What do mythical creatures, craft cocktails, a Creole aristocrat and a vengeful father-in-law have to do with the development of Jackson Square?
THE PONTALBA EXPERIENCE AT THE CABILDO, 8.7.19
I recommend Country Roads Supper Club events as they're highly entertaining and delicious cultural events held in remarkable settings.
This upcoming Pontalba Experience on Saturday, September 7, offers an incredibly rare opportunity to dine in the upstairs gallery of the Cabildo - a magnificent Spanish Colonial building integrally tied, of course, to the Pontalba story....and then's there's the enchanting view overlooking Jackson Square!
The evening is steeped in the 19th century...all tied to the Baroness de Pontalba and the Rise of Jackson Square Exhibition that closes in early October.
Combine the unforgettable setting, theatrical performances on site, along with the artistry of Dickie Brennan's talented chefs and inspired drinks from his Tableau Restaurant, and you have a magical evening! For ticket and additional information click here.
For those that love the backstory, this is history filled with drama, intrigue and unforgettable architecture...Jackson Square!
Consider reading Christina Vella's book, Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of the Baroness de Pontalba, in advance. You'll deepen your understanding of our state's rich history.
Vella's book helped me recognize an opportunity to reconnect the Pontalba family back to New Orleans...thus helping to bring the Baroness de Pontalba and the Rise of Jackson Square Exhibition together in time for our Tricentennial Celebration.
History continues to enrich my life and so much for the better! For more about my experience with the Pontalba family, visit: https://www.peterpatout.com/blog/climax-of-tricentennial-year!
Two national publications feature my homes
Julia Reed, and Garden & Gun....details below
Julia Reed celebrates New Orleans & south Louisiana culture in her new book. Front cover shot in my courtyard.
Julia Reed's New Orleans: Food, Fun, and Field Trips
for Letting the Good Times Roll
All photos are courtesy of Paul Costello Photography
It's an instant classic and should be part of any southern cookbook collection. I'm so excited for my dear friend Julia Reed's accomplishment. What fun it was to be part of her effort. So when Julia called asking to shoot a chapter in her upcoming book at my house in the French Quarter, my quick answer: Well of course!
I have to believe that we inspire each other. Years ago, Julia Reed walked into my antique store in the French Quarter. She fell in love with some esoteric prints of bugs. They were ridiculous. After all, who buys pictures of bugs? I did and she did! Then, I realized that she lived nearby and I closed the shop and went over there for a drink, and the laughs and good times have been ceaseless since.
Julia's classic Seafood Gumbo is below along with a Rum Pecan Pie. That's my kitchen stove and though it's something of a relic, countless memorable meals have been created in that galley-sized kitchen. Most days begin with a strong cup of chicory coffee made in the French drip pot sitting there on the stove. Of course, they're sweetened with natural cane sugar from my family's mill in Patoutville and it makes me think of my French heritage.
Julia Reed is a world-class tastemaker and has an extraordinary talent for bringing people together. The other New Orleans celebrations she includes are magical: phenomenal settings with wonderful dishes featuring her recipes along with favorites from prominent chefs and home-cooks...and, it's a great cultural read. Paul Costello's photos are the perfect accompaniment to her narrative.
I particularly appreciate Julia's love for my home in South Louisiana. And as she started thinking about her forays over the years with me in Cajun country (we've shared many great adventures!), she decided to include a chapter at my country house in Patoutville set amongst the sugar cane background.
She penned this sweet note to Patoutville:
There's no bad time to visit Patoutville, but it is especially beautiful in summer and early fall, when the sugarcane is wait-high in the fields. In late fall and winter, the trucks full of cut cane form miles-long lines at the mill and there's twenty-four hours-a-day drama as great clouds of smoke fill the sky.
Ancient Oaks at BAyside Plantation
My cousin's nearby Bayside Plantation, was another destination in this chapter. As a realtor specializing in historic properties, I'm representing the sale of Bayside (click the above Bayside link for more images and listing details.
