Book Review: Real Cajun by Donald Link

real-cajunDonald Link would probably call himself a real Coon-Ass.    Though as a city boy from New Orleans,  I wouldn’t quite dare.      Those of you who are not from Louisiana may have no idea what that means,   while those of you who count Coon-Asses, Cajuns and other Louisianians amongst your friends will understand that the word Coon-Ass basically describes Mr. Link as  something along the lines of a real, genuine native Cajun country boy.   Said with the right inflection is actually a high compliment in the country around Lake Charles, Louisiana where Link originally hails from.     Link,  a chef/restauranteur who operates two well-regarded New Orleans restaurants– Herbsaint and Cochon— sets out in Real Cajun to take the reader on a flavorful tour of the smokehouses, festivals, seafood and sausage in Louisiana’s Acadiana region.

The recipes are all very down home and authentic and are guaranteed to produce for the reasonably experienced and capable home cook the delicacies that for me will always be the taste of HOME,  even though I have not lived in Louisiana for more than twenty years and don’t know if I will ever move back.   While the book is written entirely in the first person,  chef and food writer Paula Disbrowe is credited as a co-author and photographer Chris Granger is also credited on the cover for the gorgeous photos of the food and scenery of Acadiana that left my mouth watering and my heart more than a little homesick.    The recipes,  in addition to being competent and workable are conveyed in a story style,  along with asides about the people and culture of Cajun country.  Especially if you are  a competent cook  who wants to learn to cook authentic Cajun food or an expatriate Louisianian misses their real home cooking.,  Real Cajun is Highly Recommended.

Title: Real Cajun:  Rustic Home Cooking From Donald Link’s Louisiana    Author: Donald Link    Format: Hardcover    Publisher: Clarkson/Potter– New York     Publication Date: April 21, 2009

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