Pursuing a PhD in history may not be the usual path to opening a cidery, but fortunately for Jonathan Moore and his wife Diana Powell, it was a path that was also strewn in craft beer and cider. In 2010, Moore moved to New Orleans after being accepted to the PhD program at Tulane University. While researching his doctorate, Moore traveled with Powell to the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand (among other destinations) where they not only furthered their love of craft beer, they also developed a taste for hard cider. “We wanted to stay here and I have a few skills, but I don’t do well in office jobs,” Moore admitted with a laugh. “The cidery came about when we decided to make our own jobs.”
Moore had already been home-brewing for several years, but he made the transition from beer to cider-making in New Orleans. Not only is it less labor-intensive, it’s not as temperature-dependent, nor does it need as much quality water to make a great batch of cider. “The juice is more expensive than grain, but it’s a lot less time consuming” says Moore. “My fermenting day … what takes every 8 hours of brewing, takes me about an hour of making cider.” In addition to learning the fermentation process on his own, Moore took a week-long cider-making and cider-startup course at Oregon State University a year before opening Broad Street Cider & Ale in Central City.
When I moved from the Carrollton neighborhood and back to the Garden District three years ago, there was a house just a few doors down that had been almost wholly razed except for the foundation. As the months passed, construction began, and after a year or so, it almost looked as if it had always been there. They designed the new house (at least the exterior) to look practically identical to the 1830s-era home they tore down.
Ages ago, when my income was a tad more disposable, I had a bit of a thing for salt and pepper shakers. I admired many sets but bought only a select few, and after a while, I had a mini-collection, approximately ten sets, of which I was rather proud.
Though some might believe it makes me a terrible food writer, I’m notoriously bad at patronizing pop-ups. I’ll mark them on my Google calendar, get all excited about trying new dishes from daring young chefs eking their way towards their own brick & mortar. Then almost inevitably, something will prevent me from attending … IE. illness, car trouble, money issues, a heated argument with my SO, my lazy ass … you get the idea.
When the Spanish-inspired Costera Restaurant & Bar opened in the Prytania Street building that formerly housed La Thai, I was easily one of the first to try it. My zealousness was not due to the type of restaurant nor was I overly anxious to see what Brian Burns, formerly chef de cuisine at Peche, had in store (well, in all honesty, I was actually a little excited about that). But what really pulled me in there, no joke, was the fact that Costera was an Uptown spot that was open all day long.
Opened a little over two years ago, DTB or “Down the Bayou” is a restaurant in the Carrollton neighborhood described as offering “reinterpreted coastal Cajun cuisine.” Created by talented local chef Carl Schaubhut and run by his chef de cuisine John Hill, this intriguing, corner restaurant has been going strong, enticing diners with their dishes of fried cornbread with ham hock marmalade and goat cheese mousse, LA-1 Gumbo with blue crab and collard greens, and blackened redfish with succotash risotto.
As anyone who has followed my blogs knows, I have always had a weight problem. For reasons I’d rather not delve into as of yet (someday), I’ve used food for comfort since I was 9 or 10-years-old. People have many forms of escape to dull the pain of living, from drugs and alcohol to athletics or a well-worn book. For me it was mostly food. Sure, I dabbled in drugs during my youth, but stints with LSD and cocaine were more about fitting in, having fun and expanding my mind as opposed to easing the aches and pains of reality. For me, food was the ultimate safety net, the bastion of comfort and pleasure, the hole I would crawl into so frequently, that it’s taken all my life to finally emerge from its dangerous embrace.
Throughout my 45+ years on this planet, I’ve seen some pretty amazing natural phenomenon. While walking with my mom on Sawyer Camp Trail in San Mateo, we encountered a large buck standing on a hill staring down at us and as we glanced up, the sun just happened to be setting perfectly in between its antlers. Another time, while I was on a 6th grade camping trip, we discovered a large meadow of white wildflowers in the middle of the forest and when one of my classmates stepped into it, clouds of ladybugs burst from seemingly nowhere and many of them lit upon us … covering us all in red and black. Finally, at one of the many late night beach parties I attended in Half Moon Bay, we were shocked to find our footprints were glowing. Every time we stepped in the wet sand, green sparks would shine and then fade before our disbelieving eyes. We later discovered that a tiny, single-celled marine animal called “noctiluca” will often wash up onto the shore and when it’s disturbed, it emits a bio luminescence or those eerie green sparkles that glowed in our wet footprints.
When Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar opened about seven years ago in the old Copeland’s building, I was one of the first to check it out. I loved their Frozen Pomegranate Mojitos, BBQ shrimp, raw Gulf oysters, warm French bread and Shrimp Louie Salad. Over the years, I’ve dined there many times and usually with good results.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You know all of these fabulous amateur food pictures I post? Well, my endlessly talented and artistic boyfriend is responsible for approximately half of them.
When we go out to eat and the food arrives, I will take a bunch of pictures and then John will, or vice versa. Sometimes his are better and sometimes mine are. Sometimes we compete to see who can get the best shot and sometimes, to be perfectly honest, we are simply far too hungry to care.