The culmination of the South Louisiana photo shoot was this fabulous meal celebrated with dear friends. I love that Julia was inspired by Teche country artist George Rodrigue's Aioli Supper Club and chose to recreate that celebration in her book. It's based on old Creole Gourmet Society traditions....another homage to the rich culture of South Louisiana.
Among the most cherished compliments
shared here from Julia:
... she's first referring to George Rodrigue and her vision to recreate the Aioli Dinner from his painting:
I think the artist would have approved of our
gathering under the live oaks. He so respected the traditions of his ancestors, and Peter, with his
antiques-filled houses and love of the land,
honors the past and his own Louisiana history
with more joie de vivre and élan than anyone I know."
Thank you Julia Reed!
As always with you, life is a magnificent celebration.
Tableau Restaurant at 616 St. Peter Street, site of Tricentennial Luncheon with the Baron & Baroness Pontalba
Interestingly, the first Baron, Joseph Xavier Pontalba, owned a home on the property that's now the Tableau Restaurant site - which overlooks the Cabildo, upper Pontalba building and Jackson Square (the Almonester and Pontalba families are directly responsible for all of these important buildings).
Dripping with rich Louisiana French cultural history spanning four centuries, this Tricentennial Pontalba Luncheon opportunity is a wonderful finale to the year.
Of course, I'm also excited about the Founders Ball the next night at The Cabildo!
countryside was incredibly fortuitous! I met the de Pontalba family!
-Read about that wonderful adventure here-
Founders Ball tickets are $300 each for Louisiana Museum Foundation Members and $350 for non-members.
So, join me for Lunch at Tableau and at The Cabildo for the Founders Ball!
My best to you,
December 1 At The CaBildo
Founders Ball & Exhibition Opening:
The Baroness de Pontalba &
the Rise of Jackson Square:
How a Father's philanthropy and a Daughter's determination created the urban heart and architectural look of old New Orleans
This Final Tricentennial exhibit draws on the landmark buildings and rich collections of the Louisiana State Museum, portraits, treasures from the Pontalba Family château in France, loans from other collections, and historic and commissioned photographs to revisualize New Orleans' iconic urban core: Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo, the Presbytère, and the twin Pontalba Buildings.
It’s been a thrill to meet the Pontalba family and to forge their relationship with the Louisiana State Museum...that helped in turn to develop this incredible exhibition as the finale to our Tricentennial year. None of this would have been possible if I hadn't read this book.
Intimate Enemies is one of my all-alltime favorite books about New Orleans: If you haven't already read it, I encourage you to do so. It will deepen your appreciation of the exhibit and what Jackson Square means to all of us.
& Launch of the Baroness Pontalba Exhibit at the Cabildo!
I am thrilled to offer you early ticket access to the Louisiana Museum’s Founders Ball & Exhibition Opening at the Cabildo. This is one for the history books!
Taking a wrong turn in the French countryside six years ago was incredibly fortuitous! I met the Pontalbas!. This wonderful occurrence along with help from friends led to this year's Founders Ball and Baroness de Pontalba exhibition....Here's how it happened and what you can anticipate.
Founders Ball & Exhibition Opening
The Baroness de Pontalba & the Family that Built Jackson Square
How a father’s philanthropy & a daughter’s determination created the urban heart and the architectural look of Old New Orleans
My cousin and I were looking for a Joan of Arc site when we got lost. Then I saw a sign for Senlis, which I remembered from Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of the Baroness de Pontalba, Christina Vella’s biography of the Almonester and Pontalba families, as their family seat.
We stopped at the Visitor Center and asked if the Pontalba family still lived in Senlis and discovered that they did! We arranged to tour their gardens and drove through alleys of poplar trees and rolling hills to the château. To our delight we met members of the Pontalba family, who graciously invited us in.
That the direct descendants of the Baroness de Pontalba (1795-1874) would welcome us to Château de Mont-l’Évêque, that we would develop a warm friendship, and that they would embrace their Louisiana heritage was beyond any dream that I could imagine!
Subsequently, I kept dreaming along with my friends, artist Andrew Lamar Hopkins and Louisiana Museum Foundation Director Susan Maclay.
