"The Delta Queen Cookbook: The History and Recipes of the Legendary Steamboat" Available in September from LSU Press
Cynthia LeJeune Nobles dishes up Southern-style fare, from crawfish en croûte to beignets
BATON ROUGE – The world’s last authentic overnight wooden steamboat, the Delta Queen cruised America’s inland waters from 1927 through 2008, offering passengers breathtaking views, luxury accommodations, rousing entertainment and Southern-style feasts. For more than 82 years, chefs in the small galley served memorable meals – from fried chicken and creole gumbo to strawberry shortcake and praline pecan pie. “The Delta Queen Cookbook,” available in September from LSU Press, brings the Delta Queen’s story to life with an engaging historical narrative and over 125 recipes prepared by the steamboat’s former chefs during their tenures in the “cookhouse.”
Author Cynthia LeJeune Nobles traces the story of the “Grand Old Lady” as she faced remarkable social, economic and political challenges. The Delta Queen became a haven for illegal drinking during Prohibition, and she survived the effects of the Great Depression, World War II and increasingly modern and sophisticated competition. Each chapter ends with authentic Delta Queen recipes – including citrus and watercress salad with chili dressing, roast duck and wild rice soup, speckled trout pecan, eggs crawkitty, steamboat pudding and more – proportioned and tested for home kitchens.
“The Delta Queen Cookbook” includes interviews with former crew, chefs and passengers; more than 90 historical and full-color photographs; and vintage and modern menus. History buffs, steamboat lovers and home cooks alike will revel in the memories and tastes that make the Delta Queen one of America’s best-loved national treasures.
A member of the Newcomb College Culinary History Writers Group, Nobles contributed several chapters to “New Orleans Cuisine.” She lives in Baton Rouge with her husband.