Covers That Might Have Been

Our two main features this month are Top Female Achievers and Best New Restaurants. There was a time when a German transplant named Elizabeth Kettenring could have won both awards in the same year. The only problem, at least for the life of this magazine, is that the year would have been 1863. And while there were no doubt many other worthy female achievers around town that year, quite likely her restaurant might have been not just the best, but the only. The restaurant, named Dutrey’s, specialized in serving late morning “second” breakfasts mostly to the men who worked the early shift along the French Quarter docks. Tourism became more of a factor in the Quarter in 1884, the year of the Cotton Centennial World’s Fair, so visitors began to discover second breakfasts, too. By then the restaurant’s name had changed and become a part of the city’s culinary lore. After her first husband died, Kettenring married Hippolyte Begue and gave the restaurant his name. Elizabeth would eventually be enshrined in the history books as Madame Begue. Her restaurant’s location would be remembered as the site that now houses Tujague’s.

Had this magazine been around in 1863, young Mrs. Dutrey might have been on the cover holding a plate of sausage and hominy. I can almost envision her looking confident, ambitious and maybe even a tad sexy staring into the camera – wait a moment, I’m thinking about Susan Spicer. She has definitely been on our cover, at least a couple of times, including in the 1980s when she was this magazine’s very first chef of they year. Spicer’s world is filled with more opportunities that Madame Begue ever had, but there’s a common spirit of women excelling as chefs and entrepreneurs. Curiously, one of the popular menu items at many restaurants is second breakfasts, only now they’re referred to as “brunches.”

One hesitates, for fear of omission, to name other local women who followed the same course, although it would seem lacking not to mention the matriarchs at Commander’s Palace and the still effervescent Leah Chase.

We didn’t plan it that way, but it works out that our choice of the very best of the new restaurants is located in the French Quarter and is named after one of its co-founders – a woman.
Even as a name source, females are achieving.

You Might Also Like

Renaissance Publishing Wins Big at Press Club Awards

The company won eight first place awards and multiple second and third place awards at the Press Club of New Orleans' Excellence in Journalism Awards.

Cool Drinks to Enjoy This Summer

Creative spins on the daiquiri and other cool drinks to try when it's hot.

6 Things To Do in New Orleans This Weekend

Our top picks for this weekend's events.

Renaissance Publishing to Launch Business Monthly Magazine

8 Things To Do in New Orleans This Weekend

Our top picks for this weekend's events

Add your comment:

Latest Posts

Flower Power

Use blooms in your rooms to brighten the décor and the day.

Seasonally Sipping

Three cocktails that meet the summertime cool-and-refreshing criteria, with fresh ingredients and a different spirit for each recipe.

Being Social But Never Looking Up

Embracing — and eschewing — technology and social media

City Park's historic Carousel gets a facelift

An interview with Casie Duplechain, Executive Director for Friends of City Park.

Soccer Considered: When the World Cup Runneth Over

In a world of conflict, considering the peaceful competition of the World Cup