Once again, I was speechless as I left Chef Gary’s Deja Vu restaurant. Once again the food was amazing and his restaurant was packed that night. I have much respect and admiration for what he’s doing and how he’s representing for New Orleans. He’s keeping the tradition and culture of New Orleans rolling even in Memphis. The shouts of “Who Dat!!!” coming from the kitchen by Chef Gary and while I was there, there was at least 2 people that also wanted to interview him. His popularity is growing and so is his restaurant. He was recently named one of the top 25 chefs in Memphis by the Memphis Business Journal and there was a way for you to vote for Chef Gary, but the competition has been suspended.
Fun fact for you: Chef Gary Williams had no previous culinary experience and didn’t go to school for it either. He went to Southern University In New Orleans and majored in Business. He credits all his teachings to his mother, grandmother, and other chefs he has watched over the years. That is very inspirational to me and its just a bonus that he’s from the same neighborhood I grew up in New Orleans. His restaurant is doing well and he has 5 other locations also. I really enjoyed doing a story about him because he’s very humble and he’s just a great person with a great heart. You can tell by talking to him that he loves what he’s doing and he’s not cocky but confident. He’s truly somebody who knows their craft and I wish him all the best for his restaurant. For the full story, go to https://403miles.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=65
Happy Mardi Gras to all!! Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is a week long celebration where people celebrate and enjoy themselves with parades, live music, and good food. The origin behind Fat Tuesday is that it’s supposed to be somewhat of a release period before Lent, where you have to give up a privilege in your life that you possess. I would always hear my grandmother saying things about Lent and she would stop drinking until it was over. If I had to sum up what Mardi Gras means with just a few words, it would “party on the streets.” No matter what parade you catch, you can feel the energy and the excitement in the crowds around you. It’s truly a great experience to see and just embrace the culture and history of Mardi Gras.
Living in Memphis, I’ve grown to really appreciate Mardi Gras and really understand what makes it so special. People from all over the world come to enjoy the wonders of Mardi Gras season. I can remember standing outside in the cold to catch a parade on Canal St. or being out with my oldest brother looking at the colorful Indians as they danced and chanted up the street. Mardi Gras is truly a wonderful thing to see and though I can’t be in New Orleans, I can think back on the memories and feel like im there again.
I never knew how much just a simple Big Shot soda can would bring back so many memories. There wasn’t a day in New Orleans where you didn’t see a Big Shot cold drink somewhere whether you passed it up in the store, you had some at home, or it may just be a random bottle or can on the street somewhere. At the Deja Vu restaurant in Memphis, I relieved one of those memories. When me and my brother sat down to eat at the restaurant on Florida St., the waitress asked us what would we like to drink and before we could say anything, she quickly said that all we have is Big Shot cold drinks. My brother and I just took a pause and I believe we were in amazement because we haven’t heard of or seen a Big Shot product since we left New Orleans.
Friday was quite possibly the biggest meal I’ve had in Memphis that my mother, father or sister didn’t cook. Chef Gary Williams definitely did not false advertise when he told us it was authentic New Orleans style food, packed full of flavor and just makes you want more and more. I couldn’t get over the fact that there was actually a place in Memphis that served food that I was used to for so long. It brought me back to all those many gatherings at my grandparents’ house, where there was food for plenty and the rule of the house was to not be bashful, if you know what I mean. My family didn’t care about you taking too much. In fact, they encouraged you to take a lot for there was plenty to go around and they always made sure if you came hungry, you left just the opposite. Eating that fried Catfish and that smothered okra and occasionally picking off my brother’s plate to get some of his shrimp etouffee, It brought me to a place of comfortably like I actually felt like just for that 30 minutes to an hour we ate there, I was back in New Orleans for a split second.