On this week’s installment of the NOLADrinks Show, we highlight a very special event – the Runaway Boucherie in Louisiana’s Acadiana region. We cover this private event for the culinary community, which took place the previous weekend, in “Cajun Country,” sponsored by the non-profit, Runaway Dish. We also talk about International Sherry Week, taking place now, as well as the upcoming weekend’s Vineaux on Da Bayou wine tasting happening in the Mid-City area of New Orleans sponsored by Pearl Wine Co.
NOLADrinks – Runaway Boucherie
Runaway Boucherie took place at a camp in the town of Grand Coteau, which is just north of Lafayette. The event was a celebration of food, drink, and traditional Cajun culture put on by the organization, Runaway Dish. Members of the culinary community from Southeast Louisiana and well-beyond gathered for two-and-a-half days of shared meals, pop-up bars, discussion, butchering and cooking demonstrations, music, and fun! We interview many connected to and attending this fascinating and rewarding event on the show…
First off, we chat with Abigail Gallo, head bartender at New Orleans’ Compère Lapin restaurant and bar, along with Candace Frosh of Cathead Vodka and Distillery, a local distiller located in Mississippi. We talk about Cathead’s contribution of products to the event as well as Abigail’s utilization of those spirits and other things she used to put on a happy hour there.
Next, Isaiah Estell, beverage director of Cavan, another New Orleans restaurant located Uptown, and Ruby Bloch, pastry chef for the LeBlanc+Smith Restaurant Group, of which Cavan is a part, stop-by. Both are first-time attendees and we chat about their excitement and experiences there thus far (this interview was from the first full-day in the morning.)
Gary Granata of Slow Food New Orleans then chats with us about his views on Runaway Boucherie, about the Slow Food movement, and how they tie-in together. He also lets us know about an upcoming event in New Orleans taking place this December.
From there, Toby Rodriguez of Lâche Pas Boucherie et Cuisine and also head of boucherie at the event joins the show. We talk about the traditional butchering methods and philosophies on display at Runaway Boucherie, the emotional nature of these things, and the importance of connecting with our food.
Founder of the new sea salt company, Cellar Salt Co., Jeremy Conner chats with us about his chef background, participating in some of the boucherie at the event, and his company. We chat about how they are making a finishing salt made from water from the Gulf of Mexico and how they go about it.
Closing out the interviews, Roddie Romero joins Bryan. Roddie is one of the organizers of the event as well as being a Grammy-nominated musician as the leader of Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars. We talk about how the event brings together various elements of traditional Cajun culture including music, which he organized for Runaway Boucherie. We discuss the performances of the Lost Bayou Ramblers and Roddie’s nephew Billy McDonald’s band, Zydeco Radio, and the changing landscape and evolution of the region’s music. We also chat about how the event featured spontaneous jams taking place throughout.
The show closes with a discussion of the importance of Runaway Boucherie and some conclusions. We also chat about our visit to Acadiana in a broader sense.
Cheers, You All!
Please note – a couple of the interviews were slightly shortened for the radio broadcast. They are presented in their entirety here on the podcast. Erratum – in the final segment, when discussing grocery and fast food and the treatment of animals, it should have been said, “the former,” referring to fast food.
Below the map, which highlights some of the locations featured in the show, you will find the podcast. You can stream, download, and subscribe to NOLADrinks!