Author: Errol Laborde

King Cakes In The Post-Katrina Era

  There was a time when there was no debate about King Cake. There was, for the most part, only one brand, McKenzie's, and only one flavor, Mckenzie’s- style – which had a slight cinnamon coffeeroll taste. The purple green…

How Carnival Got Its Colors

  Ed. Note: This has become an annual obsession with me. Several years ago, I was involved in a project in which we discovered the true origins of Carnival’s colors; purple, green and gold. It was not justice, power and…

2020 Parade Season Preview

Carnival Historian and New Orleans Magazine editor Errol Laborde shows WWLTV's Eye On Carnival what is in store as the city anticipates Carnival season 2020.    

Thoughts for Recovering on the Day After

  So, today we experience a community funk because of what happened in the Superdome yesterday. Fate is good to us, however, because our big disappointment happens to be followed the next day by Twelfth Night and the beginning of…

Streetcar: Meyer the Hatter

Several years ago, my wardrobe for spending an afternoon at the French Quarter Fest included a spiffy new Panama hat. Somewhere along the riverfront a fellow fest-goer stopped me and said, “nice hat.” With local pride I replied, “I got…

Herbsaint Unscrambled

On the night that the new Sazerac House on Canal Street had its grand opening, I happened to be looking at the exhibit for Herbsaint when Bill Goldring, the chairman of the Sazerac company, passed by. He was showing a…

From the Editor: Galloping Through the Decades

Hardly anyone knows it, but this year the Cajun Courir De Mardi Gras approaches the 70th anniversary of its revival. Had it not been for a few men wanting to rescue a lost ritual there would be no customs to…

Christmas '89

  I was at a Christmas week party when someone commented about the weather, which was cold, even for Christmas time and added that a heavy freeze was on the way. She wasn’t wrong. But the next morning an icy…

The Woman In The Song

For Lisa Layne, Sept. 27, 1989 would mean more than just her 27th birthday. She was standing at the microphone at Nashville’s Masterfonics recording studio. Nearby were some of the town’s finest studio musicians…

Daring To Say "Christmas"

While at a party several Christmases ago I was talking to a teacher from a local private school. During the conversation I asked her how they celebrate Christmas at the school. “We don’t,” she answered. “We have many cultures there…

Streetcar: The Secret

One Christmas season as a kid, I took it on myself to contain a terrible secret, as though I was sparing the world from ever finding out. But the moment of truth was coming. A thing to do during the…

Editor's Note: Why Italian?

We didn’t intend it that way, but there is a distinctive Italian theme to our best of dining selections this year. Our designated Chef of the Year, Rebecca Wilcomb, heads the kitchen at a new Italian restaurant, Gianna, and our…

The Great Cultural Mix: Mirlitons on the Table

Whenever we visited my mom her recollections quite often turned to family gatherings. As a holiday, such as Thanksgiving, approached her ongoing wish was to be able to fix “a big dinner.” In her generation, cooking for others was a…

Louisiana 10 Most Influential Elections

  With the state elections mercifully over now seemed like a good time to look back at elections that were defining moments in the state’s political history through the 20th century to now. Here’s my list. If there is disagreement,…

Anniversary Of An Urban Victory

  Fifty years ago, New Orleans saved it historic district and in doing so set an example for other American cities. Though some did not heed. Salvation came from an unlikely source but the one that counted the most. On…

Nick Saban And Me

As we brace ourselves for the annual LSU/Alabama smash down this Saturday I am reminded of my brush with former LSU coach Nick Saban in 2008. My timing was bad. I was driving from New Orleans to Marksville. Heading west…

In Pursuit of Real Barbecue

Memories: in this case, an afternoon as a kid when our family was invited to someone’s backyard for a barbecue. Backyards were a big deal back then, as the suburbs expanded and new houses were built featuring spots of green…

Streetcar: The Season of ‘99

As season openers went it was promising. The Saints began the 1999 season on the road against the Carolina Panthers. Featuring a squad that carried two Heisman trophy winners: Danny Wuerffel, a quarterback out of the University of Florida, and…

From the Editor: Christmases' Midnights

What I remember most about going to Christmas midnight mass as a kid was the men standing outside the church until the last moment before the mass began. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was a French…

Learning From Morgus The Magnificent

Last night, Morgus the Magnificent had a rare live appearance, speaking before an adoring crowd at the Orpheum Theater. Because my flight from Transylvania was late, I was not able to attend, however his appearance prompted me to dust off…

Roffignac – The Mayor and The Cocktail

Compared to the guillotine, moving to Louisiana didn’t seem to be such a bad choice. That was the plight of Count Louis Philippe Joseph de Roffignac, a native…

Streetcar: The Arrival

We were up early to see a lady who would be standing on a small island in the harbor. According to the cruise ship’s captain, we should be passing the Statue of Liberty around 7 a.m. The cruise director suggested…

Roads Less Traveled

  I never made it to the snake farm. That used to be one of the sites along Airline Highway (U.S. 61) as it stretched between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. In the days before interstates, traffic moved a lot…

Jacques Chirac: New Orleans Days Of A Future President

  Except for Andrew Jackson, we’re not sure any future President of a nation spent as much time in New Orleans as Jacques Chirac, who was chief executive of France from 1995 to 2007. Chirac, who died last week (Sept.…

Elvis On The Hayride

  Standing on the stage at Shreveport’s legendary Municipal Auditorium, Winston Hall, a musician and tour guide with a passion for the city’s music legacy, pointed to a spot on the floor, right up front in the center. The auditorium…

Hank Williams' Louisiana Links

  Expect for there to be an upswing in interest for country music over the next few weeks as PBS presents producer Ken Burns’ latest series, this one about country music. Segments include one about the music’s greatest performer and…

Do You Still Think About It? I Do.

  Last May I was attending a conference in Minneapolis. One morning I was in a breakfast buffet line when a man across from me, whom I did not know, looked up from his pancakes and asked a question that…

Streetcar: Back Street of Naples

Our group was walking through a back street of Naples on the way to an historic cemetery when the tour guide assured us that our destination was only about a kilometer away. We Americans are often illiterate about the metric…

From the editor: A gubernatorial story

This is a gubernatorial election year, which raises the admittedly dorky question, to me at least: Who was governor 100 years ago? That would be in 1919. Well, it turns out the answer has significance in two of the state’s…