Traditional recipes

New Orleans Gears Up for All-Star Game with Cajun Menu

New Orleans Gears Up for All-Star Game with Cajun Menu

The New Orleans Pork Belly sandwich is one of the many options available at the game this weekend.

New Orleans will be playing host to the NBA’s All-Star Game Weekend, one of the biggest basketball events of the year which will include the rookie game, the slam dunk contest, the All-Star Game itself, and of course: a menu full of New Orleans style Cajun food for basketball and guests to enjoy created by chef Lenny Martinsen.

“This is a city of championships, and we’ve played host to a number of big sporting events but I think the food is one of the main reasons why people keep coming back,” said Steve Trotter, regional vice president for Center Plate, the hospitality provider for the weekend.

The actual game is Sunday night, but the action kicks off tonight, and the Smoothie King Center will play host to 18,000 screaming — and hungry— fans where the menu items are available throughout the stadium during the whole weekend. Guests can nosh on dishes like the Zatarain’s chicken and sausage jambalaya with smoked Andouille sausage, BBQ shrimp and grits and turtle soup; a New Orleans favorite dish, and creole nachos with shrimp and crawfish in a queso sauce. Most of the ingredients like the shrimp and grits are locally-sourced. Fans with a bit more of a sweet tooth will enjoy the Bananas Foster cheesecake for dessert.


Cajun Food & Recipes

Take a trip to New Orleans from within your kitchen by making these authentic Cajun recipes.

Related To:

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

New Orleans Beignets

Shrimp and Oyster Po' Boys

Smoked Turkey and File Gumbo Pot Pie

Bananas Foster with Spiced Rum

It's not a party until bananas are set ablaze. Caramel-soaked, flambeed fruit gets even more decadent with pound cake and vanilla ice cream.

Jambalaya

The base of this flavorful jambalaya comes from homemade chicken stock, and it takes less than half an hour for the rest of the ingredients to cook up into a hearty meal.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Remoulade Sauce

Hurricane

Muffuletta

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille

Blackened Catfish with Pontchartrain Sauce

Pecan Pralines

Half-and-Half Po'Boy

A typical po'boy only has shrimp, but this sandwich kicks it up a notch with fried oysters, too.

Crawfish Cheesecake

Don't worry — this isn't a weird food hybrid that has crawfish on top of sugar-filled cheesecake. This savory rendition is filled with romano cheese and Cajun seasoning and topped with sweet corn and pepper maque choux.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian-style seasoning
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper
  • 10 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness

In a large shallow dish, mix the oil, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and lemon pepper. Place the chicken in the dish, and turn to coat with the mixture. Cover, and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Preheat the grill for high heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Drain chicken, and discard marinade. Place chicken on hot grill and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear.


If you've never had it before, you can expect that almost every variety of gumbo will have a certain rich smokiness. This comes from the dark roux. Varieties that contain sausage will be even more intensely smoky, as andouille sausage and other smoked varieties are the gumbo sausages of choice. Some seafood gumbos are made without a roux, and they obviously won't have the same dark flavor.

Okra gumbo can be slightly slimy or gooey, depending on the amount of okra that is used. If that texture bothers you (that might be the case if you don't like oysters or mushrooms because of their texture), don't order an okra gumbo. Filé gumbo is rich and earthy and has a fairly unfamiliar flavor (if you can, try to imagine unsweetened root beer—sassafras is also the main flavoring ingredient for root beer as well, and they share an earthiness).

Gumbo tends to be heavily seasoned but is not typically burn-your-mouth spicy. If you are not accustomed to any spicy foods, you might find it too hot for your tastes, but it's much less spicy-hot than most dishes you'd find at an Indian or Thai restaurant. As with most Cajun and Creole foods, gumbo is typically served with a variety of hot sauces at the table, so you can bring it up to your own preferred spice level.


Up Your Mardi Gras Game With These New Orleans-Themed Bitters

Cocktails and New Orleans are almost synonymous, especially when it comes to Mardi Gras season. Whether it&aposs the sickly sweet hurricanes available on Bourbon Street or the classy Sazerac served up in bars, it&aposs not a party in until you&aposve got a mixed drink in hand. 

If you&aposre unable to make it to the Big Easy yourself during Mardi Gras, there&aposs a simple way to get that New Orleans&apos spirit at home: Mix up a drink with਎l Guapo Bitters. 

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

These small batch products are handmade in—where else—New Orleans and infused with the finest locally sourced ingredients. El Guapo਋itters was founded by bartender Scot Mattox, who wanted to make a small business out of his creative streak for mixing up homemade bitters and syrups. Nowadays, it&aposs a full-fledged commercial operation, creating batches of bitters and syrups with unique flavors like Greek rose, or summer berries. 

To infuse your next batch of cocktails with true Mardi Gras flavor, try our favorite trio of bitters below. From sweet to savory, these three have everything you need to get a taste of the Carnival:


What to do in November in New Orleans?

November is a truly exciting month here in New Orleans. From the first day of the month until the last, enjoy an array of food, football, music and fun. Browse a few of our favorite annual fests and activities in November to check out during your next visit. 

Bayou Bacchanal

Taking place annually during the first weekend in November is Bayou Bacchanal - a celebration of Caribbean culture and presence in the Crescent City. The fest features authentic food, music and representation from a number of Caribbean nations. Their signature Bayou Bacchanal parade shuts down Canal Street with traditional carnival costumes and music.

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival takes place along the quaint Uptown hub - Oak Street. Each year, Oak Street transforms into a po-boy oasis with upwards of 35 vendors participating to take their shot at best po-boy in the city. Enjoy live music, delicious po-boys and local fun! 

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival

Brass bands, beads, and gumbo - ਊ New Orleans trifecta. Located in Louis Armstrong Park, the Treme Creole Gumbo Fest celebrates one of the city’s greatest foods and one of its most historic neighborhoods - gumbo + Treme. 

Boudin, Bourbon, and Beer

Presented by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Boudin, Bourbon & Beer brings together over 70 notable chefs from around the country to celebrate the festival’s namesake. The event features a host musical entertainment, local craft beers, premium bourbon cocktails and of course, unlimited, boudin-inspired dishes. 

