CAJUN NINJA BRINGS A TASTE OF LOUISIANA TO DALLAS
Representing the Bayou Country Crawfish Trail, Jason Derouen, also known as the ‘Cajun Ninja’, is one of 17 top Louisiana chefs heading to Dallas to feature the state’s unique flavors in several of the area’s top restaurants. Explore Houma, the Louisiana Travel Association, the Louisiana Office of Tourism and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board have partnered to present the “Louisiana Goes Lone Star” on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, as part of the Louisiana Culinary Trails tourism marketing campaign.
Boasting an exciting food and beverage scene, Dallas is an important regional destination and a savory opportunity to showcase the diverse culinary delights of our State. The epicurean experience of the Bayou State goes beyond just eating and drinking; it is a driving force among Louisiana events and culture. Louisiana Culinary Trails and the premier lineup of top chefs are excited to inspire travel and give Dallasites a taste of what awaits them across the Texas-Louisiana border.
“Food is a way of life in Louisiana. We plan our festivals and events around the culinary seasons, and we are excited to bring a taste to Dallas next month,” says Louisiana Travel Association president and CEO Chris Landry. “As a neighboring state, destinations around Louisiana are a short drive or direct flight from Dallas. We are excited to have 17 Louisiana chefs in restaurants around the city to whet locals’ appetites and inspire them to make Louisiana their next travel destination.”
Prior to the restaurant night, Explore Houma will also be attending the Restaurant Night Media Preview reception, where the Louisiana chefs will prepare the state’s delicious cuisine with our fresh seafood featured for key influencers, encouraging media to write about the Louisiana culinary experience.
Jason Derouen, Bayou Country Crawfish Trail, Houma
Jason Derouen is a martial arts instructor and Louisiana-born cook who has created an internet following as the Cajun Ninja. His popular videos walk viewers through cooking weeknight meals for their families. He has turned his signature catchphrase, PI-YAHHHH!! into a successful seasoning brand that aims to get the taste of the bayou into homes everywhere. Jason’s love of martial arts and Cajun cooking both shine in his first published collection, PI-YAHHHHH!! The Cajun Ninja’s Cookbook. Jason showcases the Bayou region’s diverse and authentic Cajun cuisine as he tastes his way through the Bayou Country Crawfish Trail.
Other participating chefs include:
- Angel Lombrage, The Bullfish Bistro, Baton Rouge
Chef Angel discovered his love for food through the vibrant and aromatic dishes of his Haitian heritage. Receiving his training at Johnson & Wales University and gained his experience with prominent brands such as Ruth’s Chris and Voodoo Barbecue, Chef Angel eventually set out on his own culinary adventure, opening The Bullfish Bistro. This restaurant became the culmination of his life’s work, showcasing the combination of fresh Caribbean herbs and the rich Cajun spice to create a symphony of flavors that delight the senses.
- Ross Dover, Palmettos on the Bayou, The Northshore
Chef Ross Dover joined Palmettos on the Bayou from Restaurant August in New Orleans, where he was executive chef for three years after having the role of executive sous chef for a couple of years. Prior he worked at Johnny Sanchez Restaurant in New Orleans, working directly with Aarón Sánchez, award-winning chef, TV personality, and cookbook author. Chef Ross is a Louisiana native, born and raised in Houma. He attended Nicholls State University where he studied Culinary Arts at the John Folse Culinary Institute.
- Owen Hohl, Hot Tails Restaurants, Louisiana
Owen Hohl was born in Puerto Cortes, Honduras and grew up in Metairie. He started his culinary journey at Grace King High School, winning a ProStart State Championship then attended Louisiana Culinary Institute. He joined the team at Hot Tails in New Roads when the restaurant opened and throughout his 13 years, he worked his way up to executive chef and was instrumental in the successful opening of the restaurant’s second location in Prairieville. Owen has won numerous awards including top honors, most prominently he was named Louisiana Seafood King 2023 which will bring him to the Great American Seafood Cookoff.
