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Blakeview: Scoop Kennedy

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Scoop Kennedy had a resume that few in New Orleans can rival: reporter, sportswriter, gourmet and authority on Creole cooking and jazz. His real name, which few people knew, was Merlin, but he earned the nickname "Scoop" for eagerly running from assignment to assignment while working for the New Orleans Item newspaper in the 1920s. He covered news and sports, even penning a column called "Goal Post Mortems."

  After World War II, Kennedy worked for the American Red Cross in Paris, where he also attended Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. That would help him segue into the next phase of his career: gourmet. As a chef, he appeared on his own cooking shows on WDSU. He also wrote cookbooks, food columns and a dining guide, organized food festivals and belonged to several gourmet societies. Newspaper columnist Howard Jacobs once called him "America's number one gourmet, having cooked 1,600 different dishes — and presumably eaten them."

  In the 1960s, Kennedy joined the public relations staff of New Orleans Mayor Victor Hugo "Vic" Schiro. Columnist Jill Jackson congratulated him on his appointment by writing, "I know of no one who knows and loves New Orleans more. While he and his wife Emily were in Paris, Scoop admitted to me via letter that he was the most homesick man who ever left town. I am sure if he has his way now, he will never ever again go any further than Algiers." Kennedy died in 1982.

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