Thank you for such a warm welcome! When my column debuted in The Advocate last month, I was surprised and grateful to get so many nice comments and emails from readers. Thank you for sharing your ideas, cooking tips and recipes. I appreciate them all.

Pamela Lakvold even sent photos of her mother, Marie Cambre Kinler, with two of the dishes from my first column.

"We spent a wonderful Sunday experimenting with your recipes," Pamela wrote. "We look forward to many more recipes.”

“Dear Ms. Walker … I have cherished copies of many recipes, having been born and raised in Baton Rouge with parents, aunts and uncles contributing to the gumbos of my life. Good luck and again welcome!” wrote Edna Bonanno Bowles.

Michelle M. Bass sent an email with “Hallelujah” in the subject line, and wrote, “Today I was absolutely blown away to see your face and byline in The Advocate!”

My recipe for Shrimp and Butterbeans (or lima beans) prompted her to write, “Lima beans are one of my favorites. … I often doctor up Trappey’s canned beans with onions, garlic and either more bacon or tasso for a side dish. Occasionally, I make a pot of fresh butter beans using a Chisesi’s ham shank.”

Gretchen Kantrow said she hopes I will devote a lot of attention to traditional Louisiana foods and thought the recipes I shared were a great start.

“As we all know, our cuisine is a tremendous part of our culture in south Louisiana. It needs nurturing for younger people who may not be so familiar.”

Judy Walker, Roux Believer: Recipes for 'The Best' Stuffed Bell Peppers; Vegetable Soup with Smoked Sausage

Gretchen, I so agree about our cuisine’s importance in our culture. My mandate is to write about and share recipes from south Louisiana cooks. I love all the voices here in this part of our beloved state, and I hope to find interesting ones of all types to share. Some will be traditional, some less so.

Here’s the first one shared with me. Thanks go to Cheryl Litwin, who wrote, “Glad to read you’ll be doing columns in The Advocate. … Like nearly everyone in NOLA, I lost all my favorite recipes in Katrina. Such a loss, especially for those hand-written by my grandmother, etc. Fortunately have been able to replace most of those," she said, because her mom had them.

“That loss left such a wound that I began collecting only THE BEST recipes again to be passed down to my kids. Included are those of The Advocate and other local papers. In fact, I made a double batch of stuffed peppers yesterday via a superb Advocate recipe from the past. Love that you don’t have to precook the peppers.”

Cheryl suggested that readers send to me what they consider to be THE BEST recipes they have. I would love this! Thank you for the idea. Contact me any time via Please send THE BEST recipes to share. Please include a phone number in case I need to call you.

Send THE BEST recipes and correspondence to Judy Walker at with “Roux Believer” in the subject line. Please include a phone number.