Behind the Scenes with the Brothers in the Big Easy

All work and no play in NOLA? Not likely. Take a peek at how the good times rolled for Jonathan and Drew when the Brothers Take New Orleans crew wasn’t on duty. 

Photo By: Jackson Hill /AP Images

Photo By: Jackson Hill /AP Images

Photo By: Jackson Hill /AP Images

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Jackson Hill/AP Images

Photo By: Jackson Hill/AP Images

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Are you sure you’re up for this gig, guys? Café Du Monde is open 24/7—it only shuts its doors for Christmas Day and for close brushes with hurricanes.

JD, Jonathan, and Drew recharge at Café Du Monde, where the Coffee and Chicory is served au lait (half milk and half coffee). The chicory, or endive root, rounds dark-roasted coffee’s bitter edges—and its chocolate-like flavor is as classically Cajun as seafood gumbo. 

Beignets—square pieces of dough, fried and covered in powdered sugar—are served as trios at Café Du Monde. If you and your brother have just spent four weeks completely transforming a pair of historic homes, you should probably go ahead and get two orders.  

Where better to soak up a bit of color for future projects—and loosen up Home Towns Erin and Ben Napier, the judges for the bedroom-renovation phase of your competition—than at Kermit’s Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge? The eye-popping exterior comes courtesy of local artist Daniel Fuselier, and jazzman Kermit Ruffins plays the trumpet and plies the locals with speakeasy-worthy drinks within.

Have we mentioned lately that Jonathan and Drew’s song “Hold On” was #37 on the Billboard Hot Country chart earlier this year? Could the band at Kermit’s be amenable to some impromptu country-jazz fusion?  

These are the relaxed, celebratory expressions of three Canadian brothers and a Mississippi couple who did NOT just find out what happens when you try to play country and jazz at the same time. We can all raise a glass to that. 

Mardi Gras World at Kern Studios’ exuberant parade-floats-in-process attract more than 150,000 visitors—and at least two jokers—every year. Pointing is rude, Jonathan.

Look, some renovators draw inspiration from other eras or architectural flourishes in the neighborhoods in which they complete their projects, and others listen to imaginary speeches from giant faces on Mardi Gras floats. There’s no shame in thinking outside the box.

The Scott brothers and TODAY’s Hoda Kotb toast the end of the kitchen renovation challenge at The Court of Two Sisters, a French Quarter brunch institution. Let’s each take a moment to contemplate the coziness of kitchens we’ve known...and the majesty of the giant bowl of grits JD has all to himself. 

How do you convince Hoda Kotb (who knows her way around a kitchen renovation: she took charge of one as a Mother’s Day gift to her mom last year) your design is the best? Drew casts an eye to the future, Jonathan puts a new spin on a classic look...and they both throw a bit of begging and pleading in for good measure.

Need a handmade gift, a bit of the French Quarter’s creative energy for an upcoming project, or, say, a pair of vintage mechanical horses with no apparent weight limit to ride with your twin brother? SecondLine Arts and Antiques has you covered. 

Proposal for Drew and Jonathan’s next renovation project: Brothers Take Tiny Houses, a crossover competition miniseries which will test their design skills and personal flexibility. By the finale, this motorized rickshaw will house a hip family of five! 

The brothers prepare for their closeup on Decatur Street, a French Quarter thoroughfare that hugs the edge of the Mississippi River. The city hits a high of around 90 degrees in the late summer, and there’s no dry season in New Orleans—they should be in antiperspirant commercials, no?  

Jonathan basks in the French Quarter’s artisanal glory on a stroll through the stands at SecondLine Arts and Antiques. New Orleans: DIY’ing since 1718.

Drew talks photography with pro lensman and south Louisiana local Cory James, who inspires him to set out on his own black-and-white image safari. (No word on whether or not he’s been inspired to grow a magnificent beard like Cory’s.)