A Sulphur resident has thrown her chef’s hat into the proverbial ring of cooking shows, with a local flavor.
Pat Darbonne has been cooking up a storm and posting photos of her Cajun and Creole creations to her Facebook page for some time now. “I'll post pictures of crawfish etoufeé, or whatever else is going on in my kitchen,” she said.
If you scroll through her page (at Patricia M. Darbonne) you'll see photos of her favorite meal — smothered pork chops, rice and gravy, and sweet peas, or a video featuring a pot of hen, smoked turkey necks, and smoked sausage gumbo bubbling away on the stove. Darbonne said no matter what's on the menu, it's going to be spicy.
She said those posts opened the door to a new opportunity.
Around May of this year, Darbonne received a message on Facebook from high school friend Stephen Eccles, vice president of KLOC-TV in Lake Charles. He asked if she would be interested in being the host of a local cooking show. After several invitations, Darbonne said she realized he was serious and agreed.
“Pat -N- Da Pot: Creole Cookin' Louisiana Style,” is scheduled to begin airing in January and will be shown from 8-8:30 p.m. every Thursday on Suddenlink Channel 4, Lake Charles and Sulphur, and Vyve Cable Channel 6, Westlake, Moss Bluff, DeQuincy, and North Sulphur.
Since July, Darbonne, Stephen, and his brother Daniel, president, owner, and producer at KLOC, have been filming 30-minute shows in Daniel's Lake Charles home. Darbonne said a promotional clip filmed in October was her first time on camera.
Darbonne said her shows feature her preparing family recipes. “I cook from memory and I don't measure anything,” she said. “But I explain in detail what I'm doing on the show. I teach viewers how to do it from step one.”
Darbonne credits her mother and grandmother for her affinity and knowledge of cooking. “I was knee-high to a duck, and I'd push a chair to the stove, and stir, and watch her cook,” she said of her mother, who passed away the day before Mothers Day this year. “The cooking show had just started happening then,” said Darbonne. “I know she’s got her hand in it some way.”
The late Justin Wilson, a Louisiana legend, often proclaimed “OoWee, don't that purty!” at the height of his culinary passion. If you tune in to Darbonne's show, you'll likely hear, “Look at that, mais cher!”