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Written by on March 23, 2024

Today on Chew On This, Don Clement and Patty B talk to John Zaller from the Monet Exhibit in New Orleans https://monetexpo.com/new-orleans/

Then, our special guest, Marcelle Bienvenu, author, a food writer for the Times Picayune, and the “Queen of Cajun Cooking” talks about whatever she wants!

Marcelle Bienvenu, known as the “Queen of Cajun Cooking,” is an accomplished chef and writer. Her culinary expertise spans a multitude of publications, including Louisiana Cookin’ magazineCityLife, and her regular column in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Let’s delve into her fascinating journey:

  • Marcelle Bienvenu hails from St. Martinville, Louisiana, nestled in the heart of Cajun country.
  • She began her culinary adventure under the mentorship of Ella Brennan, owner of the renowned Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, which dates back to 1880.
  • Inspired by her mentor, Marcelle opened her own restaurant, Chez Marcelle, in 1981.
  • After the restaurant’s closure in 1984, she managed Oak Alley Plantation, a historic restaurant and bed-and-breakfast in Vacherie, Louisiana.
  • Later, she served as the manager of the Lafayette Town House, a private club in Lafayette.
  • Marcelle’s diverse culinary skills led her to collaborate with Emeril Lagasse, creating recipes for several of his cookbooks.
  • During her years with Emeril, they co-authored four cookbooks, allowing her to further hone her kitchen prowess.
  • In January 2009, Marcelle began teaching at the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University.

Notable Cajun Recipes by Marcelle Bienvenu:

  1. Bananas Foster: A flambéed dessert featuring halved bananas in a syrupy rum sauce—a beloved New Orleans favorite. Don’t forget the ice cream!
  2. Crawfish Étouffée: A classic Cajun-style dish that celebrates the once humble crawfish, now a sought-after delicacy.
  3. Chicken, Andouille, and Oyster Gumbo: This one-pot wonder combines farm-fresh chicken, spicy andouille sausage, and briny oysters from the Gulf of Mexico.

Marcelle’s culinary legacy continues to enrich Louisiana’s vibrant food culture, and her passion for Creole and Cajun cuisine remains an enduring delight. 🍽️🌶️🎉