Kajun Twist & Grill
Anthony was born and raised in Galliano, the same town in which he operates one of his Kajun Twist restaurants today. He grew up on a “family street,” where his relatives were quite literally his neighbors … and he comes from an amazing culinary pedigree. His great-grandmother, Alzina Toups, was a legend in these parts, but countless other family members also know their way around a kitchen.
Anthony graduated from Louisiana State University with degrees in business, communications and sociology, but he grew up working around his family’s restaurants and learning all the tricks of the trade. His father attended culinary school in Minnesota and his mother, aunt and grandfather are all accomplished Cajun chefs, too. “There was no need to take formal schooling for cooking, with the years of knowledge between them,” he says.
Anthony decided to continue the family tradition of preparing great meals because he’s afraid of losing what he calls “true Cajun Bayou cooking.” His goal in opening his own restaurant was to create a place where locals and visitors could sit down to a good homemade meal … something that might bring back a memory of eating at their grandparents’ house here on the Bayou. “There is no compliment greater than hearing that a meal sparked a memory of a lost loved one,” he says.
Anthony’s favorite thing to make is black-eyed pea jambalaya. He says it’s a simple dish, but even people who claim they don’t like black-eyed peas totally love this meal.
The best meals he’s eaten over the years were – not surprisingly – pretty much anything served at his late great-grandmother’s house on a Sunday. Meals rotated, depending on the season, but there was always gumbo and potato salad on the table. (Note: In these parts, some chefs like to serve their gumbo with rice, but true Cajuns prefer to accompany it with a scoop of potato salad.)
Anthony’s favorite thing about the culinary scene in Lafourche Parish is that diversity of Cajun Bayou cooking. The same ingredients can be interpreted in countless ways by each individual chef.
“My family always made gumbo without a roux, but most others use a roux,” he says. “You can find the same dishes prepared in different ways all up and down the Bayou. Every one of those dishes might be slightly different, but I can guarantee each one will be great.”