– Oh my god. – They can jump
out the water too, so. – Well, yeah, that
gator bites you, takes them about 30 days
to digest human bone. It’s called a Cajun divorce. – So, let me break it down for you. The past 10 years, I’ve
been traveling the world, tour-managing artists and
showing them the best spots. I know that anywhere you go,
you need that solid connect. We’ve taken
submissions from people claiming to have the
keys to their city. Now, we’re traveling the country to take them up on their word. I’m Justin Lizama and
this is Gatekeepers. We just got here in New
Orleans, nice and early. Here’s my little sleeping trick. I get my beanie,
pull it over my eyes, so that no one sees
you sleeping so ugly. Now, today, we’re going to meet
Ashley Jonique. She is a private chef, which
I’m super excited about because I love food. And I’m kinda curious to see what she can actually show me
that I haven’t done before. Welcome to Gatekeepers
New Orleans. – It’s part of the look. Ashley pin-dropped
me the lakefront, one of my favorite
areas to come and visit while here in New Orleans. As you can see, it’s beautiful. And there’s Ashley now. Let’s go say hi. – Hi, my name is
Chef Ashley Jonique. I’m a New Orleans native
and I’m a private chef. We hug in New Orleans.
– Yeah. Hug in New Orleans. – My favorite thing about
being from New Orleans is the confidence that we have. I just love the
spirit, the culture. It’s always a good time. Even when it’s a sad
time, we have fun. – I always forget
how beautiful it is here. – This is where we come to
basically get our mind together. In a city full of
beautiful chaos, the water kinda calms us down. – Well said. I’ve been here so many
times, I can’t even count. I’ve been down here for BUKU, I’ve been down here for Voodoo. First time I went to
Voodoo, I saw Big Freedia. – Really?
– Yeah. – My friend is
actually traveling with Freedia right now.
– Oh yeah? – Yeah.
– I think Freedia’s amazing, like proper, just booty trap. – We invented twerking.
– Yeah. – The person who had
– No, for sure. actually invented twerking
goes to my church. – Oh really?
– Yeah. – New Orleans, the
home of twerking. – Yes.
– For a person like me that’s been here so much, are you sure
– I got you. – that you got this unlocked?
– I’m telling you, I got you. I know people. Oh, I’m stoked, I feel
really confident about this. – No trip to
New Orleans is complete without a stop at
the French Market. – Oh yes, this is a must-have. This is basically where you
would get some awesome food and then all your
souvenirs to bring back. – Like this, got some – Hold up, we have time
– sugar cane here. – for that,
we have time for that. – All right. Oh man, that’s making
me hungry already. Is the muffuletta here good? – All of our food is good. – Yeah, yeah. I mean, what’s your
favorite thing to eat when you come down here? – My friend’s
char-broiled oysters. That’s actually where I’m
bringing you right now. This is my friend Justin’s
restaurant, J’s Seafood Dock, and he’s gonna be
taking care of us. – Oh, crab claws? Oysters?
– We’ve got to get into that. – Ooh! – Hi, welcome to
J’s Seafood Dock where rhyme must be the truth. – I know that you usually don’t, but can we get these
crab fingers sauteed? – Right on, whatever you want. – I’m down for all of this. Some oysters, some shrimp.
– Char-broiled oysters. We have to get those, J-boo. – I got you. Y’all just go and
relax, take it easy. – Yes. We need to get a drink.
– Oh yes, we drink all day. – Is that pickled? – It’s pickled green beans.
– Oh. – Yeah, they’re
real popular around here. – Pickled everything. Look, if you come
to New Orleans, if you can’t have a good
time, you’re a (beep). And if you can’t find good
food here, you’re a (beep). (beeping) – Sound bite.
– If it’s up to me, I’d be happy to keep it in. I decide–
– No, what I’m saying, even if you beeped it,
even if you beeped it out, people will get it. – You in New Orleans,
so it’s like, it goes with– – How do you say,
goes with deep? But if you say (beeping), yeah, then that’s a beep
beep beep beep beep. – Yeah.
– So just say you’re a, you’re a, you’re an, you’re an (beep) is probably
the best that you’d beep it. – Nah, it needs to be (beeping). (beep) If you can’t have fun
here, you’re a (beep) and. – Straight out that creole pot. – All right, thank you.
– C’est la vie. – Got some soft-shell crab, you got some crab claws. – Definitely
start with the oysters. – Char-broiled oyster? – You just take the bread and you kinda scoop it
up, put all the cheese. – Get that sauce?
– Yeah, get it. – Make sure you get that sauce. – Get all of that. So does this meet up
to your standards? – This is above and beyond. I think I’m just relearning
how good it’s supposed to be. – I told you I got you. We not done yet, though. – How we do the soft-shell crab? Just fork it?
– Just take a little piece and then just kinda
dip it in the potatoes. Perfect. – That’s a home run right there. – Hopefully, we can
function after this. – Probably the best
soft-shell crab I’ve ever had. That was unreal. I don’t even know what to say. – You don’t have to say nothin’. We can talk afterwards. – How long have you been coming to this spot? – About four years now. He’s a really good
friend of mine and he doesn’t eat
seafood, which is crazy. – You got a guy cooking seafood
that doesn’t even eat it? – Yeah, we used to
kinda trade off. I give him chicken and
he’ll give me oysters. – So, Justin’s the Beethoven of seafood. ‘Cause this is insane. This soft-shell crab might
be the best soft-shell crab – I think you should try it.
– I’ve ever had. Yo, it’s the best
cold shrimp I’ve had. – Now, give it back. – Yo, baby, how everything?
– My dude. – Indeed.
– Amazing. – Everything was so good. – How you doin’?
– Good, good. – I’ve never met
anyone named Justin with a similar mustache. So, I mean, that was kinda freaky. How long have you
been doing this? – We’ve been having this for about 8 1/2 years now. – I heard this crazy
story, this rumor, that you don’t
even like seafood. – Oh man, yeah, you’re right. – I told him we
would do trade-offs. – I would give you chicken
– Yeah. – and you would give me oysters – Oh, man.
– or seafood. – And she wasn’t
kidding, she’s like, oh, let’s go to
the French Market. I’m like, I’ve come to the
French Market so many times. – I’m like, I got you.
– So many times. – She never, she never lies. Her soul that good.
– Yeah, this made my day, and it’s still early. – Yeah.
– Yeah, you gotta keep on going. Keep on going. You gotta eat and drink your
way through New Orleans. You know, that what they say. – Where did you
find these recipes or how’d you guys create these? – Well, you know, just
growing up in New Orleans. – Yeah, it’s futile. – Being around your grandma. Sitting up in the house,
everybody smelling like gumbo. It’s like, goddamn. – This experience I knew would be a great experience because of the food,
the personality. – This definitely needs
to be on Thrillist’s just top food list, not even… No genre. – He’s been here so
many times, so he said. But I know that I wow him. – We still got a lot
of time here, huh? I’m okay with that. So, we’re… – At Studio Be. This is gonna blow your mind. The artist’s name is Brandon. He’s a visual artist. He tags buildings. I call him the
indoor Banksy, but people actually know who that is. – Welcome to Studio B. How you doin’?
– Nice to see you again. – Mm, good to see you.
– Sup, man? Justin.
– Brandon, Bmike. – How you doing? – This is a really dope spot. I think it needs recognition. – Hanging out with Brandan, having him actually
explain the pieces, was absolutely fabulous. Everybody should
come check this out. – We can use this art to impact
people in a positive way. – I feel like, inherently,
New Orleans is that. – Definitely.
