Aug 17, 200912:00 AM
The Editor's Room
Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde
Errol Laborde: “Cooking With Andre”: A Life
Take a moment if you can to visit this Web site, www.cookingwithandre.com, or simply Google “Cooking with Andre.”
New Orleans native Andre Charles Robin Sr. created the site, which he operated from his home in Sacramento, Calif. I was not familiar with Robin until I got a grief-stricken message from his sister, local Realtor Corrine Fox.
Robin died last Sunday, but while he was alive, he lived for New Orleans and its culinary heritage. He was in the food processing business, but his passion was cooking and promoting Louisiana dishes. To the deprived people of California, he would present shrimp (not prawn) boils prepared the way it is done back home. His Web site talks about the proper seasonings and, if you click the right spots, even echoes the sounds of a boiling pot.
Robin was very much touched by the damage that Katrina had done to his native state and was worried about the impact that the disaster would have on its culinary heritage. Concerned about all the cookbooks and old family traditions lost in the floods, he was using his Web site partially as a clearinghouse to gather and chronicle endangered recipes.
An obituary notice in the Sacramento Bee newspaper said this about him: “His passion for food and the city of New Orleans was so deep he eventually became a chef and used his craft to bring people together and share in the joy of life.”
If ever there were any doubt about the global infectious spirit of New Orleans, consider the life of Andre Robin, a man I never met but yet feel like I knew.
According to the Bee’s obituary: “He will forever be a legend on this earth and is now cooking for God in the heavens.”
I hope cayenne is plentiful there.
Ed note: A service for Robin will be held next weekend in New Orleans. Information will appear in Thursday’s myneworleans.com newsletter.
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Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival - Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via e- mail at email@example.com or (504) 895-2266.
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