Fête des Fromages

Enjoy a selection of over 100 international cheese samples, wine pairings and local bites at the only cheese festival in the American South - Fête des Fromages. Organized by cheese expert and enthusiast, Liz Thorpe, Fête des Fromages pays homage to French influence in New Orleans with an array of featured international cheeses, chefs, cooking demonstrations and more. 

Bayou Classic

One of the largest sporting events in the Crescent City, Bayou Classic is a Thanksgiving weekend staple. The annual matchup between Grambling State University and Southern University at Baton Rouge welcomes tens of thousands of attendees each year. In addition to the highly anticipated game, the weekend also features the coveted Battle of the Bands competition, the signature Bayou Classic Parade and more.  

For more November events and happenings, visit below or head over to GoNOLA for the insider’s scoop!


Crawfish

Judy Bellah / Getty Images

How to say it: Just how it looks, but not "Crayfish."

What it is: A freshwater crustacean that is both trapped wild in the swamps of Southern Louisiana and farmed as an off-season product in the state's thousands of watery rice fields, the crawfish was once looked down on as a poor man's dinner, but like so many other formerly un-fancy foods, it's now a beloved delicacy around the state (which both harvests and consumes 95% of the crawfish in the country).

You'll see crawfish prepared lots of ways on menus all over town, from the rich and decadent crawfish étouffée (a spicy stew, served over rice) to crawfish pie. To really get a feel for the tasty little guys, go pure: boiled crawfish.

Boiled crawfish usually come in three-pound or five-pound orders, and they'll arrive on a big tray, having been boiled with spices, chunks of potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, and sometimes mushrooms or chunks of smoked sausage. Three pounds is a good serving for a reasonably hungry adult, five pounds for big eaters (remember that most of the weight is in the inedible shell).

It's not a bad idea to put in one three-pound order at a time for the table to share, especially if you're not sure you like them or you're a new (slow) peeler. That way, each round is hot and fresh, and you won't accidentally over-order. A dipping sauce may be served, or the server will bring you a little bowl, a few packets of mayonnaise, and a few bottles of hot sauce, and you'll mix your own.

Where to eat it: For the best boiled crawfish, you have to jump in the car and head out to Cajun country, but if in New Orleans, you'll do quite well to make your way to Franky and Johnny's in Uptown. It's a neighborhood joint, and you'll get to quietly listen in on some fun local gossip if you're so inclined. Other good options are Deanie's in the French Quarter and Zimmer's out toward Gentilly. And try other crawfish dishes at restaurants all over town. New Orleans chefs and home cooks alike have come up with a thousand different ways to serve them, and they're all worth trying.


New Orleans Gears Up for All-Star Game with Cajun Menu - Recipes

Tchoupitoulas Room

The Tchoupitoulas Room is located along the street of the same name with views of the historic area through the original wood sash windows. This room accommodates up to 50 guests for seated meals and up to 65 guests for receptions.

Higgins Room

The Higgins Room is Calcasieu's largest room boasting an open floor plan with access to the main bar. This space is ideal for formal seated meals as well as cocktail reception for up to 100 guests.

Tchoupitoulas + Higgins Room

The Higgins Room and Tchoupitoulas Room combined offer an extensive dining area to accommodates up to 150 guests for a seated meal and up to 200 guests for receptions. This space also allows for combining cocktail receptions with sit-down dinner, or business presentations followed by formal meals.

Wine Room

The Wine Room offers the most private dining experience, accented with hand-crafted, cherry wood furnishing by a local artist and carpenter. The space accommodates up to 20 people for a seated meal or up to 25 for a small cocktail reception.

Mezzanine

The Mezzanine at Cochon restaurant accommodates semi-private gatherings. The lofted space offers room for up to 30 guests for a seated dinner and accommodates up to 40 guests for a reception.

ABOUT US

DONALD LINK

Executive Chef and Chief Executive Officer Link Restaurant Group: Herbsaint, Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Calcasieu, Pêche Seafood Grill, Gianna and La Boulangerie

Inspired by the Cajun and Southern cooking of his grandparents, Louisiana native Chef Donald Link began his professional cooking career at 15 years old. Recognized as one of New Orleans’ preeminent chefs, Chef Link has peppered the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans with several restaurants over the course of the past fifteen years. Herbsaint, a contemporary take on the French-American “bistro” was Link’s first restaurant. Cochon, opened with chef-partner Stephen Stryjewski, is where Link offers true Cajun and Southern cooking featuring the foods and cooking techniques he grew up preparing and eating. Cochon Butcher is a tribute to Old World butcher and charcuterie shops which also serves a bar menu, sandwiches, wine and creative cocktails. Calcasieu is Chef Link’s private event facility that takes its name from one of the parishes in the Acadiana region of southwest Louisiana. Pêche Seafood Grill serves simply prepared coastal seafood with a unique, modern approach to old world cooking methods featuring rustic dishes prepared on an open hearth over hardwood coals. Enjoy handcrafted pastries and breads at La Boulangerie Link’s neighborhood bakery and café. The latest addition to the family is Gianna, an Italian restaurant joining the group in April 2019.

Link’s flagship restaurant Herbsaint earned him a James Beard award in 2007 for Best Chef South. The same year Cochon was nominated for Best New Restaurant Link was also nominated by the James Beard Foundation for the prestigious award of Outstanding Chef for multiple years. Pêche Seafood Grill was awarded Best New Restaurant at the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards. Gourmet Magazine listed Herbsaint as one of the top 50 restaurants in America, and was inducted into the Nations Restaurant News Hall of Fame. Cochon was listed in The New York Times as "one of the top 3 restaurants that count” and recently named one of the 20 most important restaurants in America by Bon Appétit. For his commitment to the industry, the Louisiana Restaurant Association honored Link by naming him Restaurateur of the Year in 2012.

The James Beard Foundation also honored Link’s first cookbook-- Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana (Clarkson Potter) with their top award for Best American Cookbook. Released in 2009. Real Cajun is a collection of family recipes that Link has honed and perfected while honoring the authenticity of the Cajun people. In February 2014, Link celebrated the release of his second cookbook "Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything," (Clarkson-Potter), which looks beyond New Orleans and Louisiana at dishes in nearby states.

