Albert “Booth” Campbell’s Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Albert Booth Campbell is one of the mythical old-school Black cooks of New Orleans.

He plied his trade at the fabled Maylie’s on Poydras Street for over 40 years beginning his career in 1897 when he was hired by owner Bernard Maylie. At that point the cafe was still known as Maylie and Esparbes.

He would pass in August of 1957. His age was unknown at the time of his death.

“Booth” is buried in Holt Cemetery, a potter’s field near City Park.

I was poking around in a dusty, old online archive of Tulane University when I found Campbell’s recipe for red beans and rice.

Red Beans and Rice Albert

1 qt. red beans (hand-picked are best)
1 slice of fat raw ham or ham bone
1 onion
1 carrot
1 small piece of green sweet pepper
salt and pepper to taste
sprig of thyme

Wash and soak beans over night

When ready to cook drain off water and put beans in fresh cold water, being sure there is enough, as beans must cook thoroughly.

After water has heated, let simmer until beans are semi-cooked before adding fried ham or salt pork, .onion and carrot.

Add green pepper and thyme and salt and pep-per to taste. Let boil slowly for an hour or more.

Serve with Louisiana boiled rice.

Editor’s note: I’ll recreate this recipe for a Scrumptious Chef food pop up later this year and report back.


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