Northern AZ’s Mountain Living Magazine, March 2017
Written by Gail Collins
Although Mardi Gras may be a revelry in our rear view mirrors, the vision remains vivid. Fat Tuesday, so called for its excess, marks the last merriment before 40 days of piety. The intricate iron balconies of New Orleans are draped in rich purple, green and gold; the gumbo and jambalaya are spicy; the jazz is syncopated; and the bawdiness of Bourbon Street contrast with genteel colonial mansions. The whole of it creates an intoxicating experience. This cradle of culture at the mouth of the Mississippi River blends Native American, African, French and Spanish influences among others. It is especially evident in their language of food, where you can savor sugar-dusted beignets or pork and rice boudin. Mostly, one senses a party—whether it’s a backyard crawfish boil or festival fun—is always just around the corner.
Our olfactory-driven memories are the strongest, and all of this hit me at the door of Satchmo’s. The spicy smells of Creole cooking took me straight back to our days in New Orleans. And I grinned ear to ear. Owner Jamie Thousand is quick to say a Louisianan might turn up his nose to a batch of Satchmo gumbo offered on their turf. Family recipes are strongly respected and guarded. Thousand honors the Holy Trinity of onion, green pepper and celery in his dishes, but they are also wholly his own.