Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride Food Profile NCIS New Orleans

Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride Food Profile
My belief is that he got the nickname King from being the frequent finder of the baby in the King cake when he was a child. He thus became King of the Mari Gras amongst the kids.

Dwayne and Pride are Welsh or Scottish names he is likely descended from Emanuel Pride who at age 18 landed in Mobile Alabama in 1851. His descendants comprise the Prides of New Orleans.

Being as he and his father share the name Cassius it is likely his Grandmother on his paternal side was French and likely his Mother French or Italian.

This would make him from an older Family and qualify for presence not only in the lower Garden District as a local, but prior to the incarceration of his Father he was likely part of the Society. That and the divorce, removed him from many of his friends, thus his new home and loner status.

The divorce frightened him into an even more strict health regime. He belongs to New Orleans Athletic Club. Even those who have stopped inviting him to parties will have a drink with him at the bar in the club. This connects him to the Mayor, Judges and others that could prove helpful. As a result of this regime and fear of aging, he has modified his diet. He would do this alone and never make a big deal out of it, or shame himself by ordering a salad when in a restaurant for a social occasion.

Therefore meals out would include BBQ Oysters, Stuffed Crab or Lacquered Quail. At Commander’s Palace he would still be given the family table upstairs in the corner by the window. Miss Lally would greet him personally. At Galatoire’s, Arnaud’s and and all the old line restaurants he would still be given the family waiter. A foodie such as he would likely ask for the Chef to send out whatever he thinks is best. He will know them by name. For instance at Commander’s he would ask them to bring him whatever Chef Tory thought best, after first a bowl of Turtle soup. Turtle Soup would be a must, whenever available.

At home however he is likely to breakfast on fruit and whole milk Greek yogurt when in a rush. He would buy most of his produce at Whole Foods despite the tab. Friends with trees would provide him with Kumquats and figs, coincidentally two of his favorite fruits. He would go to Zuppardo’s for more traditional foods. like Camellia Beans, Pickled Pork etc. He would always buy his Olive Salad at Central Grocery, but would not be above picking up a missed item at La Petit.

His coffee would be Community when serving others, it is a point of Pride. However when alone he would drink Venetian roast sans Chicory.

His pantry would always contain very good crackers, Dried Pasta, Capers, Olive Salad, Anchovies, Canned Tomatoes, dried and canned beans, Tuna in Olive Oil, Very good Olive Oil (no recognized ‘brand’), Clam Juice and Rice.

His refrigerator would always have Salad Greens, Fruit, Yogurt,Smoked Pork Products,Cheeses like Drunken Goat and Krauterschatz, eggs, green onions and Worcestershire. There would also be at least one green pepper, and some celery as he could be called upon to make a trinity at any time. There would likely be a collection of Asian sauces to spice up stir fried vegetables.

Fresh tomatoes would be on the counter along with Onions, Shallots and Garlic. There would often be an avocado and a banana as well.

His wine collection would be eclectic, with French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese wines, along with an occasional California of note.

When cooking breakfast for others he might gently scramble eggs and cheese (never American) they would be topped with diced scallions and served alongside a basket of cream biscuits and of course some fruit. It is not uncommon for the eggs to be served on a bed of fresh spinach or sliced Creole Tomatoes when in season. The warmth of the eggs lightly wilts the spinach.

When dining alone at lunch he might ask for a baked Mirliton with Boiled or Grilled Shrimp. Or even a large salad with dressing on the side. When with others all bets are off, but he would be likely to offer to share a po-boy, or just stop eating halfway through a calorie dense plate.

Dinner however would be based on what was eaten earlier in the day. Fruit and a salad would mean a delectable dinner. If the chef sends out Daube it would be consumed with gusto (Daube is December only) At Luke he would get the Rabbit Pate or Flamenkutchen to begin, and then a Seafood Platter. Boiled and chilled seafood would be his fallback, high protein, low calorie.

His favorite place to take guests would be The Galley in Metarie. He would likely suggest they share a stuffed artichoke and boiled shrimp. The Frog Legs and Softshell Crab would also be considered.

Mother’s on Poydras is mostly City Hall workers and tourists, if say Brody offered to pick up lunch from there he would ask for the baked ham Po Boy, no debris. He would eat half.

When he has a cold He would want Yakkimein (old Sober, Ghetto Pho) If it’s Thursday he would ask someone to go get it from Miss Linda. Any other day of the week he would settle for the Chinese Kitchen version. In both cases he would send a friend to pick it up as neither delivers. If he gets it from Chinese he would doctor it with hot sauce, and a little more Soy.

He prefers wine to beer, but will of course hang and be sociable with the beer class. When available, say at Cochon he might get a hard Cider. Cochon would be a likely
favorite as he has embraced low Country cuisine.

He drives to Lafayette upon occasion to pick up his sausage, bacon, ham, smoked duck (for gumbo) and smoked hog jowl.

His guilty pleasure would be a cheeseburger from La Petit, Chris being from Alabama, would of course prefer Port of Call. Spirited arguments would ensue about which is best. La Petit of course uses Gruyere and Mayo, so of course, Chris is wrong. In fact this relationship is a great place to introduce food debates. Banana Pudding (Alabama) vs. Blackbottom Banana Cream Pie with Bourbon Cream (New Orleans.)

When entertaining guests for home cooking he would likely stuff something, pork or fish. If they came over on a Sunday Red Gravy would not be uncommon. After a trip to Lafayette he might make a Smoked Duck Gumbo. Even though he has Creole roots, he would probably do the roux based and throw a bottle of rich red in the pot. The Creole, Okra Tomato style would more likely pair with shrimp. He is unlikely to do Filet Gumbo at home and instead let restaurants deal with the Filet.

To gross out a character like Brody he might make a Salad with thinly slice some pickled pork lips, which would be seared and used as a basis for the dressing. It would taste amazing but a Yankee is likely not to welcome pickled pork lips being served.
When cooking for his daughter he might make Salade aux lardons et oeufs durs, along with a simple pasta with garlic and oil with broccoli. They french and Italian might seem discordant but the pasta was her childhood favorite.

His daughter’s tastes would vary as he was clearly married to a Yankee. He would do anything to please her, but also her boyfriends.

He must have a reason for these bromances, where a bond is formed over a spice, or a pot of food.

I suspect a brother from another mother (affair on his Father’s part) probably a white throwback (throwback has two meanings). Likely a 10 year age between them with the brother younger.

He co-signed with his brother on a small piece of property in the Bywater that was turned into a tiny restaurant. After the death of his brother’s wife and the loss of his son in Afghanistan, baby brother bought an RV and went off to get away. The restaurant shuttered, but not sold.

Pride is desperate for the return of his brother and best friend. They are lightly in touch via e mail, but he lost his workout partner, his jogging partner, his cooking partner.
His desire for a bromance with his daughter’s boyfriends stems from his deeply missing his brother He does not discuss it with coworkers because it is painful, and those from his class do not discuss their pain.

However those moments with the boyfriends of his daughter give him some of what that relationship was.

His brother was the kitchen Maestro and Pride’s work in the kitchen is an attempt to re- create and connect. 


  1. Damn Dude,

    You are good at this, I love down here and I know the Prides. They just like this, right down to Whole Paycheck for fruit. NCIS need you to write for them, cause you are not an asshole.

  2. La Petit Grocery is neither small nor a grocery. Discuss amongst ya momandem.

  3. La Petit is also a restaurant. La Petit is my nickname for any of the small stores in the city. In New York it's Deli, in New Orleans I grew up calling them La Petit, the little store.