Greetings Travelers!  For the last almost 7 months I’ve reposted blogs from our previous tours around the world. I’ve just about covered them all.  So I won’t bore you with being repetitious.  For the time being there are quite a few places Americans can not enter. 2021 is going to be better for all of us. We are still scheduled for Australia, Paris, Morocco, South Africa, Negril, South Africa, Egypt and The Maldives.

In the meantime I’ve been busy in Kat’s Kitchen – Tastes from around the world.  I’ve perfected Vietnamese Spicy Green Onion & garlic,  2 types of shrimp fried rice ( Vietnamese and Chinese). I’ve created my own Southern Jamaican Oxtails, South African Baked Salmon,  Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken and my Spicy Shrimp Dip (aka crack) keeps on getting more addictive.  “I can’t get you to those places right now but my cuisine will make you think you’re there.

There may be another New Orleans trip in the horizon.  We can go there  The next few blogs will be REPOSTED from our 2018 trip there and did we let the GOOD TIMES ROLL? Yes, we did!

Last week it was freezing here but today we were greeted with Pleasant shirt sleeve weather. Our airport pick up by Luxe Transportation was on hit.  The service and the vehicle set the stage for Kattrax perfectly.  13 of 23 flew nonstop from Oakland. Tony Jackson and Jean Eason kept it lively on the flight….clowning of course.   After arriving we connected with the Sacramento folks; Della Casey and Herman and Mary Walton at baggage claim. Our courteous and experienced driver, Antoinette was there waiting for us and soon we were on our way

Upon arriving at the legendary HOTEL MONTELEONE in the French Quarter we had a small private reception on the mezzanine in the Queen Anne’s Parlor where I distributed key packets.  Of course it was like a mini reunion with so many from past tours happy to see their friends:  Nicole Robinson-Hamilton of Tennessee, Lucille Johnson, Audrey Kay, Darlene Daevu, Debra Sledge, Sonya Lucas-Harris, Luchan Baker, Janice Manuel, Mary Jacobs of North Carolina, Sandra Phillips, Georgene Roberts, Sue Allison, Lateshia Irving of Monterey and new comers; Sonya Coleman, Sharon Longworth of Gainesville and Tara Nichols of North Carolina.  After settling in, Sandra and I headed down to the Carousel Bar where we ran into Jean.  It seats 26 and revolves slowly.  Me and my best friend, Tonic Water could easily survive but I doubt if me and my old pals Grey Goose Cosmo  or a couple glasses of champagne could manage this and still maintain decent composure.

My dear friend,  Jess Peters;  Wine Broker and Cigar aficionado and New Orleans resident worked closely with me on this project and it has been a real pleasure.  He met us in the lobby at 540p and we walked 5 mins to the world famous Brennan’s Restaurant, sophisticated creole cuisine since 1946.  Everything was to my satisfaction from the place settings, the plating and presentation, to the food and service.  I chose the seafood file’ gumbo, the braised shortribs with wilted kale, pickled green tomato in red wine sauce and for dessert; the praline Leidenheimer bread pudding with rye whiskey anglaise and chantilly cream.  Here in New Orleans everyone has their own variation of bread pudding so I’m sure we’ll sample a few while here.  There are so many wonderful restaurants and dining experiences here; 4 Days is just not enough to get it all in.  I’ve got to get to Dragos for my delightful charbroiled oysters. No, not raw on the half shell but charbroiled.  I can’t get down with the raw no matter how much horseradish or Tabasco there is.   Another must will be Deanie’s  Seafood Restaurant and then I will be on a mission to find the best fried catfish in town.  As we enjoyed our meal,  one of our servers gave us a bit of history on the restaurant and the building which has been standing since 1791.  We also learned the story of the $75,000 dress in the display case in our private room. Overall, a very nice dining experience was had at Brennan’s and it did not disappoint.

Shout out to my mentor, Rev Eltyna McCree who worked tirelessly on flight and hotel contracts.  Merci  beaucoup! We are here to “laissez les bon temps rouler”  Let the good times roll.

Tomorrow we visit the NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL OF COOKING where our lunch will be what we prepare.  On the menu will be:  Crawfish Etouffee, Shrimp and Artichoke Soup, Bread Pudding, Pralines.  I look forward to another wonderful meal.

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