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Aug 30, 201810:38 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

What, Again?

I got started writing about food on a personal website called "Appetites" in 2000 or possibly 2001. It was a time when there were so few “food blogs” that most of us had what’s called a “blogroll” on our sites. The blogroll was a list of links to other food blogs that, at least in theory, the author of the original food blog liked. Again, because there were very few food blogs around the time, having a website name starting with an “A” meant that I appeared near the top of most folks’ blogrolls. It ended up generating a lot of “hits” and a whole lot of spam comments for very odd pornography.

Sometime in 2008, after I’d gotten the gig writing for New Orleans Magazine, I let the registration for my url lapse, so the website is only accessible in bits and pieces via the Internet Archive

That’s probably for the best, as some of what I wrote back then would not pass muster these days. But I’m proud of some of it, including what I wrote in the months after Katrina.

I went through all of the typical feelings while I was away from home after the flood. I was worried, heartbroken and anxious to get back to New Orleans. Eventually, I started to think about my then-nascent food writing. I figured that given the devastation, nobody would want to read about food.

That’s laughable now, of course, because food is one of the things people most wanted to read about. "Appetites" already had a pretty robust following, and a lot of it was local. I started getting emails asking me whether one restaurant or another was open not long after we were allowed back into the city. I don’t have all of those posts in a form I can conveniently reproduce, but I can give you a link to some posts I wrote between Oct. 10 and18 of 2005.

I spent a lot of time when I got back to New Orleans driving around and trying to figure out which restaurants were open, which were working on it, and which were probably not coming back. In the original posts, clicking on the thumbnails of the photographs opened a link to much larger versions, but those links are dead. But I did at least discover that at least some of the links on the column to the right of the posts still work. Here, for example, are the posts that are archived from September 2005.

I’ll say it again: I’m not proud of everything I wrote on "Appetites," but I wouldn’t take any of it back. Going over the things I wrote in the immediate aftermath of Katrina dredges up a lot of memories, most of them very unpleasant. I’m glad that my worst fears about our future after the storm did not come to pass, and I’m hopeful that the optimism some of us had about rebuilding will still be borne out.  

 

 

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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