Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking through the Seasons
In South Louisiana, food is more than just sustenance. It is a way to bring friends and family together and it connects us to our history and our culture. Few places are more tied to these culinary roots than Louisiana’s River Parishes, which stretch along the levees of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Here the many cultures and diverse people who call the area home—Cajun, Creole, German, French, Spanish, African, and Native American—have mingled to produce a rich tradition of harvesting the largesse that Louisiana provides all year long. That abundance is crafted it into delectable dishes by the families who have cultivated these lands for generations. Chef Jarred Zeringue celebrates this seasonal bounty in this approachable guide to Cajun cooking. Featuring the flavors and culture he learned alongside his mother, grandparents, and many aunts and uncles, Jarred offers an intimate window into how his family—like so many in Louisiana’s River Parishes—cook from the land, using the freshest ingredients in a lifestyle that embodies the farm to table philosophy. With nearly 90 recipes divided by the seasons, Jarred shares the traditional tastes of his childhood, with an emphasis on the smoked meats for which his smokehouse is renowned.
Chef Jarred Zeringue’s family has lived, worked, and farmed in the River Parishes of Louisiana and nearby New Orleans since the early 1700s. Today the dishes that Chef Zeringue serves at his restaurants reflect the blend of cultures and influences of South Louisiana. A native of Vacherie, Louisiana, Jarred splits his time between the New Orleans French Quarter and Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse & Restaurant in LaPlace, a longstanding stop on the famed Andouille Trail. Serving the residents of South Louisiana since 1950, Wayne Jacob’s smokes meats the old-fashioned way with the same attention to tradition and quality that its founder prized decades ago. Today, Jarred continues that tradition with pride, producing artisan smoked meats and fresh sausage while sharing the taste, flavors, and charm of Louisiana’s culinary heritage.