Delta Dispatches: Advocating for Louisiana’s Vanishing Paradise
On today’s show Erin Brown of Vanishing Paradise stops by to talk with Simone and Jacques about how they advocate for restoration of the Mississippi River Delta by nationalizing the issue, raising awareness, and educating members of Congress. Chef Nathan Richard also joins the program to talk with Simone & Jacques about the Fresh Water Supper at Cavan Restaurant in New Orleans for the Vanishing Paradise, highlighting species that depend on freshwater marsh in coastal Louisiana.
Below is a transcript of this week’s Delta Dispatches Podcast. Subscribe to our feed in iTunes and Google Play.
Simone: This is Simone Maloz with Restore or Retreat.
Jacques: Simone, it has been a while.
Simone: I know. I feel like I don’t even recognize you.
Jacques: It’s so weird to be back in the studio. We’ve had our summer travels and all that come up, and we’re getting back into the routine. We’ve got some exciting shows lined up in September and October.
Simone: Yeah. When we talked about some fun things that we could talk about this fall, the list was long and exciting. I’m excited to kick that off.
Jacques: There’s no shortage of topics as it relates to the coast.
Simone: Definitely no shortage.
Jacques: Definitely stay tuned, and if you want to catch up on previous episodes, you can go to DeltaDispatches.org. In terms of this week, we’ve got some events coming up.
Simone: Yeah, we’ve had a busy past couple weeks, too.
Jacques: Yeah. What’s been going on?
Simone: Yeah. Not just still thinking about recovery for hurricane Harvey, and certainly, our friends in Florida with Irma, but we have a forum here for candidates for mayor coming up.
Jacques: Yeah. Of course, the New Orleans mayoral race is heating up. We all know New Orleans is a coastal city. Of course, there has been no shortage of issues relating to water management, storm management, and coastal resiliency here. The leading candidates are going to be discussing that this Thursday.
Simone: Yeah. It’s a forum, right, just about flood risk and adapting to our changing environment. That’s something we saw in the governor’s race, and it’s very cool to see that translate locally, that we understand that that’s an issue in any race, and we’re glad to have them address that.
Jacques: Our partners, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, there are several groups that are sponsoring the forum, but they are one of them. It’s this Thursday. Doors will open at 5:00 PM, and it starts at 5:30 PM. It’s at the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in New Orleans.
Simone: Yeah. Open to the public, and so it’s going to be streamed live on UrbanConservancy.org, The Lens, NOLA.org, and CRCL.org. Then of course they’re going to rebroadcast that on Friday, so in case you miss it, they will rebroadcast it on Friday at 5:00 PM on WHIB.org. That’s really great. It’s very accessible.
Jacques: It is. Continuing on the importance of coastal issues as it relates to our publicly-elected officials, the governor will be in town.
Simone: Yeah. Yeah. Really exciting. BGR is going to have a forum where they’re going to be talking about the Coastal Master Plan and its implications for greater New Orleans. That’s going to be Tuesday, September 19th at 8:00 AM on the North Shore.
Jacques: Yeah. Governor Edwards will be on the North Shore, yeah.
Simone: On the North Shore.
Jacques: Then of course we have some other events that we’ll highlight at the end of the show that our partners are putting on, but we’re really excited today to be talking about one very special event that’s happening.
Simone: Yeah. This week.
Jacques: With our partners, Vanishing Paradise. We’ll have one of our colleagues from Vanishing Paradise on, as well as Chef Nathan Richard, who certainly has worked at some of the best restaurants in New Orleans.
Simone: This is probably a bad time to tell you that I am hungry, and that might interrupt this whole conversation, because I’ll just want to talk about food.
Jacques: We’re going to be talking about food a lot, Simone, so you might need to get a snack or something. Yeah. Your mouth will be watering when we talk about the menu and what will be served. We’re excited to bring Chef Richard on in a moment, but now we’re talking with Erin Brown, who is the sportsman outreach coordinator with Vanishing Paradise. Welcome to the show, Erin.
Erin: Hi. Thank you guys for having me.
Simone: Erin, you’re from the North Shore.
