The Larry Ragusa Story:
I first met Larry Ragusa in 2010. He was a failing New Orleans king cake baker, who had recently suffered a serious split from his more famous brother, Vincent Ragusa. After years of living under Vincent’s shadow, Larry had finally split with his brother following disagreements about king cake ingredients. Since then, Larry Ragusa King Cakes has provided the people of New Orleans with a fine assortment of king cakes including his signature muffaletta (salami and olive salad) king cake, which is a guaranteed topic of conversation for your next Mardi Gras party. (It started some conversation on NOLA.com, Thrillist and at The New York Times at the very least.)
After briefly getting back with back with his brother Vincent in time for the 2012 Carnival season, the pair didn’t even make it to Mardi Gras before Larry famously had it out with his sister-in-law, Marie. After that Larry got back to the flavors he loved, but unfortunately, with lackluster sales, after Mardi Gras Larry fell on hard times and disappeared in the summer of 2012.
Larry resurfaced a few years later to appeared on the cooking reality show (which I shot) called "Kitchen King". Let's just say, that did not go well for Larry. I'll let you watch the episode yourself to work out the details.
Recently, Larry has contacted me about a new business venture which he promises to put him back on top of the New Orleans King Cake royalty. Whether he is being sincere is something I wonder about myself, as he has a habit of being “eccentric” and promising things he ultimately fails to follow through on. But, with a little luck and perhaps some help, New Orleans will once again be able to have the taste of Larry Ragusa King Cakes in their mouths. Yum.