- Holly Goetting, Charley G’s, Lafayette
Chef Holly Goetting has worked in the kitchen at Charley G’s since 2001, starting as a cook and working her way up, she has been executive chef for the past 20 years. Throughout her career she has consistently garnered media attention and awards have brought her to the James Beard House in New York City. In her kitchen, Holly enjoys the freedom of creativity and self-expression of working with fresh ingredients. Although her travels have taught her different culinary customs, she appreciates the special flavors and tastes of Louisiana—especially Lafayette and Acadiana.
- Anthony Felan, Fat Calf Brasserie, Shreveport-Bossier
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco and cooking in some of the Bay Area’s finest restaurants, Anthony Felan’s love for Louisiana and his family brought him back to Shreveport in 2010. His childhood memories of working in his grandfather’s garden instilled in him a deep respect for farm-fresh ingredients and local foodways inspired his journey as a restaurateur. He opened Fat Calf Boucherie, a stationary food trailer, serving gastro-pub fare utilizing locally raised meat in 2017 and two years later opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant with the same name. Building on his classical French training, Fat Calf Brasserie celebrates the great tradition of French neighborhood eateries, but with his unique eclectic spin that honors his Southern roots. In addition to their restaurant, Anthony and his wife, Amanda, have a wildly popular side project, 2nd Act Supper Club, where they host underground dinners in various historic locations throughout Shreveport. This fall, Anthony will open a permanent location for the 2nd Act Supper Club.
- Frederic Terluin, Rouj Creole, Baton Rouge
Chef Frederic Terluin’s culinary journey has been shaped by the inspiring flavors of contemporary American cuisine, the finesse of nouvelle French, and the richness of Mediterranean gastronomy. During his impressive career, Terluin has left an indelible mark on some of the finest establishments including Peristyle and Herbsaint in New Orleans. With each step of his culinary voyage, Chef Frederic Terluin brings an unwavering passion for innovation and an unyielding dedication to creating remarkable dining experiences.
- Richard & Lori Hurst, Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn, Lafayette
Richard Hurst and his wife Lori are carrying on the family restaurant and traditions begun by his grandfather in 1932. After 91 years of serving great seafood, the Hurst family’s restaurant has become a Cajun icon, serving fresh Gulf to table fish and seafood daily. The menu features everything from their alligator tidbits and sizzling steaks to their mouthwatering homemade bread pudding and guests leave feeling like they are part of the family.
- Keith & Nealy Frentz, LOLA, The Northshore
Keith and Nealy Frentz’s dream of opening a restaurant came true in January 2006, a positive outcome in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They had both been sous chefs at Brennan’s in New Orleans and evacuated to Covington for the storm and less than a year later LOLA was born. They both graduated from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University with degrees in culinary arts which gave them the knowledge and fundamentals of understanding the kitchen and with their experience sculpted LOLA into what it is today. Located in downtown Covington, the restaurant is in the city’s historic train depot. They have won numerous awards throughout their career and Nealy competed on the hit Food Network show, Chopped, in 2013. From the Kentucky Derby in Louisville to the Aspen Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado. Nealy and Keith share a passion for the culinary arts and the great state of Louisiana.
- Damien “Chapeaux” Chapman, Orlandeaux’s Café, Shreveport-Bossier
Damien, known as “Chapeaux” in the culinary world, grew up in his family’s business and is a key member of the fifth generation now leading the Orlandeaux’s, one of the oldest continuously operating African American restaurants in the United States. In addition to the culinary foundation instilled since he was a child, Chapeaux developed an early interest in technology and received his degree in mechanical engineering then worked in the oilfield. He returned to his roots and the family restaurant and is currently pursuing his certification at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. He was recently named a 2023 Louisianian of the Year by Louisiana Life Magazine and you can expect him to continue making headlines.
- Ana Castro, Lengua Madre, New Orleans
Ana Castro was raised in Mexico City by her grandmother, who played a crucial part in her culinary development by awakening her curiosity and showing her that a meal can bring people together and cure whatever ails the soul. After pursuing a formal culinary education, Ana traveled the world to learn from different cuisines and cultures and eventually landed in New Orleans. She and her restaurant Lengua Madre have been bestowed with some of the most prestigious accolades in the industry and she will open a new restaurant in New Orleans in the new year.
