SeaFood Business

APR 2014

SeaFood Business is the global trusted authority for seafood buyers and sellers. We are the seafood industry's leading trade magazine with more than 30 years of experience. Our coverage is based on the "business" of buying and selling seafood.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 60 of 62

Net Working 56 SeaFood Business April 2014 Visit us online at "Shrimp and grits is just a blend of wonderful briny shrimp with the acidity and creaminess of the grits. It makes for the perfect bite." Cory Bahr Executive chef Cotton, Nonna Monroe, La. BY JAMES WRIGHT Y ou wonder how a guy like Cory Bahr can sound so relaxed when he's got so much going on. Te laid-back 37-year-old chef from Monroe, La., is a TV star, appearing on Food Network's show "Chopped" (which he won); he's got an acclaimed North Delta cuisine restaurant in his hometown and opened his second — an Italian-infuenced spot called Nonna — just a few months ago. He's also opening a bakery, yet unnamed, this summer; and he's a former King of Louisiana Seafood (2011) who's constantly being called to represent his state at food-and-wine events far and wide. But to hear him speak, you imagine him driving down a country road, in no particu- lar rush (maybe that's because that's exactly what he was doing when we talked in late January). Bahr has had enough of cooking contests — he recently turned down an opportunity to be on "Knife Fight," the Esquire network show. "It's not really where I'm at in my career anymore. I want to work on what I'm passionate about: gracious service and wonderful food and the people that come along with that. Man, I get out of bed every day and it's competition!" Defne North Delta cuisine in 20 words or less. Seasonal. Local. Simple. Basically, what was on my table growing up with my grandparents. What's your signature dish? I really don't have one. Te seasons tell me what my signature dish is. I don't feel I need one — a signature dish boxes a chef in. I'm constantly rein- venting what I want to be and what I want to put on a plate. It's based on what I can get. What's your favorite seafood to eat and cook? I like freshness — things that are available all year aren't necessarily as good. I don't want strawberries in January, you know? Wahoo are really killer, incredibly fatty right now with the cold water. Into summer, I steer clear of shallow water fsh and go for amberjack and deepwater grouper. All hook and line. Into the fall, it's black drum again, the doormat-sized founder; cobia later in the fall. Tat's my fshery, it's what I live in. Has buying seafood gotten easier or harder in recent years? It's no diferent. It's a competition to fnd the best product. Tat's always a challenge, no matter what. Te quality of the fshery is there, but the competi- tion is going up with more restaurants looking for high-quality Gulf seafood. How many seafood vendors do you work with? I use three. I'm also an avid fsher- man in south Louisiana. Some of my friends are charter boat captains who do some commercial fshing. During the BP oil spill I had to rely on them. What are you hearing about the Gulf oyster supply? It's not necessarily what I'm hearing — it's what I'm eating, all these beautiful oysters from all over the Gulf! We've got oysters from Louisiana, Aransas Bay in Texas — I'm seeing beautiful things. Te most impact I've seen on the oyster business was post-Hurri- cane Katrina, which destroyed the habitat. Our fshermen and govern- ments have rebuilt them and used a lot of restraint to allow them to grow and give us a steady stream of beauti- ful Gulf oysters. It's a hard job. I'm doing an Oysters Voisin dish, in memory of Mike. He was such a great character and activist for all fsher- men, not just in the Gulf but nation- wide. He could fll up a room with his voice and presence. How did shrimp and grits become a culinary phenomenon? It's comfort food, man. It's just a blend of wonderful briny shrimp with the acidity and creaminess of the grits. It makes for the perfect bite. We use a locally produced Andouille sausage and grits from about 100 miles away, milled from organic yel- low corn. Gluten free, too. You have to be conscientious of every diner and every need. Photo courtesy of Cotton 56_Networking.indd 56 3/24/14 3:01 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SeaFood Business - APR 2014