True chef talks ‘True Blood’ at Central Library

Bienvenu visits Central Library, talks 'True Blood'

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - You can tell a lot about a person by the kind of gumbo they make.

That's wisdom from one of Louisiana's most celebrated chefs, Marcelle Bienvenu.

"In Baton Rouge, the roux is lighter," she said. "Along the coast, they have seafood and on the prairies, it's chicken and sausage."

Bienvenu, who has cooked with greats like Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme and Ella Brennan at the Commander's Palace in New Orleans, was in Lake Charles on Tuesday at the Central Library on W. Claude Street to introduce her new book, "TRUE BLOOD: Eats, Drinks and Bites from Bon Temps."

The St. Martinville native has penned an entire recipe book around the wildly popular HBO series, "True Blood," which is set in a fictional small town in Louisiana named Bon Temps.

It's one of several books under Bienvenu's belt. She has also written "Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic and Can You Make A Roux?" and "Cajun Cooking For Beginners." Additionally, since 1984, she has had a regular food column in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Bienvenu said when she was first contacted about writing the "True Blood" book, she knew very little about the show. She said she watched the entire series, recording every reference to Louisiana's cuisine.

There are 75 food and drink recipes in the book, all deeply rooted in Louisiana, but all with clever names complimentary to the paranormal series which is based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris called, The Southern Vampire Mysteries.

Bienvenu's favorites in the book: "Stake and Eggs," "Tequila Moonrise" and "Wanted: Dead or Alive."

Bienvenu on Tuesday spoke about her life and love for food. She said she first started cooking as a child.

"I've been eating my way through life since," she quipped.

She also signed books and chatted with fans, including Peggy Martin of Lake Charles.

Martin, a library patron, has read all of the books in the series and said when she heard that Bienvenu would be at the library, she had to stop by.

"I'm a true, 'True Blood' fan," she said. "You never know what creature you are going to find next in the books."

You can view a slideshow of Bienvenu's visit to Central Library HERE.

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