Erin: I am, out in Covington, born and raised here in Louisiana, and grew up as a sportsman in south Louisiana, so Vanishing Paradise is a very special initiative of the National Wildlife Federation to me.
Simone: Cool, a real Louisiana girl, right?
Jacques: Yeah. You grew up out on the marsh, and going on boats, and fishing.
Jacques: I’m sure you still get to do a lot of that in your job now, right?
Erin: I do. That’s why, with Vanishing Paradise, we really work with the sportsmen and women here of coastal Louisiana to raise awareness and get them involved in the coastal restoration efforts here across our state. It’s really just about raising awareness within the outdoor community on our land loss crisis and having their voices heard. The biggest thing is getting out in the marsh. Truly, the nature of the work for Vanishing Paradise, it varies day to day. That’s probably been my favorite, is getting out in the marsh, especially with the outdoor riders, and helping them paint a picture to the Louisiana land loss crisis.
Jacques: Absolutely. I’ve seen your photos, when you’re out on tours with journalists or just influential people, showing them what’s happening, and there really is no better way to see it than firsthand, and so that’s great that you’re out there, and you’re an advocate and a spokesperson for our coast. Tell us a little bit, obviously, Louisiana is sportsman’s paradise, so Vanishing Paradise is kind of in reference to that. Tell us a little bit about the organization and why a sportsman or fisherman, why they should care about coastal restoration.
Erin: Vanishing Paradise, like I said, we really focus on the land loss crisis and the loss of natural resources that we’re losing here in south Louisiana. South Louisiana, or Louisiana in general, is known as the Sportsman Paradise, but it’s quickly becoming the Vanishing Paradise, and if you are a hunter or an angler here in the state of Louisiana, then that really hits home to you. I’ve grown up hunting and fishing and creating those memories with my dad. Firsthand, I’ve seen some of these islands that we used to fish at one summer. You go back to it the next summer and it’s no longer there. I think just for preserving what we do have for the future generations, and one day, hoping that I have children that will create those same memories, I think that’s really why it’s an important feeling that sportsmen can really connect with here.
Simone: Yeah. We often talk about hunters and fishermen as the first conservationists, because they see what’s happening. Just like you said, you’re out there every day. You know the land differently. You know the science differently, but it’s all the same. You just see it from a different perspective, from a user’s perspective. That’s really interesting. I think that’s a really powerful point of view, is that it’s easy to wrap your head around something that you see every day, and you can see those changes. It’s much easier to say it that way rather than the science, and a model, and a this, and a that, something that seems intangible, that you can’t touch. I do remember seeing a certain influential congressman had a Vanishing Paradise hat on in some pictures recently. I think the name is a really great name, and it resonates in that, Sportsman’s Paradise to Vanishing Paradise.
Simone: So kudos to you guys. You said that any day can be different from you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your typical day or typical week, maybe?
Erin: Being a sportsmen outreach coordinator with Vanishing Paradise, like I said, the nature of the work truly does vary day by day. The big thing is getting the sportsmen voices heard. We have done that by flying some sportsmen to Washington, DC, to meet with legislators, and really promote the Coastal Master Plan, and get them thinking about that. A few other ways that we’ve had them involved is to encourage them with submitting any comments or questions, concerns, anything that they may have on any of the public comment period for any restoration projects.
Like I said, my favorite part is really getting out there and helping an outdoor writer bring a sense of place to his story, and that happens when he’s out in the marsh. We’ve done a few different pieces with outdoor writers, where they want to really connect the sense of place, and they do so by bringing in chefs, because that’s a whole other cultural aspect to this coastal restoration issue. Even though they may be coming down to write about the hunting and angling side of it, bringing in chefs that also have that story to tell kind of all really makes it all mesh together.
Jacques: That’s a great segue into the topic at hand. Vanishing Paradise has a great event coming up. Tell us a little bit about that.
Erin: We are actually teaming up with the executive chef Nathan Richard over at Cavan Restaurant. We’re hosting a supper called the Vanishing Paradise Supper, and we’ll be focusing on highlighting the value of a really healthy freshwater estuary.
