When Leah Chase is about to speak, the whole room goes quiet.
Democratic strategist James Carville noted this from his perch at the faraway end of the dining room table at Eatocracy's Secret Supper last Thursday. Ms. Chase, seated at the center, stirred in her seat and Carville, along with the other 14 guests, stopped talking and craned in. When the 88 year old "Queen of Creole Cuisine" has words to share, they tend to be worth hearing.
You know you're at a table full of New Orleanians when there's a 20-minute conversation about gumbo.
How dark should the roux be? Do you use file? Can you put meat in a seafood gumbo? (Scandal! John Besh went back and put okra and andouille into James Carville's mother's seafood gumbo recipe because he thought it was too thin! Mary Matalin applauded that move.) Is is really gumbo if there's no okra? Why does any of this matter?
Eatocracy has been in New Orleans this week getting ready for the second edition of our Secret Supper, and it's finally dinner time in the Big Easy.
Democratic strategist and Louisiana native James Carville, along with his wife, Republican strategist and CNN political contributor Mary Matalin, have graciously welcomed us into their New Orleans home for this evening's soiree.
But tonight, it's more than just eating. Just as we have been all week, guests will be discussing the taste that defines the city - from oysters Rockefeller to your mother's gumbo - and how that taste helped a city cope in the aftermath of two disasters.
We’ve got a great line-up of guests including the “Queen of Creole Cuisine” Leah Chase, Bryan Batt of "Mad Men," local radio host and culinary activist Poppy Tooker, Captain Lance Nacio of Anna Marie Seafood, CNN Hero Derrick Tabb and many more.
Y'all wanted to see the Cooking with Carville show? You got it.
Anything can happen in the Big Easy. See what happens when a celebrity chef and a political consultant come together over a big pot of mama's gumbo.