Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Written by The Independent Staff
GRAIN OF TRUTH
Rice is life in Acadia Parish, and no one is more serious about it than the cooks who compete in the annual Chef de Riz (Rice Chef) competition in Crowley. A new documentary of the same name lifts the lid on this passionate pastime. The film follows ex-pat Brandi Martin, who grew up in Acadia Parish but now lives in Nashville, as she prepares four rice dishes and transports them from her Tennessee kitchen to Crowley for the 72nd Annual International Rice Festival’s Chef de Riz competition. Scores of contestants converge on the festival each year to compete for the coveted title. The effervescent Martin, bubbling over with cocky Cajun confidence, explains during preparations that she was “born Chef de Riz.” The dishes are judged in four categories — meat, seafood, salad or side, and dessert. Martin’s stuffed shrimp wins the seafood category, putting her in the running for Chef de Riz. The competition includes interviews with the judges during which contestants must not only explain their dish, but demonstrate a knowledge of the rice industry. It is, after all, about the rice. Martin, alas, doesn’t win Chef de Riz and, on a crisp fall afternoon that is also her 30th birthday, she takes it hard. “It’s never gonna be OK that I didn’t win,” she explains, “because I’m always going to be wondering, what’s wrong with me?” The latest production of ten18 Films, Chef de Riz was written and directed by Jeremy Campbell, an EMMY-nominated journalist and filmmaker and former reporter and weekend anchor at KLFY TV-10. The 24-minute documentary is streaming online at ten18films.com. A DVD can be purchased at the website for $15. — Walter Pierce
If you like your country music with more old school tumbleweed and Texas twang than fast-burning plastic of the modern age, then you should pick up Yvette Landry’s new solo CD Should Have Known. Like some Cajun queen bee from another era, the Bonsoir, Catin bassist picks up her acoustic guitar to belt out 16 original tunes that trace the arc of romance from holding hands to one night stands to making long term plans. Filled with bitter-sweet tales of love lost, found, and turned around, it’ll have you jerking the tears out of your eyeballs and crying in your beer. Co-produced by Joel Savoy and Landry, the CD plays like a woman’s honky tonk companion piece/travel guide through the back roads of the heart with upswings through the highs (“Blue Moon Girl”) and pensive meditations on the lows (“Where Memories are Gold”). — Dege Legg
A paean to the power of language and its transformational effect on the inner life, Wendi Romero’s Pilgrimage to Self: Leaving, Walking, Returning is a journey of spare, often deeply personal poems that pulse simultaneously with both a deft touch and metaphysical heft. As the title implies, Pilgrimage is a poetic triptych that explores leaving and returning to the familiar — people, places, emotions and, most important, the spiritual self. Romero learned to craft her stanzas at McNeese State University under the guiding hand of professor, poet, critic and photography historian John Wood, whose simple question, “Why aren’t you writing?” rekindled Romero’s poetic fire more than a quarter century after she left the university for a career in medicine. The chance encounter with her former mentor opened the creative spigot; Romero has poured out poetry and prose — hundreds of poems and short stories — since. Pilgrimage to Self ($9.99 e-book, $15.99 paperback, $24.99 hardback; available at www.xlibris.com) is the first collection of her work, a worthy effort from an inspired artist. Meet the poet, buy the book and hear a reading from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, at the Erath Public Library. — WP
His company bankrupt and being liquidated, the Lafayette businessman’s financial troubles are mounting.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
The House labor committee rejected bills Thursday that would have set the state minimum wage higher than the hourly federal rate of $7.25 and would have allowed local governments to set their own minimum wage.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained nine rigs, Texas increased by seven, California gained three and New Mexico increased by one.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,101 from the previous week's total of 1,985. There were 2,444 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
Eleven Senate Democrats, including Louisiana's Mary Landrieu and five others who face contested races this year, urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline by the end of May.
In a press release issued Wednesday, BancorpSouth announced a deal to acquire Knox Insurance Group of Lafayette.
Get ready for Tenacious Tuesday, ladies, ’cause it’s returning, too.
The drug companies said Tuesday they will “vigorously challenge” the decision, which was handed down by a Lafayette jury in federal court Monday.
The gap comes from a $35 million increase in enrollment growth and a $20 million “cash flow issue” which Education Superintendent John White did not explain.
Two additional tenants sign letters of intent for Phase I of lifestyle center.
The attorneys representing the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East in its lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies may have just quashed the main line of criticism coming from Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
It’ll be another week before Rep. Joel Robideaux’s House Bill 862 — an attempt at making it more cumbersome for parish governments to sue oil and gas companies — undergoes its first round of debate.
The civil complaint alleges that Joyce Bougere-Keyes prepares federal income tax returns for customers who report fabricated and/or inflated business income and expenses to maximize the amount of the Earned Income Tax Credit her customers claim.
Because... greedy trial lawyers?
Landrieu is chair of the U.S. Senate committee that deals with energy policy. The lawsuit puts her between two areas in which she's been a strong advocate: rebuilding Louisiana's coast and supporting the oil and gas industry.
Each facing 20 years in prison, couple are last two defendants in a 10-count indictment to plead guilty.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims fell to 1,985 from the previous week's total of 2,131. There were 1,663 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
Tyrone Ben, a human resources manager for a mental health and counseling service in Chalmette, became the second of two nominees that could fill the seat now held by Tim Doody on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.
Local Latter & Blum company now second only to sister entity in New Orleans
Under a bill that received the backing of a Senate judiciary committee, a person would be limited to 10 short-term loans a year from payday lenders.
Chitimacha Louisiana Open fans enjoy garden party at sunset