I Tell The Tale of New Orleans At Mardi Gras

Hit New Orleans any time and you're greeted with delicious, deeply developed flavors found no where else.

Treat the city like a bowl of spicy gumbo. Tear off a chunk of French bread. Dredge it along the bottom of the bowl. Soak up every bit.

Experience New Orleans at Mardi Gras and you'll feast on the world's wildest street party. Around every corner you'll find a gasp. Some naughty, some nice, and likely end up with a tattoo on your soul.



 As they say in the Big Easy -- Let the good times roll.

Floating On A Mardi Gras Parade

I rode on a float in a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. Lots of my firsts happened in New Orleans. I took a streetcar to school, met my lifelong best friend, joined the Marine Corps.

I ate my first oyster in the Big Easy. I was thirteen. My family had moved there from Texas where the most exotic slimy thing I’d ever swallowed was okra.

The waiter carried the tray of oysters as if they were valuable, easing it down onto our table. Things on ice appear more precious. I picked an oyster up. It smelled like the stinky parts of the Galveston beach. The shell was thick and jagged. Everything about it looked like something not to eat. I stared down at the gelatinous mass quivering in pearlescent liquid. I thought, “This is home now, better get used to it.” With a toss I’d seen in movies, the cold lump slid down my throat. Once those flavors get in you, you’re addicted.

Cooking Up Christmas... Ostrich

I ate roadkill one Christmas.

I love going home for the holidays. When I walk in my parent's house, familiar smells from the stove reach out to hug me before my mother can. She rushes over, fluttering her long red fingernails as if piping me aboard. She wears felt Minnie Mouse antlers, candy cane socks and a sweater vest with sequined snow men. I spy dangling ornament earrings.

#YouTube - My Cooking and Talk Show: Let's Make Eggs!

I open an email from a great friend, David Youse. He needs $3 million to open a play on Broadway. I wish I had the money -- he's a proven producer.

As I drive along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, I pass Johnny Carson's former compound.  I think, WWJD (What Would Johnny Do)?

He'd have David on his show. The exposure would send the money flowing in, very much like the ocean waves on my left. I drive on, chuckling. If only I had a talk show.

Recipe: Lone Star Poblano Burger (As Seen On TV)

I created the hamburger.

Ok, I created my Lone Star Poblano Burger for Chili's and competed with it on the television show On The Menu. Chili's Head Chef Stephen Bulgarelli puts the cool in culinary. He asked us to conceptualize a burger with spicy, smoky, Southwestern flavors. Mine delivers that, but it didn't win.

Best thing about coming in 2nd? I won the right to share my recipe with you.

The flavors of Tex-Mex run through my body with the strength and constancy of the Rio Grand. I was born in Lubbock, Texas—in fact, five generations of my ancestors were born in Texas. I live in LA, but my Texas roots live on in my diet.

Live, Nude, Greg! On the Radio

Between global warming and the Santa Ana winds it's so hot in Los Angeles that I want to rip off my clothes and run through the sprinklers like I did when I was a kid in Texas. But I wear mostly Armani, and pay retail, so I'm not willing to ruin my wardrobe.

Instead, I go on a radio show, figuring no one can see if I'm naked... And because the studio promises air conditioning... And because it's hosted by Frank Sheftel, owner of the Candy Factory. He promises to toss me skating star Tai Babilonia's Tai Treats yummy Gummy Butterflies like I'm a trained seal.