Simone: I cannot wait to talk about this more. I saw a glimpse of the menu, and we nee to talk about that. In case I didn’t tell you, I’m hungry. We’re going to talk about that a little bit more after the break, but right now, you’re listening to Delta Dispatches. We’ll be back in just a bit.
Simone: Welcome back to Delta Dispatches. We’re discussing Louisiana’s coast, people, wildlife, jobs, and food, and why it matters. This is Simone Maloz.
Jacques: This is Jacques Hebert. Now I’m getting hungry.
Simone: I’m telling you. Why didn’t you all bring samples? You know, the wine show, they bring drinks and stuff. We’re going to have to talk about that next time. We were just talking to Erin Brown of Vanishing Paradise. We were talking a little bit about her work. Your work connected you to Nathan. Why don’t you talk about that a little bit?
Erin: Sure. We had an outdoor media piece, where a writer from Hatch Magazine came down from Arkansas, probably about a year ago at this point. At that point, bringing everything together, as far as culture, food, heritage in Louisiana, and like I said, he wanted to really bring a sense of place to his story, and asked me to connect him with a few chefs. That’s where Nathan and I connected. Since then, Nathan has just been very interested in our work with coastal restoration. He came out to visit the Davis Pond diversion with us on a boat tour, and cooked for us at a Conservation on Tap that Vanishing Paradise hosted at the 40 Arpent Brewery, and just through the interest and the continuation of building on that friendship, he wanted to host a freshwater dinner for us.
Jacques: That’s awesome. We’re really excited to have the man right here, Chef Nathan Richard, who is executive chef at Cavan, and has worked at a number of the, as I mentioned, New Orleans’ top, and the state’s top, restaurants, including Bombay Club as executive chef, Commander’s Palace, Cochon Lafayette, Restaurant Revolution. Welcome to Delta Dispatches, chef.
Nathan: Thank you.
Jacques: Tell us a little bit about your background, growing up in Thibodaux, and how that shaped …
Simone: Shout out.
Jacques: We’ve got a [inaudible 00:13:04] girl here who works in Thibodaux, so yeah. No, how that shaped both the food you cook as well as your views on Louisiana’s coast.
Nathan: Growing up in south Louisiana, everybody eats. You’ve got to eat at every meal. Everything that we always prepared always came mostly from the coast, whether it was boiled crabs, or crawfish, or oysters, or whatever. That is a huge inspiration of my cooking. I don’t have an influence on cooking, because I like to cook everything. I did a lot of traveling, and met different chefs, different influences, and respect each different culture differently. I try to represent all that, but the base root of it is always going to be Southern cooking or Cajun cooking for that.
What more better way than to do something for the coastline? The coastal erosion is a huge problem. Saltwater intrusion is a huge problem. Not only that, but the coast is out frontline protection from storms. I don’t know if anybody knew it, but there’s a couple of storms out there, somewhere out there, that can affect us, and we need to protect that. That’s our first line of defense, and for our fish and fishermen, for sure.
Jacques: Yeah, absolutely. It has been a tough hurricane season so far. We’re not even over yet, and so our thoughts are with our friends and neighbors in Texas and Florida, South Carolina. Of course, we talk about restoring the coast for people, wildlife, jobs, but also the food and the culinary tradition of Louisiana is so much dependent on the coast. Tell us a little bit about how you came up with the concept for this dinner and what you’re hoping to get out of it tomorrow night?
Nathan: One thing we have a problem with is a lot of fish that are destroying the wetlands. If you look at a lot of these things, the apple snail that depletes oxygen from the water, you look at the alligator that sometimes burrows in the levies and affects the levies, you look at these carp that are just eating up everything and are dangerous when you’re driving a boat and they hit you … It’s a huge problem. Not only that, everybody thinks Louisiana seafood is always saltwater, it’s always red fish, or speckled trout, or sheep’s head, and so on and so forth. I wanted to showcase something that gives the saltwater fish a break and let them rejuvenate, let them do their thing, because I want that to be there for a very long time. That’s our livelihood sometimes up there.
