This week we meet James Triffo who owns NOLA London, as you will have seen from @BigEasyMafiaUk and various RT's they are hosting a SuperBowl party which we know a lot of Saints fans are attending so lets find out a bit more about NOLA London and how James fell in love with New Orleans and the Saints.
1. First of all who are you guys and where are you from?
I’m James Triffo and I’m the owner and founder of NOLA here in London. Originally, I’m from Canada but I’ve lived and worked all over the world and spend a considerable amount of time in the Crescent City.
2. What made you want to open NOLA London?
After speaking with plenty of friends that own and run bars in New Orleans it dawned on me that the UK needed an authentic cocktail bar that represented more than just a “Disneyfied” version of the Big Easy. As far as cities go, New Orleans is only behind London and New York on the list of birthplaces of classic cocktails. So back in 2013 I set myself to task. We constantly collaborate with a variety of New Orleans bars and restaurants. Plus, we get now get to do fun stuff like have British Airways charter flights for us to the Big Easy to serve food and drinks in Boeing 777’s full of Mardi Gras revellers at 40000 feet… not a bad gig.
3. What can people expect on Super Bowl Night?
Where to start? We’ve hosted the game to a packed house since 2014 and feel like we’ve got a winning formula. Big Screens, cold Dixie beer and Sazerac cocktails, our famous Gumbo and Super Bowl Squares to keep the action interesting. We’ve always got a few surprises up our sleeves with some prize giveaways to add to the half-time entertainment.
4. How long have you been following the Saints and who is your Favourite past and present player and why?
My parents told me I got into football when I was 5 when my dad bought me a junior J5V - so… 39 years? To be fair I wasn’t a Saints fan to start as the games didn’t get much air-time up in Canada and they weren’t exactly the greatest team in the league for their first 20 years. My best guess is 1987 as to when I really started to sit up and take notice - during Coach Mora’s tenure although it was still hard to watch broadcasted games and it was always a treat to read a TV guide that said the Saints were playing on MNF, I think my parents probably still have most of those games recorded on VHS somewhere. Definitely been a fan longer than the internet has been streaming the games – haha.
I could throw a lot of names out right now but unarguably it has to be Brees - you can’t argue with history, his records or what he has done in New Orleans and for the city itself. He has the best head in the game, a proven record of keeping the team competitive in games that would’ve been blow-outs with anyone else under centre and made stars out of players like Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Mike Thomas.
But man… isn’t Taysom Hill fun to watch?
5. If you could recommend one thing to eat and one thing drink on your menu what would it be?
Gumbo and a La Louisiane cocktail. We make and smoke our own home-made Andouille sausage to ensure the quality is there in every bite. Our Roux browns in pork fat for 40 minutes before we even get to sweating our Trinity.
The La Louisiane is a terrific hybrid between two classic New Orleans cocktails, the Sazerac and the Vieux Carre and the sweetness, heat and aniseed flavours from the cocktail really compliment the savoury, smokiness from the gumbo.
6. Where can people buy tickets for your Super Bowl Party?
Online through our website is the only place. I think we are down to our last twenty available?
7.We all Hope the Saints will make it to the Super Bowl but who would you like them to face and who would you be wary about?
Lots of great teams and stories this season – the Chiefs reinvigorated under Maholmes and Charges with Rivers both spring to mind. But I say, “to be the best you gotta beat the best.” I’d personally love to see the Pats vs. Saints. Just to finally settle this Tom Brady is the GOAT nonsense once and for all and hand the title to the rightful owner, Drew Brees.
8. What is your all time Favourite dish from New Orleans?
Oh man, so many to choose from… Baked Oysters at Bourbon house? Po’boys from Killer Po’boy? Crawfish dog at Dat Dog? Gumbo at Commanders Palace? BBQ ribs from The Joint over in Bywater? Hmmm…
I gotta say my number one is a Shrimp Étouffeé at Galatoire’s (we make ours with a very similar recipe because I love this dish so much).
Thanks for that question BTW, now I’m hungry!
9. Where can people find NOLA London?
We’re just a few minutes’ walk from Bethnal Green Station on the Roman Road – number 107 - or by visiting us online at nola-london.com
All of us at SaintsUkHub are looking forward to visiting NOLA Bar on Superbowl night and thanks to James for taking the time out to speak to us this week.