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Harding, Denise Colette


Cajun Foodways

Ms. Denise Harding lives in Carencro, Louisiana, where her occupation is a pastry chef and a cookbook author. In addition to her culinary skills, Denise also braids woolen rugs.

Denise learned to work with woolen materials at home watching her mother, Margaret Harding, who had learned from her aunt. Mrs. Margaret Harding demonstrated the making of braided rugs for twenty years, prior to her death in 1995. Denise uses the same techniques and materials her mother used when demonstrating her rug making. She begins by dying woolen materials, which are usually blankets cut into strips. Denise then uses an 1800s manual sewing machine, a wooden guide, some thread (waxed twine), and needles to braid and sew the strips together into a rug.

Ms. Harding has also made Cajun and Creole pastries for eight years and has authored two Cajun and Creole cookbooks based on her grandmother's recipes, most of which are over a hundred years old. Denise learned to cook pastries from her grandmother. She  longer demonstrated her braided rugs.

The artist has participated in the Festival Arcadian, Magnolia Mound, and Omellete Festival. Her husband, Dale Pierrotte, is her partner, and he demonstrates bousillage wall building.

Updated January 19, 2017 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff