Bringing the Country to the City
When we first met with the chef and the owner of DTB, they said they wanted their new restaurant on Oak Street to be inspired by their bayou roots. Since this theme is common in New Orleans, our mission became to understand the unique bayou culture they grew up in and translate this understanding into a distinct restaurant that brings the diner right into the shadows of the bayou.
Having never stepped foot in the bayou, we knew we needed to do some research. We headed to Bayou du Large one Saturday with our camera and used the macro view to get up close and personal with the textures - viewing nature this way helped us focus on aspects we might have otherwise missed and turned out to be a great way to add some originality to our design.
We wanted to recreate the diverse organic lives that shape the bayou community and then bring this theme to the city.
These waterways were the major sources of livelihood for settlers in the area, including Native Americans and the Caribbean and African-American communities.
The word bayou is thought by many as simply muddled water, airboats, and alligator tours. It is not. The water is so clear in most areas, that one can see the bottom from their pirogue.
We had to bring all the descriptive elements of the bayou to our design - the elegant and the authentic, the refined flight of an egret and the harshness of the alligator, the strong, yet damaged and the fragile, yet alive.
The diner sees the Spanish moss and other various components that are native to bayou country, all while enjoying the true cultural palate of the bayou converted into delectable dishes.
The inspiration for the lighting system originated from the steel wheels used to reel in fishing nets hung across the bayous.
One must visit this community, to not only grasp the present, but allow the imagination go back in time and connect with the people that settled the area and see the communion of their daily lives with the nature of the bayou.
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