Side Dish

The Best Reasons to go to Clancy's This Weekend

  My sister, Beth, has been going through a really rough time lately, dealing with even more uncertainty and upset than the rest of us while also dealing with the same uncertainty and upset the rest of us continue to…

The Best Reasons to Spend a Weekend in Old Mandeville

  Western St. Tammany Parish was first settled by Choctaw, Tchefuncte, Acolapissa and Houma Indian tribes, which were drawn to the northern shores of Lake Pontchartrain for the area's dense oxygen-rich pine forests, abundant natural beauty, and "curative" spring waters.…

The Best Places for a Socially Distant Good Time

  I am going to go out on a limb and assume everyone reading this is OVER IT. Over feeling anxious, over the terms "socially distant" and "social distancing," over feeling guilty about mail carriers and delivery drivers, over your…

Cross the Pond for a Visit to Abita Springs

  On so many occasions throughout this lockdown I have felt immense gratitude for the home and garden I love, in a neighborhood I love, in a city I love. Things could be so much worse for me. Despite my…

The Best of Oak Street

  My maternal grandmother, Cecilia Fletchinger, born in 1908, hailed from a large German-Irish Catholic family that lived in the building that now houses Camellia Grill on Carrollton Avenue in the Riverbend area. She attended Matter Dolorosa School and she…

The Best Options for Delivery and Takeout This Week

  I am weeks behind the rest of the country in zealously cleaning out and organizing my pantry, closets and cupboards and scrubbing down every surface with sanitizer until it gleams but that is pretty much where I am this…

Disaster May Save Us

  Disaster can illuminate how we are connected and how we rely on one another. This is what is happening in my life, my relationships, and in my Uptown neighborhood near Magazine Street and Jefferson Avenue. By day the streets…

The Best Meatless Specials to Try for Lent

  For Catholics, the practice of forgoing the consumption of meat during Lent (Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday) has its roots in the early days of the church and the Black Fast, when the righteous were expected to partake of…

The Best Places to Find Real Crawfish Bisque

  In 1957 a feature in Holiday magazine described ladies dining on bowls of crawfish bisque Galatoire's. The article was already a relic by the time I read it years ago but it stuck for its description of the women…

The Best Places to Seek Shelter During Mardi Gras

  Few things are more valuable than a friend with a home and a working bathroom on a parade route. Hell, even a parade-side portable toilet with crowds bumping into its side and water sloshing about can be a blessing…

The Best Things to Do at The Higgins Hotel

My late father, Andrew Ernest Benson, Jr., was born in May of 1929. He was a war history buff, particularly when it came to WWII, which dominated his New Orleans childhood. For years I have gone to Parkway Bakery when…

The Best Fun Things Going on This Week

New Orleans became home to many thousands of Vietnamese people following the fall of Saigon in the early 1970s. This weekend, the Vietnamese community celebrates the annual free, family-friendly Tet Fest at Mary Queen of Vietnam Church (14001 Dwyer Blvd.)…

The Best New Things to Try This Weekend

  A voyeur, I like to people watch. One of my top spots for doing so is the deep, gracious balcony off of the second floor of the triangular-shaped building that houses Gris Gris (1800 Magazine St., 272-024, grisgrisnola.com). Over…

The Best King Cake Creations to Try this Weekend

  We are most assuredly in the Season of the King Cake. They are seemingly everywhere. Throughout Carnival Season, both Cochon Butcher (930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588.7675, cochonbutcher.com) and La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine St, 269.3777, laboulangerienola.com) will offer King Cakes ranging…

Side Dish

about

Perhaps the only child in Louisiana history to be born to a mother with absolutely no culinary skills at all, Jyl Benson began cooking in self defense at the age of six. She is 13 years younger than her closest sibling so her parents were tired and paid little attention as she use the household kitchen as per personal laboratory, sometimes with disastrous outcomes. Her skills have improved greatly over the years and kitchen fires are a thing of the past.

She began her editorial career in 1990 with The Times Picayune and served as a regional reporter covering the southeastern United States for both The New York Times and Time magazine. She wrote "Galatoire's Cookbook: Recipes & Family History from the Time-Honored New Orleans Restaurant" (Random House 2005) as well as several cultural, historical, and architectural guides to New Orleans. She served as editor-in-chief of Louisiana Cookin’ magazine from 2009 to 2011 and founded Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine in 2012.  In addition to serving as the Director of Culinary Programming for the Southern Food & Beverage Museum/National Food & Beverage Foundation she is a dining columnist for St. Charles Avenue, Acadiana Profile and Louisiana Life magazines, a frequent contributor to New Orleans Magazine, and the author of "Fun Funky, Fabulous: New Orleans Casual Restaurant Recipes" (2015, Pelican Publishing andLouisiana's Tables (2017, Savory House Press).