Editor’s Note

On Aug. 29, the second most destructive hurricane in Louisiana history tore through the Gulf Coast region of the state. Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, took so much from so many in South Louisiana. The devastation is truly overwhelming — and yet, there are glimmers of hope. At a time when everyone is already dealing with so much due to the pandemic, the community has come out in full force to offer relief, resources and anything they can to help those affected by the hurricane. In this issue, we are highlighting recovery efforts and offering a list of just a few of the many organizations offering mutual aid, in case you are looking for a worthwhile group in which to donate.

When we conceived of this issue last year, we looked forward to restuarants reopening, as well as exciting new eateries joining the scene and decided it would be fun to devote as many pages as possible to food, glorious food. Feeding people is of course what so many in the region do best and nothing brings people together like a delicious meal, so despite the Delta surge and hurricane season, we moved forward with our food issue.

In the Best of Dining feature, writer Lisa Leblanc Berry has traversed the whole of Acadiana to report on the best of the best. From chefs and dishes to patios and date spots, we’ve got the scoop on where to eat right now. We also have an essay from food writer Jyl Benson in which she shares her cooking education and the role the beloved Opelousas-native Chef Paul Prudhomme played in her kitchen adventures. Meanwhile, if you are interested in a food-centric road trip, editor Cheré Coen has designed a delectable getaway to New Orleans and the Northshore area for our annual fall travel feature. It revolves around the dining hotspots sure to please your palate.

Speaking of food, like so many in the region, my husband and I evacuated for Hurricane Ida, caravaning with close friends to Little Rock, Arkansas. We quickly learned that Little Rock was the evacuation location of choice for many of our Ida compatriots. The circumstances were less than ideal, but we enjoyed meeting fellow evacuees, wandering the city and sampling local cuisine.

Our group sampled everything from tamales and pork buns to bratwurst, farm-to-table fare and ice cream. While the offerings near our hotel were diverse and decent — and we were beyond grateful to be safe and have food and shelter — we were still eager to get back home. Even though home was in a hurricane recovery zone.

A popular meme made the social media rounds that week. It read, “Quit asking people in Louisiana if they gonna move because of hurricanes. We don’t ask you if you’re gonna move ’cause your food is terrible.” It was a bit of comic relief we needed and had more than a little truth to it. It was like a little nibble of comfort food for the mind.

Much like that, we hope the stories in this issue offer some measure of comfort to those who need it — or at the very least it’ll be a lovely escape for an hour or so.

Take care of yourselves, find comfort where you can and let’s take care of one another.



BEHIND THE SCENES: Scoops from Loblolly Creamery in Little Rock, Arkansas served as comfort food during our managing editor’s Hurricane Ida evacuation.


Melanie Warner Spencer
Managing Editor


International and Regional Magazine Association

Gold Overall Art Direction
Silver Art and Culture Feature
Silver Recreation Feature
Bronze Food Feature
Bronze Profiles
Bronze Art Direction of a Single Story
Winner Magazine of the Year
Gold Overall Art Direction
Gold Art Direction Single Story
Gold Photo Series
Silver Photographer of the Year
Gold Overall Art Direction
Gold Magazine Photographer
Gold Art Direction of a Single Story
Gold Food Feature
Gold Department
Silver Magazine Writer of the Year
Silver Hed & Dek
Silver Photo Series
Gold Overall Art Direction
Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year
Gold Art Direction of a Single Story
Gold Food Feature
Silver Cover
Gold Overall Art Direction
Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year
Gold Art Direction of a Single Story
Silver Photo Series


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