We also realized that Mont l’Évêque is a treasure trove of historical items related to the Pontalbas' time in Louisiana - primarily in the 19th century. So, the idea for the exhibition was born.
Of course, none of this would have happened if I hadn't read Intimate Enemies. We should all be eternally grateful to the late Christina Vella, author of this book that was critically acclaimed by the New York Times.
If you haven't already read Intimate Enemies, I encourage you to do so. It will deepen your appreciation of the exhibit and what Jackson Square means to all of us.
The costume Ball will be reminiscent of the elegant parties Baroness Pontalba held in New Orleans and in her mansion in Paris, which today, still known as the Hôtel de Pontalba, serves as the official residence of the United States Ambassador to France.
Late-18th-century to mid-19th-century attire, recalling the days of Don Almonester and our Baroness, are encouraged for the ball. Contemporary black tie and ball gowns will also be acceptable.
Together, we will welcome Charles-Edouard and Isabelle, Baron and Baroness de Pontalba, their son Pierre, and other family members from France!
Here’s a link to buy your Founders Ball tickets. They are $300 each for Louisiana Museum Foundation Members and $350 for non-members. I suggest you do this today for tickets are limited and this remarkable event will sell out!
The only mission of the Louisiana Museum Foundation is to support the Louisiana State Museum through community donations and programmatic support. I hope that you will join me as a proud member of the LMF to support them for this event and beyond.
I'm very fortunate and humbled that business and homeowners in Mississippi are asking me to market their properties. I must say I'm excited!
For me, the allure of Natchez begins with its beauty: stately oaks and well-maintained gardens.
The Historic Downtown area is delightful! It's walkable and offers wonderful shops, coffee houses, fantastic restaurants and cultural events throughout the year with many opportunities to enjoy live music.
Farm to table is alive and well.
On Saturdays, there's a burgeoning Farmers Market Downtown that’s created a gathering place for the community. Among the prized produce, local artisans display their works all to the tune of local musicians. I felt so welcome here and especially loved meeting the Master Gardener group. Their efforts set Natchez apart.
Drink local in Downtown Natchez too as Charboneau Rum Distillery is nationally acclaimed and Natchez Brewing Company has many fans.
We met the Experts: I loved meeting with Stratton Hall and Jennifer Combs of Visit Natchez and appreciate their efforts to promote the city. From my team, Kelly Calhoun and Lee Anne Garner are to my right.
I'm also impressed by the vitality of the Downtown Natchez Merchant's group we met last visit at the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce.
And who says there's nothing to do Monday nights in Downtown Natchez? At Rolling River Bistro, we found delicious Chargrilled Oysters followed by fantastic Lamb Chops.
Oysters are half price on Mondays served up with a Delta Blues band. That was a fun discovery!
We took in this phenomenal view on Taco Tuesday and dined al fresco with a cool breeze from the river - great tacos! The Camp Restaurant, Under the Hill Historic District!
The hospitality is real. People are open here and It's been easy to make friends. I love impromptu gatherings: from a recent Friday night on the balcony at Dunleith Historic Inn.
Over that same weekend, we had the good fortune of meeting many long-time Natchez citizens and they welcomed us to celebrations at their summer camps along St. John.
What wonderful hosts! Their company and hospitality was incredible - and, yes, there was Peach Cobbler!
We also realized that we have met an equal number of newcomers that are referred to as: Natchoosians - a growing group of people without ties to the area - they found Natchez and have chosen to make the town their home. I understand why!
My foremost passions are architecture, history and art and there are so many inspiring cultural events throughout the year to feed these interests in Natchez.
Among the world class events you'll find is the Natchez Festival of Music which features top Opera, Broadway and Jazz national artists each May.
Natchez offers this and so much more ............ Oh, and the most majestic Crepe Myrtles you'll ever see!
The natural beauty of the region is breathtaking! Here's Lake St. John, an Oxbow River. It beckons for boating, fishing, swimming, and carrying on with friends. Its just 20 minutes away from Downtown Natchez!
Stay tuned for details about the World's Crepe Myrtle Festival
in Natchez next June!
I hope you are enjoying my Cultural Insider Blog! Stay tuned and spread the word!
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