holiday dinners
Eric Cook | Romero and Romero Photography

About two weeks ago with the help of generous friends and family Stacie Toups, a resident of the Carrollton area, started an online raffle to raise funds for her husband, Scott Toups. Scott was shot twice and spent months enduring 24 surgeries and fighting in the ICU in critical condition following a carjacking on July 17, carried out by an escapee from the Bridge City Juvenile facility. It was a Sunday afternoon at the time and Scott was dropping off a donation of Mardi Gras beads to a non-profit organization that repackages and resells them to help their clients.

“He’s miraculously alive but can’t work for a pretty long time,” Stacie wrote on the page justiceforscottraffle. “His friend offered a week-long vacation at his luxury condo on Orange Beach, AL to raffle off plus $250 in gas. It sleeps up to 11 people and it’s on the first floor.”

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This is an example of a member of our community trying to do anything they possibly can to help their loved one while trying to raise enough money to just hold on. This could, very realistically, happen to any of us.

What happened next is a particularly bitter twist of Fate.

Stacie died unexpectedly last Tuesday leaving behind her husband, who is still struggling to recover and two sons who probably cannot make sense of any of this.

At the time of her death Stacie Toups had become a powerful voice in the community as an anti-crime advocate.

Raffle tickets are $25 and go toward the care Scott will need for the rest of his life due to the senseless actions of a misguided youth. You could take care of everyone on your holiday list with a trip to this one website and your gift will directly help a deserving human being in our community.

Just give it some thought.

Holiday Dinners with Chef Eric Cook
Curried Lamb Neck

I have come to look forward to the Mangè Loa at Gris Gris and Saint John. “The ‘the feeding of the Gods’ is a Voodoo ceremony and large annual feasting of the gods (‘loa’) featuring a variety of proteins, beverages, delicacies, and desserts. Practitioners of Voodoo believe the powers of all loa are lifted to their highest potential during this celebration. Starting today through December 24, both restaurants will offer three course pre-fixe menus (including a holiday cocktail) for dinner.

The Saint John Menu is $70 with optional wine pairings for $35.

First Course (choice): Soup Joumou – Pumpkin and Beef Stew with Potatoes, Carrots, Leeks, Celery, Radish, Cabbage & Grilled French Bread (Famiglia Carafoli Lambrusco di Modena, Italy NV)


 Kreyól Salad: Arugula, Avocado, Grape Tomatoes, Cucumber, Sweet Peppers, Dijon Vinaigrette (Big Salt Riesling-Gewurztraminer, 2020, Oregon)

  • Second Course: Curried Lamb Neck- Red Pepper Rice Pilaf, Black Beans, Coconut-Curry Broth, Fresh Herbs (Gigondas La Cave Rhône Blend, 2019, France)

Third Course – Spiced Sweet Potato in Flaky Pie Crust, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Pecan Caramel

  • Holiday Cocktail- Voodoo Love Apple – Applejack Brandy, Cranberry, Sparkling Water.
Holiday Dinners with Chef Eric Cook
Gris-Gris Gumbo

Gris-Gris Menu is $65. Optional wine pairings are $35

  • First Course (choice)- Chicken & Andouille Gumbo in the Paroisse de Vermillion style with Louisiana Popcorn Rice (The Wolftrap Viognier-Chenin Blanc, 2018, South Africa)
    • OR
    • Black Fig & Goat Cheese Salad – Seasoned Chicory Greens, Mission Figs, Goat Cheese, Toasted Cornbread Croûtons, Local Blood Orange Vinaigrette (Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc, 2020, New Zealand)
    • Second Course- Pecan Crusted Pork Chop: Fire-Grilled Double Cut Pork Chop, Mémère’s Oyster Dressing, Cranberry Red Wine Gastrique (Maison Louis Jadot Pinot Noir, 2018, France)
    • Third Course – Pumpkin Cake Pumpkin Purée, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin Seed Brittle
    • Holiday Cocktail- Zombi Nog: Eggnog with Cream, Spiced Syrup, Praline Liqueur
Holiday Dinners with Chef Eric Cook

Arnaud’s recently launched its ninth annual Teddy Bear Program, benefiting the New Orleans Police Department and local community. The public is encouraged to donate new and unused teddy bears. Since its inception in 2014, the program has raised 9,000 teddy bears for police to hand out to children they encounter while on duty who are experiencing trauma or distress. Collections bins will be placed inside of Arnaud’s Restaurant and will be accessible during hours of operation through December 24.