Lolis Eric Elie is, as he puts it, a food writer from New Orleans who fell into television writing. Elie was the story editor for the HBO series Treme, in which New Orleanian food may as well have been a main character, and has written a cookbook of 100 recipes that weave the lives of fictional characters from Treme with the lives of real-life chefs. "I'm not certain that I had enough different and new to say about New Orleans food for an entire cookbook. But with this sort of fictional architecture on which to place my own ideas and place them in the mouths of these characters, I hoped to create a book that would be compelling: one of the best cookbooks about New Orleans." His book is Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans.”
For the first segment in our month-long Food on the Screen series, Elie shares tips for how to transport a television audience into a New Orleans kitchen and weighs in on how portrayals of food being prepared on TV are changing the way we view food. There are some great recipes in the book too -- start with the Paper-Skin Chicken with Rice Flour Waffles and the Pound Cake Paul Trevigne — and meticulously researched essays explaining how the po' boy was born and the differences between Cajun and Creole cuisine.
Music: "Black and Blue" by Kermit Ruffins