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Jun 15, 201711:09 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Tough Times

It’s hard to write a column like this when a friend has died. It’s hard to think of much else, to be honest. This friend was someone I met when I was in college in Memphis. His name was Chris. When I met him, he had a bitchin’ Saab convertible, with a top-end cassette deck, and he’d drive us around what at the time was a more or less vacant downtown listening to music and generally being young.

He liked to cook, too, and he spent a fair amount of time at one apartment or another where I was living, in the kitchen with me. He knew barbecue, and Greek food and for a while he was running the show at a restaurant that no longer exists, but for which I still have a tie-dyed t-shirt. Until a few years ago, I also had a big plastic container of jerk seasoning he’d given me from the kitchen.

He was a generous kid; probably too generous. Long after I’d left town, if I came back for one reason or another he’d offer his guest bedroom. I returned the favor a time or three. There are a lot of things I’ll remember, but a couple stick out. One was cooking dinner with him in my kitchen while listening to music, and both of us playing percussion on pots, pans and bowls while still attending to the stuff we were cooking in those vessels. I have no idea what we were making, or whether it turned out well, but I think we probably enjoyed it.

The second was walking from my office on Poydras into the Quarter around this time of year, but a decade or so ago. Chris was in town with a friend, and she was not happy about the heat, or the humidity or the distance we had to walk, so I ended up stopping short of wherever I was taking them, and we ate at the Crescent City Brewhouse. It’s not the first place I’d take guests, but it’s not the last, either, and we all enjoyed it.

I’ve probably written this here before, but I’m sometimes told I don’t look my age. I sure as hell feel it, and never more so than when I lose another friend. I’m not yet 50, so I’ve got a long way to go, I guess, and I hope I’m not giving the impression I’m not looking forward to it. I will love watching my kids grow up, and I will love growing old with my wife and eventually I will love switching my consciousness into the cyborg/robot body that I am assured by the internet is waiting for me at the end of things.

I will love gardening into my dotage. I will love seeing how technology enriches our lives and be guilty of schadenfreude when it degrades us all. I will love experiencing new tastes, aromas and cooking as often as I can for my family and friends.

I’m bending, is what I’m saying, but I ain’t breaking.

I know this is not the most food-centric post you’ve read at Haute Plates Light Industry and Ball Bearing Production Company, but I hope you’ll forgive me. It’s been a rough week, and I’ll be back to writing more about food and cooking when you next grace me with your presence here.

Thanks for your patience, and for your time.



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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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