In 2015, Chefs Link and Stryjewski created the Link Stryjewski Foundation to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans. http://www.linkstryjewski.org

STEPHEN STRYJEWSKI

Chef/Partner, Link Restaurant Group: Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Calcasieu, Pêche Seafood Grill, Gianna and La Boulangerie

Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation “Best Chef South,” Stephen Stryjewski is Chef/Partner of New Orleans’ award winning restaurants Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Pêche Seafood Grill, Calcasieu, a private event facility, La Boulangerie, a neighborhood bakery and café, as well as Gianna, the latest addition to the family. Stephen has been honored as “Best New Chef” by New Orleans Magazine, and as a “Chef to Watch” by The Times-Picayune. In 2007 Cochon was named a “Best New Restaurant” finalist by the James Beard Foundation, and in 2014, Pêche Seafood Grill won the James Beard Foundation award in the same category. Cochon has been recognized in the New York Times by Frank Bruni, “Coast to Coast, Restaurants that Count” and Sam Sifton, “Dishes that Earned their Stars,” and has been consistently listed as a Top Ten New Orleans Restaurant in The Times-Picayune Dining Guide and was recently named one of the 20 most important restaurants in America by Bon Appétit.

In 2015, Stryjewski and his business partner Chef Donald Link created the Link Stryjewski Foundation to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans. http://www.linkstryjewski.org

In 1997, Stryjewski graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and went on to work for some of the most notable chefs and restaurants in America including Michael Chiarello at TraVigne, Jamie Shannon at Commanders Palace, and Jeff Buben at Vidalia. Stryjewski grew up moving frequently as an “Army brat” and has traveled extensively in the United States and Europe. He resides in New Orleans’ Irish Channel with his wife and two daughters.

RYAN PREWITT

Ryan Prewitt began his culinary career in the farmer’s markets of San Francisco, where a burgeoning interest in food developed into a full-blown career. After spending time working for chefs Robert Cubberly and Alicia Jenish at Le Petite Robert Bistro, he moved to New Orleans to work with Chef Donald Link at Herbsaint. Ryan proved to be a quick study under Link’s tutelage and became Chef de Cuisine in 2009. He subsequently moved on to oversee culinary operations at Link Restaurant Group as Executive Chef for the company.

With a new job came an increased ability to learn and travel. As a member of the Fatback Collective, a group of Southern chefs who have compiled numerous accolades and awards in restaurants across the South, Ryan has learned new traditions and techniques from many talented BBQ pitmasters and has traveled to Uruguay to study traditional open-fire cooking. These experiences, along with a trip to observe grilling techniques in Spain, culminated in the opening of Pêche Seafood Grill. Ryan received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South in May 2014, the same year Pêche earned the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.

NICOLE MILLS

Nicole was born and raised in the Philippines. She grew up in a small town called Cagayan de Oro, in Northern Mindanao. Her family owned a bakery where she grew up watching the production of fresh baked bread in an old fashioned wood burning stone oven. Farm to table has always been part of the Filipino culture. Nicole’s family was known for growing and producing some of the sweetest corn in the area along with farm raised pigs, chickens, and lamb. Her mother specialized in making and selling siomai and siopao at the family’s Dim Sum stall. Food has always been part of the family business.

After graduating from Ateneo de Manila University, Nicole moved to New York in 2001 to attend the French Culinary Institute in Soho. Her culinary career began with Danny Meyer and Union Square Hospitality Group cooking at both Eleven Madison Park and Gabriele Kreuther’s the Modern at MOMA. She worked as a tournant for Chef Alain Allegretti at Atelier in the Ritz Carlton Central Park and later with Chef Dan Kluger at the Core Club. After New York, Nicole moved to Los Angeles to work at the Thompson Beverly Hills with Chef Brian Redzikowski.

Nicole moved back to her hometown in the Philippines after L.A. to open a Creole concept restaurant. After a few years back home she relocated to New Orleans. She joined the Link Restaurant Group to be part of the opening team at Peche Seafood Grill in 2013. Nicole became the Chef de Cuisine at Peche in 2019.

MAGGIE SCALES

Executive Pastry Chef Link Restaurant Group, Chef/Partner La Boulangerie

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maggie Scales pursued her undergraduate degree at the University of California, San Diego majoring in Language Studies. She then moved to Boston to attend the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in the Professional Pastry Program under Pastry Chef Delphin Gomes. While in school, Maggie worked at Chef Bob Kinkaid’s Sibling Rivalry Restaurant and the Metropolitan Club under Chef Todd Weiner. Upon completing culinary school, Maggie worked as a Pastry Chef at Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse in Boston. In 2009, she had the opportunity to work with James Beard winner Lydia Shire at Scampo Restaurant at the Liberty Hotel. When Chef Shire opened Towne Stove + Spirits, Maggie became the Executive Pastry Chef of the 300-seat establishment. In June 2011, Maggie relocated to New Orleans and began working for the Omni Hotels. She then joined Link Restaurant Group as a Pastry Chef, and in the summer 2014 Maggie accepted the position of Executive Pastry Chef overseeing all aspects of Link Restaurant Group’s pastry department. In 2015 Scales became Chef/Partner at La Boulangerie, a French bakery on Magazine Street in New Orleans.

PUCK HOPKINS
BACK HOME

Remarkable bounty

Our passion to showcase the remarkable bounty of the Southern region is revealed through our commitment to developing long lasting relationships with the network of farmers we work with. Chef Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski have cultivated those relationships over the years by working hand-in-hand with the growers to develop and procure the exact ingredients each restaurant chef wants to utilize when crafting their menus at our family of restaurants. Our recipes honor the simplicity of the food and we celebrate the ingredients that are incorporated into each dish.

The Farms

Please find here a listing of some of the farmers we are proud to work with on an ongoing basis.

Allen Bee Farms

Allen Bee Farms is small honey producer located in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

Cafe Hope Farm

Cafe Hope Farm is located in Marrero, Louisiana, that specializes in herbs and has year round fruit and vegetable production.

