Judy views her cooking school's mission as helping to preserve the complex, refined Creole food traditions and those of its indigenous twin, the simpler, spicier Cajun cooking.
Today the student mix is half visitors and half food-proud locals reconnecting with their history. Classes are held Thursdays through Saturdays and offered as single sessions or weekend packages. Small, relaxed, and intimate, they are taught, demonstration-style, around the prep island in the warm, cluttered main-house kitchen, followed by a tour and a meal in the garden or dining room.
Frank Brigtsen, shown here, teaches every Thursday night. The gentlemanly chef and owner of the award-winning Brigtsen’s Restaurant did his tutelage under the masters—the venerable Brennan family of the famous Commander’s Palace and the legendary Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, where Frank became executive chef prior to opening his own restaurant.
Photograph: John Barousse
Recipes are at the end of this story.