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Cajun humorist and chef Justin Wilson, host of 'Cookin' Cajun' and other shows, dead at 87
AP | September 6, 2001

Posted on 09/06/2001 7:34:30 AM PDT by HAL9000

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Justin Wilson, the Cajun humorist and chef whose distinctive accent delighted viewers of his "Cookin' Cajun'' television show, has died. He was 87.

His daughter Sarah Sue Easterly said Wilson died Wednesday in Baton Rouge. She would not give details but said more information would be released later Thursday.

Over Wilson's career, he released five cookbooks, 27 albums of short stories and an album of Christmas songs. He was host of several cooking programs, including "Louisiana Cookin'.''

He referred to himself as JOOS-tain and became known for the expression: "I ga-ron-tee!'' (guarantee), from the Cajun "J'vous garantis.''

"Cajun cooking is the ability to take what you have and create a good dish and season it right,'' Wilson told The Associated Press in 1990.

"It isn't all that hard, but so few people know how to take what they have and put it together and season it properly,'' he said. "It's creative cooking -- that's all it is.''

"I am a gourmet, but I am more of a gourmand,'' he explained. "A gourmet is somebody that's an epicurean. But a gourmand is somebody that's a P-I-G hog and that's what I am.''

A native of Amite, La., Wilson had lived in Summit, Miss., for about six years, his daughter said.

His last syndicated series of shows was titled "Easy Cooking.''

Wilson called himself a "half-bleed'' Cajun. His father was Louisiana's commissioner of agriculture for 32 years, and his mother, Olivet, was Louisiana French. She taught him how to cook.

"She was a great improviser,'' Wilson said. "She'd cook a dish and we'd go 'Mama, w'at's this here, hanh?' And she'd say, 'Children, that's a mus-go. It mus' go down yo' t'roat.'''

Some Cajuns found his fractured language annoying, but Wilson insisted he didn't mean to ridicule. He said his critics were "people who take themselves too seriously.''

Originally a safety engineer, he was inspired to pursue a career in public speaking after he met Will Rogers in the 1930s.

"He told me always to tell 'em clean, and always tell your audience something serious -- or they'll think you're a complete fool,'' he recalled.

Survivors include three daughters.

Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 09/06/2001 7:34:30 AM PDT by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000
This is sad. Both my wife and I loved his show and have regretted seeing him decline in the last few years. He's handling all of God's barbeques and cookouts now.
2 posted on 09/06/2001 7:38:37 AM PDT by DWSUWF
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To: HAL9000
A sad day. I haven't seen the show recently and have been missing it.
3 posted on 09/06/2001 7:40:08 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: HAL9000
Wow - that was one of my favorite cooking shows! How sad. :-(
4 posted on 09/06/2001 7:41:28 AM PDT by areafiftyone
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To: HAL9000
Bump for Justin Wilson-a true southern gentleman and a great entertainer.
5 posted on 09/06/2001 7:42:36 AM PDT by 91B
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To: HAL9000
Woooooo Weeeeeee! Sure did 'joy hees ca'jon style. Tanks fo the good times, Justin. Rest in peace.
6 posted on 09/06/2001 7:46:38 AM PDT by nimc
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To: HAL9000
He taught me how to make red beans and rice. Rest in peace, Ju-stan. You will be missed.

J.R.

7 posted on 09/06/2001 7:49:48 AM PDT by NMC EXP
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To: HAL9000
Always enjoyed the show.

He taught me that I could use the palm of my hand as a teaspoon measure for salt.

That doesn't sound like much, but if you've ever tried to bake bread with a 3-year-old, the last thing you need is to have to look for is a set of measuring spoons.

8 posted on 09/06/2001 7:53:33 AM PDT by GEC
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To: HAL9000
A common highlight of Justin's show:

"Now, you put in jes' a leetle bit this Louisiana Hot Sauce. 'Bout a teaspoon full is all."

(Begins shaking the bottle violently over the food. Red jets fly with each shake. Still shaking, he turns back to the camera.)

"Don' wahn git too much, now!"

(Audience begins to titter. The red stuff is still flying.)

"You wanna measure raht so you git jes' about a teaspon."

(The audience is solidly laughing now. Neither they nor he has any real idea how much sauce is in the mix.)

9 posted on 09/06/2001 7:58:17 AM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: HAL9000
From way up north...even further than Shreveport, thanks for the lessons Justin.

"It isn't all that hard, but so few people know how to take what they have and put it together and season it properly," he said. "It's creative cooking -- that's all it is."

