With the convenience of amazon for books and fleeting Barnes & Nobles stores, a specialized bookstore it’s almost of unheard of now a days. Bigger than the sum of its parts and/or pages, Kitchen Witch Cookbook Shop is a rare find in New Orleans and any where else is for that matter. In a unassuming and almost unfitting location (its next to a Boost mobile store) it cries out I am different and come see why. After snapping a quick selfie in front of the store I was blown away not only by the amount of books inside but by Debbie the owner – personality which was as big, bright and genuine as a grandmother’s hug.
After Debbie gave me the once over and directed me to the international and Louisiana focused sections upon my request – I entered instant cookery nirvana. I sipped on chilled white wine and seltzer water as my eyes scanned the pages of countless cookbooks. I sat on the ground, a chair, I stood, I bent, I did whatever came to me – it was peace. As if I was at home.
The quarky, shabby chic decor would have driven an OCDer over the edge but it served as an amplifier of sorts to me – giving the space than much more vibrance. The couple operated the store with such a loving abandonment that the over top decor bent perfectly to their naturally to their colorful personalities.
The store was overflowing with books on food history, chef biographies, new titles, trendy topis, magazines, vinyl, cooking equipment and even in-house spices (which a lady rushed in for while I was there).
The owners Debbie and Philip (pronounced Felipe) were like new age inn keepers. They shared with me places to eat, drink, listen to music and even find an adventure or two – they were lovely. As Debbie stuffed countless fliers and magazines in my personalized and signed brown shopping bag, I didn’t want my visit to end. Than as I shared my annoyance with the New Orleans bus system and love for The Orange Store (a local corner store with great eats) Philip offered to take me half way home – I was blown away and jumped at his generosity.
I purchased a Caribbean history book and recipe guide, Southern Living 1999, a $3 international cookbook and what they call the bible around these parts – Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen published in 1984.
My tangible finds were incredible but what I left with was soul touching feeling given by Kitchen Witch and the people that keep it going. – Local Tourist