This week, we’re taking a few minutes to talk to Dade Orgeron, TurboSquid’s Creative Director. A Southern man at heart, Dade has traveled much of the US, landing in New York City, and then back again to Louisiana. On his triumphant return, Dade comes to our New Orleans headquarters bearing much knowledge, and a recipe for genuine down-home Louisiana white beans.
You’re originally from Louisiana, right? How did you end up working in New York City?
I was born in Baton Rouge, grew up in Galliano, Louisiana, on Bayou Lafourche, and moved here to NOLA in 10th grade. It was the perfect balance of life in Cajun country as a child and the awesomeness of New Orleans during the 80’s as a teenager.
Because of my career path, I realized that I would inevitably need to end up in either LA (Los Angeles) or NYC. Having done quite a bit of work in LA, I knew that NYC would probably be a better fit for me. I wasn’t looking for a new job (I was quite happy in Seattle) but when a New York agency contacted me to be their new Creative Director, I decided to take the offer and made the move across the country to try things on the East Coast.
What’s been the most striking difference between life in New York and life in New Orleans?
Everything. Every place I’ve lived has been so different from the rest. People’s attitudes, geography, food, music, weather, lifestyles… It’s all unique in some way.
Rumor has it that you used to make your own Cajun and Creole food, out of special Louisiana ingredients, while you were living out of state. How did you pull that off, and what did you cook?
It’s funny, you can find some things all over the country like Andouille Sausage and Tasso… but it’s never quite right. Then, when you start talking about Boudin, Cracklins, Rillettes, and Hog’s Head Cheese, forget about it. Even the shrimp is usually different, not-so-tasty freshwater varieties. After years of struggling to recreate my grandmother’s recipes, I decided to start creating my own ingredients from what I could find locally. So, curing and smoking became a huge hobby for me. And if there was something I couldn’t replicate (such as shrimp, crabs, and crawfish), I would order them from a grocer in Lafayette.
Do you have a favorite recipe to share with us?
One of my all time favorites is also one of the easiest (as long as you don’t have to pickle your own pork), white beans and rice:
White Beans and Rice
1 pound Navy beans (I like Camellia brand)
1 pound pickled pork (I like Richards brand) chopped into small cubes
1 medium onion chopped
2 bunches green onions chopped (white parts separated from green tops)
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 bay leaf
salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
6 – 8 quarts water
6 cups of cooked long grain rice
Pepper vinegar on the table (I like Trappey’s brand)
Rinse the beans, discarding any brown ones. Place the beans in a pot and cover them with an index finger’s length of water. Bring to a low boil and continue boiling for 1 hour.After the beans have been going for 45 mins… place the pickled pork in a large dutch oven with a little bit of cooking oil (I love enameled cast iron for this), and bring up to a medium high heat. The goal here isn’t to brown the pork… you just want it to release its water and have it evaporate.
Once the liquid has evaporated, stir in the onions, green onions (white parts only), garlic, and bay leaf, and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Now add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (be careful… you can always add more later) and continue cooking for 1 minute to let the flavors absorb.
Now rinse the beans that were boiling in the other pot under hot water, drain, and add to the pot of pork and onions. Stir to combine and cover with an index finger’s length of water. Bring to a low boil and continue cooking, slightly uncovered, for 2 – 3 hours (depending on how creamy you like your beans). Be sure to stir from time to time.
Once done… grab a deep bowl, drop in a pile of cooked rice, cover the rice with a few heaping ladles of beans, squirt a few dashes of pepper vinegar on top, along with a few green onion tops, to your liking.
As the Creative Director at TurboSquid, what does an average day at work look like?
Lots of creative reviews, so, tons of Skype conversations and email chains. Along with that, there’s recruiting new talent, training and mentoring internal and external artists to expand their capabilities, and strategizing new processes and procedures to maintain the highest quality content. And did I mention meetings?
What’s your favorite thing about working at TS?
The people, without a doubt.
We hear you’re hiring! What are you looking for, and what does it take to work with the Content Group at TS?
Yes, we are. The content group is growing rapidly and we are constantly looking for artists to join the team. Because our focus is mostly on photo-real content, we are looking for exceptionally talented 3D artists that have strong skills in modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering, with an exceptional eye for detail.
Dade’s group is hiring for three positions, in our amazing New Orleans HQ. He’s looking for:
Do any of these job descriptions sound like you? Apply today… and maybe Dade will even cook for you!