Le Grand Hoorah On The Cajun Prairie – Louisiana Eats – It’s New Orleans
Louisiana Eats is on the road again, this time to Evangeline Parish, where residents show pride for their French, Cajun, and Creole heritage through their food, music, and traditions. On this week’s show, we participate in the annual Le Grand Hoorah celebration, while hitting many iconic spots along the Cajun Prairie.
We begin in downtown Mamou, where our gracious host Valerie Cahill gives us a grand welcome at the historic Hotel Cazan. Then, we grab breakfast down the road at the charming Krazy Cajun’s Cafe. Don and Judy Secia serve up stories of Mamou’s annual Mardi Gras celebration with a side of calas.
Next, we cross the street to visit Mamou’s world-famous dancing and drinking destination, Fred’s Lounge. Over spicy Bloody Mary’s and cheap beer, Camille Fonteneau talks to us about the important role the local AM radio station KVPI has played in the community and in her life.
On our way to La Grand Hoorah, we learn why Ville Platte holds the title of “Smoked Meat Capital of the World.” We make a pit stop at Paul’s Meat Market and Grocery, where many locals and out-of-towners purchase their meat. We then meet Kermit Miller, the man behind “the barbecue sauce with a Cajun accent,” Jack Miller’s Barbecue Sauce. Continuing a family tradition begun by his father Jack in 1955, Kermit’s family recipe has found a following across the country.
Finally, we arrive at Chicot State Park, where hundreds of people from around Louisiana, and the world, were gathered for Le Grand Hoorah. We hear music performances by Cajun youngsters and meet the brains behind the festival, Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin. Winky explains why he is dedicated to the preservation of his culture. We also eat our weight in cracklins and boudin, thanks to the tireless efforts of individuals like Toby Ryder, an expert in the art of traditional Cajun boucherie.
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