The Houma Area Convention & Visitors Bureau seeks to bring a taste of Bayou Country to the delegates of IPW during the closing event, “Taste of the Trail.” To showcase the delicious flavors the Houma Area has to offer, we have partnered with Chef Lindsay Mason of Cristiano Ristorante to create a delicious bite of our culture.
On the day of the event, Lindsay, a Chef John Folse Culinary Institute graduate, will be tasked with serving 1,500 portions of his unique menu, the star of which is soft shell crawfish. Served alongside the crawfish is Roasted Corn Gribiche, “a classic French precursor to roumalade sauce, the New Orleans staple.” An emulsion of chopped boiled egg white and aioli with roasted peppers, capers and cornichons, the grabiche is a creamy, cold sauce served under the warm, polenta-and-basil-battered crawfish. The tangy flavor, he says, is the perfect accompaniment to the earthy, soft but crispy mudbugs.
For a clean pallet-brightener, the restaurant approached Greg and Heather Malbrough of Mossy Ridge Farm for sunflower shoots, other microgreens and mushrooms. Since Lindsay has only a one to two bite chance to wow the participants circulating the convention hall, he chose these bold combinations to make a lasting impression.
Inspiration for the menu came not from anything the chef saw in cookbooks or on television, but from Lindsay’s family, namely his mother Jackie’s meals and his grandmother Joyce’s contributions to the Thibodaux Service League. Backed by his twenty years of experience and preference for a raw-produce kitchen, he put together what he believes shows off both novelty and evocation of south Louisiana. That approach speaks directly to Cristiano’s goal to build a culinary bridge between Louisiana and Italy. In the case of the IPW offering, that means polenta, basil and capers meet crawfish, microgreens and the fryer – a match made in a new American dining heaven.