United States Chef
Ethel Powers Profile
A Common Street Peddler
I was born in Louisiana, the state where everyone is an excellent cook and there is no bad food. My mother and family carried those traditions with them when we moved to California when I was 5 years old. There is loyalty to both states, after all I was raised here and have no plans of leaving. However, when it comes to cooking, I am totally loyal to my birth state and am proud to be just that, a southern cook.
When serious shopping has to be done, we make a trip back home. Loading up several empty coolers, we head straight for Alexandria, Louisiana. Our first stop is at the local Daiquiri store and I order my favorite, Swamp Water. Some of us stay at local motels but my cousin Donald and I head straight for our Cousin Marie's front porch in Boyce. Kicking back with Daiquiris in hand, we plot out our shopping trip by the days. New Orleans for shrimp, crab and Red Fish; Alexandria and/or somewhere near Marksville for Buffalo Ribs; Superone Market in Alex for sausage and seasonings; and then we go catch our own in local bayous which have mostly mudfish.
I grow my own garlic and green onions because homegrown is so much stronger and besides that, I am a green gardener.
Other than that, I am always cooking. My favorite thing to do is to create a dish with the TV turned to pro golf, football or basketball. Sometimes, during each pro season, our group gets together and we show off our cooking skills. Everyone, that is, except Carl. He is the only one of us who can't cook but he does bring the beer so that makes up for it.
Every man, woman and child in our family can cook. We were all influenced by a long line of great Louisiana cooks. Being sharecroppers and poor, there were times when there was little to put on the stove but, oh my gosh, whatever was prepared was absolutely mouthwatering.
- The Cake Bible (Rose Levy Birenbaum)
- This book is an absolute must-have. Buy a copy for using and one just for looking at.
Chefs I recommend
- Chef Joseph Kalynuik (Montego Bay)
Restaurants I Recommend
- Cajun Landing (Alexandria, LA)
- Perfect Red Fish and Etouffe. Enough said.