Thomas R. Lawrence
456 South 10th Street
Opelika, AL 36801
As I See It!
The Newsletter for
Capital Consultants Company
Volume 2, Number 1
In This Issue:
Welcome from Tom
As I Like it!TM
Happy New Year! 2011 started with a bang here on the plains. The Tigers finished their 14-0 mission and brought the State of Alabama another BCS National Championship. Cam Newton won the Heisman and Nick Fairly won the Lombardi. Auburn head coach Gene Chizik took home several versions of National Coach of the Year and all of this is in addition to the most difficult achievement of this team, winning the SEC West.
Speaking of the SEC West brings up the 2010 Bowl Season since almost all of the teams in the western half of the SEC played in Bowl games and all but Arkansas brought home a victory. The Hogs seemed to be in a trance during their Sugar Bowl outing against Ohio State. Their lackluster performance was typical of their inability to win the big ones and gave the Big Ten their first win over an SEC team in recent memory. If there was good news anywhere in their sad performance it is that Mallet played so poorly that he should probably skip the draft and come back next year.
Now that the 2010 Football Season is history everyone can get back to spreading rumors about Cam Newton and speculating on Nick Saban’s career as a color commentator. Having Nick on the BCS telecast was like inviting Henry VIII to comment on family values. He has the expertise; it was just the wrong venue. I’d just as soon see Lee Corso dressed as a duck, another highlight of the telecast. I am looking for a chance to savor the successes of the 2010 season before it starts all over again.
Capital Consultants has been asked to provide general business advice, as well as, an evaluation of injecting growth capital into a well established children’s fashion company. As those of you who have been following this newsletter know, Capital Consultants is interested in identifying opportunities for short term investments with a return of capital. This type of investment would be treated as equity on the subject company’s books, but would have the return element of debt.
The owner of the subject company is reluctant to commit to giving up the ownership needed to secure a pure equity investment and thus is willing to accept the terms, conditions and investor returns needed to secure a hybrid investment. I will be meeting with the owner of this company later this month and will explore the structure of such a hybrid instrument. This may be one of the mail box money opportunities we have discussed in past newsletters.
I’ll keep ya’ll posted as this develops.
As I Like it!
In my last newsletter we had checked into the Audubon Cottages at the Mason De Ville Hotel which is in the heart of the French Quarter and within walking distance of some of the best restaurants in the U.S. New Orleans is all about music, food and having a good time. The food native to New Orleans and South Louisiana is about as good as it gets.
Generally speaking there are five distinct cultures that have influenced the modern cuisine of this area, the provincial cooking of rural France that came in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries with the first French colonist. They brought with them the basic concepts of French country cooking with the stews, soups, casseroles and roasted meats of the countryside.
The second major influence came with the Negro slaves that were brought in to work the sugarcane. These unfortunate men and women were taken from their native West Africa and dumped into a foreign land to work in the fields and fend for themselves food wise. They adapted their African cooking methods to the plentiful wild game and native plants of their new home. Many of the rich dishes we have come to expect in this part of the country can be traced to West Africa. Many slaves were relocated from the West Indies and they brought with them the love of spices and seasonings.
The next wave of immigration came with the relocation of the Acadians of Canada in 1764, forced by their English conquers to seek a new home in the nearest French possessions. These folks were trappers, small farmers and fishermen. They did not settle in the cities, but moved to the remotest areas of river bottom and coastal marshland. They ate what they could kill, trap and grow. They became the Cajuns of South Louisiana and developed a unique type of cooking.
By the mid eighteenth century New Orleans had become a very sophisticated European city. Ruled from time to time by the French and Spanish crowns and influenced by the great chefs of the classical age of French cooking. The continental concept of fine dining came to New Orleans and a type of cuisine known as Creole graced the private tables not only in the Vieux Carre, but also in the plantation homes lining the river north of the city.
With the completion of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 the last of the major influxes of immigrants descended on New Orleans. The Americans arrived. They were brash, loud, violent men and they came not as conquers, but as merchants, bankers and traders. They settled away from the Vieux Carre and built their large, opulent homes in a new section that has come to be known as the Garden District. They brought with them the cooking methods and food preferences of Colonial America designed to provide sustenance without much regard to flavor or presentation.
The first New Orleans restaurants opened in the mid 1800’s, most notably Antoine’s which dates to 1840 and is still in business at the same location. By 1900 New Orleans was widely known for its great restaurants, many of which continue to serve the city today. The five cultural influences mentioned above have cross pollinated and blended together to produce what many consider the finest cuisine in the world. In my next newsletter we will begin to explore this culinary paradise.
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