Simone: I would imagine, switching to that freshwater species, also those invasive species, it was probably a challenge for you as a chef, right, but a fun challenge, I’m guessing?
Nathan: It’s a fun challenge, but the challenge is developing the trust as a chef in that customer coming in and sitting down and say, “I’ve never had Asian carp. Explain that to me. How do you eat that? How do you eat garfish? How do you eat apple snails?” That’s just not something normal people do, but the way that today’s society now, thanks to Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, people have become more interesting in food. Now, I think it’s a better opportunity to introduce that to people and have that on the plate. Then they don’t like it, “Hey, I’m sorry. At least you tried.” It’s about creating a dish that people are familiar with, and me as a chef being a teacher and teaching people what’s properly done with it.
Simone: Yeah. I love that you’re taking that educational opportunity. People eat rabbit, right? People eat alligator, right? They don’t do that so much anymore, but before, that’s what people had to eat. That was always what they had to eat, and they didn’t think twice about that. I love that you’re using that educational opportunity to do that. Can we talk about the menu? Have I told you I’m hungry? We can talk about that. Let’s go. Let’s go through the menu. So you have a couple of different courses. First of all, that’s pretty exciting. Let’s kick it off. First course, what are we talking about?
Nathan: We got the carp and chips. We got the Asian carp. That’s going to be just like fish and chips. You’re going to have that nice, crispy batter, shoestring potatoes that are nice thinly cut, julienne cut, as chips. Then traditionally, it’s usually served with malt vinegar, but we’re going to do the malt vinegar aioli together for that. Then we’re going to start out with one of my favorite charcuterie. We’re going to have a different style of charcuterie, where it’s alligator, garfish. We might have a little bit of turtle in there as well. There’s a chance to try different unique things, and if you don’t like it, you can push it to the side. At least you had a chance to try it.
Then we’re going to have the turtle egg carbonara. Yes, people, don’t freak out, turtle eggs are illegal, but this is actually the yolks of the turtle that we’re going to use, that are unhatched inside the turtle, to actually make that sauce, with garfish tasso. Then one of my favorite, choupique caviar, we’re going to top that off with. Then we’re going to have a chicken-fried rabbit with white beans and duck bacon. Then we’re going to go into a roulade of alligator cooked in a style of grits and grillades. Then we’re going to finish it all off with a Floating Isle banana foster, for sure.
Jacques: Wow. If I was hungry before, you can probably hear my stomach growling through the radio. That’s not just an amazing menu, it sounds like a really wonderful, unique culinary dining experience. I’m actually lucky I’m going to be there tomorrow. Yeah. This is really awesome that you were able to pull this together. I know that you’re partnering with Mudbug brewery as well to do a pairing. Tell us a little bit about that.
Nathan: Mudbug is obviously from Thibodaux as well.
Simone: Shout out.
Nathan: There you go. It’s some good friends of mine, and I just felt it was appropriate to do it, to keep it in the family, I guess you can say. They got some really great beer. I think it’s some of the best that’s out there, and I trust them with the food.
Simone: I think beer, people are being connoisseurs of that, too, and Mudbug is a perfect example of something local. I love that, that you put those together. Robert LeBlanc, right? We went to the same high school, so shout out, [inaudible 00:19:47] boy. I feel like this is my home team here.
Jacques: These are your people, Simone.
Simone: Except they didn’t bring food. We’ll correct that for next time. Details. Erin, we want to catch you. How can we find out more information about Vanishing Paradise, Twitter, Facebook, all that kind of stuff? Where can people find out more information?
Erin: If you’re interested, you can go to www.VanishingParadise.org. Through there, you can register to be a supporter, where you’ll find out more information on how to get involved, get our blogs and all of our events. If you follow us on Facebook at Vanishing Paradise, we always post all of our events there as well.
Jacques: You guys have an awesome Instagram feed that I follow as well. That’s @Vanishing_Paradise. Great. Well, thank you so much. We’re going to be back, actually, after the break, hopefully to talk with Chef Richard some more about the event and his background. You’re listening to Delta Dispatches on WGSO 990 AM.
