The bay area is great for healthy, sustainable, free range, organic, natural, locally grown, antibiotic free food and I have nothing bad to say about any of it… however, sometimes I crave the darker side of food-the deep fried, high fat, large portions, lots of powdered sugar and cream side. The side that lives in New Orleans!

If you are a member of RCA or IFT and regularly attend their conferences, you have probably been to New Orleans many times and have eaten at all the fabulous restaurants. Thus, I have no intention of writing about Hurricanes at Pat O’Brian’s, beignets at Café Du Monde, Oysters at Acme, Po boys at Luizza by the Track, Debris at Mother’s, Breakfast at Brennan’s, molasses muffins at KPaul’s or fried boudain at Cochon. I also won’t elaborate on deep fried alligator, Cajun cuisine, Emeril, John Besh or Magic Seasonings.

Well, I might elaborate alittle bit on Magic Seasonings

Because I was lucky enough to spend my five days in New Orleans with Jody Slater; RCA member, food junkie, New Orleans local and the R&D chef at Magic Seasonings, located just minutes from the French Quarter in New Orleans.  While Chef Paul Prudhomme is known for his famous line of retail magic seasonings, Jody plays a large role in the industrial manufacturing side of the biz which includes matching projects, cost reductions, ingredient sourcing and culinary applications.  Because of Chef Paul’s amazing contributions to the culinary world, it is often thought that Magic only does Cajun/Creole and spicy southern seasoning blends however Magic seasoning provides all the same services and R&D support as all the other seasoning companies-with the added bonus of having Chef Paul and Jody available for all your creative, culinary and technical needs.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of networking with RCA members in other parts of the world. Being in the RCA is like being part of an exclusive club of talented and unique foodies and there is nothing better than going to a great food city and having a local culinary expert ensure you are in the know on where the locals go, and which tourists traps to avoid. During my stay, Chef Jody clued me in on some of the new places in town (like A Mano– the new regional Italian restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street, and Adolfo’s, a local Italian-Creole place about a 10 minute walk from Bourbon street in the Marigny neighborhood.  We also checked out the San Francisco-esque dessert place called Sucre.

that makes their own French style almond macarons ( but for some reason spells it macaroon-which is the American coconut version).  Lastly, Jody knows the best swamp tour guide in town-who glided us through the reedy waters pointing out swamp rats, swamp birds and alligators!

I suppose my New Year’s resolution should be something typical like… loose 5 lbs, eat healthy whole grains, avoid creamy French dishes.. but that would just contradict who I am! My resolution this year is to meet as many RCA members as possible in their respective cities, while getting them to clue me in on the best cuisine their towns have to offer!

And to increase my weekly running mileage by 10%

About Rachel Zemser