My name is Monique LeBlanc
I am a writer, foodie, advocate, adventurer and storyteller.
I was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana–the heart of South Louisiana’s Cajun country. I now call New Orleans home.
As a child, my parents had the ability to make anything taste good and I learned to appreciate damn good food. I grew up stirring rouxs for my mom–a right of passage–and watching her effortlessly create complex dishes. The grill was my dad’s terrain and the intricacies of cooking with fire have always been memorizing. Making food has always been a major part of my life. I use to experiment as a kid in my parents’ kitchen, doing things like staying up until 3am learning to make soufflés by hand. When I got to college, creating dishes was therapeutic. Today, food is about community and identity to me. It powerfully defuses and heightens conflict. It brings people together and forges relationships and understandings. Food is love and power in such a beautiful way and is one of my great passions.
I moved away from Lafayette to study Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies in undergrad. In college, I started and ran a multitude of women’ empowerment and advocacy communities and organizations. Afterwards, I moved to New Orleans and started my job as an analyst for a government consulting firm. No matter how dirty or dangerous, I love this stupid, beautiful, unique city with all my heart and am so happy to call it home.
I have always been in awe of the world and its beautiful, complex nations and cultures. Growing up in a small city made me long for something different and made me eager to meet people different from me. Traveling and meeting new friends around the globe has always been a dream of mine that I’m finally doing and sharing with you.
Since I was a kid, I have always been eager to experience the world outside of Louisiana. However, recently, I have been rediscovering my love for home and what that means to me. Being Cajun has meant different things to be throughout my life–from shame to great pride. I’m still exploring it, but I’m passionate about sharing this misunderstood identity and history with the world.
At its heart, my blog is about discovery: discovering the world, food, identity and ourselves.