Black Owned in NOLA

Title

Black Owned in NOLA

Format

Video

Subject

These are the stories of two black owned business located in the Pythian Market.

Description

14 Parishes and Willie Mae's are some of the most popular restaurants in the Pythian Market and this is a look into their history and what makes them so popular.

Creator

Jordan Booker and Madison Grant

Source

My NOLA, My Story via Youtube

Publisher

Mass Communications Department at Xavier University of Louisiana

Date

December 10, 2021

Contributor

Christopher Taylor
Dorleon Pittman

Rights

My NOLA, My Story

Relation

My NOLA, My Story 2021 Exhibit

Language

English

Type

iMovie, video

Coverage

A Digital Humanities project by Xavier University of Louisiana's Mass Communication department students, led by Dr. Shearon Roberts

Original Format

Transcription

Intro:
Located in the business district of New Orleans is the Pythian Market where you can find an array of different restaurants and many of them happen to be black owned. The two most popular restaurants in the market are 14 Parishes and Willie Mae’s. We are going to explore these booming black owned businesses and how they got their start.

14 Parishes is a Jamaican restaurant started by Chef Blake who is Jamaican native who moved to New Orleans after settling down with his wife. Now Blake isn’t a rookie chef he has been cooking since he was 14 years old in a restaurant located in his hometown of Portmore. He has been cooking ever since and even has a restaurant in Atlanta that he started with his brother. 14 Parishes is run by Chef Blake and his wife, and this location was opened in October of 2016. Due to the success of the location here at the Pythian Market, the couple was able to open a two-story restaurant on Oak Street and are taking their gained knowledge to this new space. Lauren Blake attributes their ability to thrive during the pandemic to the comfort of Jamaican food and how easy it is to take to go and have at home.

A Local’s Take on Food in NOLA:
Chris Taylor: So New Orleans food and the impact that it has on the culture is truly amazing. You know growing up in a New Orleans household, my mom always truly cooked food maybe for thanksgiving or really just on a Sunday for a Saints game or something like that and that truly is something that I connected to. And so being around food every day in my household really made me want to go out and taste different foods at different restaurants and maybe you know take photos even or do stuff like that. And food can really truly give you a signature mindset or signature memory, just like eating a certain cup of red beams or bowl of red beans or eating a certain cup or bowl of gumbo or some type of signature meal like beignets. That signature flavor that the food gives is something that you can’t get and there’s always a memorable moment. When you’re cooking in the kitchen with your parents and you’re listening to certain music, or you know when you’re out at a restaurant and they got a second line band playing or some type of jazz music just to go along with that culture of food. Its kind of a “gumbo pot” of different things that you can actually experience here in New Orleans. This is some fried chicken here, an original meal that we all like to eat and some juice here. New Orleans culture and the food it just ties in so much and the memories and everything that comes behind it is so great. I love it myself personally.

Now while the Pythian Market location of Willie Mae’s isn’t the first one, the history of the restaurant still lives in it. Willie Mae’s was opened and operated by Ms. Willie Mae Seaton it was originally a bar and soon later became a bar with a barbershop and beauty supply. The beauty salon eventually closed and caused a rise in the demand from bar patrons for a restaurant to be opened in its place. The restaurant became a New Orleans staple and even had such a large fan base, they were able to get enough donations to fix the restaurant after Hurricane Katrina. But before the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina Ms. Willie Mae was presented with the prestigious James Beard Award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region.
That award gave the restaurant the national recognition it deserved and only two years later this New Orleans staple was presented “America’s Best Fried Chicken.” by the Food Network and the Travel Channel as “America’s Best Fried Chicken. “The restaurant is still owned and operated by the same black family and it’s leader is Kerry Seaton Stewart, Ms. Willie Mae’s great-granddaughter.
An Outsider’s Look into NOLA Food:
Dorleon Pittman: Hi! So being from Houston and coming down here to New Orleans you really get a food shock like a culture shock but in food. And you can’t really get the food down here anywhere else like it’s not the same, it doesn’t taste the same, like the vibe isn’t the same. It’s really very family oriented, you get a different experience here too from being anywhere else. Like New Orleans is the city of food basically.

Now a Word from the Co- Creator:
Madison Grant: When I was younger my dad started teaching me how to cook and so many of those recipes surrounded New Orleans Cuisine. My dad was a Xavier student and New Orleans has always been a part of his life which made it a part of mine. So, it was wonderful to come down here and finally understand all the culture that I was raised on and grew to love. New Orleans to me is just a city with so much culture and life and resilience out of all things. It’s a city that has continued to bounce back and I truly admire that. And I just have so much appreciation now that I live here and I’m able to see New Orleans every day and eat everyday so.

Duration

5:14 (five minutes, fourteen seconds)

Producer

Madison Grant and Jordan Booker

Director

Jordan Booker and Madison Grant

Files

MOLDIV-001.jpg
Date Added
November 2, 2021
Item Type
Moving Image
Tags
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Citation
Jordan Booker and Madison Grant , “Black Owned in NOLA,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed June 30, 2022, https://xulamasscomm.omeka.net/items/show/159.