The widespread flooding brought us to Monroe, LA. I’ve passed through this city a million times, but when I came to serve with Mercy Chefs, I came prepared to stay a couple of days.
We typically spend fifteen hours a day preparing restaurant quality meals in a mobile kitchen. It’s hot and we continually have to watch out for hazards. It’s only a small price we pay so that we can serve those whose lives have been disrupted by disaster.
After a busy day, four of us chefs decided to enjoy a nice evening at Restaurant Sage. We met Executive Chef Blake the day before as he came down to volunteer at our mobile kitchen. (In the spirit of full disclosure, we demurred when he said there was no check. At our insistence he sent out a check, but he discounted our appetizers.)
He brought out all sorts of food for us to sample from the grilled oysters and crab cakes, to the sage wraps which were chunks of filet stuffed with cheese and jalapeño and wrapped in bacon. Absolutely unbelievable. Another high point was the andouille and duck gumbo. Chef Blake told us how intricately it was prepared and all of that effort in preparing it was not in vain. It was incredible.
Finally, we fell upon the main course. A couple of us fawned over the short ribs, another had the blackened snapper, and I had the soft shell crab with alligator sauce piquant. Everything was great but I have to say the alligator stew was “on point” as one of my fellow chefs kept saying throughout the meal. Next time I’m in Monroe I may have to enjoy another unforgettable meal.
(Top photo consists of soft shell crab and alligator sauce piquant.)