Soak up the sun with a recipe from a New Orleans native-owned Louisiana style joint in the May edition.
Welcome back to The Sunday Roast! Thank you to all of you who filled out my audience survey. I got some really valuable feedback and I’m grateful. I used a random name generator to pick Rhianna Kern as the lucky winner of the $20 Compass Coffee gift card, which I sent over after. I know she’s excited to get some delicious coffee and I’m excited to see what she gets! I’ll be keeping the survey open for about another month to hopefully get some more responses, but for now, the raffle is closed.
This month: Back in March, I had foolishly reached out to a Louisiana hotspot just before Mardi Gras to ask if they would have time to be featured. Obviously, they were too busy, but we decided to reconnect for a May feature and now here we are! I’m thankful they took the time to circle back and work with me on this month’s edition. I’ve been to this local mainstay a couple times, usually in March around Mardi Gras, and their pastries and cocktails are unbelievable. The recipe they chose to feature, however, is a bit more suited for the nice weather outside and any grill you may have access to fire up.
A note on receiving emails: Make sure to add my sending address to your address book to avoid the newsletter regularly ending up in spam. I found this helpful article to walk you through adding me as a contact in Gmail that will hopefully help.
When Chef David Guas thinks back to his earliest memory of cooking, he thinks about grilling burgers with his father and grandfather. David comes from a family of Cuban descent that took grilling very seriously, so being handed the tongs was a rite of passage. Choosing a recipe that utilized the grill for The Sunday Roast was only natural! What he’s really known for, however, is specifically his master of Louisiana cooking. He cherishes the memories of cooking with his Aunt Boo and learning the fundamentals of a homestyle cooking he’s known for years later, from the roux to the Holy Trinity (celery, onion and bell pepper), which may seem simple, but according to David, they require much patience, finesse and technique.
He soon began his career as a professional cook as a pastry chef at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans under the wing of Jeff Tunks, the executive chef at the time. Jeff then helped begin Passion Food Hospitality in D.C. in 1998, and took David along for the ride. He helped opened several restaurants with the group and began a solo career with his first cookbook, DamGoodSweets: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style. Then, in 2010, Guas made the leap to open a place of his own, his New Orleans-style eatery, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery. Both of those major milestones were inspired after Hurricane Katrina erased many of the neighborhoods David had grown up in. When the devastating event brought back memories of his childhood, David’s career shifted to focusing on preserving and recording those memories, most of which revolved around food.
Recipes and traditions from home are what inspire David every day to celebrate the uniqueness of New Orleans. Operating the only New Orleans native-owned Louisiana eatery allows David to share the cuisine that defines his home state and the South, but while using local produce and products from Virginia. NoVa is now what David calls home, so the eatery anchors him to his roots while showing off what his new home has to offer. And now he wants to offer that to others with not only good food but a community gathering place with a sense of belonging.
Discover David’s Instagram.
Discover the bakery’s instagram.
The story behind his recipe.
It’s only fitting that David shares a recipe packed with flavors that emit nostalgia and the sense of home. His restaurant speaks to his original home, New Orleans, so that transplants like him can feel right at home.
His menu is a selection of delectable southern sweets and savory eats including pralines, beignets, muffelettas, gumbo, chicory coffee and Abita beer. David brings not only the flavors of New Orleans to the DMV but the spirit of the city, too. Many people know the pockets of neighborhoods that have reached celebrity status, like the French Quarter, but David wants to show off something local, that radiates New Orleans’ charm, in the forgotten corners of the city.
But don’t worry, David still celebrates one of the more famous exports of the city: Mardi Gras. The holiday is typically all about celebrating and gathering with people,
but since this year was different and people could not really gather for the holiday, Bayou Bakery put a twist on its annual extravaganza. Just as they continue to do during the pandemic with loads of to-go options, the eatery’s “krewe” brought the “pardi straight to your door,” as David puts it. The box included a murder mystery game, beads, masks, doubloons, a boa,
hurricane mix and a DIY decorating kit.
What the iconic Arlington mainstay is up to is always an important update, but onto the recipe now.
This recipe comes from another one of David’s cookbooks, Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro.
David says the original story behind this recipe started with Chef Pascal Manale of the famous century-old restaurant, Pascal’s Manale. The story goes something like this: a customer came into Bayou Bakery after a trip to Chicago and described the most incredible shrimp dish he had ever tasted.
So David got to work and sautéed some shrimp in garlic, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and a lot of butter. But, while the man told him it was
nothing like the dish in Chicago, this dish is special to David. The smell and taste of this recipe instantly brings him back to his childhood in Aunt Boo’s kitchen in Abbeville, so he’s hoping to share that nostalgia with you.