The Abita Brewing Company has released Abita Beer: Cooking Louisiana True a cookbook featuring recipes in which one of the dozen or so Abita beers stars as an ingredient. The book includes dishes submitted by an all-star cast of local chefs, including Paul Prudhomme, Susan Spicer, Emeril Lagasse, Poppy Tooker and John Folse.

Each recipes is also paired with one of Abita’s beers. In addition to brewing dozens of distinctive beers, Abita regularly holds “beer dinners” at restaurants throughout Louisiana.

Food blogs haven’t really caught on in New Orleans as they have in some other cities, but a couple of relatively new Web sites may just change that: Blackened Out (, pictured below) is authored by two local attorneys and it’s an irreverent look at food and dining with a largely local perspective. Apart from one other foodblog authored by a local attorney with which I am familiar (i.e. my own), it’s the best local foodblog authored by local attorneys in the city. If you enjoy food, and have a sense of humor, it’s a great read.

Although handicapped by its lack of attorney-involvement, Bouillie ( is the kind of first-class foodblog that we should have more of in South Louisiana. It is the work of Celeste Uzee who, among other things, teaches Food & Culture in Louisiana, a class offered through Tulane’s School of Continuing Studies that’s open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED. Bouillie brings the food of Southwest Louisiana to the table in addition to covering Creole cooking.

Chef Glen Hogh, who owns and has operated Vega Tapas Cafe in Metairie, has re-opened Cafe Sbisa (1011 Decatur St.,, putting one of New Orleans’ oldest restaurants back into commerce. The menu reflects Hogh’s more adventurous take on New Orleans food. Instead, look for dishes such as Stuffed Eggplant with Confit of Duck, and Foie Bechamel, (which replaces the butter in the sauce with melted foie gras), Creamy Brie and Basil Pesto or Steamed Mussels in White Wine Butter, Capers, Shallots and Fresh Dill with Pommes Frites.

Hogh has hired Will Sampson as the executive sous chef. The restaurant is open for dinner only at the moment, but Hogh has plans for Friday and Saturday lunch and Sunday Brunch.

On Sunday, Dec. 14, Chef Tom Wolfe is planning an Iron Chef-style competition at his recently re-named (formerly Peristyle) Wolfe’s of New Orleans (1041 Dumaine St.). The event will last from noon until 7 p.m., and includes cooking competitions for teams of three amateurs as well as professional chefs. Brian Landry of Galatoire’s and Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery have signed on to compete in the professional category, and Bob Iacovone of Cuvee, Matt Murphy of the Ritz and Kendall Gensler (of numerous culinary publications) are set to judge. The event is going to be all-ages, with face painting and instruction in cookie-making for the kids.

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