Tory McPhail Teaser

October 23, 2008 at 8:55 am

A few weeks ago I was blessed with an interview with Chef Tory McPhail of the world famous Commander’s Palace.  Chef Tory has just put out a new cookbook of wild game called Commander’s Wild Side.  McPhail is the fourth chef that the famous Brennan family has hired since purchasing the landmark eaterie back in 1974.  The first three?  Well, McPhail took over for his former mentor Jamie Shannon who passed prematurly from cancer at the age of 40.  Shannon had been the assistant to the previous chef, a guy named Emeril Legasse.  Legasse had been hired to replace the some dude named Paul Prudhomme.  Here’s an excerpt from that interview which will published over at Papaer Palate on October 27, 2008.

Recently McPhail has ventured into a new profession, cookbook author. Along with (Ti Adelaide) Martin, he has produced a collection of rugged recipes straight from the most famous kitchen in New Orleans. Commander’s Wild Side is a chrestomathy of recipes from “America’s bayous, streams, mountains, and back-country.” According to McPhail it was developed during the 13 months that Commander’s Palace was closed following Hurricane Katrina.

Not long ago I had a little chef-to-chef with Tory McPhail and chief among my questions was Why wild game?

Well, shoot. Why not?

I think the book really reflects kind of a yester-year when people were forced to go out and hunt and fish and do what they needed to do to survive. I think that over the last five years there’s been a huge push country wide and certainly here in the South to do the whole farm-to-fork movement. In New Orleans and especially at Commander’s we like to take things a couple of steps farther. So instead of just getting it right from the farm it’s much better to go out and shoot what you want and bring it back to the table.

Later this month you are scheduled to guest chef at Aaron Deal’s Tristan in Charleston. Will you be preparing anything from Wild Side?

Yeah, lots of stuff. We’ve got wild black bear on the menu; we’ve got quail; we’ve got rabbit, turtle soup also. What we’re really trying to do is have fun and teach them how easy it is to enjoy wild caught product.

Read the full article HERE.


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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."


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