Join us at The Truck, the Brewer, and the Blogger IV Pop-Up Dinner on January 20th!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Louisiana Culinary Trails: Red River Riches

Tommy Talley helping his photography directors test the light at Inglewood Farms
Tommy Talley leads the tommysTV crew at Inglewood Farms



The Shreveport/Bossier area may not be know for their food, but Louisiana Culinary Trails says otherwise. Follow the Red River through the Northwest corner of the state all the way to Alexandria and you'll find some great local eateries. In filming, tommysTV and I were able to chat about what makes this area of the state so delicious with Chris Jay of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, Jason Brady from Wine Country Bistro, Shreveport food lover Steven Jackson, Steven Reed of Inglewood Farms, Angie White from Slow Foods North Louisiana, as well as Angela Lasyone of Lasyone's Meat Pies and Lacey Tanner from Lea's Lunchroom.







tommysTV getting set up for a Chris Jay's interview at Herby K's
tommysTV getting set up for Chris Jay's interview at Herby K's

Dan Jones captures the magic of Herby K's Shrimpbuster

Sherry's Diner in Shreveport, Louisiana

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tasting Whiskey: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Tasting Whiskey by Lew Bryson
Tasting Whiskey by Lew Bryson
For this week's Whisk(e)y Wednesday we are going to hit you with some knowledge, proudly sponsored by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar. Whiskey is enjoying a huge surge in popularity from all segments of the population. Whether it is Scotch, Irish, bourbon, rye, Canadian, Japanese, or artisan American whiskies, the spirit is flourishing. It is important for any imbiber to know where and how this impeccable liquor is created. Storey Publishing sent me a review copy of Tasting Whiskey, written by Whisky Advocate's managing editor Lew Bryson, and it is worth the read for all levels of enthusiasts.

From a guy who has spent the last 20 years immersed in the world of whiskey, our eyes are opened to how whiskey is made, how it is aged, and why it tastes the way it does. There are many “laughable” misconceptions that Bryson addresses, and it is essential that we debunk how we think whiskey is produced, aged, and spelled. Bryson takes the reader on an exploration of the whiskey world by further explaining the unique challenges of tasting it. Once we get through the basics, he discusses the many differences among whiskey regions and types, teaches us how to collect and store whiskey, and provides cocktail recipes and food pairings.

As we all dream to embark on our own whiskey journey, make sure you pick up one of the best whiskey books I’ve seen and absorb Bryson’s knowledge of the wonderful world of whiskey.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lindsay Nations: Baroness of Beer

The Louisiana craft beer scene has taken off in the past few years and we definitely haven't seen the last of it. There are already talks of a handful of new breweries planning to open within the next couple of years. One of the newer kids on the block, the Great Raft Brewing Company out of  Shreveport, Louisiana,  has made quite a splash since they came on the scene a little over one year ago.

Lindsay Nations Co-founder and Vice President of Great Raft Brewing Company in Shreveport, Louisiana
Lindsay Nations, Co-founder and Vice President of Great Raft Brewing Company in Shreveport, Louisiana

Lindsay Nations, the Co-founder and Vice President of Great Raft Brewing Co., says her love for craft beer took off once she moved to Washington, D.C.. After growing up in Shreveport, she earned a degree in journalism from Baylor University then moved to the nation's capital where she worked for in enterprise communications. "There are different distribution laws in DC so you have access to craft beers from all over the world. It was a unique opportunity to learn what beer can be. It doesn't always have to be an amber or a lager, it can be a lot of different things. I think being exposed to that variety got me interested," Lindsay explained over a pint of their Commotion Pale Ale. Homebrewing with her husband Andrew Nations (Co-founder and President of Great Raft Brewing Co.) also really sparked the couple's involvement in the D.C. beer culture. "Everything we did outside of work revolved around beer: spending time at breweries, friends were opening breweries, doing beer tastings and education events, just being really involved to the point of having an influence in that community," said Nations, "It just became our lifestyle."

