Wisely, she leaned into her existing relationship with SoFAB, a not-for-profit educational organization, dedicated to preserving the unique food culture of New Orleans. And that’s where you’ll find her today, cooking up huge pots of jambalaya, or making smothered okra and banana foster with visitors, locals and Intrepid travelers.
The menu is mostly Cajun and Creole—the food of Lavigne’s childhood—with plenty of Southern classics on the menu. Gumbo with dark roux, andouille sausage and chicken. Crusty French bread with homemade butter. Smothered okra and tomatoes. And big jugs of Luzianne iced tea to wash it all down, naturally.
“It feels surreal,” Lavigne admits. “It still doesn’t feel like work. I want people to know that cooking is fun, and when you do it with more people, it gets even better. It’s not a serious thing. Food is made for people to eat and survive. It brings people together, and I think people feel that every single time they come to my class.”