– You know, the inner beauty, soul, it’ll always
find a way to survive. – We’re relentless,
we’re resilient. You cannot hold us back. – Yeah, we accept the
authenticity of people. This is a space where
you can’t be fake. – Oh yeah, we not
gonna allow it. – No matter where I go, every corner of the city, I still find inspiration
and it still impresses me. – I created this room to talk about our
relationship with water. There’s a quote from the
prophet known as Prince. “All I need is love and water.” And I interpret that to mean you need both these
things to survive but yet both these
things could destroy you. There’s this conversation
around Hurricane Katrina, in the middle, with
the clouds above and the homes
submerged in water, with the rooftops emerging. – Oh wow. – For anybody in New Orleans, we don’t just see this as a
piece of art, but as a memory. There’s a reminder of
this idea right here that you are still here and what does it
mean to survive. You made it through
that experience. And this piece right here, this is like the
idea of the waterline that was in the midst of
the homes as the water hit. Everything below this
line was completely gone. There was no redeeming it,
there was no saving it, so it’s almost as
if it was erased. A friend of mine said, he said, “New Orleans is
the new Atlantis. “We won’t be here forever.” So what do we leave behind? – This is new, it’s
cool, it’s inspirational. Everybody should
come check this out. He’s done an amazing job creating and curating
all the pieces here. – Thank you for coming by, yeah. Appreciate the conversation. – Nice seeing you.
– Nice seeing you, as always. – Thank you.
– Yes, ma’am. Appreciate y’all. – That your outro?
– I’ma hover. Disappearing, woo! – You fading away? – You could do like an effect while I fade away. – This is Neyow’s. I’m pretty sure that
you’ll enjoy it. It’s like the number one soul
food spot in New Orleans. – Let’s go.
– Let’s do it. – Can I get you guys started with something to
drink while you wait? – I think I’m gonna
order him a Bow Wow. I think I wanna put a little
more hair on his chest. – Okay. Are you ready for this? – Hey, we’re in New Orleans.
– ‘Cause the Bow Wow is 80% alcohol. It comes in a to-go cup so you’re welcome to
take it out with you. If you finish it
all by yourself, you get another
one for half price. – Whew!
– You think you can handle it? – I’ll try. – Would you
like a water with that? – I would love a
water with that. – He’ll need it. – What makes this
restaurant uniquely New Orleans? – Well, really, the food. – Yup.
– It’s the best soul food restaurant that
we have out here. Family-owned and
it’s family-oriented. – Red beans and rice? – That’s me.
– All righty. – Wow.
– Whoa. – I have a Shrimp Creole and this is the
bowl of gumbo there. – Ooh wee. – You think that
we can tag team this? – I’m gonna do my best. – I’m a little
lady, I don’t know if I can handle it all. – All right, this is your Bow Wow. – Bow wow, bow wow. Bow wow, bow wow, bow wow. Bow wow.
– You should tell him good luck too. – Yeah, good luck on this.
– before you walk off. – Yeah, but we don’t have no wheelbarrow.
– Oh, man. – To get you out of here? – How are you gonna
get me out of here then? – Cheers.
– Bow wow This thing’s got some pop to it. – 80% of pop. – I don’t know 80% of
what, but you can taste it. – It’s really strong. Outta here.
– Wow. – So tread light. – Tread light. This is great, and like,
for me, personally, I love the way the French
prepare soup stocks. You can tell this
isn’t made in one day. – Right.
– This is a multiple-day– – The food take time. – And we take our time.
– Yeah. – But that’s why I wanted
to take you to this spot because, to feel the love. You can taste it. You can tell that they
took their time with it. It wasn’t something that they just put together right quick.
– No, right? I can’t wait just to bring
people to these places just to show them, like, hey.
– Right. Well, you had the full, well, I’m not gonna say the
full New Orleans experience because we still have
a little more to do. But don’t forget
about your drink. – Oh, yeah.
– We see you trying to babysit it.
– I’ll get there. – This a lot of food, though. – This is a lot of food. I mean, this is really
good and I’m hungry. This thing’s strong.
– It’s really strong. Am I walking too fast? – Where are we now? – This is the Jazz Market. This is the place that
I was telling you about with some good vibes
and some live music. My friend is actually
gonna sing here. Her name is Brandi. This is where jazz was born. And a lot of young people, they
kinda don’t dabble in jazz. But down here, we’re
very in tune with music. This is like the place
to be on Wednesdays. – Literally, everywhere we’ve
gone, she’s known everybody. And if she didn’t know them, she knew somebody
that knew them. – I will order some wine, kinda
get on my grown woman stuff, just trying to chill
out, get a break, and just have a good time. – New Orleans Jazz
Market is pretty dope. Like, I got some jazz roots, so I was happy to come back in. – Hi.
