Lyndsey Beaulieu was born and raised in New Orleans but moved away to attend the University of Virginia. After college she lived in Los Angeles where she became part of the HBO family as an assistant at the HBO offices, then as a Writers' Assistant on ‘Big Love.’ She has been with ‘Treme’ since the pilot and currently works as the Writers' Office Coordinator.

 

Thursday
Dec262013

McAlary’s Music Mission on Rampart St.

By Lyndsey Beaulieu

In this week’s episode, “Sunset on Louisianne,” the music career of DJ Davis (Steve Zahn) is thwarted yet again when his band of Educated Fools arrives at Caledonia’s for a gig -- only to find it closed for business. The club may be fictional, but that some of the best music clubs on N. Rampart St. were shut down following Hurricane Katrina is not.

The long revered stretch of N. Rampart St. between Canal St. and Esplanade Ave. was a hotspot for authentic New Orleans music, with the Funky Butt (714 N. Rampart), and Donna’s Bar and Grill (800 N. Rampart St.), at its center. The Funky Butt, operated by Sam Williams of Big Sam’s Funky Nation and his wife, Shanekah Williams, was hands-down one of the best places in town to hear live music. But like so many of the dive bars in the area, the Funky Butt was in such a state of disrepair that it was forced to close just before Katrina. After the storm, a New Orleans businessman attempted to bring the Funky Butt back to greatness, but city politics and re-zoning put a fast stop to the plan. Between the residents of the Vieux Carre and City Hall, there was virtually no support for the once-venerable club’s reopening.

Donna’s Bar and Grill was the last mainstay to go, closing its doors in 2010. For over 20 years, Monday nights at Donna’s were legendary; a rite of passage where musicians came to see other musicians jam until the wee hours of the morning. Also legendary were the red beans and rice and barbecue chicken served by its proprietors, husband and wife team Donna Poniatowski and Charlie Sims. But like the Funky Butt, extensive damage and dilapidation eventually did them in, effectively ending the era of live music on N. Rampart St.

Music legends were also born on N. Rampart St., at the historic J&M studios, which is now a laundromat. Legends like Fats Domino, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Lloyd Price and Jerry Lee Lewis put some of their biggest hits on wax at 838-840 N. Rampart St.

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Monday
Dec232013

The Henry Glover Case, Then and Now

By Lyndsey Beaulieu

In this week’s episode, reporter L.P. Everett (Chris Coy) returns to New Orleans to find that the Feds are finally starting to take notice of the work he did on the Henry Glover case. Everett sits with Toni Bernette (Melissa Leo) and tells her almost gleefully, “They’re going after all of it now. Danziger. Glover.”

Everett is referring to two of the most notorious cases of alleged police misconduct that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina: The Danziger bridge shootings, where five officers were accused of shooting and killing unarmed civilians; and the Henry Glover case, in which officers were accused of shooting and killing the Algiers resident and orchestrating an intricate cover-up that included burning his body. All five officers involved in the Danziger case were convicted and given lengthy sentences. As for the Glover case, three officers were convicted: two for obstructing justice and falsifying police reports, and the third, former officer David Warren, for manslaughter.

Convictions in both cases were then overturned. In the Danziger case, a federal judge granted all five officers a retrial due to “grotesque prosecutorial misconduct.” Those new trials are slated to begin next year. In the case of Henry Glover, a federal judge ordered that Warren, the officer accused of pulling the trigger, be granted a new trial separate from the officers on the grounds that the shooting was a stand-alone event and should be tried as such.

Just this week, Warren was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges after the jury ruled he was justified in shooting Henry Glover. Once sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, David Warren is now a free man. In the fictional realm of ‘Treme,’ Everett is hopeful for real justice in both cases. In reality, the idea of justice has been questionable at best.

I recently spoke with the real L.P. Everett, ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson, who wrote the original article chronicling the chain of events surrounding the Glover shooting. As someone who has reported on police-involved shootings for over 15 years, Thompson wasn’t particularly surprised by the not guilty verdict.

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Saturday
Dec212013

Chef Jackie’s Paper-Skin Chicken

By Lolis Eric Elie


One of Janette Desautel’s greatest culinary triumphs was the fried chicken she made at Lucky Peach for family meal. It was a hit on screen, but unfortunately for the viewer and the cookbook writer, no recipe was written down. In order to recreate the recipe for ‘Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans,’ I turned to my friend Jackie Blanchard to fill in the blanks.

Chef Jackie is the former Executive Sous Chef at John Besh’s Restaurant August. Her fried chicken has wowed audiences on the book circuit and even inspired one of my favorite photos in the book. Recently, she shed light on her culinary background, as well as her plans for the future.

 

When did you know you wanted to be a chef? 

I don't know if there was ever an exact moment when I “knew." Rather, I feel I've been evolving into a chef my whole life. I remember my first burn. I was cooking pancakes with my Pawpaw in a tin cooking shed in his backyard. I insisted on flipping them (over these old gas burners) and my tiny arm got too close. I was 3 or 4 years old, but I remember thinking the scar was cool. 

I'd come home from school in kindergarten and glue myself to Julia Child, Graham Kerr or ‘Great Chefs of the World.’ I come from the thick of Cajun south Louisiana. Everyone in Assumption Parish can cook, so I had access to great influences from the start. Cooking is what I’ve always done.

How did you train to become a chef?

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