Cracklins to boudin: Toups cookbook a treatise on Cajun food

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans chef Isaac Toups celebrates the Cajun cooking he grew up with in his first cookbook.

“Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking” is a treatise on Cajun cooking along with stories about Toups’ culinary upbringing.

Toups hails from Cajun country — a region of south Louisiana settled by French people evicted from Canada.

He has two restaurants in New Orleans.

His favorite food to prepare is crawfish — boiled in a cauldron of water with corn, potatoes, sausage, onions, garlic and spices.

Toups likes the communal aspect of a crawfish boil, with family and friends gathering around a table piled high with crawfish.

The book is also interspersed with descriptions of games that Toups grew up playing — like the Cajun card game boure (BOO’-ray).

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