Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Man Who Ate New Orleans

When speaking of his adopted home town, my friend and fellow-pastor Ray Cannata is fond of saying, "New Orleans is the best picture of Heaven that I know on earth.  It's also the best picture of Hell I know."  This balance, he says, provides both something to look forward to, as well as something to be a part of fixing.

In 2005, on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, Ray moved to New Orleans to become the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church.  Though he could see that life there would be anything but easy, he immediately fell in love with the city and its culture.  Since then, Ray and the folks at Redeemer have been a part of rebuilding more than 500 houses.

Ray has not just helped rebuild New Orleans though.  He is also The Man Who Ate New Orleans.  In an effort to truly understand the culture of his new home, Ray committed himself to eating at all the various (non-chain) restaurants The Crescent City offered.  This quest will reach its culmination in a "Last Supper" on October 21, which will double as a benefit to raise money for the continued rebuilding effort.

Along the way, the project morphed into a documentary film by director Michael Dunaway, which focuses on the music, food and rebuilding of New Orleans, as experienced through Ray's visits to over 700 eateries. Check out the first video below to get a quick glimpse at the project.  If you'd like a little more in-depth look, including a discussion between Ray and Dunaway, check out the second video as well.

The Man Who Ate New Orleans Sizzle Reel HD from Michael Dunaway on Vimeo.

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