After a decade working for Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans, Louisiana native Isaac Toups and his wife Amanda decided to go out on their own. So eight years ago they opened Toups Meatery, a restaurant inspired by Isaac’s Cajun upbringing that he melded with his training in fine dining kitchens. He draws on his family’s 300 years of living in Louisiana, serving dishes like his grandmother’s Gulf seafood couvillion, house made charcuterie and crispy turkey necks.
In this episode of Robb Report Culinary School, Toups joins culinary editor Jeremy Repanich to show how he makes a Cajun classic he’s been cooking all of his life: gumbo. Toups explains the holy trinity of Cajun cooking, the importance of making a dark-but-not-burned roux, how to adjust the recipe for a seafood version, what he serves with gumbo and details the cooking projects he’s tackled during the pandemic.
Odds and Ends and Additional Links
- Once the pandemic is all over, the place Toups most wishes to return to his Montreal, where he’d delight in the food of the Joe Beef guys and Martin Picard’s Au Pied de Cochon, one of Robb Report’s most influential restaurants of the last 30 years.
- The full recipe for Toups’s gumbo is in his cookbook Chasing the Gator.
- From a burger seasoning to a seafood spice blend to an all-purpose Cajun mix, Toups has teamed with Spiceology to create seasonings for you to use at home.
- You can follow Toups on Instagram @toupsmeatery.
- Head to Robb Report’s Instagram page to check out more episodes of Culinary School, including Top Chef winner Mei Lin’s congee and James Beard Award-winner Chris Shepherd’s recipe for bacon chile jam.