Hello Foodie Friends,
I had an opportunity to meet up with my marketing director, Jennifer in New Orleans (NOLA) to experience just some of what this magical city has to offer during this year’s Mardi Gras celebration. I had always been curious about this city, so I was super excited when the opportunity presented itself to go check it out. We had been invited to the luxurious St. Charles Avenue home of Dr, Nia Terezakis who is renowned throughout New Orleans for her contributions to the culinary, art and medical worlds there. Every year Dr. Terezakis graciously opens her art-filled home to friends, colleagues and family members who are each one swept up into the extraordinary magical atmosphere Nia creates. Every day during Mardi Gras, her flawless Southern charm, vibrantly Mardi Gras decorated home and a plethora of tastefully decadent dishes from her lifestyle book “Artful Feast,” are shared with her visiting guests. From her statue adorned balcony we were perfectly poised to catch and gather up many shiny Mardi Gras beads and trinkets as they are tossed from the endless parade and marching bands passing by. We realized just how special this experience was as Dr. Nia Terezakis is not only a treasure to the City of New Orleans, she is also the beloved Aunt of Jennifer and now, we are proud to say, she has agreed to be one of Savor Our City’s celebrity Chefs at our upcoming cooking classes to be held in New Orleans starting later this year.
While Jennifer visited with her Aunt Nia, I had the opportunity to explore on my own, some of the nearby places that some of my facebook friends suggested I go. I stopped into the Carousel Lounge for a Hurricane Drink, then on to Mr B’s Bar for some shrimp, followed by some grilled oysters and crawfish at Acme where I had a chance to meet the legendary “Stormin Norman”. I strolled around Bourbon Street where I did see some younger girls partaking in the age-old Mardi Gras tradition of “flashing for beads,” (incidentally, this type of activity was pretty much contained to this street). In the French Quarter, I stumbled upon some street performers calling themselves Dragon Master Showcase. It was a fantastic (and free) show consisting of break dancing, acrobatics, music and comedy. I liked it so much I decided to make a $20 donation to receive their DVD. I encountered all kinds of colorful characters up and down the pedestrian run streets. The city attracted young and old, conservative and liberal. I encountered a pair of young folks holding a sign offering “Free Destiny Reading”. I thought, why not?!? Let’s just say it was a pretty liberating moment. The parades ran continuously throughout the day and evening with some breaks in between. I was astounded at how quickly the streets were cleaned up over night. It was a short trip but by the end of my second day of roaming the streets, you can probably guess my feet were incredibly sore. So I leave you with this image….. me sitting in a comfy chair, getting a much needed foot massage while watching the 2020 Mardi Gras parades!
ABOUT ARTFUL FEAST
The goal of Artful Feast Cookbook is to help you embrace this attitude of celebrating food as an art form to be shared with those we love. To show you that elegant dining doesn’t have to mean elaborate recipes, and that spur-of-the-moment entertaining can be as gracious as more formal occasions.
ABOUT DR. NIA TEREZAKIS
“Life has surprised me, but never disappointed me!”
Nia grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, the daughter of Greek immigrant parents. Family recipes and holiday entertaining were important aspects of her Greek heritage. She graduated from her hometown Huntington College with a degree in art; her ever-vigilant father wouldn’t hear of her leaving home. Armed with a degree and high grades, she prepared herself for a career in interior design and teaching art.
Nia was married and soon widowed as a young woman. Her family doctor and his wife, Nia’s biology teacher, urged her to go to medical school and offered to help. She was one of only two women accepted to the Tulane School of Medicine class of 1962. After medical school, she was the only woman accepted in her chosen residency. She credits the continuing growth of the specialty of dermatology for giving her a rich and rewarding life with friends, colleagues, and mentors.
Nia’s love of people and sense of hospitality have made her a much-loved hostess. Whimsy, good humor, and appreciation of the unexpected, combined with the traditions of her Greek heritage, are the hallmarks of her style. These qualities and her innate sense of aesthetics—all expressed with seemingly effortless élan—are showcased in this book. She encourages you to adapt the recipes and tips to your own style, and to embrace the art of the feast (small or large) with poise and assurance.