Jazzfesting in Place, in Paris (2023)

A portrait from New Orleans and Paris

Importing another favorite tradition to our adopted city of Paris: Jazzfesting in Place. Homemade Gumbo, Red Beans & Rice, Pralines and Sazerac, plus tuning into the fest live.


Jazzfesting from Afar

We have been doing various versions of our own virtual festing since 2011, whenever we couldn’t make it down for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest. This year, as we wrapped up school spring break, we had a craving for gumbo and pralines, and decided to have a last minute gathering of anyone who was in town and wanted to come by for the fun!

big plate of pralines ready for jazz festing in place


Tuning into the Fest

It is never a bad time to be listening live to New Orleans’ favorite radio station WWOZ from wherever you are in the world, but for this, it is required. This link should be a permalink to their festing in place info but just google it if it breaks.

This year we were also able to watch live. via the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival YouTube channel.

Et voilà the 2023 cubes for May 7, 2023, the day we jazzfested from Paris. Cubes are the at-a-glance schedule of the fest, showing all the stages on one page per day.

jazz fest cubes 2023 new olreans jazz and heritage festival


Parisian Punchbowl Sazerac

sazerac with a view. 2023 jazzfesting in place, in paris; importing another tradition to our adopted city

A hit from our “Dans Les Roux” event, we had to make it again, but I had to adjust it for what we had available here in Paris. I couldn’t find Herbsaint nor other Absinthes (but then it clicked that actually Herbsaint was developed from the pastis and absinthe that J. Marion Legendre tasted when stationed in Paris and wanted to bring back to New Orleans. So, we simply used some Richard pastis, instead.

Secondly, though I had my Angostura bitters at the ready, somehow the Peychaud’s bitters didn’t make it in the suitcase. But I did have Woodford Reserve spiced cherry bitters, and knowing that Peychaud’s is known for its candied cherry and spicy clove flavors, I knew that would work just fine. Delish.

And there you have it, laissez les bons temps rouler!

sazerac, pralines, beads and second line umbrella


Louis Armstrong’s Red Beans & Rice

louis armstrong red beans and rice, with the recipe, hot sauce, jazzfesting in place

A family favorite any time of year. It’s definitely better to make in advance as much as possible, and it’s delightful with a fried egg for brunch, if you are lucky enough to have any leftovers!

brunchy red beans and rice.  with a view. 2023 jazzfesting in place, in paris; importing another tradition to our adopted city. just add a fried egg and louisiana hotsauce to louis armstrong's red beans and rice.

In Paris, my local butcher didn’t have any ham hocks for me. He recommended epaule (shoulders), which worked, but that was more meat that I think we needed. For pork shoulder, instead of boiling it like the hocks, I browned it well on all sides, and then kept it aside, using the same pan to start cooking the beans. After about 20 mins of stewing the cooked beans with the other ingredients, I added the pieces of pork and let it continue to cook over low heat for the remaining time.

2023 jazzfesting in place, in paris; importing another tradition to our adopted city. big pot of louis armstrong's red beans and rice.
louis armstrong’s red beans and rice is perfect for a crowd

I included this video on the portrait for our —, but it is too good not to include again.


Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

It was fun to make gumbo in Paris and discuss with French friends how French cooking techniques melded with those from other parts of the world, along with new ingredients and evolved into the cuisines we know of as Cajun and Creole. There are entire books written on this topic, of course, but even us amateurs can observe the connections …. and enjoy the results, of course.

chicken and sausage gumbo ready to be eaten with rice and louisana hotsauce crystal . for jazzfesting in place.

We again used Chris Wells‘ recipe featured in the WWOZ cookbook That Sounds Good!, as we did for our “Dans les Roux” event (almost exactly a year ago!) on May 7, 2022.

To adapt for France, I had to find different sausages, but otherwise we followed the recipe. New Orleans has their beloved Andouille Sausage, but attention! it is not the same as the Andouille or Andouillette we find here in France. For starters, the New Orleans version is smoked. Beyond that, I need to spend some time researching the evolution to the version that we need to make a true gumbo.

In the meantime, I used saucisse fumée d’Alsace which along with some Espelette and black pepper, gave a nice approximation. I bought it at La Grand Épicerie, Paris.

2023 jazzfesting in place, in paris; importing another tradition to our adopted city. big pot of gumbo, ready to go.


Pralines in Paris

praline mixture, about to drop onto a sheet to become pralines

Aside from not needing any extra reason for making these ridiculously good treats, it was extra fun one to share in Paris because it highlights another evolution of a French tradition in New Orleans. In France, Pralines refer to the pink candied nut, a specialty of Lyon. It is often found in brioche or the famous Tarte à la Praline. That said, the word praliné refers to the candying of nuts generally. One can praliné and kind of nut or combination there o, on a stovetop, with sugar, stirring rapidly until there is a perfect combo of caramelized sugar and toasted nuts. Process your praliné-d nuts into a paste and blend it with vanilla pastry creme and you have the filling for my favorite Paris-Brest.

the first time i tried la brioche à la praline in france, at a market / marché in Annecy.

Also, Oui, c’est vrai that two of the ingredients needed here are not easily accessible in France: brown sugar and vanilla extract. If you are in Paris, you can head over to The Real McCoy, but if not, unfortunately I cant guide you further. We have not yet experimented with cassonade nor other versions of vanillla.

sazerac with a view. 2023 jazzfesting in place, in paris; importing another tradition to our adopted city
a big, sudden thunder storm just before everyone arrived left a huge rainbow in it’s wake….