'Donald Link' on Serious Eats

A Sandwich a Day: Muffuletta from Cochon Butcher in New Orleans

One of the few places that was a non-negotiable on my list of New Orleans places to visit? Cochon Butcher. Chef Donald Link's artisanal butcher shop/sandwich joint/wine bar is next to Cochon, his homage to all things Cajun, porky, and meaty. My favorite sandwich is the Cochon Muffuletta ($12), a cheffy version of the classic New Orleans sandwich first made in Central Grocery in the French Quarter. More

Visiting the Fisheries of Southern Louisiana: Seafood Is Still Strong

After a whirlwind tour through the cities and fisheries of Southern Louisiana a couple weeks back, it's clear to me that the flow of misinformation and apprehension about the quality of the seafood coming from the Gulf of Mexico has been far more detrimental to the industry that the oil itself. Tasting my way through cities like Lake Charles, Houma, New Iberia, and New Orleans, it's clear that seafood is the heart and soul of the Cajun and Creole cuisine of the area—indeed, for a solid five days, I had blue crab in some form or another at every single meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) not to mention copious amounts of local shrimp, oysters, fish, and crawfish. More

Cook the Book: Chocolate Yummy

The Chocolate Yummy is a Cajun country dessert that has roots in the same family as Jell-O salad with canned fruit, Nilla wafers with banana pudding, or any recipe that starts with a container of Cool Whip. In Real Cajun, Donald Link has updated his aunt's recipe by replacing pudding mix with homemade pudding, the store-bought chocolate cookies with pecan shortbread, and real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. More

Cook the Book: 'Real Cajun'

Donald Link is a self-proclaimed "coonass," a true Cajun born and bred in Acadia Parish, Louisiana. As the chef and proprietor of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans, Link's menus feature classic Cajun dishes with French and Italian twists. Louisiana's local produce, game, and seafood have been lifelong inspirations for Link's cooking. Real Cajun features recipes from every stage of the chef's life—such as his aunt's Tomato and Bacon Pie, which he enjoyed on childhood vacations to the Alabama coast, or his Game Day Choucroute, eaten with his staff and friends during the first Super Bowl after Hurricane Katrina. Food plays a major role in every aspect of Cajun life, from holidays to family reunions, festivals to funerals; with... More

Cochon, New Orleans

As a serious eater with a commute where a MetroCard is no help at all, I was pleased to see restaurant critic Frank Bruni go beyond Gotham with his Coast to Coast series in the New York Times dining section. I was more pleased to see that one of the spots was in New Orleans, which happened to coincide with a previously planned day-job-related trip there. Make no mistake. Unless it's during Jazzfest or Mardi Gras, it's hard to eat badly in New Orleans.* Pound for pound, it's hard to think of a place that has such depth of excellence from haute to street. I lived in New Orleans for a year in the 1990s, return as often as I... More

Handicapping the Beard Award Nominees

The James Beard Award nominations were announced yesterday, and at Serious Eats we don't want you to have to sift through all nine pages of nominees [PDF], so let's see if we can cut to the chase for you. The Outstanding Restaurateur nominees feature some actual and different heavyweight restaurateurs, including Richard Melman (Lettuce Entertain You, Chicago), Drew Nieporent (Nobu (NY), Rubicom (SF), and many others), and Keith McNally (Balthazar, Pastis, and Morandi, among others). All three of them have made a point of not cloning any of their restaurants, which I really appreciate.... More

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