After Nations received her MBA from George Mason University, she and Andrew began talking about owning and operating their own brewery. Once the pair decided their brewery would be back home in Shreveport there was no turning back. Lindsay is in charge of the brewery's taproom operations and marketing in addition to administrative duties, accounting, and legal work. In conjunction with running the brewery with Andrew, Lindsay "has a day job" where she does strategy, planning, and communications work for Cisco. As if her busy schedule didn't present enough of a challenge, Lindsay expressed that it can be hard to be taken seriously as a female in the beer business. "A lot of times, people think that you are, as a woman, just in a supportive roll. 'Andy the owner of Great Raft... and his wife, Lindsay,' it's not necessarily 'Andrew and Lindsay are the co-founders and part owners of Great Raft Brewing,'" said Nations. While it's upsetting that assuming such a thing is just a creature of habit (pardon the pun, Creature of Habit is the name of their new coffee brown ale), it is something that Nations says she thinks may change over time. There are more and more females entering the industry all the time. Not only do their duties go beyond supportive roles, but these women are the ones who are in large part running the show.

"I can't grow a beard and be the typical face of the company in the brewing industry, but there are so many things that would fall apart if I left one day," Lindsay said laughing, "You don't get to be the face of the company when you don't fit the stereotype sometimes." Nations then began talking about Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewing, stating how much harder she must have to work to get that recognition in the industry. "When I hear New Belgium, I think Kim Jordan. Maybe one day that will be the case with Louisiana breweries."

To that I say cheers to Lindsay Nations and cheers to women kicking ass in beer.


This posts is part of a new monthly series spotlighting Louisiana women in the business of booze. Previous features include:
Natalie Parbhoo: Duchess of Distribution

Friday, December 12, 2014

Louisiana Culinary Trails: Seafood Sensation

Dan Jones, Jay Ducote, Jordan Lewis, Fred Mince, and Tommy Talley interview Mike Krajicek inside of Botsky's in Downtown Lake Charles
Dan Jones, Jay Ducote, Jordan Lewis, Fred Mince, and Tommy Talley interview Mike Krajicek inside of Botsky's in Downtown Lake Charles



Tommy Talley sips on a Bayou Rum cocktail  at the distillery in Lacassine
Tommy Talley sips on a Bayou Rum cocktail
at the distillery in Lacassine



You can find boudin, cracklin, and crawfish across the state of Louisiana, but some of the best stuff originates from Southwest Louisiana. The Louisiana Culinary trails crew rolled to the lower left corner of the state and the city of Lake Charles to highlight the bold flavors and characters that make this part of the state sensational. We learned a lot about what it means to take slow down and savor the dishes with Mike Krajicek of Botsky's, Chef Lyle Broussard from L'Auberge Casino Resort, Jeff Benoit of B&O Kitchen and Grocery, crawfish farmer Burt Tietje of Tallgrass Farm, Trey Litel of Bayou Rum, and local food writer Eric Cormier. This is a serious destination for food in Louisiana, head over and see what's cooking!










Tallgrass Farm's Burt Tietje waits for his close up while his dogs take a snooze after running through the crawfish ponds
Tallgrass Farm's Burt Tietje waits for his close up while his dogs take a snooze after running through the crawfish ponds

Dan Jones, Fred Mince, Jay Ducote, and Jordan Lewis getting footage at the Bayou Rum distillery
Dan Jones, Fred Mince, Jay Ducote, and Jordan Lewis getting footage at the Bayou Rum distillery

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nick Offerman's Tales of Whisky: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Nick Offerman singing about whisky. Life is now complete.



Sure, the good people at Oban and Lagavulin (or really Diageo) set this up to be a marketing campaign for their Scotch, but what's not to love about our favorite mustached man's man singing a tune about whisky? If it has given you a hankering for of dram of Scotch, make sure to head over to the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar as they have multiple varieties of Oban and Lagavulin to choose from, all of which are fantastic!

You can actually see more Nick Offerman videos about Scotch at the My Tales of Whisky Youtube Channel.