Just in time for Halloween, turns out there's some heavy supernatural activity going on at Quarter icon Tujague's. Yes, beloved Louisiana Eats host and maker of exceptional gumbo Poppy Tooker has just released her brand new Tujague's Cookbook: Creole Recipes and Lore in the New Orleans Grand Tradition this week, and she has the lowdown on the restaurant's various ghosts.
Here's a spooky overview.
Begue Lovers Quarrel, Second Floor
The sound breaking glass and china are a common occurrences on the second floor, where the original kitchen was located in the restaurant's original Madame Begue days. Tooker believes this might have to do with a love triangle between Madame Begue, Hipolyte Begue, and a young woman who worked in the restaurant and later went on to become the second Madame Begue.
Julian Eltinge, Ground Floor
Recently, a ghost happened to photobomb a couple who took a selfie in one of the first-floor dining areas. That ghost is believed to be Julian Eltinge, a famous 'cross dressing' actor of the early 1900s who starred in Aisle of Love with Rudolph Valentino, had a cosmetics line, and was a regular at Madam Begue's (which eventually turned into Tujague's). Apparently the ghost's picture had been moved to the attic, which pissed it off. This video explains why:
Unknown Entity, First Floor
Steven Latter (deceased father of current owner Mark Latter) heard the downstairs ladies' room door slam shut everyday at the same time during his time running the restaurant, but nobody was ever there.
Unknown Entities in Attic, Third Floor
Most of the staff is fearful of the attic at Tujague's, along with the second floor, where the attic's stairway begins. Employees have complained of hair standing on end when sent to the third floor, as well as a second floor ladies room door also slamming shut (what's with that, lady ghosts?).
A guest who stole a framed photograph from the attic while dining at Tujague's returned it to the restaurant a week later after having a series of "terrible things" happen—including his wife getting in a car accident and his best friend having a stroke.
The Tujague's Cookbook is now available in area bookstores and online here or here.