“Unique Eats and Eateries of New Orleans” by Elizabeth M. Williams, Reedy Press, 198 pages, paperback, $20.95
“The New Orleans Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Crescent City” by Lorin Gaudin, Globe Pequot, 148 pages, hardcover, $27.95
Two New Orleans authors take a look at the Crescent City's myriad diverse restaurants in books published in time for holiday gift-giving.
Elizabeth M. “Liz” Williams, founder, president and CEO of the National Food & Beverage Foundation, which includes the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, offers the stories behind “Unique Eats and Eateries of New Orleans.” In her book, she introduces readers to 86 mom-and-pop corner diners, po-boy shops and old-line restaurants from the eclectic Jacques-Imo’s to Parkway Bakery and Tavern.
There are no recipes in Williams’ book. Instead, she provides a bit of history about each establishment and describes its menu. She also gives its location by neighborhood and contact information. The book is illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs.
“Whether eating at a diner or eating at a white tablecloth restaurant, the taste of New Orleans is an entré into the identity of the city,” Williams writes.
However, the volatile nature of the restaurant business also means that even the newest book might mention places that have closed their doors and Williams’ book is no exception. At least three of the eateries she mentions are no more.
That problem is why Lorin Gaudin has written a new edition of her 2013 book, “New Orleans Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the French Quarter to the Garden District.” Some 40% of the latest book, “The New Orleans Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Crescent City,” provides new material and recipes.
The book, illustrated with full-color photographs by Romney Caruso, includes information about 46 New Orleans chefs and restaurants, along with one or two recipes from each establishment.