Elista Istre


Dr. Elista Istre is a descendant of Cajuns, French Creoles, and Spanish Isleños. An avid traveler with a passion for cultures across the globe, Istre has been sharing her region’s diverse heritage around the world for more than 20 years. She founded Belle Heritage to provide consulting expertise and create cultural experiences that inspire others to celebrate the beauty of heritage. She was historical consultant and assistant director for the documentary film First Cousins: Cajun and Creole Music in South Louisiana and wrote Creoles of South Louisiana: Three Centuries Strong.





10:15 am to 10:45 am
Children’s Author Tent 3
Josette and Friends Cook a Gumbo
(Ages 8 to 12)

11:00 am to 11:45 am
Cavalier House Books Tent
Book Signing


Josette & Friends Cook a Gumbo 

“This beautifully written and illustrated children’s book is a brilliant blend of Louisiana’s culture and cuisine.” — Chef John Folse

Cool fall days and warm, cozy friendships bring Josette and her friends together to cook a delicious gumbo bursting with flavor. As the children add their favorite ingredients to the pot, they stir up some fascinating stories about Louisiana’s people—including Cajuns, Creoles, American Indians, French, Africans, Germans, and Spanish Isleños.

While spicing up their friendship in Mama’s kitchen, what will Josette and her friends discover about each other and their own connections to this tasty dish?

Bon appétit!


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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