Sunday, April 27, 2014

Transplant Michael Murphy shows us to how to 'Eat Dat' New Orleans

            I have to admit, when I first saw Michael Murphy’s new book, “Eat Dat, New Orleans: A Guide to the Unique Food Culture of the Crescent City,” my first thought was here goes another food book written by an outsider, someone who visited New Orleans, fell in love and is now an expert.
            Well, slap that native prejudice right off my face! Murphy excels both at the explanations of cuisines, unique food styles, culinary biographies and genealogy and history, in addition to the individual restaurant reviews.
            He’s also clever in his descriptions and brutally honest, and although I don’t always agree with his reviews, I love reading them. For instance, how many times have I visited Central Grocery for muffulettas and enjoyed every minute devouring those Italian creations but the truth is they aren’t the most friendly people. Murphy admits as much, luring readers to other more friendly muffuletta eateries. On almost every description he also includes recommendations on what items to order.
            So, if you’re looking for a handy guide to the New Orleans food scene, one that will steer you away from the tourist traps and into the heart of what makes the Crescent City special, check out Murphy’s “Eat Dat” guide.

Book events
         "Porch Posts: A Book Release Party" features Diane Marquart Moore and Janet Faulk-Gonzales signing "Porch Posts," a book of essays about the art of porch sitting and porch stories from 3-5 pm Sunday, April 27, at Belmont Plantation, 512 Belmont Road in New Iberia. Artists Karen Bourque (artist of glasswork on cover), Paul Schexnayder, illustrator of eight drawings in the book, and Victoria Sullivan, owner/publisher of Border Press Books, will be present.    
          Lafayette’s designer and comic book creator Kody Chamberlain will discusses a variety of oddball techniques for creative thinking at the “Idea Iceberg” at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Lafayette Science Museum. The workshop will include data mining, oscillating notebooks, and pop culture creative advice from Bob Ross, Jaws, Bruce Lee, and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Chamberlain has presented at Macworld, HOW Design Live, CTN Animation Expo, and major universities and AdFed groups around the country. Admission is free. The event will also stream live online as part of the INNOV8 Lafayette’s Webinar series at
            Dr. Zeb Baker and Dr. Matthew Teutsch present “Sports in the South” as part of the 2013 Jamie Guilbeau and Thelma Guilbeau UL Lafayette Collections Fellowship lectures at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Room 141 at UL’s Dupré Library. The fellowship and lectures are sponsored by the UL Lafayette History Department. Baker hails from Miami University of Ohio and Teutsch from UL. Baker will be speak on the integration of football in the South and Teutsch will present on Ernest J. Gaines’ use of athletes and sports in his fiction, especially his incorporation of Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson in his novels “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and “A Lesson before Dying.” For more information, contact Teutsch at or at 482-1848.
            The Writers’ Guild of Acadiana meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnes & Noble. WGA is an organization made up of local writers, published and unpublished, who meet on the last Tuesday of the month to share and gain knowledge in the craft of writing. Beginners and veterans of the writing industry are welcome.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana,” both from The History Press, and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at