Good morning, may I interest you in a fresh beignet and some hot coffee we roasted ourselves? Perhaps you can join us later at the crawfish boil and suck the heads clean. Don’t forget dinner prep for tomorrow — it’s gonna be gumbo for 600 made with homemade fish stock, of course.

From the conversations floating around last week, you’d think we were in New Orleans. Nope. We were deep in the desert, far from any bayou to speak of, but shockingly, right in the middle of the French Quarter.

This year at Burning Man, I camped with The French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in Black Rock City, and notoriously one of the foodiest. Our village of about 400 people was divided into sub-camps like the Bakery, Brewery, Farmers Market, and Café de la fin du Monde. I was a part of the Santopalato Supper Club, where we threw elaborate dinner parties for guests of honor.

The man hours, logistical planning, heart and soul that go into these gifts of food and drink are shocking, and completely inspiring. My mind is still reeling from the culinary feats that were accomplished out on the hot dusty playa this year. We ate like kings and queens, we did. See for yourself:

All Photos by Stephanie Hua

Black Rock French Quarter
Hua, dressed in his playa bestSpiced Pork and Pineapple KebabsChef DanPeace, Love, and ChampersBrendan working the ginger beefSantopalato Supper Club

Bell pepper cups with rice and coconut curry
Steph, back of the "house"Frozen Kargo Key Lime PieDining al fresco...floating island styleSiri and KatRoasted rosemary potatoesSupper Club guests, dressed to impress

The Santopalato dining room
On the menu: rock salt beef ribsDinner at the Santopalato Supper ClubFine dining at the Black Rock French QuarterOnly the shirtless serve champagne at this establishmentCrawfish Boil at the Black Rock French QuarterBrooke bearing chocolate dipped strawberries with rainbow sprinkles

Steve, Yoni, Jason, Kat, and Hua
Beer and Brat FestSpiral DogsDan and HaHomemade pickled veggiesCheers!Spiral dog with homemade sauerkraut, pickles, and dilly potato salad

Culinary Feats Were Accomplished at Burning Man’s Black Rock French Quarter 4 September,2013Stephanie Hua


Stephanie Hua

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well.

Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine.

Stephanie’s writing and photography have been featured in Fodor’s Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.

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