Rien Fertel is a Louisiana-born and based writer, historian, and teacher. He grew up in his family's chain of restaurants across the country, and, after graduating from college, ran a grocery-deli in downtown New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina exiled him to New York, where he started writing about food. His work has appeared in Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Spirit, Saveur, the Local Palate, and many other publications. He holds a PhD in history, teaches in New Orleans, and divides his time between the banks of the Mississippi River and a 100-plus-year-old church in St. Martinville, Louisiana.