a copy of either of the books. There are no additional costs for you to do this, but it helps me and the website with each sale.
Acadiana Table by George Graham (Harvard Common Press)
Fresh from Louisiana: The Soul of Cajun and Creole Home Cooking by George Graham (Harvard Common Press)
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KEEP THE RED BEANS COOKIN’!
Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.