Jacques: Hello. You’re listening to Delta Dispatches. This is Jacques Hebert, and we’re back with Erin Brown and Chef Nathan Richard. We’re talking about some great dinners that are coming up and focus on freshwater species. Before the break, we got the amazing menu that folks can look forward to. Really, we were hearing about how the menu came together. Erin, tell us a little bit about why the emphasis on freshwater species and what you’re hoping to get across through the dinner.
Erin: First off, looking at freshwater species a little bit, it’s kind of thinking outside of the box with that. Like Nathan said, a lot of people want trout, red fish, tuna. No one really focuses on the freshwater side of things. When we are talking about coastal restoration, in order to have a very healthy ecosystem here in Louisiana, there’s a gradient. It goes freshwater, to intermediate, to brackish, and salt. The more coastal land loss we see, the more saltwater intrusion you’ll see. That can really affect our saltwater species, like the American alligator, for example. That was once considered an endangered species here in Louisiana.
Jacques: Right. The iconic American alligator, and you think about the Cyprus tree, and these things that just represent Louisiana, and with land loss, that could potentially be gone, right?
Erin: Right. So just to highlight and bring value to those species as well.
Simone: Yeah. I think next week is National Estuary Week. That’s another good way to … That’s what makes part of Louisiana so special, is that we are part of that estuary. You can trust Erin. She’s a biologist. She knows what she’s talking about, more than just picking a week, and just saying that this is important. I think it’s really cool that you’re highlighting that particular area. So chef, let’s talk a little bit about your background. One more time, from Thibodaux, yay. Tell us about obviously, growing up in Louisiana influenced you, as it does everybody else, but Jacques used this term “swamp to table.” I love that. Do you think that came out of growing up in Thibodaux?
Nathan: Yeah. I think so. It was part of … You go up and down the bayou, Bayou Lafourche, everybody has a garden planted. As a kid, we always had one planted, and we still do always have one planted. I bring that with me wherever I go. As a kid, we always went crawfishing. As a kid, we always went crabbing, fishing, hunting, and so on and so forth. Later on, you get older, and you start getting into bigger things, duck hunting, and rabbit hunting, and stuff like that, deer hunting, whatever.
I was always … One of my favorite things is cooking alligator. I think alligator is one of the coolest animals that are out there. Yeah. It’s definitely influenced my cooking and my cooking style technique by taking something from the swamps and treating it, again, with the same respect as you would do something with saltwater. It’s definitely something different and something cool. If tourists want to try something, they tend to go after fried alligator. “Oh, it tastes like chicken.” No, it’s not supposed to taste like chicken. You’re completely wrong with that. To get people out of that mind frame of things tasting like chicken or something, that’s my job. That’s what I do. That’s how I create the menus and so forth.
Jacques: Would you call alligator the gateway species to more exotic, or maybe not exotic, but Louisiana species that people will try?
Nathan: I think so. Tourists come in. They want to try turtle soup, which is one of the bigger famous things here in New Orleans, and they want to try fried alligator. That’s good, but let’s push them a little bit more, and try to get them to open up.
Jacques: Well, let’s talk a little bit, going back to your growing up in Thibodaux, and really having that awareness of the coast and all the bounty it provides. What about coastal land loss? For us, we have a sense of security, I think, with levees, and obviously, Katrina changed that. When did you really first start to get aware of Louisiana’s coastal land loss crisis and wanting to do something about it?
Nathan: Well, again, as a kid, just going out fishing, going to Cocodrie. You would go to these places, and a year later, you’d come back to, say, go duck hunting or something, and all these canals would just completely change. It’s like, “Wait. What happened here? Something just split,” or something like that. Right out of high school you start noticing that, because it’s something that you don’t see over time that makes a huge difference. Now, I grew up on Lake Verret, and for me to go out there doesn’t look like anything changes. Doesn’t look like the canals get wider, but if I go back to today, I would get completely lost due to land loss.
Simone: Yeah. I think one thing about how we grew up, and even if we did go to Vanderbilt and E.D. White, we hydroslide. We would go hydrosliding after school. Our friends would go duck hunting on the week … They would be gone. Girls would hunt. That’s just really part of the way that we grew up, in that we did spend that time on the water. It sounds like it makes a great story, but for a lot of us, it was really true, that more people own boats before the own cars, and fun, cool stories like that.
