Paper Chef, New Orleans, cooking dinner this weekend and the Red Cross

New Orleans is celebrated for many things. A special culture and community and feeling. Unique food. Unique music. Unique experiences. But it is also celebrated for celebrating! Right now there isn’t much time for that but you bet there will be as the water goes back down and rebuilding gets under way. And it is important not to forget what New Orleans was so that in the serious rebuilding ahead those special things also get rebuilt. So in the spirit of a unique place with unique food and its own unique style, it is time for Paper Chef to give a little back and given that New Orleans is one of the three cities most celebrated for food and cooking in the US, I am going to ask you all to please participate in the Paper Chef this weekend specifically INSTEAD of going out to dinner one night (or even two nights). Invite the special someone you’d go out with over for a Paper Chef dinner instead. And then donate the money you would have spent on dinner to the red cross for hurricane disaster relief. If you don’t live in the US, why not donate it for famine relief in Niger instead?
Since we are also celebrating the relaunch of Is My Blog Burning with a virtual party, we are keeping one of the ingredients as beer – and there’s nothing New Orleans likes better than a good party! But I am suspending our usual methodology and am going to pick and choose from the current nominated ingredients list to allow as much as possible for a New Orleans inspired dish. And I will give everyone a little more time to spread the news about this and get a recipe ready.
The current list is: Sausage, dried fruit, berries, eggplant, summer squash, star anise, shrimp, scallops, cherries, wasabi, tomatoes, pears, fresh coconut, something you get from a neighbour’s garden, walnuts, lavender, nut butter, tofu, parsnips, sweetcorn, duck and little fishes.

So we are going to have the following four required ingredients this time around…

Ingredient 1: Beer – for Is My Blog Burning and for New Orleans – Cheers! (if you are allergic or don’t drink alcohol, substitute any other celebratory liquid you like)

Ingredient 2: Sausage – nothing more Louisianan than that! (vegetarians – think of a sausage substitute!)

Ingredient 3: Shrimp – ok there IS something more Louisianan  than sausage! (vegetarians – again – substitute…)

Ingredient 4: Tomatoes.


  1. .
    owen! this is a wonderful way to do paper chef this weekend! thank you so much for being so thoughtful of our neighbors in the south!

  2. Great idea Owen. In addition to donating the savings of dining in versus out this weekend, for those inclined, prayers are also in order.

  3. This is a wonderful idea, Owen. This will be my first Paper Chef, and I’m honored to be participating in such a big-hearted one. Now, I’m going to investigate some New Orleans recipes, as a way of doing all this justice.

  4. Bravo, and thank you, Owen.

    I spent ten days in New Orleans, and it was fantastic. I hope my friends are safe, but have no way of knowing.

    P.S. There is no substitute for sausages. Heh.

  5. I was so excited about a dinner party that I’ve already served the appetizer (with beer, but not the rest of the ingredients!) to get us started!

    I’ll serve the main course on Monday…

    Alyce Mantia

  6. Owen, I’m in for my first Paper Chef.

    (I hadn’t seen this when I posted my Blog-For-Katrina entry on Thursday … you were ahead of me.)

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