In August, South Louisiana was hit with one of the worst natural disasters in recent history. News of the flooding reverberated across the state and we watched in horror as the water continued to rise. Many of our neighbors lost everything. Our hearts and our thoughts go out to them as we continue to look for ways to recover and contribute to the recovery. Throughout this nightmare, one thing came up again and again and that’s the no-holds-barred and no-questions-asked assistance offered immediately by ordinary people from all over Louisiana. Countless stories about everyday heroes from the individual fishermen setting out in their boats, as well as the more organized “Cajun Navy,” mobilizing to save people when the authorities were overwhelmed with sheer number of people in need of rescue, to those who stepped in to lend a hand or give donations. The rest of the country — many of whom also stepped up — seemed surprised by reports of people helping people, but those of us who live here in Louisiana know that’s just what you do. Acadians are nothing if not tough and resilient and will overcome this disaster with grace, that signature joie de vivre and the resolute spirit born of facing, and conquering, adversity.

It’s in that spirit we present this issue of Acadiana Profile. If ever there was a time to celebrate the people in Acadiana doing great things, it’s now. Our Best Chefs feature focuses on five pros from throughout the region that are at the top of their game and bring their distinctive flavor and flair to the people. In the State of Business feature, we look at the top emerging industries and what it means for Acadiana’s economy. Not ones to shy away from controversy, we’re also serving up our reader’s choice and editor’s choice picks for Tops of Acadiana. You voted, we voted and the results are in on our favorite places to eat, drink, go, do and see — we hope you have as much fun reading the list as we had compiling it.

Please enjoy this small distraction and join me in this issue as we revel in the best of and the tops of Acadiana.

note de l’editeur

Melanie Warner Spencer, Managing Editor
(504) 830-7239 |