On Sunday, August 29, Hurricane Ida set her sights on Baton Rouge. At the last minute, she changed her mind, shifted east and carved a swath of destruction through multiple South Louisiana parishes. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Mississippi state border, Ida’s path is an enormous geographical swath with hard-to-quantify damage and loss.
The South Louisiana towns Hurricane Ida eyed down don’t write headlines or fill sound bites like New Orleans. Ida is the story of fishing villages, farming communities, fields of sugarcane and small towns dotted up and down the bayou – the stuff of FridayNight Lights.
The long road to restoration is underway, but the news cycle has moved on. Coverage wanes. Soundbytes fade. However, loss and sadness are loud and clear: more than eight weeks later, families are livingin tents, debris lines roads and downed power lines litter the landscape. Facts like these beg the question:How can I help?
You can help by visiting.
Bypass the interstate and drive the winding roads through these communities. Start at the coast and end at theMississippi border. Gather your friends and take a slow distillery crawl through South Louisiana. Load up the kids and head to a festival, taking the small highways and stoppingat the shops and eateries along the way. Visit the museums and plantation homes that are telling the story of the hard work on the backs of the people who helped build this state. Eat in local restaurants. Load up on snacks from local gas stations. Buy local art. Grocery shop in tiny “one-stops.” Buy fruit and fish from the roadside guy selling from his pickup bed. Pack an ice chest, and at every stop, ask “what’s good?” I guarantee that when you get home,you’ll be loaded down with seafood, sausage and so much more.
This digital magazine is a culinary exploration of the Louisiana Parishes Ida chose. Where Hurricane Ida left destruction, we followed her path to encourage exploration. For travelers, The Big Easy has charmand allure. We get it. But let these rural regions, carved out by bayous, big river currents and farm rows – let these regions pull you into a slow, delicious adventure through South Louisiana.
Anne Milneck, Chef & Food Stylist
Lili Courtney, Cook & Food Stylist
Raegan Labat, Photographer
Erin Waite, Editor
Chelsey Blankenship, Co-Editor