Posthaste with Ind alumni Mary Tutwiler and Nathan Stubbs By Dege Legg Photo by Robin May
It’s cool, colorful, eclectic, relaxed, and funky. And it’s got a bar. If you haven’t been to Lafayette’s newest hip eatery, The Saint Street Inn, you need to check it out, especially if you’re more about the food than the fashion show. Owned and operated by two former Independent staffers, food and feature writer Mary Tutwiler and hard boiled, lid-blowing journalist Nathan Stubbs, The Saint Street Inn is Lafayette’s non-corporate, all fresh, all-local eatery. “First and last is that our food has to taste great. Happily, the fresher food is, the better anything tastes,” says Tutwiler. “Seasoning and skill are the other ingredients. And heart. We give our cooking all that, every day.”
Life history in five words, more or less
Mary Tutwiler: Born hungry
Nathan Stubbs: Don’t burn the bread
What made you make the jump from journalists to restaurateurs?
MT: I got tired of sitting in a chair watching the cooks around town have all the fun.
NS: They’re actually very similar: I’m still picking up news at the bar, blowing the lid off things, and putting in crazy hours for what often seems like a hopeless business model. But having fun doing it.
What’s the biggest difference between working in a restaurant and working at a newspaper?
MT: Getting your hands dirty. Come to think of it, there’s no difference.
NS: Similar to the difference between pro and college football. The pace is faster and the risk of injury more serious.
Restaurant inspections: local racket fueled by greedy bureaucrats or local officials sincerely concerned about commercial food preparation?
MT: We love our local inspectors and look forward to being evaluated.
NS: Pleasantly surprised to find it’s the latter.
Jimmy Buffet was famous for “nibblin’ on sponge cake and watching the sun bake.” What will you one day be famous for?
MT: Disappearing down the highway with some Dickel in my hip flask.
NS: Munchin’ on boudin and driving a sedan.
Name one thing you will never eat. Why?
MT: Don’t be silly, Dege. After having lunch with me for years and years you know I eat anything.
NS: Nonorganic apples. Probably the most chemically treated produce in the store.
Favorite food as a kid?
MT: Butterscotch pudding from a box, and Red Drink, a New Orleans classic made by Barq’s
NS: Mac n’cheese.
It’s a documented fact that most, if not all, restaurant managers are addicted to cocaine. Who on the Saint Street staff fulfills this dastardly role?
MT: Red Bull is the new cocaine, and all of them are junkies.
NS: Our managers are only addicted to Excedrin, Red Bull and chicken liver pate, the combination of which can definitely make them seem like they’re on cocaine.
It was discontinued years ago, but Hamburger Helper used to make something called Beef Taco Bake. It was the best thing ever. Can you bring it back from oblivion?
MT: Always wanted to try to resurrect the dead with my cooking
Everyone’s calling their crap organic. My ass is organic, you know? What criteria determine true organic food?
MT: Organic isn’t my measuring rod; it’s local. If I can buy it at the Farmer’s Market or from a local fisherman, farmer, rancher, butcher, baker, dairy farmer or gatherer (we do like foraged food), it goes on my table.
NS: It’s supposed to mean food that is 100 percent free of pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals. But of course, the government can’t be counted on to adequately police and certify this. Best solution is to buy local and know the source.
Who or what has been one of the major influences on your life?
MT: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Elizabeth David, Jane Grigson, Alice Waters. Women cooks and food writers.
NS: Michael Jordan. And Cuisinart.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about starting your own business?
MS: You have to get up early and go to work EVERY morning. No calling in sick.
NS: Be patient. Don’t yell.
Worst day on the job thus far?
MT: Day 3. We were slammed the first few days we were open, before we hired Buffalo to keep our kitchen rock steady. In the weeds, people waiting for food, customers walking out the door.
NS: The day my Global chef knife disappeared. Tragic.
How many times should one refrigerate and heat and reheat leftovers?
MT: We never have leftovers; we have a well-fed wait staff.
NS: Generally not more than twice.
Name one thing no one knows about you.
MT: I love the smell of skunks.
NS: I own a very extensive collection of Ozzie Smith baseball cards I collected as a kid.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, April 17, 2014:
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house Cypress Bayou Casino General Manager and CEO Anthony Patrone hosted an open house at his and wife Roe’s home in Le Triomphe after a long day of golf Saturday, March 29, during the Chitimacha Louisiana Open. Guests mingled and listened to the guitar tunes of Sean Trcalek while dining on bites catered by Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel. Members of the Chitimacha tribe, including chairman John Paul Darden, were in attendance as well as staff and friends of Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel to celebrate a successful day of golf for the annual fundraiser. 1. Megan and Matt Breaux, and Rin and Cecelia Hemelt2. Gabe Lewis and Ray Bourque3. Roe and Anthony Patrone4. O’Neill and Tessa Dardenne, and Roxanne and George Graham5. Richard Picard, Nancy Herrington, Anthoney Patrone, John Paul Darden, Ashley and Montey Spivey, and Jack Darden6. Joyce and Glenn Brou7. Anthony Patrone, Dawna Waterbury, Nancy Herrington and John Paul Darden8. Sean Trcalek9. Kathy...
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
His company bankrupt and being liquidated, the Lafayette businessman’s financial troubles are mounting.
Jefferson Street Pub continues its generous tradition with its 4th Annual Festival Preview Party this Thursday featuring Big Sam’s Funky Nation.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.