First You Make a Roux

by Nola

It started innocently enough. And certainly was not part of a bigger plan.

I attended a Johh Besh cookbook signing event, then stood in line to have him sign the books I’d bought. There was one that was for me. In the back of my head rattled Antique’s Roadshow saying that autographs are usually worth more when they are not personalized. So when Chef Besh asked who to sign the book for, I stumbled. I didn’t want my name on it. In the stumbled second, I thought, “Maybe if I have him sign it for Sun, she won’t toss it when I’m dead.” Yes, folks, I think about death a lot. It’s my day job. And so he signed it to Sun. And all my new local cookbooks gets signed that way now.

One day, years later, Sun was with me for such a signing.  And Poppy Tooker, sitting down, was eye level with Sun and spoke directly to her about what dish to cook from the cookbook. Sun claimed ownership of that cookbook immediately. Within days we cooked the dish Chef Poppy recommended. And Sun was happy and eager to go further.

Then we gave Sun kid Chef Eliana’s Cool Kids Cook for her birthday. She’s since cooked the “Baked” Fried Green Tomatoes. And she was HOOKED. So we bought her a kid-friendly knife set and a new for-cooking-only apron. Now that girl is cooking up a storm! This week, she made a quiche. It was perfection.

Thus, with all the hope in the world but no plan on how to have my NOLA daughter become a lover of NOLA cooking, my dream is coming true. I love even more my time spent in my kitchen: We talk; we teach; we learn. We mix; we stir; we grow. We cook. We live. We love.

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