10 posted on 09/06/2001 7:58:52 AM PDT by Dust in the Wind
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To: HAL9000
Aww. Too bad this is a good show. Full of spices and sauteed Oon-yunnns!
11 posted on 09/06/2001 8:00:17 AM PDT by spald
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To: HAL9000
I'd wonder what had become of Mr. Wilson. Godspeed.
One thing for sure...only America (and Lousisia) could produce such a phenomenal cook/chef!
12 posted on 09/06/2001 8:01:11 AM PDT by VOA
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To: HAL9000
awww I loved that guy "I gar--own-tee!" LOL!! with his suspenders. too bad!
13 posted on 09/06/2001 8:05:11 AM PDT by lawgirl
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To: HAL9000
Well, the banter was a lot of fun. But I always marveled that he cooked in big ol' washtubs and never cooked for less than 100 people! He used an oar for a wooden spoon! :o) fsf
14 posted on 09/06/2001 8:06:56 AM PDT by Free State Four
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To: HAL9000
And he never forgot his glass of wine with the meal...
15 posted on 09/06/2001 8:09:52 AM PDT by GuillermoX
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To: HAL9000
I remember Justin Wilson's comedy records from the 60s and 70s. But wasn't it later shown that he was not even "Cajun"?
16 posted on 09/06/2001 8:10:14 AM PDT by Illbay
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To: HAL9000
Treis bien mon bonami, au revoir
17 posted on 09/06/2001 8:12:19 AM PDT by gumboyaya
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To: The Cajun, ABG(anybody but Gore), Roux, rvoitier, topher,go star go,bduet,chemicalman,lgjhn,lsucat
FYI.........
18 posted on 09/06/2001 8:14:21 AM PDT by deport
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To: DWSUWF
I GAR-ROAN-T HEAVEN WON'T BE THE SAME!!! I BELIEVE A REAL AMERICAN CAJUN RASCAL HAS MADE IT TO THE GREAT "KITCHEN IN THE SKY." I KNOW HE WILL BE SORELY MISSED IN MY HOUSE.....BUT HIS RECIPES WILL LIVE ON!!!
19 posted on 09/06/2001 8:19:11 AM PDT by Fighter@heart
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To: HAL9000
Hoooo, we jus add some wine to da sauce, but fus to da cook, whooooeee dats good! I really enjoyed that guy. Godspeed Justin.
20 posted on 09/06/2001 8:19:23 AM PDT by Republic of Texas
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To: HAL9000
This is a sad day for me.

When my husband was alive we both would sit and watch The Cajun Cook. If you knew my husband you would know he could not boil water and cared very little for learning how to cook but watching The Cajun Cook made him take an interest in things going on in the kitchen (besides me of course)

It is indeed a sad day for me. GA Lady

21 posted on 09/06/2001 8:19:57 AM PDT by dwhite (Lady from GA)
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To: Free State Four
My grandpa LOVED Justin Wilson and had several of his records which I got to hear every time I went to visit. I hope he's still able to hunt with his huntin' dog Phideaux(Fido) and drive around in his pickin' up truck(country cadillac), at least 4 or 3 miles. God rest!
22 posted on 09/06/2001 8:21:44 AM PDT by ModestoMama
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To: Illbay
"I remember Justin Wilson's comedy records from the 60s and 70s."

Then you must remember 'Moose turd pie.' The funniest bit if ever heard. My father would just gasp from laughing so hard.

23 posted on 09/06/2001 8:22:19 AM PDT by nimc
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To: HAL9000
Thanks for the laughs, Justin.
24 posted on 09/06/2001 8:29:06 AM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood
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To: HAL9000
What a loss for those of us who love cooking and for his family! He will be missed, but think of the cookin' going on in Heaven today!
25 posted on 09/06/2001 8:30:51 AM PDT by ladyinred
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To: HAL9000
Au revoir, mon ami! Je suis inconsolable. Et maintenant, dans ton honor, Laissez-les bon temps roulez. (Que the upbeat dixieland band)

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic!)

26 posted on 09/06/2001 8:31:19 AM PDT by LonePalm (Le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican))
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To: HAL9000
"The Lord will be enjoying Crawdads, beans and rice, and a long funny story for lunch today. Godspeed, Justin."

For some reason, "Judgement Day" comes to mind.

27 posted on 09/06/2001 8:35:12 AM PDT by TEXASPROUD
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To: Illbay
But wasn't it later shown that he was not even "Cajun"?

He was from Texas, but one of his parents was a cajun. An' mais, I tell you one ting; you got yo'self one pah'ent dat's a coon ass, den YOU a coon ass too. Once you get a little cajun spice in yah blood, yah ain't gettin' it out.