Compostella Farm

Compostella is a certified organic vegetable farm specializing in salad greens located in Tickfaw, Louisiana. After apprenticing on organic farms in the Northwest, owners Madeline and Tim made their way down to New Orleans. Certified Organic since 2017, Compostella strives to minimize the inputs to their farm and to nurture the farm’s expressions as an individuality.

Covey Rise Farms

Covey Rise Farms began as a 10 acre farm which has grown into a 50 acre farm in central Tangipahoa Parish. Covey Rise Farms grows over 30 types of vegetables throughout the year with a retired LSU Agriculture Professor as their crop consultant.

Good Food

Beginning as a demonstration garden, The Good Food Project has expanded to over 75 active school and community gardens that grow vegetables, fruit and herbs. The project teaches sustainable gardening, nutrition and healthy eating options, while providing fresh produce to participants and restaurants.

Indian Springs Farmers Co-op

Incorporated in 1981, Indian Springs is a farmers cooperative with 31 active members located in Petal, Mississippi.

Inglewood Farm

Inglewood Farm, ran by members of the Keller family, is an agricultural operation on Inglewood Plantation located in Alexandria, Louisiana. Since its founding in 1836, Inglewood has a story of transition from a large-scale commercial tenant operation to an all-encompassing sustainable family farm. Inglewood has year round production of fruit and vegetables, specializing in pecans, pork and chicken.

Isabelle’s Organic Citrus

Isabelle’s Orange Orchard is a small, family-owned farm nestled on the old winding River Road in New Orleans. Isabelle’s orchard is fertilized by the rich Mississippi River alluvial soil and the only thing on her trees are sunshine, ladybugs, honeybees, and rain.

J&D Produce

J&D Produce is a small farm that grows blueberries and is located in Poplarville, Mississippi.

Johndale Farm

Johndale Farm is a berry farm located in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, owned by Heather Robertson, who we have worked with for eight years. Heather primarily produce strawberries, as well as blueberries and blackberries, and is usually the first farm to bring berries to market.

Major Acre Farm

Major Acre Farm is a small farm located in LaPlace, Louisiana run by Ellis Douglas. He left his life as a chef and headed for the farm after moving to New Mexico and being exposed to the variety of healthy produce that is available in a farm-centric community. Ellis uses sustainable and organic agriculture practices to cultivate his one-acre farm.

Old Market Lane Farm

Old Market Lane Farm is an eight-acre farm located in Hammond, Louisiana, that we have been working with for eight years. Our restaurants utilize their leeks, blueberries, summer squash and any extra eggs Carolyn may have.

Peeps Farms

Peeps Farms is a poultry farm located in Carriere, Mississippi that specializes in yard eggs with love.

Perilloux Farm

Perilloux Farm is a six-acre farm in St. Charles Parish owned by the friendly farmer, Timmy Perilloux, who we have been purchasing from for the last 10 years. The restaurants utilize Perilloux’s traditional Southern greens, up to four varieties of kale, tomatoes, peppers, corn, beets, and anything else Timmy is willing to grow for us.

Poche Family Farm

Poche Family Farm is a small vegetable farm located in Independence, Louisiana that we have worked with for five years. The farm is a family venture run by Albert and Charise Poche along with their children Billie and Camille, that resulted out of a desire to eat well. While their produce is not certified organic, they focus on sustainable agriculture by using cover crops, organic pesticides and natural fertilizers wherever possible.

Two Dog Farm

Two Dog Farm is a small family farm located in Flora, Mississippi. Owned and operated by Van and Dorothy Killen, Two Dog Farms specializes in seasonal field grown produce using sustainable and natural growing methods to ensure the healthiest produce available.

Veggi Farmers Co-op

Veggi Farmers Cooperative is a group of local farmers and fisherfolk dedicated to providing the highest quality local produce and seafood to the Greater New Orleans area. VEGGI was established following the effects of the BP oil spill on the Vietnamese community and was developed to provide sustainable economic opportunities in urban agriculture.

James Beard Foundation Awards

LINK RESTAURANT GROUP JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION AWARD RECOGNITION

The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize outstanding achievement within the food and wine industry. Considered one of the most coveted marks of distinction within the culinary community, Link Restaurant Group partners are honored to have been recognized for their culinary achievements. Link’s flagship restaurant Herbsaint earned him a James Beard award in 2007 for Best Chef South. The same year Cochon was nominated for Best New Restaurant The James Beard Foundation also honored Link’s first cookbook– Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana (Clarkson Potter) with their top award for Best American Cookbook. Link was also nominated by the James Beard Foundation for the prestigious award of Outstanding Chef in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Stephen Stryjewski, chef/partner of Cochon, Cochon Butcher and Pêche Seafood Grill was named Best Chef: South at the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards. In 2014 Pêche Seafood Grill was honored with two coveted James Beard Foundation Awards Best New Restaurant and Chef Ryan Prewitt Best Chef: South. In 2017, Chef de Cuisine Rebeca Wilcomb was named Best Chef: South for her stewardship of the Kitchen at Herbsaint.

Times-Picayune Top 10 List 2019

New Orleans seafood cookery is, by and large, a minimalist discipline – flour, butter, lemon, fish – and you can be excused for not seeing Pêche as practicing it. The last time I had speckled trout at the James Beard Award-winning restaurant it was fried whole, glazed with chili aioli and showered with peanuts. The signature crawfish dish is a spicy capellini pasta. Got a taste for that other great Louisiana crustacean? Start with the shrimp toast, which is what you think it is, only topped with pickles. That’s just scratching the surface of Pêche’s menu, which drifts from transcendent steak tartare and bubbly cauliflower-fontina gratin to beer-battered fish sticks and baked drum served in hot cast iron with falafel-crisp spheres of rice calas. On paper, the kitchen’s repertoire reads like the crossbred mutt that it is. In practice, chef-partner Ryan Prewitt simply brings new hues to Louisiana’s minimalist tradition. The result is the perfect manifestation of this Link Restaurant Group property’s original mission: to create a local seafood restaurant that reflects how New Orleanians eat today. Be thankful it includes an oyster bar.

