Crowned the “Catfish Capital of the Universe” by the Louisiana Legislature in 1980, Des Allemands assumed what seems a daunting title but that’s only until you taste the food, enjoy the fun and know the history.
German immigrants contributed a great deal to the area’s culture.
“Des Allemands” in French means “of the Germans.” Many people there still rely on fishing for a livelihood and catfish is the king of that industry.
The Louisiana Catfish Festival is a tribute to Louisiana culture, the land, St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church and an opportunity to boost the area’s economy.
And it’s grown.
Last year’s festival featured Chef Jeff Henderson of “Flip My Food” fame who, in turn, featured the festival catfish cuisine on his national television show. His film crew set out to film all things catfish.
While at Ormond Plantation filming, Chef Jeff asked for something fun to do in the area and immediately headed out to Des Allemands.
The chef not only loved the festival, but was drawn to the “high-energy crowd, amazing catfish platters and snowballs” that topped the festivities.
Pots came out and a catfish chowder was made with festival Queen Kristal Breaux. Team Queen Cari Allums and the chef made a catfish po-boy with sauteed pepperjack cheese and a fried egg on top.
The festival is a party for the taste buds.
But, as you might imagine, Chef Jeff loved the area’s waterways, boats and fishing life, too.
I do, too.
Those beautiful, shimmering waters coursing through Des Allemands are mesmerizing, and their bounty is a wild-caught catfish that is increasingly making its way onto more plates.
This weekend, they are among the tasty offerings of the Catfish Festival on the grounds of St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church.
The festival begins Friday evening and runs through 8 p.m. Sunday.
May the good times always roll in the Catfish Capital of the Universe.