28 posted on 09/06/2001 8:35:39 AM PDT by geaux
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To: LoanPalm
Indeed, a southern icon has passed.

Rest in peace, Ju-stan.

29 posted on 09/06/2001 8:37:01 AM PDT by dtel
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To: Illbay
Oh My, no no. This is like loosing a frien'. Justin was a true pioneer in more ways than one. He was one of the first along with Brother Dave Gardner to bring out comedy records. The later he cleaned up with the cooking shows. Not many of us folks would watch Julia Child or Graham Kerr, but we'd sure as Hell watch Justin and drool all the way through his thirty minutes, and laugh at his stories even if we heard it all before.

My wife and her family knew Justin and he was a true Southern Gentleman and never a put on. In other words he was jes' folks. He could also be called the Firsr Ambasador of Arcadia. Millions of Americans would have never known a Cajon if it wasnt for Mr. Wilson. Later today, I think I'll drink a pearl pop witht he foam on top in his honor. God bless his soul.

30 posted on 09/06/2001 8:44:08 AM PDT by oyez
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To: HAL9000
I assume this is the guy... If i am wrong, sorry.


31 posted on 09/06/2001 8:58:37 AM PDT by Phantom Lord
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To: All
Sorry, Cajun.
32 posted on 09/06/2001 8:59:32 AM PDT by oyez
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To: HAL9000

www.justinwilson.com

33 posted on 09/06/2001 9:01:10 AM PDT by HAL9000
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To: Bio
http://www.justinwilson.com/biography.html
34 posted on 09/06/2001 9:08:14 AM PDT by deport
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To: HAL9000
The world just became a little grayer.
35 posted on 09/06/2001 9:10:09 AM PDT by Valin
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To: Illbay
Justin was around a long time, and I, too, had read that he was from New Jersey. As I remember it, his Cajun "act" was his most successful public speaking device. At any rate, in my heart, Justin Wilson could be whatever he wanted to be. One of his earliest comedy records about duck hunting was repeated endlessly by southern boys "from Canada to Mexico." Justin, refering to a double barrel shotgun, "Boudreau pick up his twice-barrel carbine and shot all dem ducks flying in a group all by dem selves."
36 posted on 09/06/2001 9:14:17 AM PDT by billhilly
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To: billhilly
his twice-barrel carbine

Thats a two hole gun. I prefer an aromatic.

37 posted on 09/06/2001 9:48:08 AM PDT by oyez
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To: nimc
The only one I remember, sad to say, is about the little boy stuck at the back of a very crowded elevator. Suddenly a very large woman lets out a blood-curdling scream.

The little boy is heard to say "I did it, I did it, I did it! She stuck it in my face, and I bit it!"

38 posted on 09/06/2001 9:54:04 AM PDT by Illbay
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To: oyez
Brother Dave Gardner! Now THAT'S a name I ain't heard in a LONG time!

My dad used to have all HIS records, and we'd listen to him pontificate about Elvis and Billy Craham, and so on. Pretty funny stuff.

39 posted on 09/06/2001 9:55:47 AM PDT by Illbay
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To: HAL9000
The world has lost a good man with the loss of Justin Wilson. May he rest in peace and laugh with the angels.
40 posted on 09/06/2001 10:01:54 AM PDT by DeckTheHallsHolly
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To: HAL9000
I had never in my life heard of Ox Tail Soup till I saw him make it on the show. Tried it on my family and they loved it. Even my little granddaughter who was about 7 at the time said. Grandma, you make good soup.. Now they ask for it.
41 posted on 09/06/2001 10:02:48 AM PDT by Texas Mom
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To: Illbay
I used to get chest pains watching how much oil and butter and salt he used in his recipes. But hell he may it to 87 that's a good life. My wife and I loved his cooking shows.
42 posted on 09/06/2001 10:06:52 AM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: Illbay
Illbay, we have had a few really good threads on Brother Dave, Grizzard and other notable southern comics from the fifties and sixties. Justin Wilson deserves a place among them, and certainly he will have it.
43 posted on 09/06/2001 11:32:53 AM PDT by billhilly
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To: Illbay
Do a web search on Brother Dave Gardner and you will find some of his old material.
44 posted on 09/06/2001 11:32:57 AM PDT by oyez
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To: HAL9000
Thanks for posting this, Hal.  Here's a bit more from here:

             His funeral was scheduled at noon Saturday at St.
             Luke's Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, with
             visitation Friday evening and Saturday morning.
             He will be buried in St. Williams Cemetery in the
             Livingston Parish town of Port Vincent, 19 miles
             from Baton Rouge.

