This article was originally printed on The Sunday Times of Malta here.

Between meals in New Orleans

I like to think of New Orleans fondly as New York’s younger, raunchier sister, who’s got more than a touch of a feisty European in her. I don’t know many places which are quite as musical. Day and night, in most random bars and even some cafes, musicians and singers are passionately belting out tunes.

Eating and drinking

New Orleans is a haven for seafood lovers, think of Po boys, so many different kinds of oysters, jambalaya and gumbo. It might not be worth going for the higher-end places, simply because the street food- style places offer delicious dishes. The fancier options might tend to lose their authenticity and layers of flavour. You must try the oysters raw or grilled, they’re usually comparatively affordable, rather large, and served on the half shell with an array of condiments (read: hot sauces).

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In a desperate (because the meat in Greece was SO! GOOD!) attempt to emulate the dish (above) that I shared with my bestie in Athens, Greece, in particular at this restaurant – I try my hand at making Souvlaki

You will need:

– Neck of lamb, chopped into cubes a little bit larger than bite size, about 200-250 grams per person

– olive oil

– mixture of herbs – I was lucky enough to purchase a ‘souvlaki’ mixture from Athens but you can make yours by mixing

2 tbsp oregano, crumbled
2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp thyme, crumbled
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp  garlic powder

– port wine

– pinch of salt

I just used enough of each ingredient to make enough marinade to coat all the meat pieces, play it by ear…

Marinade the meat in the oil, herbs and port wine (traditionally you should also add lemon juice to this mixture too), mixing thoroughly to make sure the meat is coated on all sides. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. It’s a good idea to stir occasionally if you remember.

If your kebab sticks are made of wood or bamboo, you will need to soak them in water for at least half an hour.


Pierce about 5 or 6 pieces of meat onto each kebab stick. Heat up a grill pan and cook for about 20 minutes, turning regularly, until the meat is cooked through.

Suggested serving:


With feta, (local) rucola, tomatoes, capers, fresh beans and olive oil

Add some flatbread and a dash of lemon juice on the meat


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the obligatory tourist pic

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the experience was much aided by eating this on the edge of a canal on a beautiful day – seafood and veg fritto misto

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black Iberian pig (the juiciest meat I have ever had the opportunity to taste) and thinly sliced rack of lamb with mustard and julienne vegetables

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 wow – just wow

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Pesce San Pietro (John Dory) divine! Here.

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Now that’s a bouquet this girl would love to receive 🙂

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The markets

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Piazza San Marco – the historical Caffe Florian – with a Bellini (champagne and fresh peach puree) – top of the posh. Just wanted to get up and dance!

Venice <3