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Now I Know What It Means....


....to miss New Orleans. Finally.

I've avoided New Orleans the way I avoid big parties on New Year's Eve and dancing at day weddings. I'm a carefree and exciting kind of fellow but when the expectation and obligation of "good times" stares me in the face, I avoid it. This was my assumption about New Orleans, almost that is was required that you have the time of your life. And of course I was wrong. New Orleans is a beautiful, gracious city and you can get blotto every night or you can just slowly relish its unique charm or maybe even a combination of both.

Beignet and cafe au lait at the Cafe du Monde. Both were as good as they look.

I was in town to speak at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) convention. I was on a panel with seminal blogger (and longtime Ferry Plaza market fixture) Pim and Judith Klinger of Aroma Cucina. Judith did a great job as moderator, covering as many bases as possible and asking intelligent questions that were easy to answer. Pim has been blogging as long as anyone and it was interesting hearing her perspective on the nuts and bolts of blogging. I was there to offer a more commercial or agenda-driven outlook on blogging. All in all, it was a great afternoon and I'm thankful and flattered the IACP asked me to be involved. And really, meeting Judith after knowing her online for years was one of the highlights of the whole trip for me. You should bookmark her site.

I've always told my two boys (now ages 6 and 9) that they had a sister but she was a monkey and ran away because they were so mean to her. I know, therapy is guaranteed, but it's now a standard family joke. I sent them this photo via my Blackberry and told them I had found her again but that she'd split for Atlanta when she heard I was in town.

You almost wouldn't believe the stellar cast of food industry personalities that were there. I'm not going to name drop but I will say I was humbled and like a kid with an autograph book meeting some of my culinary heroes. The programs I attended were smart and informative and I hope I can attend wherever the convention is next year.

Powdered sugar dust on the floor of Cafe du Monde.

I was only in town for three days so I had the most superficial trip imaginable but there's no way I won't go back.

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