Times Picayune Top 10 List: 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018

Times Picayune

Peche Seafood Grill earns Four Beans
Brett Anderson

Fish are beasts. Flounder resemble shrunken sea monsters, with their crooked lips and creepy migrating eyes. You can tell they hang in the murky shadows just by the color of their skin. It’s dark enough to show through miso chili butter. Redfish, speckled trout and red snapper are sleeker species but all still unmistakably animals, with tails, skeletons and spiky fins. That’s a representative sample from my scrapbook of Pêche Seafood Grill, where meals are lessons in piscine anatomy. Look up from your plate at any moment and you’ll find a room of diners taking to the food like Alaskan brown bears to spawning salmon. They’re tearing through whole gulf fish, grilled or roasted in the heat of a live hardwood fire. The fish, the flames, the bones everyone are pulling clean from their mouths: These are the visual signatures and culinary touchstones of this remarkable restaurant. Still, whole fish aren’t even the half of it. Pêche is the realization of a modest but still visionary vision: a traditional Louisiana seafood restaurant that owes little to any particular style of restaurant that has come before. Its chef and co-owner, Ryan Prewitt, is not prone to wild experiments. Whatever thought process goes into Peche’s food is concealed beneath a veneer of simplicity…

Conde Nast Traveler

What to Do in New Orleans: The Black Book
Lauren DeCarlo

In the Warehouse District, Balise (refined Southern food, like Gulf shrimp pan roast, in a historic town house), chef Donald Link’s Herbsaint (for the duck-leg confit), and Peche Seafood Grill (ah, that smothered catfish) are all worth pacing yourself for.

Where to Eat, Drink, and Party in New Orleans Right This Second
Brett Martin

This youngest sibling of Donald Link’s restaurant empire (which includes Herbsaint, Cochon and Cochon Butcher) is focused on gulf seafood of every stripe. Start with the stellar raw bar and end with a whole fish for the table.

Vogue

Beyond the French Quarter: Experiencing New Orleans Like a Local
Todd Plummer

This James Beard Award–winning restaurant is consistently a top contender for the best restaurant in town, with an exciting approach to seafood that preserves local cooking techniques. The smothered catfish and Louisiana shrimp roll are outstanding.

Food & Wine

Editor’s Letter by Dana Cowin

“Where have you been eating lately?” I get this question all the time. And luckily, it’s one of my favorites to answer, since I have the opportunity to try the most amazing restaurants around the country. So here’s a little update of where I’ve been recently. Pêche I stopped counting after 10: That’s how many whole fish I saw waiters carrying out to customers at Donald Link’s new restaurant. The whole-animal trend has now been embraced by pescatarians. Two friends and I shared a moist, flavorful grilled redfish with salsa verde. It could have served six!

Conde Nast Traveler

21 Best Restaurants in New Orleans
Paul Oswell

Pêche celebrates a visceral approach to eating seafood, so expect whole fish delivered to the table, ready to be sliced up and eaten between tables of friends. The menu is deceptively simple, but the presentation, choice of ingredients, and dressings is what elevates the experience beyond the tourist traps of the French Quarter. It’s a Donald Link restaurant, so fans of Cochon wanting to ease off on the meat are in abundance, as are people keen to go beyond the usual shrimp and fish dishes that permeate this city.

London Evening Standard

Things to do in New Orleans
Amira Hashish

Chefs Donald Link, Stephen Stryjewski and Ryan Prewitt are inspired by the cooking of South America, Spain, and the Gulf Coast at Pêche Seafood Grill. Focused on working with local fishermen and farmers who harvest sustainably, dishes are rustic and utterly moreish. In 2014, Pêche won a James Beard award for Best New Restaurant in America and their standards haven’t slipped. This place has celebrity draw too with the likes of Jennifer Lawrence booking tables.

CNN Travel

8 of the best restaurants in New Orleans
Carly Fisher

NOLA is all about the seafood, and here you’ll find some of the freshest in town.

Another instant hit from The Link Group restaurant empire, chef Ryan Prewitt culls the bounty of local seafood and transforms it into sophisticated Southern-inspired dishes, rightfully earning him a James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the South.

Food Network

Great Oyster Bars from Coast to Coast

For spectacular seafood in the Big Easy, wander out of the bustling French Quarter to the Central Business District, home to Donald Link’s seafood-centric Pêche. Guests at the oyster bar have a prime view as busy shuckers prepare Gulf-sourced bivalves (from Dauphin Island and Grand Isle to name a few) served exclusively raw. After slurping the salty shells, advance to mains like a Louisiana Shrimp Roll or the whole catch of the day. Be sure to heed the servers’ advice and finish with the smooth and salty peanut pie from Link’s partner in crime, Pastry Chef Maggie Scales.

Bloomberg Pursuits

Six Essential New Orleans Restaurant Reservations
Laurie Woolever

New Orleans has plenty of places doing great things with oysters, crawfish, and shrimp. But none are like the Warehouse District’s Peche , a restaurant specializing in rustic, live-fire cooking that takes its style cues from Uruguay and Spain as much as Louisiana’s coast and bayous. Local oysters are reliably briny, and snapper tartare with coconut and lime, served with slices of sweet potato and crisped rice, is soft and crunchy, creamy and sharp. Intensely flavored shrimp bisque is a can’t-miss dish, as is the fire-grilled whole fish of the day. Pêche is part of the Link Restaurant Group of chef-proprietor Donald Link, whose empire includes Herbsaint, Cochon, and Cochon Butcher.

Town and Country

The Most Classic Restaurants in New Orleans
Katie Chang

The seafood at this bustling, casual eatery in the Warehouse District might be local, but the inspiration by chefs and partners Donald Link, Stephen Stryjewski, and Ryan Prewitt is global. Make a meal out of the hearty snacks and small plates, including the smoked tuna dip with house made saltines, crawfish and jalapeño capellini, and fried bread. Desserts (like the salted caramel cake) ensure your meal ends on a sweet note, too.

