Thursday, April 26, 2018

Lake Charles Seafood Supper with Chef Lyle Broussard

Lowcountry visits Creole -  Chef Lyle Broussard
The perfect follow up to a morning of productive fishing in Cameron Parish is a touch of creole cuisine on top of your freshly caught redfish. We caught up with Chef Lyle Broussard on the Jack Daniels Patio, out back of the L'Auberge Casino in Lake Charles. Broussard is local to the area and his long tenure as chef gives him a bit of freedom to create cajun seasonings that compliment the catch of the day. For starters, I ordered a smoked shrimp dip that was damn good, reminding me of smoked marlin dip back home.

Fried Gator Bites
From there we tore into fried gator bites, specialty oysters, bacon-wrapped shrimp and a spicy salsa. The main course consisted of parmesan-encrusted redfish bites served over grits and a whole marinated redfish served scales down with lemon and seasonings. Each bite of the fresh redfish was tender and tasty, proving that a light touch in the kitchen is often the best recipe.

Chef Broussard made time to come visit at our table long enough to get to know him a little, sharing some personal experiences like attending a Mardi Gras Ball in New Orleans. To say that Broussard is personable would be an understatement, and he reminded me of a younger Darius Rucker coming out of the Lowcountry music scene before the rock / country star was known worldwide. Here's hoping that Chef Broussard continues to cook his way into the lore of Louisiana culture, and that he comes to cook for us in Charleston some time soon!

Cajun Oysters and toast 
For past blog entries about cooking click on Venison with Sporting Chef Scott Leysath - Wood Duck Soup - Quail Supreme - River's Creek Shrimp - Crawfish Étouffée with Tony Chachere

Boiled Crawfish and brew at Jack Daniels in L'Auberge Casino
To view past blog entries about sustainable seafood click  Farlow's / SW FloridaGuy Harvey Magazine / Oysters - Pink House / Savannah - Boathouse On Breech Inlet / Isle Of Palms - Circa 1886 / Charleston - Wine on the Water / SC Aquarium - Fish Restaurant / Charleston - Fresh On The Menu

To view blog entries from the Southeastern Wildlife Expo's Wild Game Supper click The Drawing Room - Hall's Chop House

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Bull Reds in Bad Weather at Lake Calcasieu Pass

Capt. Jeff Poe with Capt. Nick Poe holding redfish caught by angler Jeff Dennis on April 19
Bending rods at Calcasieu Pass jetties
When the bull reds are biting hard in Southwest Louisiana the demand from saltwater anglers equals the supply of trips available from local fishing guides. Fortunate to book a trip with Big Lake Guide Service on Lake Calcasieu, the date of our trip was secure, but a North wind and sloppy conditions on the water dictated our plans. Sometimes though a hard day of fishing yields outstanding results, and we beat the odds to catch multiple bull redfish during a memorable day of fishing in Cajun country, followed by creole cuisine prepared by Chef Lyle Broussard.

Jeff and Will double up on slot reds
Will Precht is with Visit Lake Charles Tourism in Louisiana and he is also a native of Cameron Parish. Big Lake Guide Service is a father and son operation, founded by Capt. Jeff Poe, with son Capt. Nick Poe recently notching his tenth year as a guide. They all agree that the bayou, marshes and wildlife found in this area make it part of God’s country, and I am fast becoming a believer too. Fishing trips originate from a private dock, which is near Hebert’s Marina, and we fished out of a Dorado 25 boat powered with a Mercury 350 four-stroke engine.

Just another bull drum ready for release!
It had been windy the day before and a cool front passed through Lake Charles overnight, so I dressed for the weather wearing long pants, two shirts and a jacket. We loaded our gear into the skiff and headed out into big water, followed by a 30-minute white-knuckle boat ride to the Lake Calcasieu Pass jetties. The cold front had the bull redfish bite on fire, but only in one small area where the rip current met the tip of the jetty. I was the first to cast into the strike zone and a redfish with shoulders ate my chartreuse offering, and tore off down the jetties peeling 20-pound Power Pro off the reel, causing Capt. Nick to come over and tighten down the drag. The medium-action Falcon rod was doubled completely over but proved to be the right stick for a very sporting battle with a 35-inch redfish that was caught and released. 

To read the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.