Charley G's sous chef Matt Hebert created his Pecan Encrusted Oysters as an appetizer about six years ago while working downtown at now-defunct restaurant, The Bank. "We were looking for an oyster dish, and I started playing around," he says. "I've carried it from place to place." Hebert's inspired oyster appetizer has graced the menu at CafÃ© Vermilionville, Nash's and the former CafÃ© Roux, before making its way into Charley G's appetizer selections about three months ago at the start of oyster season. Hebert's upscale version for Charley G's sells for $8 and includes Grand Isle oysters battered in pecan meal and flash fried, served on the half shell, with sweet potato frites, tomato and caper relish and finished off with cayenne pepper aioli. The texture of the crunchy coating is contrasted with the tartness of the capers and the cayenne pepper's heat, resulting in an appetizer that quickly became a hit. (It was featured in Southern Living while Hebert was working at The Bank.)
"I like upscaling classic dishes of the South ' the fusion of southwest flavors with Creole flavors," Hebert says. The 24-year-old chef has no formal training but has been cooking since the age of 14. He started off at Deano-O's Pizza, then moved to CafÃ© Vermilionville as a fry cook, The Bank as sous chef, and worked at Charley G's for the first time in 2001. From there, he went to Nash's and CafÃ© Roux, then moved back to Charley's last year when the cafÃ© closed.
Whether they're fried, en brochette, or in the shell, oysters are always in demand this time of year. According to Patrick Banks, biologist in charge of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' oyster program, oyster season is going well. "We've seen a nice-sized harvest already," he says. "Hurricane Ivan did set us back at the beginning of the season, but it has picked back up. Things are looking good so far." The months of September, October and November produced 1.5 million pounds of meat, Banks says, about $3 million worth of oysters. That's good news for Charley G's, which plans to keep its Pecan Encrusted Oysters on the menu through the beginning of April, when oyster season comes to a close.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
Saluting the red, white and blue — let freedom ring
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Feel the spectrum
Unless you work for an energy company, specific decisions related to the economics, risk, etc. are not conveyed to the public. They are a closely guarded secret.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
Lafayette native screenwriter returns