As we approach the end of 2020, all I can say is, wow. 

There is no universe in which any of us could have predicted the way the year would unfold. The pandemic alone has been enough to send anyone over the edge, but add to it racial tension and social unrest, election strife and hurricanes, plus the usual personal stressors each of us face even during a normal year and again — wow. With that in mind, this issue is designed to be an escape from the turmoil of 2020.

We are ushering in the holidays, which of course look a lot different this season. One thing that isn’t going to look different however is planning it all around food. We have an incredible meal of grillades, baked grits, biscuits and a tasty Waldorf salad created by Marcelle Bienvenue that is sure to be a hit around your holiday brunch table (or perhaps like me, you are a fan of breakfast for dinner). It’s not pegged to a holiday, but if our tacos feature doesn’t set your taste buds in motion, I just don’t know what to tell you. Eric Cormier sampled tacos all over Acadiana, literally through hell and high water, to discover who out there is slingin’ the best, most flavorful top tacos around and we’re excited to share his findings.

Meanwhile, the other thing we are determined to do is entertain. Our gatherings will be small and intimate (and as safe as possible), but that doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful and special. Check out our tablescapes spread for tips and inspiration on setting the stage for a gorgeous gathering.

No matter what holidays you celebrate; no matter what your holidays look like this year; no matter where you are celebrating in the region, my hope is that you are indeed celebrating. Those of us who can, might want to reach out to our neighbors who are alone due to health, distance from family, the pandemic or for any other reason and try to include them in some safe way. My plan is scheduling porch sits and delivering a few servings of fare from our holiday table. Or perhaps a takeout order of tacos. Everything is better with tacos — and maybe a margarita.


Note de l'editeur

Melanie Warner Spencer, Managing Editor
504-830-7259 •


By Lisa Leblanc Berry

Major Refinery Expansion


Renewable Energy Group has announced a minimum $825 million capital investment to expand its renewable diesel refinery in Geismar. With the investment, REG will retain 66 existing jobs, create 60 new direct jobs and an estimated 321 new indirect jobs in the area (

Attracting Top Nurses

Lake Charles, Hammond, Lafayette, Thibodaux

McNeese State University’s graduate nursing program has been recognized with the 2020 Nightingale Award as the Graduate Nursing School of the Year by the Louisiana State Nurses Association and the Louisiana Nurses Foundation. McNeese’s graduate nursing program is part of the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing which includes McNeese and sister institutions SLU, ULL and Nicholls.

Ambitions for Coastal Restoration


Conoco-Phillips has donated $50,000 to Nicholls State University for coastal restoration research and coastal plant production. The grant will be used to help rebuild a bridge on the Nicholls Farm, an integral part of the university’s plans to become the center for coastal restoration research and implementation in Louisiana (