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Jan 5, 201711:08 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


The new year brings resolutions, as surely as fall turns to some weird hybrid of summer and winter where it’s 80 degrees one day and 45 the next.

I cannot escape the call to give something up or do something more or perhaps do something better. This year I have made several resolutions.

First, I will no longer hack into the email accounts of officials of the Democratic party. You know what you don’t want to see? “Selfies” taken by Leon Panetta at Hooters. Nobody wants to see that, Leon. Well, maybe one person. Which brings me to the second point:

In 2017 I will stop taking calls from V. Putin. Consider ties severed, Vlad.

Next, I will do my best to figure out how New Orleans can continue to sustain the number of restaurants we currently have. I have made that resolution for the last three or four years, at least, and I’m no closer to the answer, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep trying.

Fourth, I will try to address the issue of “authenticity” and “cultural appropriation” where it comes to restaurants. I will try to do this: a) without making the story entirely about me, and b) by being sensitive to how various ethnic groups feel when the cuisines of their homes are “interpreted” by folks who are not of their ethnicity.

I will almost certainly fail as to “a,” because who are we kidding; it’s all about me anyway. But I hope I can at least be aware enough of the issues surrounding “b” that I don’t offend too many people. (I will almost certainly offend a lot of people).

I resolve to avoid getting a tattoo on my abdomen of the phrase “I EAT THE WHOLE PIG,” translated into "Lord of the Rings" High Elvish, until at least 2018. I will settle, instead, for the Elvish translation of “DON’T COME KNOCKIN’ IF THE VAN IS ROCKIN’.”

Edit: The Author’s wife would like to point out that the Author has released his rights to obtain tattoos, whether in Elvish or any other language, and that the Author will not be getting any damn tattoos. The Author regrets the error.

Sixth, I will continue to learn about wild edibles and hopefully write some things that reflect what I’ve learned beyond the overall message: “Don’t eat anything you can’t positively identify.”

I’d also like to write a bit more about kitchen gardens in the upcoming year, because while I’ve had some great luck over the last couple of years, the longer I do it, the more I realize how much I don’t know. One thing I do know is that there is a wealth of experience among folks in South Louisiana, and I suspect they’ll be generous with advice.

Eighth? I resolve to remember that my children are not interested mushrooms, octopus, goat, peppers, blue cheese, olives and many other interesting ingredients that I will no longer cook for dinner for my children.

Ninth: I will have more and better questions when I meet chefs, restaurateurs and other folks in the food business inadvertently. I think I do OK when I know in advance I’m going to speak to someone, but I can do better when I get a chance to talk to someone randomly. Basically I’m saying I need to have the “Eye of the Tiger” at all times, 110 percent and that I will sweep the leg if I need to.

I was going to do ten, but I’ll be honest: I’m not going to stop taking calls from Vladi P, so I guess all bets are off.

I trust you will have more success with your resolutions or at least pick some that are easier.


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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


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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