In anticipation of this month's opening of his new restaurant Angeline, chef Alex Harrell offers five shops that no self-respecting foodie and cook should miss in his adopted home of New Orleans.
Chef Alex Harrell is thoroughly steeped in the food culture of the South, having grown up in Alabama and cooked in his adopted home of New Orleans for many years. When his new restaurant Angeline opens this month, the menu will be full of Southern soul with smart Italian twists: Expect dishes like butter bean tortellini with red-eye gravy and Mississippi rabbit leg Milanese with spoon bread. We’re booking tickets to visit now. And while we’re in town, Harrell has been gracious enough to give us a hit list of five amazing New Orleans destinations that food lovers and cooks should visit—when we’re not sitting down to meals, that is.
For antique hunters: Lucullus is filled with incredible culinary objects from silverware, French glassware and flatware to antique bistro linens, prints and paintings. It’s my favorite place to pick up French copper cookware and to fill out my collection of café au lait bowls, which we love to use for ice cream and cereal. lucullusantiques.com
For cookbook fanatics: I love Kitchen Witch Cookbooks for hard-to-find and out of print cookbooks. They also have a great selection of Creole, Cajun and Louisiana-based books. My last purchase from them was a signed copy of Adventures in French Cooking by Myriam Guidroz. kwcookbooks.com
For spice addicts: From hard-to-find to more common spices, teas, grains and dried herbs, The Spice & Tea Exchange has it all. It’s so convenient when I run out of something at the restaurant, and it has a great selection of loose teas. spiceandtea.com
For locavore carnivores: There’s a local-centric butcher shop called Cleaver & Co. that sources everything within a couple hundred miles of the city. They’re super knowledgeable, and they do a ton of excellent charcuterie and dry curing at the shop. They always have hot cracklings on Saturdays, if you get there early enough and they haven’t sold out. And you can pick up rawhides for your dog. cleaverand.co
For stinky cheese lovers: St. James Cheese Company is the definitive source for imported and domestic cheese in New Orleans. I’m hooked on the Brazos Valley Cheese cheddar they carry, out of Waco, Texas. It’s a fairly sharp but young cheddar, not overly dry, so you still get some of that soft creaminess. stjamescheese.com