Food Network

50 States of Dips
Layla Khoury-Hanold

Louisiana native Donald Link grew up visiting family in Southern Alabama and taking trips to the Florida coast, so it’s fitting that Peche , his seafood-centric New Orleans restaurant, celebrates the flavors and foodways of the entire Gulf coast. Link’s Smoked Tuna Dip is reminiscent of the ones he enjoyed at Gulf Coast fish shacks throughout his childhood, but he adds extra Southern flair by gently smoking Gulf-caught tuna over pecan and oak woods in the restaurant’s smoker until just cooked through. The tuna is then shredded with forks to retain texture, and folded with Creole mustard, mayonnaise, sour cream and Cajun spices. The creamy, smoky dip is served with Saltines, the unofficial table cracker of NOLA seafood restaurants.

New Orleans Magazine

CONCEPT OF THE YEAR – Other Fish in the Sea and Ways to Cook Them

Pêche means “fishing” in French, but change the spelling to péché and it’s “sin.” In the case of the restaurant on Magazine Street opened earlier this year by chefs Ryan Prewitt, Stephen Stryjewski and Donald Link, the former is what’s intended, but you have to admit that both meanings are apt for a restaurant in New Orleans. Pêche was conceived as a seafood restaurant, but after the chefs spent time in Uruguay and Spain, they knew that a wood-burning grill had to be a feature as well. Factor in a raw bar and a serious drinks program and you get one of the most interesting restaurants to open in New Orleans in quite some time. It isn’t as though the place is immune to trends – there are small plates and bar food on the menu – but there aren’t a lot of other places doing whole fish on a wood-burning grill (redfish with salsa verde and American snapper with Meyer lemon on my last visit) and certainly none where the fish changes with such frequency that they print an insert daily. That insert also lists the oysters they have available and what they’re doing in the way of raw fish. There are always a few other items available on the raw side – a seafood salad, crab claws with chile and mint and a seafood platter, for example and highlights from the “snacks” menu include a smoked tuna dip served with saltines, hush puppies and fried bread with sea salt that’s completely addictive…. A few months ago I ran into chef Link while I was eating at Pêche. Link (and this is true of Stryjewski and Prewitt for that matter) is the kind of guy who lights up when he’s talking about food. What I remember most about that conversation was the way he described the Royal Red shrimp. He is fond of them, and justifiably so they’re large, sweet-salty things that are cooked in a little butter but otherwise basically un-seasoned. They are the perfect example of what ingredient-driven cooking should be – not an excuse for a lack of technique, but the recognition that some things are best enjoyed simply.

Times Picayune Dining Guide

Best New Restaurants
Brett Anderson

This airy warehouse space is where Donald Link, who rose to prominence as chef-owner of Herbsaint, and Stephen Stryjewski, Link’s co-chef and partner at Cochon, are empowering their Peche co-owner Ryan Prewitt, Herbsaint’s former chef de cuisine, to run a restaurant of his own. Cut to the chase: At this stage of the game, the youngest member of the modern family that is Link Restaurant Group is as good as its sibling restaurants (both among the best in town). The concept is south Louisiana seafood dishes, much of it cooked over hardwood coals. The twist is that the food tastes thrillingly new without disconnecting from tradition. After a meal at Peche Seafood Grill, it’s possible to imagine a fantasy fish camp where ground shrimp is tossed with housemade pasta or embedded in buttery, cocktail-time toasts where blue crab enriches eggplant gratin or chile-spiked capellini where whole grilled redfish is draped in salsa verde and drum is baked with ginger and tomato. That place is, in fact, not a fantasy just be sure to book a table in advance, because everyone in town appears intent on living it at once.

Bon Appétit

Top 50 New Restaurants – Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans

Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski—along with chef-partner Ryan Prewitt—opened this homage to fish just down the street from their famed pork emporium, Cochon. The centerpiece here is a roaring wood-fired grill onto which most everything on the menu is tossed. Come here with a crew on nights when you want to eat a grouper as big as a fire hydrant.

Travel + Leisure

On Our Radar – Restaurant Hit List

Southern Living

In New Orleans, Donald Link, Ryan Prewitt, and Stephen Stryjewski recently revealed Pêche Seafood Grill, an open-fire emporium inspired by a trip to Uruguay. Don’t miss the smothered cast-iron catfish, a riff on a Cajun classic.

New Orleans Magazine

New Orleans chefs are reaching new scales

Great seafood has never been hard to find around here, but an argument could be made for a certain lack of inspiration in the way many places prepare it. However, a new wave of seafood establishments have come onto the scene offering a different take on what can be done with the daily catch. They approach the same ingredients with a fresh perspective – and the results are rewarding. Pêche, the seafood-centric offering from the Link Restaurant Group, is one of the year’s more anticipated openings. In terms of design it shares more DNA with Cochon than Herbsaint, offering a dining room defined by floor-to-ceiling windows and exposed wooden beams, creating a feel that’s simultaneously contemporary and rustic. And like Cochon, the menu puts the focus on small plates, snacks and sides. But it’s the beast of a wood-burning grill, a custom-built iron and brick rig in the back that serves as the real engine of Pêche and is its most defining feature…

Wall Street Journal

From the Gulf Coast, With Love: A Southern road trip shapes the seafood-centric menu at New Orleans chef Donald Link’s latest restaurant
Julia Reed

