I’m Jennifer White, author of the blog Food Orleans, teacher of children, collector of cookbooks, eater of foods. I’m also a recipe developer, a musician, and a poet. Also I used to be a karaoke demo singer in another life.
I moved to New Orleans in 2008 with my husband Paul after we finished grad school in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I set up Food Orleans as soon as we had internet service, so I’d have a place to write about restaurants, home cooking, festivals, and traditions in the food capitol of my heart.
If there’s anything you’d like to see here–a particular restaurant, a certain recipe, photos of a street you used to live on, etc.–please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always looking for new writing opportunities, so feel free to contact me about those as well.
Want Music Lessons?
I have a degree in Voice from the University of Oklahoma and have been teaching voice and piano to all ages since 2000. I teach on the East Bank at the River Ridge Campus of Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts, and on the West Bank at Creative Dance & Music Studio.
Something I just have to tell you
is that Paul and I got married in 2013 at Jazz Fest in the Gospel Tent. This is a thing you can do and you totally should!
I’m a self-taught home cook with no restaurant experience other than waiting tables for two weeks before I started college. Let’s just say I broke a few too many dishes. I’ve been cooking for myself and my family since 1991, the year I got my first apartment, and I have made some awful food. But that mostly happened in the first few years, and I’ve gotten much better since then. I picked up some tips from my grandmothers, my mom and aunts and sister, and Paul and his family along the way.
My food philosophy is learn to cook what you love to eat. This might mean I have to get my hands dirty or hunt for strange ingredients, or tend to a big pot of beans or gumbo for several hours, but I’ll also be able to eat great meals at home without relying on other people to cook them for me. I believe in using whole, fresh ingredients wherever possible, but I do use processed ingredients when they bring convenience without sacrificing quality–for instance, canned coconut milk, chicken stock in a carton, or preblended curry paste. I use these things and more.
I tend to cook BIG on the weekends and small on weeknights. On the weekends I’ll make big pots of things that take hours, pack them up for the freezer, and leave some in the fridge to use through the week. A couple nights per week I’ll make something smaller and fresher, like a sauteed piece of fish or a steak. This works for us and causes a minimal amount of food waste.
Favorite casual restaurants in New Orleans
As of July 2015, my favorite casual-meal places to go are MoPho; Willie Mae’s Scotch House; Butcher, Felix’s, or Stanley if I’m going downtown or to the Quarter; The Company Burger or Casamento’s if I’m headed uptown; or Babylon Cafe, Pho Bistreaux, or Boucherie if I’m going to the Riverbend.
Best places for dessert
Sucré, Angelo Brocato’s, and Creole Creamery.
My favorite po-boys in the city
Shrimp and catfish combo at Parkway Bakery; Fried oyster and shrimp combo at Crabby Jack’s; Roast lamb with gravy at Milk Bar.
Best brunch spots
Stanley, Dante’s Kitchen, Coquette, Johnny Sanchez, Patois, Mother’s, Cafe Degas, Ralph’s on the Park.
Best over-the-top special occasion restaurants
Commander’s Palace, August, Antoine’s, Galatoire’s.
Best WAY-over-the-top dining experience in New Orleans
Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla! But salted dark (70%) chocolate is really growing on me these days. I like Lindt, Ghirardelli, and Green & Black’s.