We are debuting a new feature in this issue, in which we profile chefs from the area’s most popular restaurants and have them share with you kid-friendly recipes that your family can make together! We are calling it “Cooking with Kids,” and we would love to hear what you think! Bon Appétit!
Executive Chef Aaron Burgau, Restaurant Patois
Aaron Burgau has loved cooking since he was a child growing up in Metairie, spending the weekends making red gravy, fried eggplant, meatballs and stuffed artichoke with his Sicilian grandmother. By 14, he was working as a busboy at Sal & Sam’s, a perennial favorite on the Metairie restaurant scene.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from LSU, he went to culinary school in Colorado and started cooking in restaurants, first in Colorado, then in New Orleans. He worked in more than a dozen, including Bayona, Gerard’s and Bank Cafe, before opening Restaurant Patois with his longtime friend and Jesuit High School classmate, Leon Touzet in 2007.
Now married with a family of his own, Burgau is passing on his love of cooking to his two sons, Oliver, 8, and Noah, 7. Though Oliver seems more inclined to follow in his father’s footsteps, both boys love to eat, he says. Felipe’s is a family favorite, though the boys often try to get Burgau to make a McDonald’s run. Burgau says that’s not going to happen.
Gulf Shrimp and Chitarra Pasta
1 lb. fresh pasta (preferably chitarra, which is similar to spaghetti; or, store-bought fresh spaghetti or linguini)
2 tablespoons canola oil
20 16/20 shrimp (roughly a pound of jumbo shrimp)
1/2 Vidalia onion, julienned
4 Padrón (similar to shishito) peppers, julienned
1 1/2 cups sweet corn kernels
1/8 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white wine
1/2 cup veloute (a stock, butter and flour mixture, similar to a roux)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cold and cut into pieces
Salt and pepper
To make the veloute:
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of flour to the pan and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk. Gradually add one cup of chicken stock, whisking until smooth, and bring to a simmer. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the fresh pasta for several minutes, until al dente (still slightly firm). Drain and put pasta to the side. In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat oil until it shimmers and is smoking slightly. Add the shrimp and cook for 30 seconds. Then, using a pair of tongs, flip the shrimp. Next, add the onion, peppers, corn, thymeand garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the white wine and veloute, and cook for one minute. Turn heat to low and add in the butter pieces one at a time, stirring to blend and emulsify the sauce. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.