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Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde . . .: Life Stories about Food Hardcover – September 20, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

 "Marking the 150th Anniversary of Café Du Monde, the southern cookbook of Peggy Sweeney-McDonald is a humorous and heartfelt compilation of personal food essays accompanied by tasty recipes and candid photographs." - Southern Seasons Magazine

 

"With the Super Bowl being held in New Orleans on Feb 3rd, there is no better time to pick up a copy of this book and sink back into these amusing tales .  Then, cook up a few of these Louisiana recipes and see what memories they help you create." - Texas Home and Living Magazine

"The stories in Meanwhile Back at Café Du Monde on the surface are amusing and uplifting, but they contain so much more depth. They explain a society that uses food for much more than simply eating. Americans use food for comfort, hope, escape and symbolism." - Okra Magazine


"A Louisiana native turns a conversation into a popular, standup play and now a new book with some amazing recipes." - Chili Pepper Magazine

"We eat, drink, and tell the tales of our lives, our loves, our hopes, and our dreams. Sweeney McDonald has hit on the fabulous idea of putting that experience between the covers of a beautiful, glossy coffee table book. Actually, it feels weird to call it a coffee table book. It's certainly visually sumptuous--courtesy of photographer Troy--but we rarely read coffee table books. We just think of them more as decorative objects d'art--and this is a book that deserves to be read"  - Sam Bernstein, West Hollywood News

From the Inside Flap

Celebrating the Universal Language-Food-and How Our Lives Revolve Around the Satisfaction of It!

On May 16, 2010, Meanwhile, Back At Café Du Monde . . . premiered at the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, with fifteen foodies sharing their life stories about food. The show continued to be produced at restaurants and venues throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and California with hundreds of people sharing their endearing stories with a common thread of food. The events were a little bit of theatre, a lot about cuisine, and a true celebration of how food is so very important in our lives and our culture. This volume includes sixty-seven of the "Louisiana" stories presented at the Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, Los Angeles, and San Francisco shows in 2010 and 2011. For those who haven't ever been to Café Du Monde, it is simply a metaphor for your own special comfort food place that invokes tasty memories of life, love, family, and friends . . . memories to warm your heart, feed your soul, and make you pause to savor the sweetness of life!
As Café Du Monde celebrates its 150th anniversary, we are delighted to include a foreword by Karen Benrud of the Café Du Monde family along with their history and vintage pictures.

Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, creator of Meanwhile, Back At Café Du Monde . . ., grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As president of Superstar Events-LA, she produces unique red carpet, non-profit, and corporate events. Sweeney-McDonald is a graduate of Louisiana State University and was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She worked in film, theatre, and commercials as an actress for more than twenty-five years and is actively developing southern film projects. Sweeney-McDonald and her husband reside in Los Angeles, California.

Troy Kleinpeter grew up on a farm in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. He is a partner in Kleinpeter Photography, one of the premiere photography studios in the Baton Rouge area known for its beautiful family portraits. He has been the official photographer for Meanwhile, Back At Café Du Monde . . . since the first show at the Myrtles Plantation and has photographed hundreds of the headliners, emcees, audiences, and countless pictures at Café Du Monde! Kleinpeter and his family live in Prairieville, Louisiana.

A portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to Liberty's Kitchen a nonprofit based in New Orleans.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing (September 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455616605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455616602
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.9 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,251,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having grown up in Lafayette, Louisiana, food was a very important part of my life. Having gone to LSU, food (and drink) were important parts of my life. Having gone to LSU, visits to Cafe du Monde in New Orleans were at least a monthly occurrence. Imagine the happiness I felt when I received an autographed copy of Meanwhile Back at Cafe du Monde for Christmas. The memories of Louisiana came flooding back. The memories of all the wonderful food, fun, and friends I have enjoyed in Louisiana literally leap from the pages of this "delicious" book. The stories are wonderful, the photographs are spellbinding, and the recipes will make you downright hungry. You will find yourself in your kitchen trying a recipe before you know it. Make sure you get a copy of this book soon. If you like food and wonderful stories about food, grab yourself a beignet, and enjoy this wonderful book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always wanted to go to New Orleans, and even bought plane tickets and made hotel reservations, for the week of Katrina...so I have yet to make it there. But I felt that I did visit this city after I read Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde. It's a book of short stories and recipes, but unlike most cookbooks or short story collections I didn't peruse or scan the book -- picking out one story here to read and one recipe there to savor. No, I started reading the first story and continued to the next story and the accompanying recipe, because each story and recipe made me feel as if I were right there at the Cafe listening to these people talk about their love affair with food, describing how important good food is, and then giving away their favorite recipes the way my great-grandmother (who hailed from New Orleans) used to. Yummo!!!
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Format: Hardcover
When it comes to New Orleans food, each person here I think has their own story to tell when it comes to an event, or family situation, something really sticks in the mind.
A few years ago Peggy Sweeney-McDonald got the idea to put together a performance where celebrities in and out of the food industry would present monologues about their relationship to food and specifically New Orleans food.

In the introduction Sweeney-McDonald relates, "What would I call it? When I lived in New Orleans I had coined the phrase "Meanwhile back at Cafe DuMonde" on one of my many visits there. My husband, Jimmy, said to me "everyone has their own Cafe Du Monde, as it is a metaphor for the place you always go to, your own comfort food place."

With help of family and friends she got the idea of using TV personalities, chefs, restaurant owners actors and writers and of course foodies. Their premiere show was at the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville in May 2010 and it was a hit. It's traveled to different venues around the state and in 2011 Mayor Kip Holden declared May 12 as "Meanwhile Back at Cafe Du Monde... Day."
Now they've compiled a coffee table book of the monologues from these performances. Along with beautiful full color photograph this is a book anyone would be proud to display in their home.
Many of stories are funny, some for them touching and all revolve around food in one way or the other, especially New Orleans food and what it means to people. Leah Chase, Gen. Russell Honore Jeremey Davenport, Mayor Kip Holden are just some of the luminaries who provide monologues for the book.

In addition, some of the celebrities provide delicious recipes throughout.
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Format: Hardcover
Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde is a collection of inspirational food stories and delicious recipes written straight from the heart. This book is all soul! Being the daughter of a chef, cooking has always ben a very important part of my life and the kitchen, a very important place. This book represents three essential things in life; love, food and laughter.

This book has brought back memories of cooking with my pop as a little girl. My sweet little boy and I cook together as often as possible, we do have a standing date on our 'Pasta Sunday's to make our traditional sauce.

The Jambalaya recipe in this book is absolutely to die for! Courtesy of the beautiful and talented author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was born and raised in New Orleans. It's been a long time since I've lived there but this book brought me right back home. The loving descriptions of childrood food and recipes to boot! This book would make an excellent gift for anyone who has visited and loved the Crescent City.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is very much a labor of love for Peggy! What started as the gem of an idea has spawned into an annual event, in multiple states, attended by hundreds! Everyone who comes to NOLA, is from NOLA, or has lived in NOLA, has their own Cafe Du Monde story! Cafe du Monde is now 150 years old, and celebrating its 70 year of being owned and ran by the Fernandez family. They have been such an integral part of NOLA, that no one can imagine it without them! They have operated 24 hours a day, 364 days a year (no work on Christmas!), for that 150 years, with the exception of after Hurricane Katrina, when they were shut down for 10 weeks! When they reopened, NOLA sighed a deep sign of relief, and knew recovery was underway!

Peggy knew this love and what started as an offhand family comment blossomed into an idea for others to share their Cafe Du Monde moments, while being served good food- aka a typical Louisiana family event! The book aims to share some of those stories, and the wonderful food, with everyone! A vignette that resounds with us all if that from Drew Ramsey, owner of Hubig's Pies. He tells the tale of how his father was trying to get back into NOLA after Hurricane Katrina and was admitted because he was wearing a tshirt with Savory Simon, their pie mascot on it. The memory is even more poignant for NOLA, as the Hubig Pie Factory burned down in July, leaving NOLA bereft of its nearly century old pies for the time being (they are promising to rebuild).
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