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The Boil Advisory, Issue #12
An interview with Glizzies by Poppa, and a question for you!
Week before last, Rémy and I hosted a couple folks for dinner, and one of them—a chef—posed a question for the table: Who in the community makes up the new guard of culinary leadership in this almost-post-pandemic era? For tourists and outsiders, New Orleans has often been defined by celebrity chefs and media food personalities, but many of those voices have been quiet (at least publicly) over the last year and a half, while many of our smaller food entrepreneurs have become more vocal about cooking for locals and about social issues like mutual aid and paying a livable wage.
We responded with a handful of names—a few of them likely recognizable to outsiders—but that question still swims in my head, and I’d love to hear what y’all have to say. What does “leadership” for the industry look like as we move forward?
(If you prefer to share anonymously, I’ve also set up a quick one-question form.)
This coming Saturday is Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the effective end of chattel slavery in the U.S. Admittedly, I haven’t known much about the holiday until recent years, despite the fact that it’s been celebrated in some form since 1865. Turns out that I’m not alone here, so I won’t pretend that I can offer any sort of education about the significance of the day or its connection to food, but Nicole Taylor can, and she has.
Locally, several events have been posted to Facebook by restaurants and small businesses, and NOCHI alum Erik Nunley will be taking over the culinary school’s Instagram account on Saturday, offering a personal view into celebrations throughout the city.
Pandemic Upstart: Glizzies by Poppa
I’m staying close to home this week, talking to a food entrepreneur who’s recently started popping up in Central City: Jimmy Robb.
Jimmy stands at Hayden Plaza—the neutral ground on M.L.K. at O.C. Haley—five days a week, grilling hotdogs and specialty sausages behind his pushcart, Glizzies by Poppa (he’s Poppa). A New Orleans native, he describes the area to me as “up and coming” while pointing to a house he grew up in less than half a block down M.L.K. The food he’s serving is simple fare, but the cart, shaded by a red and yellow umbrella, brings a large presence to a neighborhood with very few food options.
“The idea came last year,” Jimmy tells me. “I’m a butcher—I’ve been a butcher for Emeril [Lagasse] for the past 15 years.” Emeril’s restaurants are starting to reopen, but NOLA, where Jimmy worked before the pandemic, remains closed. He says he originally filed for a permit for his cart back in October, but wasn’t able to open until late this spring. “Slow process in the city,” he explains, wearing a constant smile.
I order the special—a gator glizzy—and ask if he’s making the sausages himself. “Pretty soon,” he answers. “That’s my goal: To be making my own ‘dogs and my own sausages.” He explains that his time at NOLA learning to cure bacon, break down whole animals, and make charcuterie has prepared him to do that as the business grows.
After his midday shift at the cart, Jimmy heads to Frankie & Johnny’s, where he works as a fry cook for fellow NOLA alum Dave McKelvey.
You can find Glizzies by Poppa in front of the M.L.K. memorial at Hayden Plaza—across the street from Southern Food and Beverage Museum—Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (sometimes later on Wednesdays).
Hat tip to Jason Goodenough (TBA Issue #4) for highlighting Jimmy and the new venture on his Instagram stories a few weeks back. Jason and Jimmy used to work together at NOLA.
Two weeks ago, we spoke with pitmaster James Cruse as he prepared to defend his title at Hogs for the Cause, an annual barbecue competition that raises funds for families battling pediatric brain cancer. This year’s event, combined with fundraising efforts during an eventless 2020, raised nearly $3,000,000.
I spent some time behind the scenes with team Hog Dat Nation and shared a few photos from the morning on TBA’s Instagram (click through for the full gallery).
I thought I’d had my fill of pork for a while, but John Haney, a Hog Dat Nation team member from Charleston, SC, who had provided one of his custom cookers for the competition, popped up at soon-to-open Mister Mao the following Monday.
What’s in the pot?
Nothing, y’all. We’re still full from all that barbecue, and I’m pretty sure it’s hot enough outside to cook a roux on the sidewalk. We’ve been spending some time away from the stove, save for some summer dishes I cooked + photographed this week for Blue Runner and a few recipes that Rémy’s had to test for an upcoming TikTok cookbook (yes it’s real, no she hasn’t been asked to test the baked feta).
A couple nights ago, I ate half a watermelon for dinner, then made the mistake of looking up a suggested serving size. LOL. It’s not a fruit that I crave often, but when I do—usually early in the season when summer heat really sinks in—I lose all self-control.
Yesterday was our last farm share from River Queen Greens for the season. We’ve been stockpiling the small kohlrabi from the last couple of pick-ups, and finally put them to use last night:
La Vie En Rose held a soft opening last weekend at the café’s soon-to-reopen space inside of Big Sexy Neon on O.C. Haley. Owner Kirby Jones says that she hopes to have new staff trained for a full opening as early as next week.
Martha Wiggins of Café Reconcile was presented with a gold medal during last weekend’s New Orleans Wine & Food Experience for her fried chicken sandwich, which featured a bun from Viola’s Heritage Breads (TBA Issue #3).
Saints running back Alvin Kamara is launching a cereal: Kamara’s King Crunch. Look for it on the shelves at Rouses in the fall.
Speaking of the Saints: French Quarter Festival organizers agreed to cancel Sunday plans this year to accommodate a home game against the New York Giants on October 3.
Hustler Club is offering signing bonuses—because Bourbon Street may be back, but the dancers aren’t.
Protesters, some armed, are gathering in the parking lot of Hank’s Supermarket, seeking justice for Corey Courtney Garrison, who was shot and killed by a store clerk last October.
Dirty Coast recently partnered with Comfy Stone to produce a film showing how crawfish are harvested at Teche Valley Seafood.
Several New Orleans city council members have introduced an ordinance to increase the required living wage for city contracts and and financial aid agreements to $15/hour.
High school juniors Sadie Guidry and Lily Girouard will represent Lafayette’s Teurlings Catholic Rebel Fishing Team at bass fishing nationals in Tennessee next month.
Kelly Fields recently announced her departure from Willa Jean, adding to BRG’s growing list of restaurants named after people who are no longer affiliated with the company.
Jared Serigné of Outside the Levees announced details for an alligator boucherie at Docville Farm on October 9.
This issue of The Boil Advisory marks six months of exploration and storytelling, and I’m excited about some of the stories and ideas in the works for the months ahead. Thanks for joining along.
We’ll be back in two weeks from Ana Castro’s home kitchen, making posole with her grandmother and hearing Ana’s vision for her upcoming restaurant, Lengua Madre.