A new book by New Orleans venerated historian with ties to the drag community, Poppy Tooker, explores the ups and downs of the local scene, as well as giving favorite and cutting edge recipes from the world renowned food city in Drag Queen Brunch.
As amusing as drag queen performances are, Tooker takes up important, thought-provoking aspects and societal impact of the concept. Noting that famous drag queens in New Orleans date back to at least 100 years ago, she points out that for several decades, transvestitism except on Mardi Gras was a crime. Also, within the drag community itself, there have been cliques who dictated which performances and looks were accepted and which were not. Serious issues as the advent of AIDS into the community and a chef who became a Franciscan friar to better devote his life to the suffering are addressed.
The book is divided into sections devoted to various drag queens, with a meal and beverage included within each. Some recipes are classics to the long-running and famous restaurants, some are riffs on them by notable chefs and others are new. The difficulty of the recipes range from you’ve never walked into a kitchen before to highly accomplished home cook with a good supply of kitchenware.
Yes, you’ll find recipes for the super-rich New Orleans specialties like Eggs Sardou and Bananas Foster. But you can also keep your girlish (and sober) figure with Poppy’s Pink Drink. Also, the price points of the recipe ingredients vary wildly from sparkling water to lobster.
Along with the drinks and Creole cream cheese — I feel like I can manage it, having experimented in making my own cheese — I am planning on making Crabmeat Cheesecake. I live in Baltimore, where the best crabmeat in the world is readily available. Though there are several steps involved, I can see that you can kind of break up each one and take your time making it.