Quick Bites: Liz Williams’ New Orleans: A Food Biography One Book, One New Orleans’ 2018 Winner

Liz Williams

One Book One New Orleans is a campaign for literacy and community. Every year a book is chosen with the idea that New Orleans residents can share the experience of reading the same book at the same time. Through partnerships with the Literary Alliance of New Orleans, Louisiana Books To Prisoners and the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings, the chosen book is provided free of charge to prison inmates and used in adult education programs throughout the greater New Orleans area. At the same time, the New Orleans Public Library, WRBH Reading Radio and the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society host community programming and access to the book for those with limited income and impaired vision.  In this way, everyone from an exclusive book club member to a prison inmate will share the experience of enjoying a good read.  

The selection for 2018, is Liz William’s book, New Orleans: A Food Biography.  From beignets to poor boys, gumbo to jambalaya, with the delicious story of historical icons like Antoine’s Restaurant thrown in for good measure, Liz Williams explores New Orleans’ incredibly rich food culture, based on Creole and Cajun traditions.  

Liz Williams, a New Orleans native and founder of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, guides readers through the history of the city as viewed through a food lover’s lens, showing how the natural environment and people shaped the cooking we all love. The narrative begins by describing the indigenous population and material resources, then reveals the contributions of the immigrant populations, delves into markets and local food companies, and finally discusses famous restaurants, drinking culture, cooking at home and cookbooks, and signature foods dishes. Louisiana Eats celebrates One Book, One New Orleans and Liz’s amazing food biography in this long version edit of an interview, originally recorded just after the book’s publication in 2013.