Chef Chat with Ryan Trahan
Why are Louisiana oysters so special?
You can’t beat a Louisiana Gulf oyster. Through modern-day farming practices, our oyster farmers are able to consistently produce oysters that are clean, sweet, and crisp. They’re our pride and joy. When you indulge in one of these oysters, you can taste the love and care that goes into them.
If you could only eat one Louisiana oyster dish for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I would have to say raw oysters with fresh horseradish, lemon, and hot sauce. It transports me back to all those summer days spent hanging out with family and friends. I love the shucking process and everything it brings. The smell reminds me of a nice ocean breeze, and the taste makes me feel nostalgic about some of the best fishing trips of my life. When I get the shell off, I can almost hear the sound of the waves crashing. Being a Louisiana boy, it doesn’t get much better for me than that.
What is your favorite way to prepare Louisiana oysters?
I find that my guests really love them charbroiled, and my favorite way to cook those is in a roasted bone marrow and herb butter topped with a little Gruyère cheese. The richness complements the sweet and salty flavor profile of the oysters perfectly.
Tell us about your recent Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO) win.
It was a great opportunity to get to compete in GASCO 2018. My sous chef, Sullivan Zant, and I were competing against some of the best chefs around the country, but we knew that if we sourced the ingredients as fresh as possible, they would do all the talking. This philosophy is deeply rooted in the way that I cook and showcase ingredients on the plate. We were very happy with the results, to say the least! I’ve been working my entire career to promote the natural resources of our great state and to help shed light on the importance of local sourcing and sustainability.
So often in this industry, chefs are locked up in kitchens cooking all day and are not able to get out in front of guests to show how their personalities influence the creativity in their dishes, and I believe that this event gave us a great opportunity to do just that. I look forward to using this platform to work with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board to continue promoting the quality and flavor of the best seafood in America.