The Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans is such an awesome attraction!
This was actually the second time Steve and I visited the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. The first time was years ago and it was in a hard to find, much smaller space on the riverfront. Since then they have moved to a fabulous space at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. that is shared with Toups South. To read about another of Isaac Toups’ restaurants go here. SoFAB, as it’s known, is focused on the discovery, understanding, and celebration of the food and drink culture of the South. Though it is based in New Orleans, SoFAB examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. In addition to amassing a huge collection of culinary memorabilia, they host cooking classes and special events.
Steve and I were fortunate to have been hosted by SoFAB to our admission and to the Creole Cooking Class and Lunch that was taught by Jyl Benson who is the Director of Culinary Programming at the museum. We started off with a flavorful plate of Smothered Okra and Tomatoes. And while we enjoyed our appetizer Jyl filled us in on some cool tidbits about how Creole cooking and how cooks used bits and pieces of leftovers to create dishes like jambalaya. It was a great segue into learning how to prepare our entrée of Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya. She also enthusiastically told us about Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse in Laplace, Louisiana, where they make the very best andouille sausage. So, of course, we had to take the short drive to Laplace the next day and buy andouille, tasso ham, caramelized onion sausage, and smoked boudin with rice! It is a good thing we came prepared with freezer packs and cooler. But don’t worry, they also ship, so you can buy online.
While Jyl continued to prepare our Jambalaya another woman gave a tour of the museum. We learned that the museum was now on the property that originally housed the French Market, and they tried to keep the feel of the original market stalls when displaying the many, many culinary relics of a bygone era. Did you know that pigs and chickens were not native to the new world? They were brought here by Spain. I will have to remember that for a night of Trivial Pursuit.
Once we returned to the culinary classroom we were served a very delicious jambalaya which we ate while we were shown how to make Bananas Foster. Our three-course lunch culminated with our devouring the Bananas Foster over Vanilla Ice Cream. The perfect ending to a quintessential Creole Lunch.
Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM Closed Tuesdays. Regular hours can be affected by public and private events so please check to see what we have scheduled!
- Adults: $10.50 per person Cooking classes are an additional charge
- Students (with ID), Military, and Seniors over 60: $5.25 per person
- Children Under 12 (with an adult): Free
Steve and I were graciously hosted by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum but the opinions are 100% our own.