It’s very late on an early-spring evening, and I’m sitting at the French farmhouse table in my mother’s house in Seaside, Fla., looking at the remnants of several astonishingly good seafood dishes and more empty wine bottles than people. It’s the sort of scene I’ve surveyed many times at Donald Link’s New Orleans restaurant Herbsaint, in the company of the same festive group: Donald himself, the engine behind a Crescent City culinary empire that also includes Cochon and Butcher his top manager, Heather Lolley Cochon chef-partner Stephen Stryjewski and Ryan Prewitt, chef-partner at the soon-to-open Pêche Seafood Grill, the restaurant that’s a long-held dream of all four. This particular meal, though, is about more than late-night camaraderie. It’s the culmination of a research road trip along Florida’s Gulf Coast to collect ingredients and inspiration for Pêche. The restaurant was originally conceived, not long after Katrina, as a homage to the rustic seafood joints that once lined the banks of New Orleans’s Lake Pontchartrain. Now, after seven years and similar missions to South America and Spain, the glorified-seafood-shack concept has morphed into a worldly, gutsy and thoroughly modern restaurant. Two key inspirations are what Donald describes as “the primitive, soulful way of cooking” over fire in Uruguay, and the grilling wizard Victor Arguinzoniz, of Asador Etxebarri, in the Basque Country. Still, the team has never lost sight of the fabulous fresh ingredients closer to home, on the stretch of beach known as the Redneck Riviera. Our first stop is Burris Farm Market, in Loxley, Ala., where we stock up on the muscadine wine vinegar that Donald loves, along with loaves of fresh-baked yeast bread. Lunch at the Original Point (motto: “Not Fancy But Famous”), a landmark near Perdido Key, Fla., includes such old-style Gulf Coast classics as smoked tuna dip and fried mullet backbones (yes, you eat the bones, chased immediately by lots of cold beer), as well as Royal Reds, a ruby-colored deep water shrimp virtually undiscovered until the early 1990s and so sweet and salty that folks make the three-hour drive from New Orleans just to eat them. A half-hour away in Pensacola, the enormous market Joe Patti’s specializes in all things seafood. A crew of fresh-faced female 20-somethings in matching baseball caps takes orders (“Have I asked you yet if you’re having a good day?”), while 80-something Frank Patti (son of Joe), is the barker in their midst, hawking specials with a hand-held mike one minute and taking a cleaver to a tuna filet the next. After the team stocks up on Florida clams, more Royal Reds, Spanish mackerel, red snapper and scamp, a superior member of the grouper family, we head down Highway 98 toward Seaside, 75 miles away. The road to Pêche, slated to open on April 20, was a lot less direct. As early as 2006, Donald went so far as to nail down a location and mock up a menu, but parking was a problem, and everybody was already busy opening restaurants, writing books and collecting awards (a James Beard for Donald, another for Stephen and a third for Donald’s book “Real Cajun”). Still, they kept coming back around to seafood. So when a spot opened up in the perfect building, a one-time livery undergoing a meticulous restoration on a Warehouse District corner, they jumped. Not only did the space have great character and some weird history—Jefferson Davis was embalmed upstairs—there was room for a free-standing oyster and crudo bar as well as a wood-burning oven, modeled after the rigs used in Uruguay and built by Donald’s uncle Duane Link. In the kitchen at the Seaside house, the cooks get to work while Heather and I uncork bottles of Txakolina, a dry, citrusy and slightly fizzy Basque wine she and the boys discovered on a pilgrimage to Etxebarri. At Pêche, one side of the oven will have a raging wood fire throwing off coals that will be raked to the other side beneath a low grill. On our deck, we have a cheap gas contraption instead, but Ryan manages to pull off a perfectly cooked mackerel accompanied by delicious grilled chard, and Royal Reds dressed with garlic, oil and lemon. Inside, Stephen and Donald work on a chili-glazed scamp and a clam stew that is the essence of what Donald says they hope to achieve at Pêche: “seafood in a ballsy way.” Enriched with the leftover fish heads, bones and throats, it’s a way for the team to cook seafood without relying on typical go-tos like pork stock or bacon to provide nuance and depth. My favorite dish of the night is the raw seafood salad, enlivened by citrus and a dash of the farmers market muscadine vinegar, and served with grilled slices of the yeast bread that are deemed a great success. But then Ryan comes in with another accompaniment, snapper skin grilled to a perfect crisp and dusted with sea salt—an ingenious receptacle for the fish and the kind of productive playing around that all three chefs thrive on. Lunch the next day features the time-honored combo of Budweiser and Apalachicola oysters on the half shell, and sparks a conversation between Stephen and Ryan about the possibility of making their own saltines. Even the perfectionist Donald rolls his eyes at that. Pêche is poised to be a world-class restaurant, but it’s still, in part at least, an oyster bar. In New Orleans. “Guys,” he says, “the crackers have to come in the cellophane packets.”


Enjoy Delicious Cajun Food

Your favorite Cajun Thanksgiving recipes make the holiday a deliciously memorable one, but you’ll spend many hours in the kitchen whipping up the Southern classics. Give yourself a break from the kitchen while someone else whips up Cajun and Creole specialties when you dine at The Gregory. Call today or contact us online to make your reservation.


What Do You Know About Louisiana’s Most Famous Soup?

This soup is the delicious result of numerous cultures and chefs contributing their own variations to this signature Louisiana dish.

Louisiana’s signature stew-like soup reflects traditions spanning African, Native American, French, German, and other European cultures. Praised as “the crown of all the savory and remarkable soups in the world—a regular elixir of life” in 1850 by a Swedish writer, it comes in two main versions, both served over rice: seafood gumbo with shrimp, crab, and oysters or chicken and andouille gumbo, with smoked pork cayenne-spiced sausage. But a third, green version—gumbo z’herbes (short for gumbo des herbes)—was made famous by Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans, whose late chef and owner, Leah Chase, was called the “Queen of Creole Cuisine.”

Gumbo is both a Cajun and Creole dish, beloved by both the descendants of Acadians forced to flee Nova Scotia in the 18th century, and the mixed-race descendants of Europeans and enslaved Africans. “Cajun cooking is a rustic style of cuisine based on country French cooking, which evolved around indigenous ingredients harvested from the land, swamps, bayous, and streams. Creole cuisine is more sophisticated, based on European techniques but greatly influenced by other cultures,” says chef John Folse, author of The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine and co-owner of Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans.

“Like white on rice, gumbo and Louisiana are inseparable.”

“Like white on rice, gumbo and Louisiana are inseparable,” says Louisiana Travel, the state tourism board. But its precise origin is murky. Traditionally made with a roux, a French technique that cooks flour and oil until they turn brown (often chocolate brown), it’s thickened with either okra, popular in Africa, or filé powder (ground sassafras leaves), a Native American contribution. In fact, “gumbo” is derived from the word for okra in West African languages, ki ngombo. But kombo is the Choctaw word for sassafras.

