Creole and Cajun cookbook

I just got back from my first trip to New Orleans. Best thing we did was take a cooking class with Crescent City Cooking School. We did the hands on and made Crawfish Etouffee, Seafood Gumbo and a pecan pie. All of it was the best food we had while in LA. In part that was because we didn’t research restaurants as well as we could, but in large part it was because they did a great job of running the class and showing us the techniques. Highly recommend.

It has spurred my interest in Creole and Cajun cooking. In the class they explained some of the differences between the two and where they overlap. Creole roux was made from butter and flower where as a Cajun roux was made from oil and flour. I’m sure there are many crossover variations in both sides of the Louisiana cuisines. I’d like to read and cook more of it and am looking for Cookbook recommendations.


I’ve purchased The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine by John D. Folse.


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+1 on Chef Folse’s tome. Pricey, but a value. Great on the coffeetable, even better soaking up spatter…

I lug a copy of this this home every trip for friends. Universal hit.

Interesting as I cancelled my order after viewing some of his videos and reading some of his recipes. This sounds silly as I write it, but I didn’t like his process. Some of his steps in recipes were not what I’m looking for. IN his Etoufee he doesn’t make a roux first, he adds flour later. I have since learned that adding flour later is a more authentic recipe, but I prefer the flavor of doing it first and cooking the roux to a certain color.

I also read a bolognese recipe where he called for pickled pork. There may be a Nona that cooks it that way and it may taste good, but it’s not going in my bolognese.

I’m sure there are many great recipes in the book, but I’m going to keep looking.

There are many excellent books on creole and cajun cooking and don’t be surprised if the recipes differ. Some of these are out of print but can be obtained in good condition used via Amazon.Here are some of my favorites:
Leon Soniat, La Bouche Creole
Tom Fitzmorris, New Orleans Food
Rima and Richard Collin, The New Orleans Cookbook
Susan Spicer, Crescent City Cuisine
Andrew Jaeger, New Orleans Seafood Cookbook
There are many many more…

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Surprized that the Crescent City Cooking School did not have a cookbook (or two) for sale to you and its other clients.

I’m sure they did, but wasn’t looking for one when we took the class.

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I felt the need to touch and feel the book and ended up going to Barnes and Noble and buying John Besh’s New Orleans Cookbook.

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I’ve been cooking out of Paul Prudhommes book for a long time. Got it used by accident somewhere.


The main junior league cookbook you’ll see is River Road recipes, but my favorite is called" Talk About Good" from Layfayette, Louisiana.

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Real Cajun by Donald Link is the book I cook from with Prudhomme and Besh also sitting on the shelf. I started with a jambalaya, and it was just the taste I was looking for, and more homey than restauranty as a book. The sandwiches and packed to travel tasso and andouille at his Cochon Butcher are something for your list, next NOLA trip.

Gonna seek out that Lafayette one mentioned, thx!

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@martini mentioned this one - The New Orleans Cookbook, which seems to be a classic. Buy it used if you can because the format is very simple and text-heavy. I have yet to try any of the recipes, but I read through them and they seem solid and easy to follow.

If you are more of a visual person, I would recommend Besh Big Easy. The recipes are really approachable, and the book itself is very enjoyable to flip through.

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