Postcard: NOLA, Five Southern Foods and a Sazerac Cocktail Recipe at Rosedale

On my Southern Food Road Tour, I asked everyone who would talk to me to name five foods and beverages that are most expressive of “southern food,” and the answers varied a lot more than I thought they would. Louisiana in particular was out there on its own, and some of the answers I had to look up, like ‘ponce,’ a stuffed and smothered pork stomach.

A solid majority of cooks, chefs and eaters fretted over whether to choose biscuits or cornbread, but New Orleans James Beard winner Susan Spicer didn’t even consider those. Instead, her struggle was choosing between grits or rice. (There’s a weird AC hiss that gets fixed, but not before we recorded this part of the interview!)

Chef Susan Spicer has a well-deserved reputation for helping out other chefs and cooks.

She was kind enough to talk with me and make biscuits with me at her restaurant Rosedale! That’s where I met Juan Durango, a front-of-the-house friendly whose “five Southern foods” answer was high-quality enough I wanted to show it all.

He waxes poetic about what cocktails best reflect “the South,” with a bonus Sazerac recipe and thoughts on why cold beer is better when you’re sweating.

I couldn’t bring myself to stop this guy at five, and he was easy to look at and listen to.

photo credit: Mack Allen at

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