– Hi, girl! – Thank you. – Team Nasty? – Brandi did an amazing job covering some Erykah Badu. – Brandi’s performance
was amazing. I knew that she
would do a good job, but being with her early, I
knew that she would wow y’all because y’all
weren’t expecting it. – A good ending to a good night. – What do you mean by that? – Oh, there’s my wine. – I know for sure Justin
had a good time tonight. He say he’s been to New
Orleans and did his thing, but I know that he haven’t
done his thing like this. I see y’all tomorrow. That’s good, I don’t
want to get hit! This brunch spot is very dope and I feel like we
should start off with a little food today. – Let’s get it started. – Everything that
you see on this menu is gonna have some kind
of craziness to it. But I really want you to
focus on this praline bacon. – It’s even got
a smiley face on there. – Yes, because it’ll make
you happy right after. – All right, if you say so. French Toast Burrito? – After last night, I
think you can tackle it. – Well, this looks amazing. Don’t tell anybody. – Tell everybody. – Tell the right people. – Hey guys, how are you? – Hey, how’s it going?
– Hey, how you doing? – Good. – I think we’re just gonna get a bunch of stuff to try.
– Sure. – Amazing Bloody Mary. I’m on a Bloody marathon. Whoa!
– Hey guys. – Whoa. – Hey.
– Wow. – Here’s everything. – That’s it? – Eggs Florentine,
fried oysters over potatoes. French Toast Burrito. It’s a French-toast-battered
tortilla, scrambled eggs, bacon,
and sausage inside, powdered sugar and syrup on top. Crispy fried Brussels
sprouts with Korean sauce. – I’m a Brussels
sprout connoisseur, so. – Patty melt with fries, and then we have Seafood
Stuffed Mirliton. – Wow, welcome to New
Orleans, the church of food. – Anything else for you guys? – Can we order a ambulance? – Let’s do this. ♪ Ah Wow. – Oh, it’s bacon and sausage? – Yup. – If I’m watching carbs… – It’s not about carbs today. It’s about all of this. Please try this. – I mean, you
get a Brussels sprout to balance out the meats. – Brussels sprouts
is one of the things where you were growing
up watching TV,
everybody hated them. – Yeah.
– But once you grew up, you’re like, this is what
I was missing out on? – I always think that, actually. I can sauté them,
I can fry them. I can put them in the oven. – I eat them a
lot with smoked paprika because they taste like
you put seasoned ham or turkey in it,
but it’s meatless, so it’s good for like
vegans and vegetarians also. – Meatloaf patty melt. Take one. – It’s okay to say it. – Wow, that’s amazing. Meatloaf patty melt. – It’s like a party
in your mouth, so you gotta. – This is my first fried oyster of the trip. – Make sure
you eat it with a potato and a little bit of the egg. – I’m usually knee-deep in
oyster po’ boys by now, but… – This, here it is. – The Beer-BQ Oysters? Yeah? I mean, it’s okay to
say if it’s not good. – No, it’s good. I didn’t know what to do
because it was so good. – And then, that you’ve been
pushing on me this whole time. – Just get it. Say something bad, I dare you. – I feel like I need this to eat during the holidays
or something. – You need some to go,
I’ll ship you some. I’m cool with the owner. I don’t think I
can take any more. – Oh, really, that’s it? – I definitely feel like
we should hit a swamp tour. – Swamp tour? I mean, that’s kinda
typical, right? Is that a gatekeeper
thing, swamp tours? – It’s a gatekeeper thing. Trust me, I will
take care of you. You trusted me this whole time. – Cool, I’m down. – Let’s get it.
– Let’s check it out. – But what are we gonna
do with all of this? – Hey guys, you want some? – So, this swamp tour
is something that New Orleanians, Cajuns,
Creole people do. It’s one of our things. You may see some gators. It’s very exciting. – I mean, I’ve been down
here a million times and this is my first
time out on the bayou. – I’ve heard a lot of
firsts on this trip, – That’s a lot of firsts.
– to say you’ve been to New Orleans so many times.
– You know it. And that’s a good thing. Make money, go boating. Come at me, bro. – Let’s get it. – All right, I’ma
go a little bit faster. – Can you go fast?
