Haute Plates

Bellegarde Brioche

  Bellegarde Bakery came on the scene recently as these things are measured in New Orleans. Graison Gill started it in 2013, making uncompromising loaves of bread from freshly milled flour and grains. Gill comes off to some as a…

Pizza and Politics

When I was a much younger man I had what the kids used to call “hops,” and though half-blind I could shoot once in a while too. I was never very good, but I played basketball every day in college…

Dumplings

  I have been cooking dumplings today in the hope that I can share them with a friend who has had a health setback. The dumplings in question are of the Chinese variety, and because I am not sure how…

Luvi Reconsidered

  I was enamored of Luvi, the restaurant Chef Hao Gong opened on Tchoupitoulas Street a few years ago, but I wasn’t entirely sure it would survive. The place is not exactly on the beaten path and I had my…

Boucherie Still Has It

  I was, for a time, as regular a customer of Boucherie as anyone. I think I ate there at least twice a month for a few years. I loved the place and I love the folks behind it. I…

The Spanish Main

  New Orleans should have more Spanish restaurants. New Orleans was a Spanish town before the French arrived to change the street names and – to their credit – give us the civilian legal system. France obviously had an impact…

Authenticity Is Overrated

  Some years ago I would have said that authenticity in reproducing national or regional cuisines was very important. Now I think it’s overrated. This is akin to other changes in my life over the last decade or so that…

Top Ten Lists

  Bon Appétit magazine has released its annual list of the 10 best new restaurants in the country, and there is a New Orleans restaurant on the list. It is the Elysian Bar, and I want to make very certain that…

Revisiting An Old Haunt

  I am biased in favor of Café Degas for several reasons, none of which include the fact that – disclosure – I wrote the introduction to their cookbook a number of years ago. The truth is that I love…

Cooking for Particular Diets

I have gone through my life as a very thin fellow. I have what the medical profession calls a “nervous stomach,” which without going into a great detail means that I don’t gain a lot of weight despite what I…

Revisiting Tiger Bakery

  I wrote about Tiger Bakery for publication in the August edition of New Orleans Magazine, but due to the space limitations inherent in print publications, I did not have a chance to cover it in any detail. I’ve been…

Whose Chicken Sandwich Reigns Supreme?

  The headline is a fakeout, kids, because I will admit to you that I do not care which of the fast food restaurants has the best chicken sandwich. None of them have the “best” chicken sandwich but I’m sure…

Beignets and Beets

  I am a sucker for fried things, particularly fried things that combine sweet and savory flavors. It will come as no surprise therefore that I am a fan of beignets. I have fond memories of eating them with my…

What A Week!

Item: I am very happy that I have knives that take a sharp edge and the tools to keep them that way right up until I slice off the tip of a finger or, in this case, a thumb. Bad…

A Cookbook of Merit

  I dig Tenney Flynn and I’ve made no effort to hide the fact. GW Fins is the best restaurant in New Orleans for inventively prepared seafood and one of the places I go to celebrate special occasions. Flynn is…

A Closing on Banks Street

  Echo’s Pizza is closing, according to Ian McNulty of the Times Picayune/Advocate, who wrote a typically well-reported piece earlier this week. When I heard the news, my first thought was about the beautiful wood-burning oven, which is indeed beautiful…

Restaurants and Criticism

  I was reminded the other day that Piece of Meat was named one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country by Food & Wine.  That was awesome for the folks behind Piece of Meat, which is a place…

A Shake Shack Comes to Metairie

  A Shake Shack comes to Metairie; The sign is there already. It replaces an ersatz English pub With fancy burger patties. One hundred per cent Angus beef! No hormones to be found. The cows that give their life for…

Auld Lang Syne

  My wife sent me a link to a Times-Picayune story featuring photographs of 48 New Orleans restaurants that have closed. The piece, by Todd Price, brought back a lot of memories for me, even if I only remember visiting…

Foreign Shrimp and Crawfish

  This is not an opinion piece about the wisdom of imposing tariffs on goods imported from abroad. That is not because I have no opinion, rather it is beyond the remit of this column. Also I am not very…

Corn, and other foods native to the Americas

  I remember when I first learned that chile peppers, tomatoes and chocolate were native to the Americas. I was shocked that ingredients I so closely associated with European and Asian cuisines only reached those places in the centuries after…

Fried Chicken

  It is said that there is no better fried chicken than that served at Popeye’s. This is a thing said by many chefs and while it is not true, it is nearly so. If you are looking to purchase…

New Restaurant Ideas

  In the last several years we’ve seen a variety of restaurants open in New Orleans. There are places that serve raw or raw-adjacent fish; places that serve ironic ethnic food; places that serve sandwiches and of course places that…

Chickpea Flour is HUGE

  Apparently chickpea flour, or more accurately things made from it, are huge in the U.S. now. This was an observation I read in an article at NPR’s website devoted to food issues, The Salt. The article I read was written…

Haute Plates

A weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles AvenueLouisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.