Who I Am

Me, Hard at Work

By trade, I’m the cookbook editor for LSU Press in Baton Rouge. I sift through proposals of hopeful writers, pick out those with potential, and work with authors to produce dynamite cookbooks.

And I write cookbooks, too! In 2015, LSU Press published my latest cookbook A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook:The Food of Ignatius J. Reilly’s New Orleans. In 2012, LSU Press also published my title The Delta Queen Cookbook:The History and Recipes of the Legendary Steamboat. I am a former member of Newcomb College’s Culinary History Writers Group. My fellow researchers from Newcomb and I wrote a scholarly book, New Orleans Cuisine (University Press of Mississippi, 2009). For that book I contributed chapters on Creole cream cheese, oysters, and gumbo.

For years, I wrote the newspaper column “Bites of History” for the Food Section of the Baton Rouge/New Orleans Advocate. Melinda Winans and I just finished a biography/cookbook about Melinda’ father-in-law, Fonville Winans, the famous photographer who took award-winning black-and-white photographs, and who also liked to cook. LSU Press is publishing The Fonville Winans Cookbook, and it’s coming out September, 2017.

In my spare time I’m a guest lecturer on various food history topics, and I teach cooking classes and specialize in brewing tea and baking bread. I enjoy tinkering with bread so much I even took a professional course in boulangerie (literally, rolled breads) at the Cordon Bleu in Paris. My formal education includes a degree in Business Administration from LSU in Eunice and a bachelor’s in American History from the University of New Orleans.

My home town is the great metropolis of Iota, Louisiana (pop. 1,500), where I grew up on a rice, soybean, and crawfish farm. I was living in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina shooed me and my husband off to Baton Rouge, where we lived eight years. We’re now back in New Orleans, living right outside the French Quarter. For a food and history buff, it doesn’t get any better.


Memberships in these professional organizations keep me up on things:

Southern Foodways Alliance

Association of Food Journalists

The James Beard Foundation

Chaine des Rotisseurs

Louisiana Historical Association

The Herb Society

The Laffite Society

The Historic New Orleans Collection

Board Member, Burden Horticultural Society


If you want to get in touch, please go HERE.