If the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival had a Mayor, Vance Vaucresson could be a serious contender.
Even when he's behind his family's sausage po-boy tent, tucked under a New Orleans Saints ball cap and wearing sunglasses, five minutes don't go by without someone stopping by to say hello to him.
"It's like a reunion around here," Vaucresson said between visits. "We're a family, all the vendors."
He shakes a lot of hands, and says a lot of hellos.
"He's just a super friendly, personable guy," festival food director Michelle Nugent said.
Cara Reedy is an Executive Assistant at CNN. She previously wrote for Eatocracy on being a small cook in a big kitchen, St. Louis' Provel cheese and her family's soul food traditions. She caveats that doubles aren't pretty (as pictured above) but they sure are delicious.
The Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn has been home to a vibrant Caribbean and African American community since the great migration of the twentieth century. African American people moved to northern states to escape the racial segregation of Jim Crow laws, while at the same time Caribbean people moved to New York for better employment opportunities. The slow Southern charm mixed with the warmth of the Caribbean people make it a neighborhood unlike any other.
When I arrived five years ago, I was a Caribbean food novice. I soon caught up and caught on to the wonderful flavors. My favorite discovery is doubles, a Trinidadian street food that is a Bed Stuy breakfast tradition.
Despite its plural name, a double is a singular sandwich made of two pieces of fried bread (bara) filled with curried chickpea stew (channa) and then topped with tamarind chutney, kuchela (chutney made of green mangoes) and pepper (a vinegary sauce made from scotch bonnet peppers).
Food in the Field gives a sneak peek into what CNN's team is eating, and the food culture they encounter as they travel the globe. Today's contributor is CNN photojournalist Ken Tuohey.
I was just 10 years old when my dad was accepted to the University of Nebraska to complete his Masters degree. I didn’t want to leave the sunny beaches of Southern California, but as a kid, moving halfway across the country sounded exciting. I know better now.
I vividly remember driving through the seemingly endless cornfields, wading thru the city streets with snow up to my waist as we walked to an evening matinee and the fanatical “Big Red” fans who made the town of Lincoln look as if the apocalypse had whenever a football game was in town.
And there was one other thing: the runza.
It’s a delicious hot pastry, filled with ground beef, onions, and cabbage, and was brought by German-Russian immigrants to the United States. It’s a close cousin to the Kansas favorite, the bierock, and it’s m-m-mmm good.
If you make your way to St. Louis, Missouri, any time soon, ask a local to show you one of their barbecue specialties: snoots. In both editions of the classic guidebook Real Barbecue (1988 and 2007), authors Greg Johnson and Vince Staten put it this way: "First we'd better deal with 'snoots.' Snoots are part of the soul-food barbecue scene in St. Louis that will stare at you at the C & K, as well as any number of other places in town and across the river in East St. Louis. Snoots are deep-fried pig noses."
At Smoki O's, another St. Louis barbecue joint, they smoke their snoots for a couple of hours instead of frying them. Whether boiled, fried, or smoked, snoots get doused with barbecue sauce and are meant to be eaten right away.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
You know the drill. You’re on line at Starbucks, you order a mocha cookie crumble frappuccino from the barista, give him or her your name and wait impatiently for it to be called out so you can grab the last available armchair.
Andreas Preuss is a Supervising Producer at CNN. He's based in Atlanta, but New Orleans is his happy place.
For the next two weekends, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is ground zero for music lovers, food enthusiasts and anyone who wants to soak up the culture of South Louisiana. There's a lot to offer on all these fronts. For me, as a native New Orleanian, it's the best two weekends on earth.
You really can't go wrong at the Jazz Fest; there are food booths setup in strategic locations around the site at the New Orleans Fairgrounds. Locals know how to navigate the field and for visitors it's a bit of delicious hide and seek.
One of the best ways to meet and eat is by sitting with some fellow festival goers. There are small tables set up around the food booths – and they can quickly become a sort of buffet of what people are eating. You hear a lot of "What's that?" and "Where did you find it?" and the inevitable "Wanna try a bite?" I tend to be nomadic in my Jazz Fest feasting. And just like exploring the city itself, there's a new food adventure around every corner.
Matt Sloane is a CNN Medical producer. He seeks to rid the world of sub-par cheesesteaks.
As a Philly-area native, nothing offends me more than a bad cheesesteak - and there are a lot of bad cheesesteaks out there. So, having been a connoisseur for almost 30 years, I've learned a thing or two about what makes them amazing.
Let me be clear about something: there are steak and cheese sandwiches, and there are cheesesteaks. They are not the same thing.
Restaurants, take notice. If you call it a cheesesteak, it had better be greasy, cheesy, and chopped up. If there are chunks of steak, brie, or horseradish sauce, it's a steak and cheese sandwich.
So, what's the magic recipe for a perfect Philly cheesesteak? In this case, less is more. A good cheesesteak should consist of only three main components: the bread, the steak and the cheese. If you want to put fried onions on it, I'll give you a pass, but I personally am a purist.
Romney, Bachmann, Santorum and the rest of the '12 class of G.O.P. hopefuls (along with the attendant hordes of media folk) have descended upon Iowa to make pals with the caucusing public over pork products and pancakes. A diner is a fine place for these aspiring candidates to chow down with the hoi polloi, but if they really wanted to show the locals that they're not just flying by, they'd have made right for a Maid-Rite.
Since 1926, Iowans have been feasting on the the iconic "loose meat" sandwich, invented by Muscatine, Iowa butcher Fred Angell. Angell began franchising the idea throughout the Hawkeye State under the name "Maid-Rite" after a delivery man he'd drafted to taste his creation purportedly said, "You know, Fred, this sandwich is just made right."
The owner of a south Philadelphia cheesesteak shop who once instructed customers to order only in English has died, according to to relatives.
Joey Vento had a heart attack at home and died Tuesday on the way to the hospital, said Joseph Perno, his nephew and manager of the shop.
"Things are a little somber tonight," Perno told CNN affiliate KYW behind the grill at Geno's. "But he's in our hearts."
Vento founded Geno's in 1966 in Philadelphia, where it sits across the street from another cheesesteak shop, Pat's King of Steaks.
Previously - Get your Philly cheesesteak on – in Bahrain