- Lyle Broussard, L’Auberge Casino Resort, Lake Charles
Chef Lyle Broussard is known for his Cajun and Creole flavors and his passion for Southwest Louisiana culture and cuisine, dating back to time spent perched next to his grandmother’s stovetop where he developed a passion for food. Lyle’s love of his local heritage carries over to the menu with authenticity, deep flavors and a simplicity that allows the ingredients to do the talking.
- Cory Bahr, Parish Restaurant, Monroe-West Monroe
Cory Bahr is the owner & founder of Parish Restaurant, Standard Coffee Co. and Heritage Catering in Monroe, Louisiana, where he was born and raised. Cory inherited a passion for the great outdoors and cooking—spending weekends at the family hunting camp, running fishing lines, and hunting whatever was in season. Parish, an homage to what is most important to Cory—community, culture, and culinary heritage—presents an inventive take on classic Southern dishes utilizing live fire cooking that makes use of all the flavors, technique, and heritage of his beloved Delta region. He offers honest dishes with a strong sense of place, for which he has earned national recognition.
- Jeremy Langlois, Latil’s Landing at Houmas House, Ascension Parish
Chef Jeremy Langlois began his culinary career the day after his 16th birthday in May of 1995, when he joined Chef John Folse’s White Oak Plantation Team. Chef Folse saw the enthusiasm and the potential in the young protégé and within 7 months he was promoted. Chef Jeremy excelled early in his career, becoming the youngest executive chef of any restaurant in DiRONA (Distinguished, Restaurants, of North America), an organization of 750 premiere restaurants in three countries. As executive chef of Houmas House Plantation’s Latil’s Landing Restaurant – named by Esquire Magazine as one of the top twenty best new restaurants in America, he masterfully creates wonderful dishes in a style that he calls “Nouvelle Louisiane.”
- Desi Bourgeois, Grown and Grazed, Ruston
Desi Bourgeois returned to Ruston from Austin where he was executive chef of Google’s dining program, working with local farmers in Central Texas. The business community and the Ruston Farmers Market influenced his return, and he brought his “local first” food scene approach from Google, opening Grown and Grazed food truck in 2018. He’s since added two more food trucks and last year their company invested in property downtown to create Heard Freighthouse Food Park, which now is home to seven food trucks, and will be adding a commissary kitchen, restaurant, bar, fresh bakery and butcher shop next year.
- Brent Daigle, Grady V’s, Louisiana Cajun Bayou
Born and raised in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Chef Brent Daigle was inspired by his grandmother and father’s cooking while growing up. He paid attention, always learning something new, and in high school had the opportunity to learn the true science behind cooking. Brent graduated from the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute and after getting great experience around South Louisiana, returned to Thibodaux as executive chef at Grady V’s where he focuses on American-inspired cuisine with a Louisiana twist.
- Grayling Thibodeaux, St. John Restaurant, St. Martin Parish
Born in St. Martinville and raised in San Francisco, Grayling began his culinary journey at a young age with a passion for baking. He graduated from The California Culinary Academy with a certificate in Patisserie and Baking and began his career as a pastry chef. With a desire to return to his roots, he moved back to his parents’ hometown of St. Martinville and over the last 10 years has worked his way up at St. John Restaurant. He is now head chef and brings West Coast flavor and Acadiana spice to Cajun cuisine.
For more information on the event, visit the event website Louisiana Goes Lone Star
ABOUT LOUISIANA CULINARY TRAILS
Louisiana Culinary Trails is the collaborative efforts of the Louisiana Travel Association and its partners, offering appetizing getaways and promoting Louisiana by way of its unique culinary scene. Louisiana Culinary Trails takes to the road, showcasing the diverse food experiences throughout the state in major cities across the country. Louisiana Culinary Trails inspires travelers by highlighting the accessibility and epicurean journeys awaiting exploration throughout the state, facilitated by Louisiana tourism and neighboring communities.