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Cooking Louisiana-style


NEW ORLEANS—As much as New Orleans is known for its revelry on Bourbon Street and its jazz, it's also known for its food.

And there's no better way to learn the basics of Louisiana cooking than to take a class from The New Orleans School of Cooking located in the French Quarter.

Cooking demonstrations are held seven days a week in a renovated 1930s molasses warehouse at 524 St. Louis St. and are taught by well-known local chefs skilled in the arts and tradition of Cajun and Creole cuisine.

Here you'll learn how to make New Orleans' specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya and pralines all the while being taught the history and folklore of Louisiana cooking in a fun and friendly environment.

All classes include generous samplings of the demonstrated food items as well as recipes, coffee, iced tea or local Abita beer--so come hungry.

A recent "open" lunch class included cooking demonstrations of red beans and rice, cornbread, pecan pie and pralines. During the demonstration, Chef Kevin Belton provided helpful cooking tips such as sauteing with the "trinity," which is onion, celery and bell pepper and never cook with just plain water: use broth or bouillon to add more flavor.

Armed with new recipes, you can then shop the Louisiana General Store also located inside the renovated warehouse, for the various chefs' and the school's own line of seasonings, sauces and snacks. Cookbooks and other food items also are available.

"Open Lunch Classes" cost $27 and are held daily from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

The New Orleans School of Cooking also offers private classes for groups of 25 people or more as well as "hands on" classes for individuals and groups.

For more information, visit Call 504-525-2665 for reservations.

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