Simone: Yeah. Somebody got a jo boat for their 10th birthday, or something cool like that. I like that it was part of how we grew up, but also, we are part of that generation that the land loss also started to be part of how we grew up there. We talk about tourists and things like that coming in, and that’s one of the things that we face, too, is how do you talk to those people about that? You want to introduce them to the food, and that’s really how you can tell a land less story, too, right?
Nathan: Yeah, definitely. Again, if you, as a chef, you’re a teacher, or a restaurant, you’re a teacher. You’ve got to educate people. You have to teach them why are we doing it? Personally, what I learned doing these dinners in the past is that if you introduce something to someone that they are familiar with, that makes them want to try something different the next time. That’s very important, to say, “Hey, Louisiana is just not about shrimp and oysters and crawfish. We have a lot of great seafood other than that, for sure.”
Jacques: Right. I feel like, in New Orleans and Louisiana, the chefs are our real celebrities. They’re our ambassadors, the people that represent our state better than anyone. It is about elevating that, the message, to the people you interact with, and also showcasing what is Louisiana, and everything that we have to provide. Tell us a little bit about the restaurant. How long have you been there?
Simone: We want to get down to the real question, chef. Tell us about the restaurant, where it is. Tell us a little bit about that.
Nathan: Yeah. I’ve been there, well the restaurant is about a year-and-a-half old. It’s located at 3607 Magazine, so uptown. It’s built in a late-1800 plantation home, beautiful place. Supposedly, they say it’s haunted. I never had a …
Simone: Yes. Let’s talk about that. So chef, our fun question is do you think it’s haunted?
Nathan: I have never experienced it, but the stories I hear, they say it is.
Simone: Next dinner we’re having is a haunted freshwater dinner party.
Nathan: There we go. There we go.
Simone: We’ll do it for Halloween.
Jacques: We’ll do a séance or something.
Nathan: I can’t confirm that one, but I did hear stories of it being haunted, for sure.
Simone: What kind of stuff do you usually serve, when you’re not having a special dinner menu?
Nathan: It’s a mix of … Again, I got lucky to get to travel a lot of different places, so it kind of represents different backgrounds that I enjoy cooking. It changes very, very often. Right now, we’re in alligator season, fall/spring, fall season, so I added a couple of alligator dishes to the menu just to showcase that fresh, wild alligator versus frozen, farm-raised alligator, which is becoming a problem as well. It can be a rabbit dish on there. It could be a chicken dish on there. It’s very, very seasonal, and it constantly changes. The inspiration, it’s just not me as a chef, but from my team in the kitchen as well.
Jacques: It really is, in addition to the amazing food, a beautiful, beautiful location. I have seen people … I’ve driven by and seen people out for brunch on Sunday, having a good time, dinners. I know you have a really cool bar upstairs.
Nathan: Yeah. The bar is awesome, a really cool bar.
Jacques: Yeah. Definitely worth checking out. Bring your friends. Bring your family. Put it on your list of recommendations. We’ve got one more segment left, if you all can hang on. You’re listening to Delta Dispatches on WGSO 990 AM.
Simone: Welcome back to Delta Dispatches. We’re discussing Louisiana’s coast, its people, wildlife, and jobs, and why restoring it matters. Jacques, we have to make this segment really quick, because I’m very hungry. Guys, since I am hungry, remind me again of some things that you all are serving at the dinner.
Nathan: We got, again, the carp and chips. That’s from the Asian carp. A charcuterie plate, that’s going to be all alligator, garfish, other great swamp creatures as well. We’ve got that turtle egg carbonara, which I think is going to be one of the best dishes they have out there for sure. Hopefully, I don’t let anybody down on that one. The chicken fried rabbit with the white beans, [inaudible 00:33:40] the gravy with nice duck bacon lardons. Then the roulade of alligator, griddle gravy and grits.
Jacques: I’m also a beer guy, and I love all the amazing craft, unique beers that are being produced around Louisiana. Tell us a little bit about the special brew that’s being prepared by Mudbug for tomorrow night.
