It’s Acadiana: Out To Lunch

Hosted ByChristiaan Mader

OUT TO LUNCH finds journalist Christiaan Mader conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Christiaan invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join him. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.

Sugarcane Crawfish and Rice – Out to Lunch – It’s Acadiana

In Acadiana there are a number of Holy Trinities. There’s the original, Christian, one. There’s the roux: onions, peppers and celery. And there’s the Acadian Agricultural trinity – Sugarcane, crawfish, and rice.

In the rice capital of the world, Crowley Louisiana, The Falcon Rice Mill has been a family business since 1950. It’s the only family-run rice mill in the country. And it’s the home of Country Cajun Rice. Today the third generation of the Trahan family – Christine Fulton and Robbie Trahan – own and run the Falcon Rice Mill.

Mike Fruge, Robbie Trahan

Robbie Trahan makes the trek from Crowley to Cafe Vermilionville for this edition of Out to Lunch.

Rice and crawfish might not seem to have a lot in common – other than when they’re served on a plate – but agriculturally, they’re cousins. They grow in the same field. In Branch Louisiana, the Fruge family raise more than one million pounds of crawfish, and grow nine million pounds of rice a year.

peter ricchiuti, mike fruge

Mike Fruge is the owner of Fruge Aquafarms, incorporating Fruge Seafood and

To complete our trinity, meet Eddie Lewis III.

Eddie Lewis III

Eddie is arguably the most uniquely over qualified sugarcane farmer in Acadiana, if not the world. In 2007 Eddie was Chase Bank’s number one personal banker, nationwide. Eddie sold more bank products than anyone in the country – working out of a branch office in the Albertson’s grocery on Ambassador Caffrey. He went on to become a successful stockbroker at Morgan Stanley until 2011 when his father died unexpectedly and Eddie came home to Youngsville to join his brothers on the farm.

sugarcane crawfish and rice

This slightly less than holy trinity of agricultural entrepreneurs has a lot in common. Not the least of which is they all work with their families. This is a fun, lively, and informative conversation about life on and off the farm.

Photos at Cafe Vermilionville by Gwen Aucoin.