|Photos by Robin May|
Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro Executive Chef Greg Doucet may be only 26 years old but is proving he can hold his own in the kitchen. The young chef draws inspiration for dishes on the menu from a love of travel and adventure but credits his biggest influence to the local produce supplied to Jolie’s from area growers. The Lafayette native graduated from Comeaux High and received a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts from the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux in 2012. After completing an externship in New York, he returned down South and eventually became Jolie’s executive chef last November. “Cooking is a big deal in Lafayette — everybody cooks and has their own specialty dish. People are proud of cooking here, and I definitely have that same pride. There’s a certain work ethic and culture you get from being raised in the South that you just can’t get anywhere else,” Doucet says. Here’s more from the pages of Doucet’s kitchen diary:
Q. What inspired you to become a chef?
A. I loved the fast-paced environment of working as a line cook in a restaurant — I enjoyed getting in the zone and pushing myself to meet expectations that seemed impossible. Once I read Kitchen Confidential, I was sold on becoming a chef.
Q. What’s your favorite kitchen tip to cook like a pro at home?
A. First of all, keep it simple. You want to taste every ingredient you’re using. Also, remember the two fundamental jobs as a cook: Build flavor and manage heat.
Q. Growing up, what did you want to be?
A. I often flip-flopped on what I really wanted in a career — I started UL in psychology, then switched to business management but never really saw a clear goal for my future. Cooking was something I did to make money while I was in school but started thinking about it as a career. As soon as I began culinary school, I immediately felt a new sense of belonging. Now that I have started this new chapter in my career, I look back and laugh at the crazy, unpredictable path that got me here.
Q. Sweet or salty treats? What’s your vice and why?
A. Sweet. One cookie is never enough, especially late at night. I’ve been known to be a big eater but when it comes to sweets I take the cake. Of course, the most devilish creation of all is sweet AND salty — now we’re talking.
Jolie’s Redfish LaFreniere
1 6-8 oz. redfish fillet, skin-on
1 oz. small white shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 oz. claw crabmeat
1/2 oz. capers
1 pinch breadcrumbs
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
3 fluid oz. white wine
1 oz. butter
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease a sheet pan well to prevent sticking. Place the redfish fillet on the pan, topping with shrimp, crab, capers, salt and pepper and breadcrumbs. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan carefully and serve on a plate. Deglaze pan with white wine and add the butter to melt. Pour sauce over fish and enjoy.
Photos by Robin May
Jolie's Redfish LaFreniere
For more information on local eateries, view the online INDEats Dining Guide.