Long before Pinterest, there was the community cookbook, an authentic collection of shared recipes that told the story of a people and a place. We cooked from dozens of our dog-eared favorites to unearth vintage recipes for today's home cook.
From 1752 to 1825, the Old Ursuline Convent on Chartres Street housed a group of gentle and compassionate nuns, whose role was to unselfishly care for orphans while also running an Academy for the daughters of wealthy plantations owners and teaching special skills to the girls of slaves—a curriculum that included the “wifely art” of cooking. As their variations of French dishes caught on, the Sisters helped shape the New Orleans cuisine of today. In fact, we can thank them for one of the most popular Creole confections—pecan pralines. Enjoy generations of New Orleans dishes, a complete glossary of herbs and spices, cooking tips throughout, and sketches of historical culinary landmarks that were inspired by the Ursuline women.