– I’m not gonna go crazy. – Oh! Whoa! – Just trying to get you down to a prettier place. Got some cool stuff
down this way. I grew up around
this kinda stuff. – Beautiful out here.
– I was just about to say that, like, I am
obsessed with this scenery. – I thought you’d like that. – Yes.
– It’s green. How long you been doing this? – This is my first
day, how we doing? – Oh, amazing.
– You’re doing good. – So far, so good. – Have you been
paying attention? ‘Cause I don’t
know where the hell we’re at right now. – Our tour guide was crazy, just like everybody
else in the city, so he just fit right in
with what he had going on. What do you look
for, specifically, to be like, well, I know a
gator may be over here or… – Some of ’em are real brazen, come right up to ya.
– Yeah? – Oh, this little hideout. You don’t know if there’s
one right there right now. – I would probably just die on the spot. Y’all ever seen
somebody die on camera? – They can jump
out the water too, so. – They jump?
– Yeah. – Sweet.
– A gator gets on this boat, I’m getting off. – Now I’m forced to do it. – Ain’t none of that captain goes down with the ship. That ain’t gonna happen. – Well, hopefully,
we could get one. This is so cool. – Well, I was getting worried, ’cause I know a couple times
I’ve gone out on whale boats to see whales, nothing happened. So I figured, okay,
well, at least we tried, we’ll head back into dock, but then, right as we were
about to come back in… – Oh my god. Hey, come here. Marshmallows, are
you really throwing? – This stuff
here’s like gator crack. – Oh, he coming, oh. – I did not know gators
ate marshmallows, but s’mores is probably
my favorite dessert, so, you know, it makes sense. Gators love mallows. – They do. – Next time I do a
dinner party for gators, I’ll keep that in mind. – It’s like Pac-Man over there. – This insane. I was scared. I’m not gonna even front. – Those guys can
jump in the boat. Gator’s probably got about 2,000
pounds of downward pressure – Oh my god.
– in his bite. Takes about 20 pounds to
break bones in your hand. 80 teeth, 40 top, 40 bottom. So yeah, that gator bites you, ain’t nothing I can do about it. Be good video,
bites her hand, huh? – Their being so
big, what do they feed on? – Big guys will
eat other gators. They’ll eat a turtle,
crush ’em, eat it. – Jesus.
– Armadillos, possums, fish, frogs, snakes, birds. Whatever makes a mistake. Takes them about 30 days
to digest human bone. It’s called a Cajun divorce. Come on. Get in there. All right, you want the
little one or the big one? – The big one. – Marshmallows don’t hurt ’em. Alligator doesn’t
have a pancreas. – Just eat it. Okay. – Some more then you
can touch him. – Here you go, little man. – Throw it
straight down, pop it hard. – Oh, hey! – She did my lizzie.
– Geez! – I need these hands to cook. Oh my gosh. – That’s why you got sous chefs. – Come on.
– So, what does the extra… – They hear it.
– Oh, okay. – Makes them crazy. – It likes–
– It’s crazy how you see their eyes creeping
out real quick. The difference between
a log and a gator. The eyes. – Yeah, and this one has teeth. Biggest one we see
out here is Winky. He’s about 14 feet.
– Geez. – ‘Fraid I don’t
worry with this one. – Really? So you really will touch him? Oh, you will, geez. – Make sure you
don’t drop your phone. – Well, I’ll probably
die before the phone dies. – A lot of firsts
for me on this trip. – So I impressed you? – 100, 110% impressed. – The next time I
wanna cook for you, so – Oh yes.
– let me know when you’re back in town and I’ll show you around.
– I’m always ready to eat. I’m always ready to eat. – All right.
– Thank you so much. – Thank you.
– Thanks a lot. – Safe travels. – Now, that’s a real gatekeeper. – Oh, yeah, yeah,
hell yeah, yeah. – I just do this while he’s
taking us over there. – If you can’t find good food in New Orleans,
you’re a big jerk. I had an amazing
visit to New Orleans. Ashley was a perfect gatekeeper. I had a lot of
firsts on this trip. Can’t wait for the next stop. See you there.