In the popular 2013 “Cajun Country,” episode of the Travel Channel’s “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” the host and crew take part in a boucherie with Toby Rodriguez of Lâche Pas Boucherie et Cuisine. Riveted to the TV in Texas I would have never guess that, not only would I soon live in Louisiana, but also that I would attend a boucherie with Rodriguez himself and I’d be covering it for Acadiana Profile (December-January 2016). I was drawn to the boucherie, as well as Acadiana and its residents, because it all reminded me of my home state of Kentucky, its people and experiences growing up on my grandparent’s farm. Once a year we slaughtered an animal and put it up for use in the coming months. Pig roasts were common too and much like a boucherie, a time when friends and family gathered to create a festive meal and divvy up the spoils of the day. Honoring the animal and using “everything but the squeal” was a consistent theme during Rodriguez’s boucherie and something I quickly came to relate to and admire about our welcoming and hospitable Cajun hosts. Our hosts were also incredible storytellers. Maybe it’s the Southerner in me, but I love a great story, both in the listening and the telling. Becoming a writer and editor takes this appreciation to the extreme, but there are few things I enjoy more — there are endless stories to be told, especially in a place like Acadiana. This is why after two and a half years as a contributor and the associate editor, I’m honored to take the helm of Acadiana Profile as its managing editor. I’d like to take a moment to thank my predecessor Sarah Ravits for her part in creating such an interesting and attractive publication. The magazine’s tradition of highlighting the region’s happenings; shining a spotlight on its best, most intriguing and talented people; as well as occasionally taking a critical look at what’s important to Acadiana’s residents will continue and I’m eager to delve deeper into the heart, culture and spirit of Cajun Country.

On that note, I’m happy to report that this issue is jam-packed with exactly the above-mentioned kinds of stories. Around the office we’ve been referring to it as the “man issue,” due to our fun and informative “MAN-ual” feature, which offers up scores of Acadiana products, businesses, activities and services geared toward Acadiana’s men. We also take a peek into the relaxed, yet refined Lafayette home of Frank and Peggy Camalo, owners of F. Camalo, the exclusive Italian clothing store for men. Our Cool Jobs story will have you dreaming of starting a craft brewery or a bike shop like the plucky entrepreneurs you’ll meet in that story. On a more serious note, we’ve expanded the annual Top Hospitals feature, which now includes a look at the most pressing health concern facing Acadiana; interviews with doctors about their most challenging cases; and finally, a comprehensive listing of the hospitals of the region, along with their specialties and innovations, as a guide to helping you find the best healthcare.  

Before settling in, mix up an “Evangeline,” the featured adult beverage in Recettes de Cocktail. (The Kentucky bourbon on the ingredients list is a happy coincidence.) As you sip and savor, enjoy the stories we’ve put forth this time around. If you have a story of your own or know of one you think we’d be interested in, please tell me about it. I love a great story.

note de l’editeur