Top Picks for You

Recommended Fodor&rsquos Video

“In Louisiana there are as many variations of gumbo as there are cooks in the kitchen,” due to settlers’ nationalities and regional ingredients, says Folse, who identified 10 regional gumbo styles, from north to south. Tomatoes, crawfish, beans, peas, or even potato salad may be added. It’s a synonym for a potpourri: Ken Burns even named the first episode of his documentary on jazz, Gumbo: The Beginnings.

Some think gumbo is related to bouillabaisse, the French seafood stew. But purists vehemently disagree. For one thing, the classic bouillabaisse, from Marseille in Provence in southern France, uses several different types of fish, added to a broth accented with saffron and fennel. But fish has never been a gumbo ingredient. Also, it’s believed that over half the Acadians who settled in south Louisiana were from Normandy and Brittany in northern France. An emphasis on a French origin disrespects the strong influence of African foodways on Louisiana’s food, many food experts think.

Gumbo z’herbes reflects the influence of Germans, who brought their custom of serving a dish of seven different greens, or a soup of seven herbs, on Holy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter) for health and good luck. Germans emigrated by the thousands from the 1720s on to the “river parishes” upriver from New Orleans, like St. James (where Folse’s ancestor, John Jacob Foltz, settled), St. Charles, and St. John the Baptist. A town, Des Allemands (French for “the Germans”), remains in St. Charles Parish today.

But in Louisiana, it shifted into a dish vegetarians wouldn’t recognize. Gumbo z’herbes is packed with nine greens, from collards, spinach, mustard greens, cabbage to watercress, plus (surprise!) chicken, two types of sausage (smoked and chaurice, a spicy pork sausage seasoned with scallions, parsley, and onions), ham hock, and veal, in a roux spiced with file and cayenne at Dooky Chase’s (you can find the recipe here).

“There’s a lot of protein to gear up for the fast on Good Friday,” says Edgar Chase IV, Dooky Chase’s executive chef, and Leah’s grandson. “We serve it just once a year.”

Chase says that his grandparents passed down a superstition about the origins of the nine greens in gumbo z’herbes. “Nine is the amount of new friends you’ll make and one will be wealthy. It’s supposed to be an odd number of greens we’ve also done it with 11 or seven.”

Folse adds, “Leah would tell the story that even though it’s green gumbo, Louisiana has so much access to game and other meats that fit a heartier version, and one that stretches the table for big families. ‘There’s never too much meat for a green gumbo,’ she’d say.”

Year-round, Chase also serves a Creole gumbo, made with chicken, crab, shrimp, veal, ham hock, smoked sausage and chaurice, oyster liquid, and a roux spiked with filé. An okra seafood gumbo, featuring shrimp, crab, oyster liquid, and tomato paste, instead of a roux, is served on Friday. “That’s the beauty of gumbo, it’s so versatile and flexible. You can do duck or turkey gumbo, everyone does a different type of gumbo,” says Chase, whose grandmother, named a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2016, died in 2019. Her children, Edgar III and Stella, now own the restaurant, which opened in 1941.

Death by Gumbo Courtesy of Chef John Folse & Co.

Twists on gumbo abound. Death by Gumbo (roast quail stuffed with oysters, arugula, rice, and filé) is on the menu at Restaurant R’evolution, a variation of the dish Folse first prepared for The New York Times restaurant critic Craig Claiborne, who wrote a story on how Cajun and Creole cuisine was changing, at his home back in 1987.

Agnolotti stuffed with a gumbo z’herbes filling (collard and turnip greens braised with pork plus cream cheese spiced with Tabasco and harissa) in broth, topped with Parmesan, is served at The Chloe, a new boutique hotel in New Orleans’ Garden District. “The greens make such a flavorful pasta filling. People don’t expect it, some say it’s the best dish they ever had. It’s like pasta en brodo,” says Todd Pulsinelli, chef at The Chloe, which opened in late 2020.

In fact, gumbo is so popular among Cajuns, an unusual Mardi Gras custom is built around it in rural Cajun country. Nicknamed the “chicken run,” Le Courir de Mardi Gras in small towns like Mamou, about three hours west of New Orleans, is so different from the New Orleans festival, it’s like another planet.

Men in rustic long-sleeved, long-pants fringed outfits, homemade masks, and conical, dunce-like caps ride on horseback from farm to farm to beg for gumbo ingredients and chase chickens.

Men in rustic long-sleeved, long-pants fringed outfits, homemade masks, and conical, dunce-like caps ride on horseback from farm to farm to beg for gumbo ingredients and chase chickens. The outfits resemble pajamas more than the opulent costumes and ornate floats in the big-city Mardi Gras. It’s a rollicking game whose players, often pickled in alcohol, roll around on the ground in hot pursuit of a chicken, given to a purple-caped, flag-waving captain when caught, sing and dance for bystanders, and even sway and dance atop their horses.

A haunting gumbo-begging song in Cajun French, La Danse (or Le Chanson) de Mardi Gras, accompanies the high jinks. Translated into English, one lyric, referring to the communal chicken and andouille gumbo the town feasts on after the riders enter town, goes:

“Captain, captain, wave sour flag,

Let’s go to our neighbors asking for charity,

From everyone who’ll come join us later,

Everyone who’ll cook the gumbo tonight.”

Its words are a recent addition, only about a century old, but the melody is believed to be much older, akin to centuries-old tunes from Brittany, France, one history says.

A delightful way to taste your way through history is found at gumbo festivals, known for their cooking contests, held mainly when cold weather approaches. In New Orleans, the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival is in November, held by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, which sponsors Jazz Fest each year. Honored as the “gumbo capital of the world” by state lawmakers, Bridge City, in Jefferson Parish near New Orleans, held a drive-through version of its long-running extravaganza, which cooks 2,000 gallons of gumbo, last year. Chackbay in Cajun bayou country in Lafourche Parish, has held its Louisiana Gumbo Festival for 49 years.


Watch the video: Guns, Game and Gumbo in Cajun Country - Foodways with Jessica Sanchez, Episode 1 (December 2021).