New Orleans Urban Duck Farming.

An invitation was extended by some friends to attend a backyard BBQ over the past weekend.  It was an opportunity to celebrate a birthday, meet new friends, and conversate with like-minded individuals about food and music.  The landscape was not of a typical backyard in Uptown New Orleans.  Ducks of all ages, and a few different breeds were spread throughout the yard.  The ducks are mainly for producing eggs, and if you have never had a duck egg...amazing. The ducks were accompanied by a few dogs, and some vegetables, all co-mingling in a unique backyard ecosystem.

On the menu for the evening was a cornucopia of thoughtful fare.  Everything was made at home, imagine...homemade.  Tuscan chicken sausage with feta, grilled peppers, and arugula was a symphony on the palate, one could almost feel the Italian sun shine when the bite was completed.  Different spiced pancettas were ready to be tasted, after the belly had made friends with its spiced companions.  My favorite was the absinthe-herb flavored pancetta.  Anise and pork have been mates for a while, and when they get together, my affinity only grows deeper.  To be honest, I should have taken notes and more pictures.  Even the soap was homemade, from animal fat, lye, and rosemary.  Yes, soap comes from fat, remember Fight Club?

"You're a Quack Head"
Fun Fact:  Foie Gras was invented by the Jewish people in order to fulfill the Egyptian Pharoah's need for fattened liver anytime.  Before the ducks where to migrate, they would stuff themselves on the rich bounty of the land in preparation for the long journey.  But the pharoah wanted it all year long, hence force feeding (Gauvage) to have foie gras all year long.

May Chef Profile...Paul Prudhomme


    Blackening is a technique often associated with cajun cookery, it was invented by Paul Prudhomme.  Very rarely are we able to witness in the food business something which changes the landscape of cooking for the future.  Paul Prudhomme is in that number.  He grew up in the small town of Opelousas, Louisiana.  Opelousas is just north of Interstate-10, between Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, essentially the heart of Cajun country.  Chef Prudhomme opened up his flagship restaurant, K-Paul's in the late 1970's.  The restaurant got its name from his late wife, Kaye Prudhomme...K-Paul.  During the 1980's the blackening craze swept the gulf south and the nation, almost leading to the extinction of the Redfish.  Aside from being an amazing chef in the kitchen, he has proved to be quite the business man.  His seasoning blends are widely available throughout the country, and also has stake in the Stubb's BBQ empire.  He continues to cook, speak, and teach to this day.  Take notice when people shape our country and culture for the better, Chef Prudhomme has accomplished this with a smile.  Eat well.