Food in Louisiana is not just a need to nourish — it’s an opportunity to gather, reunite and explore something new. You came for cocktails and conversation, but left with a satisfied stomach and possibly the thought of, “that was the best thing I ever ate.” Every opportunity to dine at a locally owned restaurant is also an opportunity to build up chefs and local business owners — you, my friend, have the power to keep Acadiana growing as a culinary tour de force.
You, the consumer and lover of food, have helped chefs’ dreams come to fruition. Late last year newcomer Bread & Circus Provisions turned its unique pop-up-shop food experience beyond a solo stand at a farmers market into a restaurant and deli concept. While most people head to the bank for a small business loan, these food entrepreneurs took a different approach and went straight to their loyal fans. The initial Kickstarter campaign goal for Bread & Circus of $10,000 was surpassed to $13,407, allowing owners Manny Augello and Abi Falgout to dream even bigger thanks to 154 generous locals. Bread & Circus diners who contributed also share a sense of pride knowing their support of a crowd-funding campaign made it all happen.
That meal you thought was a simple dinner out is actually so much more: It’s someone’s heart, soul and countless hours of culinary training, and — in the parts — typically shared family traditions.
We hope you’re inspired to think local when choosing where to eat, and that your first step is to consult the IND Eats Dining Guide. The guide serves as a road map to all things local in the restaurant scene with categories broken down by fare for ease of navigation. New to this issue is the “Burgers and More” section — if it comes between a bun or in a wrap, you can probably find it here. Look for some newcomers as well throughout every section of the guide. Take the guide wherever you go by accessing all the listings online, too.
A special thanks to talented food photographer Denny Culbert for sharing some of his favorite local dishes with us for use in the spring guide. Like IND Eats, Denny shares a love of area food and what it means to support the industry, which is why we also chose to feature his and wife Katie’s sincere efforts to unite Acadiana’s culinary scene as the cover story for this month’s issue of The IND.
Denny’s beautiful photographs tell a story of how diverse the food of Acadiana truly is and why people travel here for just a taste and leave wanting a second helping. — Kari Walker