I could almost cut-and-paste a blog post on this topic from last year, but the fantastic Creole restaurant Brigtsen’s in New Orleans has once again been nominated for a James Beard Foundation award. For 2020 the venue is up for the Outstanding Hospitality award, and after several visits to the restaurant (including a Dining With Strangers interview with the chef/owner Frank Brigtsen), I can understand why it’s nominated.
In September 2017 I met Frank for the 101st dinner interview. He talked me through a number of menu options, explaining in detail the thought behind what I was eating. And we chatted extensively about his long history in Creole cooking in his native city.
“When I put on this white jacket, I’m putting on 299 years of Creole history,” he told me at the start of a wonderful meal of several courses. “The chefs I learned from, they learned from their fathers, uncles and grandfathers, and that’s all passed down. And now I’m teaching the next generation, I want to protect and preserve Creole cuisine.”