Chef Ryan Gaudet graduated from Nicholls State University in 2005. Chef Gaudet is the Executive Chef for Spahr’s Seafood. The restaurant has three locations in Thibodaux, Des Allemands and Galliano. Gaudet says that he got his love of cooking from watching his grandmother cook for her friends. At the age of 15 his parents told him that he needed a job to have a car so he got a job in a restaurant – fell in love with the industry and the rest is history. Gaudet has been a 3 time contestant at the Louisiana Seafood Cookoff and was the People’s Choice award winner for the 2015 LRA Culinary Showcase.
Q: What is your current job like?
A: I oversee all culinary operations of the Spahrs’ restaurants. This includes recipe creations, menu engineering and development, specials, vendor relations, kitchen training systems. I’m also a board member for Spahrs so I get to provide input and feedback on the direction of the company.
Q: What is your restaurant known for?
A: Cajun/Creole cuisine, Great Southern Hospitality and Service, Catfish Chips, Bloody Mary’s, and Seafood Gumbo.
Q: Does your restaurant do any specials or have any promotional days that future guests should know about?
A: Weekend specials at all locations, 2-4-1 drinks in Thibodaux and Galliano every Tuesday, All you can eat catfish in Thibodaux and Galliano on Wednesday, 2-4-1 appetizers in Thibodaux on Thursday evenings, steak night in Galliano on Thursday, Brunch in Thibodaux and Galliano on Sundays.
Q: What is your favorite event that you have been a part of?
A: My favorite event that we participate in is the white boot gala (which is coming up next week –Sept 12). Its a fundraiser for BTNEP where I get to showcase some creativity in the food. Louisiana is the focus for my menus with the white boot gala- I try to showcase everything She gives us and how amazingly versatile our state’s bounties are.
Q: How important do you think that culinary school was to your success?
A: Culinary School gave me a great foundation to take out into the real world. When I think of my time in culinary school, I’m reminded of the friendships I’ve made, and the professionalism I gained from working on a Bachelors degree from Nicholls State University.
Q: What did you learn at CJFCI that still impacts you today? What were some of the most impactful classes that you took?
A: There are two major things that stuck out to me that I still think about to this day. During Chef Folse’s class, he gave us the definition of a COOK-” a cook is someone who manages heat” for some reason that statement stuck in my head. Also, there was a culinary display case in Gouaux Hall with a comic strip- I don’t remember the whole comic strip but there was quote, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”
Q: What is some advice you would like to share with young culinarians?
A: Go to a big city like Chicago, New York, San Fran, or even New Orleans- and get your butt kicked-find a chef in one of these big cities that is aligned with the same values you have and soak up as much as you can. Never stop learning and always be humble enough to wash dishes or work the pantry station.
Chef Ryan Gaudet’s recipe for
Fried Green Tomatoes
1 Green tomato
1 cup white flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 cups Milk
peanut or vegetable oil for frying
8oz blue crab meat, claw; picked for shells
¼ cup green onions, sliced thin
2 cups mixed greens
¾ cup 1000 island
1 TBS creole mustard
2 TBS Worchestershire
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 TBS sweet relish
1 TBS dill relish
Steen’s cane reduction
½ cup steen’s cane syrup
1 cup pinot grigio white wine
2oz soy sauce
4oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- Make the remoulade and cane reduction sauce’s first. These sauces can last a few days up to a week in the fridge. The cane reduction sauce is great on Pork also.
- To make the remoulade, mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk, then refrigerate.
- To make the cane reduction, mix all ingredients in a bowl, then pour in a wide skillet. Heat to a simmer and simmer for about 25-30 mins on low. The sauce is done when it coats the back of a spoon. Allow to stand at room temperature.
- Heat the oil to 350.
- Slice the green tomatoes about ¼ inch thick. Make a wash with the egg and milk. Dip in the white flour, then the wash, then the panko bread crumbs. Make sure each slice is well coated.
- Fry the tomatoes for a bout 2-3 minutes total. They should be nice and golden brown. Transfer to paper towel lined plate when done.
- In small bowl, toss the crabmeat with the remoulade.
- Place some greens on a serving plate, and top with the fried green tomatoes. Soon some of the crabmeat on top of the tomatoes, drizzle the cane reduction over the entire plate. Garnish with green onions.