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Kitchen Witch: Somethin’s Brewin’ in New Orleans French Quarter

kitchen witch new orleansAfter Mass is usually a good time to take a stroll in the Quarter. Sundays in the Quarter seem different on other days. The crowd seems more sedate and easy going, and there are less people. It just feels like a Sunday.

Julie, my cooking expert and culinary experimenteuse extraordinaire, heard about a shop that sells vintage cookbooks and we found it under an assuming little sign at 631 Toulouse St. As Cajun music played over WWOZ we easily perused the shelves which held cookbook treasures from the region, Cajun and Creole and everything in between even some treasures from other parts of the world like Spain, Italy, and France.

All items are at reasonable prices his most expensive being a rare copy of a translation of a 1-3 century BC Roman cookbook at $400.00! The owner remarked that any recipe in that ancient collection would put most of our modern and revered recipes to shame. Holding this treasure and flipping through the pages of recipes from over 2000 years ago is awe inspiring.

This shop is owned and operated by Debbie Lindsey and Philipe LaMancusa. Philipe said he added the “e” at the end many years ago when he started cooking professionally, said Philip just didn’t sound right for a chef. I agree, Philipe is a great sounding name.

They started the shop on Rampart St. before Katrina, when the “Renaissance of Rampart” was being proclaimed, and barely hung on. Well, that renaissance never happened as our wise city fathers decided that raising the rates on the parking meters there would somehow magically attract more business! (No other street in the Quarter has meters why Rampart St.?)

Anyway, after Katrina they came back, found a great spot in the heart of the Quarter with a decent rent and a good lease. And as Philipe tells it are making enough to stay open.

If you are into cooking this quaint little shop is definitely worth checking out. Get on their mailing list and they’ll alert you to book signings and other events they regularly hold there. So take a stroll in the French Quarter and you’ll find this place right on the beaten path holding culinary treasures just ripe for discovery.

Posted in New Orleans Food, New Orleans Life.

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2 Responses

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  1. termite says

    Richard!! i can’t believe you wrote a post on Kitchen Witch!!!!
    my favorite!!!!! how wonderful! this is such a great blog, i’m
    thrilled i found you!
    thank you soo much! i am looking forward to reading all of your
    and you are so right. after mass walking around the quarter
    just feels right. it’s the thing to do.

    thanks again.

  2. Richard Bienvenu says

    Yep, Kitchen Witch is such a great place. Never been in a place that focused on cookbooks. And that 2000 year old Roman cookbook blew me away.

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