Erin: Mudbug teamed up with Nathan for the beer pairing with each of the courses. They did create a black lager called the Mudbug Noir. That is made from chocolate-roasted grains. The beer has a crisp flavor, a light, crisp flavor. They will feature it at their Mudbug Taproom in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Based on the positive feedback they receive from it, it will be added on their seasonal rotation.
Jacques: Oh, that’s awesome. So you can go and visit the Taproom, and taste their other brews?
Erin: Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jacques: That’s great.
Simone: Road trip.
Jacques: Road trip? Well, actually, Simone, maybe we can just have a business meeting in Thibodaux. I’ll come see you at your office.
Simone: Yeah. It’ll be a safety meeting.
Jacques: Well, awesome. One more time, Erin, tell us about Vanishing Paradise, where people can go to learn more, follow you, support you, all of those good things.
Erin: Yes. To learn more, just visit www.VanishingParadise.org, or you can follow us on Facebook, Vanishing Paradise, and Instagram, @Vanishing_Paradise.
Jacques: Awesome. Do you have a countdown to duck season?
Erin: Teal season starts this Friday.
Jacques: You’re not excited at all, right?
Simone: She’s like me with the food, right? So chef, tell us more about the restaurant, where I can find more information.
Nathan: Yeah, you’re right. That’s a good Halloween one. 3607 Magazine Street. The website is www.CavanNola.com, all the hashtag, at, whatever they call that, Instagram.
Simone: Hashtag this, whatever.
Nathan: I’m excited for it. I think it’s going to be a real … We’re definitely having a good turnout for sure, and almost sold out. I think it’s going to be a fun time.
Simone: Yeah. We are so grateful that you all came on today to share, not a little just about Vanishing Paradise in general, but also about this very cool connection and important connection about Louisiana’s bounty, and how you’re using it to educate folks. I love that you said that, that that’s part of your job too, right?
Simone: It’s not just to innovate, but also to educate, too. Great. Alright, Jacques, you want to talk about a couple of other things happening this week, just to recap?
Jacques: Yeah. Well, I’m very excited for tomorrow night. I’ll probably be back next week five pounds heavier, but also very happy. I’ll report back on the dinner. No …
Simone: Am I going to have to pick you up after a couple of Noirs? You going to call me up?
Jacques: Maybe. I’ll call you, call an Uber, call Simone, all the same. Yeah. It’s been a great week. What’s been going on on the policy side in terms of coastal restoration?
Simone: Yeah, right? Restore or Retreat is still working on our finance report. If you remember, we talked about how to fund the Coastal Master Plan and previous reports. We’re actually partnering with the state, and working on how to try to get some of our finances in order so that we can maximize and leverage that. First, this Saturday, Restore or Retreat is going to be at Nicholls Family Day. Nicholls almost beat Texas A&M the other day. Yeah. They actually had this really great community celebration that they call Family Day, and so we’re going to be out there in Thibodaux talking about Restore or Retreat, and talking about some of our work there. We’re looking forward to that. We also have a couple of things happening here in the city that we want to remind some folks about, too.
Jacques: Yeah, city and surrounding areas. Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is hosting their third-annual Boil for the Bayou. That is going to be down in Plaquemines Parish in Belle Chasse, Saturday, September 23rd, from noon to 4:00 PM. Come out. Learn more about coastal restoration. Have some good boiled seafood, not crawfish.
Simone: Not yet.
Jacques: It’ll be a good time.
Simone: This Saturday, too, there’s a beach sweep, for anybody looking to get involved. I love that event.
Jacques: Yeah. The temperatures are cooling.
Simone: Oh, it’s so nice outside.
Jacques: It’s so nice. That means our organizations and our partners are starting their volunteer events, and really starting a full swing. Actually, next week’s episode, we’re going to be talking to folks from Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana about all the exciting marsh plantings and other volunteer opportunities that they have coming up. There is one this Saturday. From 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is putting on their 28th annual beach sweep.
Simone: I love that event. Such a great event to get folks out there.
