Cajun country is the last bastion of true American regional cooking, and no one knows it better than Isaac Toups. Now the chef of the acclaimed Toups’ Meatery and Toups South in New Orleans, he grew up deep in the Atchafalaya Basin of Louisiana, where his ancestors settled 300 years ago. There, hunting and fishing trips provide the ingredients for communal celebrations, and these shrimp and crawfish boils, boucheries (hog killings), fish frys, and backyard barbecues–form the backbone of this book.
Toups shows what it’s like to butcher a hog and engineer an on-the-fly barbecue pit–as well as make a 15-minute roux for a quick gumbo (normally a time-intensive process). He guides readers through his home country with detours for salty anecdotes, in-depth tutorials, and rich photography. Divided into sections that embody a wide range of Cajun experiences, the book features 100 recipes that translate old-school techniques for the modern table.
This is a book full of attitude and flavor for fans of Action Bronson, Anthony Bourdain, and Paul Prudhomme. Chasing the Gator shows how–and what it means–to cook Cajun food today.