Reese Witherspoon Back to Her Roots ... Sucking Down Crawfish in NOLA

5/12/2017 7:24 AM PDT

Reese Witherspoon did farm to table the New Orleans way -- getting her hands dirty, going elbow deep in crawfish ... then washing it down with a good drink. 

Reese is down South for work, but she hit up Clesi's for the NOLA delicacy and a quick lesson. Gotta get your seasonings right and cook them critters for just the right amount of time. Looks like everyone enjoyed the meal ... and ice cold hurricanes too.

Reese was born on the Bayou, but raised in Nashville so she's just getting back to her roots.

Pinch tails, suck heads ... Reese knows the deal.