Louisianans Reminisce on Cajun Christmas Tale

December 21, 2013 | By | Comments (1)

Alligators replacing reindeer? Only in Louisiana, where Cajun Night Before Christmas author James Rice created a muskrat-wearing St. Nick whose gators fly with different names (“Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an’ Alceé…”). We asked five Bayou State tastemakers to share their favorite lines and memories from the swamp-based story, including beloved artist George Rodrigue who passed away last weekend.

John Besh
Profession: New Orleans-based chef; restaurants include August, Lüke, Borgne, and American Sector

“When I was young, I was captivated by the sketches of the Louisiana I knew, with bayous, skiffs, and even alligators.”

Courtesy of WYES/Besh Restaurant Group

Courtesy of WYES/Besh Restaurant Group

Irvin Mayfield
Profession: Trumpeter and bandleader at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse and founder of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

“It’s a classic tale spun in a Southern way. And who doesn’t love the idea of 8 alligators instead of reindeer(?)”

Courtesy of Greg Miles/New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Courtesy of Greg Miles/New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Donald Link
Profession: New Orleans-based chef; restaurants include Herbsaint, Cochon, and Pêche

“Every year, I read the book in my best Cajun accent. I like the scene where the momma cooks gumbo and baked yams because it reminds me of the holidays when I was growing up.”

Courtesy of Donald Link

Courtesy of Donald Link

Troy Landry
Profession: Star of Swamp People

“I love when St. Nick calls his alligators by name. [We] name some of the alligators we fish, and I add those while I’m reading. [The kids] laugh like crazy!”

Courtesy of Kevin Lynch/History

Courtesy of Kevin Lynch/History

George Rodrigue
Profession: Cajun artist, known for his paintings of the iconic Blue Dog and Louisiana landscapes

“I read the story to my boys—Andre and Jacques—when they were young. They liked calling out the gators by name and, of course, my Cajun accent.”

Courtesy of George Rodrigue Gallery

Courtesy of George Rodrigue Gallery

Don’t stop with the book—check out our Cajun Country Christmas Road Trip to get a true taste of South Louisiana.

COMMENTS

  1. Community Coffee Company

    Reblogged this on Community Coffee Connection – The Inside Scoop! and commented:
    Only in Louisiana indeed!

    December 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm