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Lady Marmalade Catering and Cuisine making its mark on New Orleans food

Written by  IntheNOLA.com
At the Love in the Garden photo shoot IntheNOLA hosted two weeks ago for the New Orleans Museum of Art’s annual fundraiser in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, all the models were treated to impeccable hair and makeup, the most fashionable clothes and accessories, a world class photographer, and some fine New Orleans food.
 
Fine New Orleans food, you say? Yep, Gabrielle Smith of Lady Marmalade Catering & Cuisine showed up and showed out! A delicious spread of spinach and salmon dip, fruit salad, turkey croissant sandwiches, chicken salad lettuce wraps, and homemade chocolate, chocolate, chocolate chip cookies for a photo shoot…no big time party with plenty people or nice sit down dinner…nope, just a little ol’ photo shoot. Our stomachs (and hearts) couldn’t have been happier with Lady M.
Lady Marmalade Catering | IntheNOLA.com
Before stepping out into the catering business, however, Gabrielle found herself in the clenches of the corporate world…work, work, work, and then work some more without much fulfillment in the day-to-day operations. “After working in the corporate world, I became one of those people who only lived for the weekend,” Gabrielle said. “I eventually decided that the corporate thing just wasn’t enough for me. I wasn’t able to release my creativity in that world. So I decided to step out on faith and open Lady Marmalade Catering & Cuisine and business has been booming ever since.”
 
She continued, “I’ve always had a passion for cooking. My mom cooked every single day when I was a kid and it was always the highlight of my day. One of my earliest childhood memories is watching my mom cook and the smell of the ‘holy trinity’ (bell pepper, onion, and celery) simmering in the pot. Lady Marmalade Catering & Cuisine is an extension of that. I got the name from the famous song ‘Lady Marmalade’ by Labelle because there’s some sex appeal to my food. It’s like sex in your mouth. My husband calls it a foodgasm and it’s delicious.”
 Lady Marmalade Catering | IntheNOLA.com
Lady M’s cuisine is “creole with a twist,” Gabrielle mused. “Instead of just having white beans and sausage, I’ll do white beans and shrimp. I try to incorporate modern aspects into our traditional New Orleans food. I feel like jambalaya and the like has been beat to death, so we have to mix it up sometimes. I also try to make things a little more elegant than what we’re used to on a regular day while also remaining budget friendly.”

Lady Marmalade Catering | IntheNOLA.comFrom balsamic shrimp and pineapple skewers to vodka soaked fruit pops to rosemary & lemon marinated grilled lamb to roasted chicken breasts stuffed with crab dressing to spaghetti & craw-meat balls to…you get the picture, Lady Marmalade Catering & Cuisine offers that and PLENTY MORE! Have a special event that you need catered? No problem. Need some food for Saints Sunday? Lady M’s got you covered. “I have a burning passion inside that I can’t ignore,” she said. “I love pleasing people and cooking for people really does it for me. It makes me happy. I had other opportunities to work in corporate America, but I have two little girls who call me ‘Chef Mommy,’ and one wants to be a chef when she grows up. Being an entrepreneur, I serve as a good role model to my daughters. I do what I love.”
 
Gabrielle added, “As young entrepreneurs, we have to make a way for ourselves. I find it sad that we’re missing that young up and coming culinary group. The older restaurants got it on lock, but as far as the younger generation, what are we gonna do when those people start to pass on? Who’s gonna pick up the pieces? It’s our generation’s responsibility. New Orleans is considered the culinary capital of the world, and yet we only have one culinary school. My ultimate goal is to open a culinary school here in New Orleans that focuses on our traditions and culture.”
Lady Marmalade Catering | IntheNOLA.com
She concluded, “Cooking is my passion in life and it’s very much who I am. I love cooking and there’s nothing more satisfying to me than to watch people enjoy my passion.”
 
For more information about Lady Marmalade Catering & Cuisine, please visit her website.
Last modified on Thursday, 20 September 2012
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