Non-Fiction: Author of academic works and published research on the history of cuisine, Paul Freedman’s Ten Restaurants That Changed America is thick with details and hunger-inducing menus. Opening with an introduction by restaurateur Danny Meyer, the owner of Union Square Hospitality Group,. Freedman focuses primarily on Le Pavillion, Chez Panisse, Mamma Leone’s, The Mandarin, Delmonico’s, The Four Seasons, Sylvia’s, Howard Johnson’s, Schrafft’s and New Orleans’ own Antoine’s.
Rock-Pop/Electronic: A talented musician power duet, trombonist/vocalist Carly Meyers and drummer Adam Gertner of ROAR! have been rocking the New Orleans live music scene for more than six years. Their most recent album La-Di-Da is an eclectic, upbeat conglomerate of the band’s aerial, electronic, edgy sound – completely unique to other local bands coming out of New Orleans right now. I suggest attending a live show for the true ROAR! experience. Meyer’s hair flips and awe-inducing energy with the trombone is simply amazing. Both band members have great onstage chemistry and bring energized passion to audiences.
Non-Fiction: A mouth-watering short but spicy book steeped in vinegar, salt and the history of chilies’ world takeover. Denver Nicks travels the United States, equipped with a taste for adventure and a craving for the secret to “America’s burning obsession.” Nicks makes stops to learn origin stories and test his boiling point with several Louisiana hot sauce and Cajun spice flavor aficionados. Nicks touches on the questionably-controversial start of Tabasco on Avery Island and goes on to offer his favorite locally sourced concoctions, such as Crystal, Moko Jumbie and Trappey’s. Could chilies bring people together in a state of love and arousal? Have India, China and North Africa always had spicy foods? Does Louisiana Crystal Hot Sauce adorn restaurant tables in Saudi Arabia? Hot Sauce Nation explores all of these questions. Disclaimer: You’ll definitely want to seek your local farmer’s market, grocery and the internet for your next favorite flavorful condiment after this read.
Rock-N-Roll: New to the New Orleans music scene, McGregor is a young group of musicians based in the Crescent City. The band’s talent is sourced from all over, including Los Angeles, Memphis and Washington D.C. Drawing inspiration from classic rock bands such as Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and Wilco, these former Gold In The Rush bandmates just released their first EP, Fell.