He and She Said
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through New Orleans,
NOLA people were completing their holiday scenes.
Stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Rare Cuts would soon fill them there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of Sucre danced in their heads.
We thought it might be bad to leave them in the car
As we stopped for a nightcap at the Sazerac bar.
Then out in the street we heard such a roar
We reached for two go cups and ran for the door.
We sprang through the lobby where the lights were all strung
Careful not to spill our hot buttered rum.
The cocktails we’d had earlier at home
Gave the lustre of midday to Canal and Baronne.
When what with our wondering eyes could be seen,
But the big Que-Crawl food truck done in red and in green.
Out popped two fellas in hats that did jingle,
Sure enough it was Santa and his friend Mr. Bingle!
They opened the back door and out came a bunch
Of chefs that looked dressed for a Galatoire’s lunch.
More and more of these fancy folks came,
And we whistled and shouted and called them by name:
There’s Boswell and Leah, and Harris and Link,
And McPhail and Burgau, and Zemanick, I think.
Look! Spicer and Besh, and Alison and Slade,
With a plate of some chicken that Willie Mae made.
And pulling up behind them to help at the bar,
Alan Walter himself in a very cool car!
Hannah and McMillian rode in the back,
With bottles of bitters stashed in a rack.
And just when we thought the scene was complete,
Bacchanal’s grills were dragged down the street.
We thought we had seen about all we could stand,
When out of the truck jumped the Hot 8 Brass Band!
As dry flour, which alone just won’t do,
When it meets with some oil, gives us a roux,
So all the chefs together sautéed and roasted,
Poached and pureed, sous- vided and toasted.
The funk and the frenzy of this chefs’ Reveillion,
Made us feel for a moment like a Thursday at Vaughn’s.
As we turned to our right and our left we soon found,
A crowd full of people had gathered around.
From Marigny, Bywater, Broadmoor and Treme,
The Quarter and Gentilly, they all came that day.
From Uptown and Downtown, rank upon rank,
And places like Kennah bra, and even the WANK.
There was Gumbo Ya-Ya and crawfish beignets,
Blackened redfish and bread pudding soufflé.
There were Oysters Rockefeller and stuffed artichoke,
An amouse bouche from Stella with liquid nitrogen smoke,
Roasted duck with a chutney made from mint and fresh fig,
Donald Link wasn’t playin’, he cooked a whole pig!
There was of course Bananas Foster and chocolate freezes,
And from down in da Parish macaroni and cheeses.
Platters of poboys piled with shrimp and debris,
And a plate full of coal for the folks from BP.
Just when we thought there was no more to go,
They started serving bowls of noodles and pho.
Out in the street it was Christmas food heaven,
As the Hot 8 took the party from ten to eleven.
After awhile all the eating was done,
And so we asked Santa just why he had come.
That’s when he told us he’d decided this year
That the rest of the world could use NOLA good cheer.
“I needed the truck,” he continued to say,
“Y‘all make too much food here to fit in my sleigh!
But please don’t get worried, I only need your chefs for one night,
Cause there’s food that needs fixing, and needs fixing right.
When the last bowl of gumbo is under the last Christmas tree,
I’ll bring them right back just as quick as can be.”
All of us foodies quickly agreed,
And we helped pack the truck with maximum speed.
Soon it was done and they were ready to leave,
Delivering NOLA food on this cold Christmas Eve.
They all yelled back to us as they crossed at the light,
“Merry Christmas to all and to y’all a good night!”