Lucullus: Culinary Antiques in New Orleans
Around the corner from Jackson Square on Chartres Street in New Orleans stands the impressive culinary antiques shop Lucullus.
Filled with gorgeous kitchen and dining treasures from years (and centuries) past, Lucullus presents its inventory with various food tableaux around the store. The grand dining table is ready for service with a formal china set laid out. A large fireplace is adorned with copper pots and cast iron. Fresh fruit and real flowers throw cut crystal pieces into lovely, living relief.
When I visited Lucullus, I slipped into a kitchen geek trance and slowly paced around the room as if I were looking at oil paintings in the Met. But I was looking at the art of eating through the objects we have used to make, display and enjoy our food.
The form and function of a hand-cranked coffee grinder.
The silly pleasure of large fish-shaped tureen, no doubt only to be put in the service of a seafood chowder or bisque.
The seemingly endless assortment of gleaming silverware.
The sturdy pottery in the back kitchen.
Walking through our two shops in New Orleans and Breaux Bridge, you are as likely to find a bread board as an 18th century dining table, fine crystal champagne flutes as sturdy hand blown bar glasses. Drawers full of fine silver share space with hand forged kitchen utensils. If your taste is for a finely crafted Louis XVI commode, a rustic grape gathering basket, or luxurious lit de repos, you will probably find it here.
Lucullus may be geared toward the well-heeled customer or serious collector (i.e. not me), but my questions were met with thoughtful answers and a sincere smile.
I’m so glad I took a break from the endless eating to spare a few awe-inspired moments to this wonderful place.
Do you have a favorite kitchen goods store or antique shop? What’s been the best cooking ‘find’ you’ve ever had?
Photo Credit: Tomiko Peirano
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