Chef Isaac Toups represents the new guard of Cajun chefs, known for his sophisticated approach to a cuisine that’s best known for deep rustic flavors. His culinary style is the direct result of his New Orleans fine dining experience and growing up Cajun, born and raised in Rayne, LA, in the heart of Cajun country. Since opening Toups’ Meatery with his wife Amanda in 2012, Chef Isaac Toups has been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef South as well as other notable accolades. In fall 2016, the duo expanded with the opening of Toups South – an expression of regional southern cuisine within New Orleans’ Southern Food and Beverage Museum.
With family roots in Southern Louisiana that span more than 300 years, Chef Toups developed a deep appreciation for nature while he was growing up, a passion that fuels his steadfast commitment to protecting America’s wetlands today. Hunting and fishing trips provided the main ingredients for seasonally focused dining celebrations with family and friends. Shrimp and crawfish boils, fish frys, boucheries, and backyard barbecues – these communal dining experiences are among Chef Toups’ most treasured culinary memories, and frequently inspire his elevated approach to the Southern cuisine he implements at his restaurants. With a “born and braised” culinary style influenced by both of his grandmothers, Chef Toups set out to further develop his cooking skills by spending a decade working in fine dining at Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans kitchens before branching out on his own. “All I have ever wanted to do is to offer my version of Cajun and regional Southern cuisine and recreate the dining experience around my family’s table,” says Chef Toups. “It’s especially rewarding that our guests respond to what we’re doing and the hospitality we’re offering.”
At Toups’ Meatery, diners will find authentic cracklins’ on the menu which have been called “equal to Christendom’s finest” and just like at his family’s table, cocktails are available by the pitcher along with the Meatery Board, a wonderful selection of house cured meats and accompaniments. Slow cooked meltingly tender Lamb Neck, Confit Chicken Thighs with chicken liver and cornbread dressing, and other substantive dishes reflect Chef’s refined approach to Cajun cuisine.
Toups South is where chef explores different regions of the South, showcasing the best of vast flavors that define Southern cuisine. Guests can expect dishes like Spatchcock Grilled Poussin, Heritage Pork Boudin, Goat Tamales and Sourdough Biscuits with Crab Fat Butter on the menu comprised simply of small and large plates. The restaurant serves a signature Fried Bone-In Pork Chop Stack, which is appropriately accompanied by a stack of white bread and rich, coffee aioli. An thoughtfully curated, seasonal cocktail menu with cheekily named drinks and a selection of beer and wine complete the experience.
In addition to being a 2016 James Beard Foundation “Best Chef South” Finalist &
Semifinalist in 2015 & 2014 respectively, Chef Issac’s accolades include: 20 Great Modern Meateries by The Wall Street Journal; Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans, Guide in Food & Wine Magazine; Young Guns of the South by Eater Awards; 100 Best Restaurants in the South, and Top 10 Best Restaurants in New Orleans Southern Living; 2014 Chef of the Year Eater New Orleans; Chefs to Watch – Louisiana Cookin’; Best New Restaurant by Brett Anderson, New Orleans Times-Picayune; CNN’s Situation Room: CNN turns to Chef Isaac Toups; and Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” season 13 contestant & finalist.