Jacques: Yeah. It’s going to be at the New Canal Lighthouse Museum and Education Center. That’s 8001 Lake Shore Drive, New Orleans. It really just shows they have been working on this for a long time.
Simone: They’ve been on it. Before it was cool, they’ve been on it. Yeah. It’s really great. It’s held in conjunction with international coastal cleanups sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, so volunteers, partners, sponsors, they’re looking for those folks to just help clean curbs, ditches, storm drains, not just the beach sweep part of it, too. For more information, visit SaveOurLake.org. They have an events calendar. They have some more information on beach sweep.
Jacques: Where you can go, yeah. I love their tagline, “Save our lake. Now, save our coast,” right?
Simone: Yeah. That’s what they’re known for, for sure. Don’t forget, there’s that BGR forum, which is next Tuesday. They’re talking about the Coastal Master Plan and its implications for greater New Orleans. That’s going to be on the North Shore at 8:00 AM. Actually, I saw that I think Mark Davis is going to be part of that, too, with Tulane, too, so it definitely has a coastal feel happening on the North Shore, which, a lot of people forget that you’re definitely coastal, too.
Jacques: Right? There’s some existing marsh creation projects. I believe Bayou Bonfouca is going on right now.
Simone: Say that slowly. Don’t say that after too many Noirs.
Jacques: Too many Noirs.
Simone: We’ll get you bleeped out on this radio show.
Jacques: We’ll have to have an episode upcoming about the North Shore. It is a coastal parish, right?
Simone: Absolutely. They’re certainly influenced by what happens in New Orleans. They’re definitely closer to the water, and they experience flooding. They also have riverine flooding and are influenced by the lake as well. What about you? What do you have coming up?
Jacques: Well, Audubon Louisiana, so obviously, fall migration is happening.
Simone: Watching some birds? You all tracking some birds?
Jacques: Speaking of duck season … Well, we have been busy working on some other responses, helping with our partners in Texas and Florida.
Jacques: Right, and helping them. We have a lot of properties, both in Texas and Florida, that have been affected by these storms, and so we’ve been doing what we can do help them out as they recover and respond. Yeah.
Simone: We need to have your new boss on soon.
Jacques: Yes. Well, and she is a dear friend, and has spoken very highly of Chef Nathan Richard, our new executive director, Karen Profita. She joined us several months ago. She was at the Louisiana Seafood Tourism Board. We’re just so excited to have her as part of our flock, as we like to say. We’re going to have Karen … She actually has a radio show.
Simone: Oh, I love it. Great.
Jacques: As does her husband.
Simone: Good. She can fill in for us.
Jacques: Right? Exactly. She’ll be a pro, coming in here and probably teaching us a few things.
Simone: Yeah. We probably could use some lessons, right?
Jacques: Yeah. Well, that has been another great show. I’m starving.
Simone: Me too. Let’s go have a drink first, and then we can eat.
Jacques: Maybe a drink and food. Although, I should probably save room for tomorrow night.
Simone: No. Please, hello, we live in Louisiana. You don’t have to do things like that.
Jacques: We talk about dinner at lunch. That kind of thing.
Simone: Exactly. Exactly.
Simone: Let’s talk about some information, where you can find, on Mississippi River Delta. What you got going on the website?
Jacques: Yeah. You can go to MississippiRiverDelta.org/DeltaDispatches, or just DeltaDispatches.org, to catch up on our last episodes. Simone, this is episode 25.
Simone: Oh my god, makes me feel old.
Jacques: I know. We are just creating a whole inventory. There’s a lot of good information. You can go catch up on old episodes and subscribe, get the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, all that good stuff.
Simone: Perfect. Well, I’m looking forward to talking to our partners next week.
Jacques: Yes. We will have Deb Abibou with Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and Dr. Theryn Henkel, who is a good friend of mine.
Simone: Love her. She’s sassy. I love her.
Jacques: Yeah. It’ll be a good show. Again, thank you show much to Erin Brown and Chef Nathan Richard.
Simone: Thanks, guys.
Jacques: Thanks to you at home for listening. This is Delta Dispatches on WGSO 990 AM.