Chef Lyle Broussard has been in the kitchen his entire life.
“It’s the only thing I’ve ever done,” says Broussard.
Growing up, Broussard’s family owned a restaurant in Lake Charles. As a kid, he would work there washing dishes, never thinking he’d be the head chef at the Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill at L’Auberge Casino Resort, and most certainly not named a Chef to Watch by multiple publications.
“I’d [see] all of these chefs, and at the time I never thought I’d ever be a chef,’ says Broussard. “Until I started cooking and I was like ‘wow I’m alright at this’.”
Broussard’s inspiration and motivation is the state he calls home — but it is also the source of his main challenges.
“One of our biggest challenges is just getting people to try things,” says Broussard. “Sometimes I cook a dish and people won’t even try it because of an ingredient and I’m just like ‘Come on man, just try it, it won’t kill you, you might even like it.’
“Lake Charles is known for casinos and wildlife, but if I could change one thing it would be to make people see that we have some great food here and really make it a food destination.”
Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill
777 Ave. L’Auberge, Lake Charles
Lyle Broussard’s Pecan and Cracklin’ Crusted Shrimp with Abita Tasso Gravy
3 cups ground pecans
3 cups ground pork cracklin
3 cups flour
6 cups buttermilk
9 12 large, head on shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups tasso, diced small
36 ounces Abita beer
12 ounces whole butter
1½ cups onion, diced small
3 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1. SHRIMP Combine together ground cracklings and ground pecans. Coat the shrimp in flour, dip in buttermilk and then in the pecan and cracklin mixture.
2. Heat oil to 350 F and deep fry the shrimp for three to four minutes. Set aside.
3. gravy Saute onions and tasso together in ½ pound of butter in a cast iron skillet until caramelized and deeply browned. Add Abita beer and let simmer until it reduced by half. Turn off flame and stir in the remaining whole butter.
4. Chef Broussard recommends serving over grits or mashed potatoes.
makes 3 servings
(Broussard made this dish on the popular Food Network show “Flip My Food” with Chef Jeff Henderson.)