             Over Wilson's career, he released five
             cookbooks, 27 albums of short stories and an
             album of Christmas songs. He was host of
             several cooking programs, including "Louisiana
             Cookin'."

             His white hair, big smile and bright red
             suspenders were well known. He wore a belt, too,
             saying it was because he was a safety engineer.

             But he didn't play it safe on TV. He worked
             without a script, taping before live audiences and
             refusing to let mistakes be edited out or canned
             laughter edited in, said Carl Fry, who produced all
             of his Louisiana Public Broadcasting shows.

             "He would say, `I'll tell a joke. If they like it, they
             like it," Fry recounted.

SNIP

             Wilson used to say that he "granulated" from high
             school at 16, then spent five years at Louisiana
             State University "majoring in girls" before he gave
             up on college without a degree.

             He "hoboed around the country," picking fruit,
             washing dishes, digging ditches and whatever
             other work the Depression afforded.

             In 1934, Gov. Huey Long hired him to police the
             state's grain warehouse industry, starting a
             career as a safety consultant and law
             enforcement officer.

             He was inspired to pursue a career in public
             speaking after meeting Will Rogers in the 1930s.

             "He told me always to tell 'em clean, and always
             tell your audience something serious -- or they'll
             think you're a complete fool," he recalled.

             His recipes for television and cooking were
             similar.

             "Cajun cooking is the ability to take what you
             have and create a good dish and season it right,"
             Wilson told The Associated Press in 1990.

             "It isn't all that hard, but so few people know how
             to take what they have and put it together and
             season it properly," he said. "It's creative cooking
             -- that's all it is."


45 posted on 09/06/2001 1:37:08 PM PDT by Irma
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To: Irma,The Cajun, ABG(anybody but Gore), Roux, rvoitier, topher,go star go,bduet,chemicalman,lgjhn,lsu
One I remember from his show:

"A momma crawfish and her lil baby crawfish were walking along a wet pasture after a rain."
"Next thing you know, the lil baby crawfish go 'flap, flap, flap, flap' in reverse."
"The momma crawfish said 'What's the matter lil ones? Why you running away?'
"The lil baby craw fish said, 'We scared of that big thing mommy!'"
"The momma craw fish said, 'Oh! Don't worry bout that! That's just a cow. They don't harm us crawfish.'
"A little further down the pasture, the lil crawfish go flap, flap, flap, flap in full reverse."
"The momma crawfish asked 'What is is now? Why you so scared?"
"The lil crawfish say, 'Oh momma, we are scared of that!'"
"The momma crawfish said, 'Oh you lil crawfish! That's just a horse. They don't bothor us crawfish.'"
"Walking a lil further down the pasture, all a sudden the momma crawfish high tails it in reverse...flap, flap, flap, flap.."
"The baby craw fish asks, 'Momma! What's wrong?'"
"The momma crawfish told the lil crawfish, "Now you see that there is a cajun, and they eat anything!"

46 posted on 09/06/2001 3:56:55 PM PDT by chemicalman
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To: Illbay
I remember Justin Wilson's comedy records from the 60s and 70s. But wasn't it later shown that he was not even "Cajun"?

Wow!

Only took 16 posts for someone to try to trash a dead man.

That may be the record.

Pathetic.

47 posted on 09/06/2001 4:07:09 PM PDT by don-o
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To: HAL9000
Indeed, a sad day!
48 posted on 09/06/2001 4:08:48 PM PDT by VinnyTex
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To: HAL9000
As a kid I would watch him instead of Saturday cartoons.

It has been years since I have seen any of the shows...wish the would replay them.

49 posted on 09/06/2001 4:10:50 PM PDT by CARDINALRULES
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To: All
Another Ju-stan tale

Boudreaux was catching fish when nobody else in the bayou could catch a cold.
The game warden, a fella named Fontenot, came to visit Boudreaux.
They chat it up a bit and Boudreaux agrees to take Fontenot fishing the next morning.
They arrive at the bayou bright and early the next day and unload the boat
Boudreaux navigates out to his fishing hole and reaches under his seat for a cigar box.
He pulls out a stick of dynamite and crimps a cap on the end, Fontenot sees this and jumps up.
Boudreaux, you can't be doing that, it's against the law. Boudreaux calmly lights the fuse and hands it to Fontenot.
Fontenot, he says, are we gonna talk or are we gonna fish?

50 posted on 09/06/2001 4:26:41 PM PDT by dtel
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