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Time for seconds: Bogalusa native pens new cookbook

It has been four years since George Graham’s first cookbook, Acadiana Table, debuted to an audience hungry to learn about Cajun and Creole food culture. And now, with the upcoming publication of Fresh From Louisiana: The Soul of Cajun and Creole Home Cooking, the Lafayette-based author is literally “dishing up a second helping.” Published by Boston-based Harvard Common Press, readers worldwide will take a deeper dive into Louisiana’s foodways.

Graham is a Bogalusa native, who said he learned how to cook in his family’s restaurants — Graham’s Café and the Acme Café, both on Columbia Road.

“And I stirred a pot or two in the kitchen of the Pine Tree Inn after my father bought that in the late 1950s,” he said. “After graduating from Bogalusa High School, I settled in Lafayette and fell in love with the Cajun and Creole food culture. I began writing about it with the debut of my food blog and my first cookbook.”

George Graham

Graham’s second cookbook is 240 pages, and contains over 100 recipes and full-color photos that he brings to life in vivid stories of the colorful people and interesting places that are part of the food culture.

“I love the way a spicy crawfish pie weaves its lyrical melody and sings to me with a Doug Kershaw accent, how a pork and apple-stuffed duck is only a vessel for the sweet, duck fat–roasted onions that accompany it, and how the perfumed scent of fresh basil wafts from a crispy-crusted Creole tomato tart as it comes out of a hot oven,” Graham said.

The book is currently available on pre-order and will ship to buyers on Nov. 17, in time for the holidays. Autographed copies are available at a 15-percent discount on Graham’s food blog at AcadianaTable.com, and the book will be available at all booksellers and online retailers starting in mid-November.

“With this cookbook, I’ve delivered a road map of the culinary delights that await you and the fresh ingredients that will astound you,’” Graham said. “Eating in the South is tied to the seasons, and Louisiana is no exception. Farm-fresh and wild-caught are the cultural mandates of Louisiana cooking and the essence of what sets this book apart.

“I love the Louisiana recipes living inside this cookbook for the history that calls me back to the table and for the ties that bind me to the memories of food and family.”