SoTab is So Fab!

by on May 2, 2017

in Uncategorized

 ~Oh Honey! Cookery is a South Tabor Neighbor~

Part of the Northwest Nooks and Niches Notebook–Find it on Facebook

As a native of Portland, Oregon, I can recall when we were a sleepy little city, and if you lived here, likely you dreamed of living or travelling someplace else.  Fast forward to the last 12 years and Puddletown, USA is now on the international destination map.  One of the best things we’ve encountered of late is all the cross-cultural food, festivals and activities that have come here; we no longer have to travel far to experience different cultures, customs and cuisines.

Enter Bonnie Ward-Strauss, a native of New Orleans who grew up with a Sicilian grandmother and mom who cooked from scratch and from the garden, both Italian dishes and authentic Creole foods.  She now hosts and cooks secret dinners in the Portland area.  And we are fortunate to have her with us.

Now, I had to educate myself regarding the origins of Creole vs. Cajun cuisine.  Creole has it’s roots in French cooking, but was fused with the talents and cuisine of the people of West Africa, in the days before and after the Louisiana Purchase.  The Africans and French had to improvise with what was available locally and eventually created the regional standards of Étouffée, jambalaya, muffuletta roll-ups, crawfish pies, red beans and rice, bread or banana pudding, beignets, and chicory coffee.

Bonnie deeply resonates with the soul of the story and continues to honor the origins of the traditional foods she makes with love and care.  In addition, she sources her ingredients carefully, using local chickens, free-range eggs and organic veggies.  She connects with her clients and customers one-on-one.  I’ve spent two evenings helping Bonnie serve food:  one was a Mardi Gras Pop-up Dinner for 40 (sold-out/BYOB) and the other was NOLA samplings and small bites for a Zyedeco dance group (open to the public once a month).

The food is complex, delicious and memorable, and folks from Louisiana seem especially appreciative.  Among other things, Bonnie teaches small groups her cooking secrets and shares the meal afterwards in her lovely home.  She will cater your event and help you create a very memorable evening.  She is both neighborhood based and a world-class chef!  I invite you to gather your friends and family and experience a memorable and delicious evening in a new friend’s kitchen or back yard, or at a pop-up dinner near you.

Bonnie’s info is at   The Zydeco dance group meets at least once a month at the Eagles Lodge on 50th/Hawthorne (public is welcome).

Nina M. Jackson/IndieCottage in Portland, Oregon

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: