Culinary shelter from summer's swelter.
By Jeanne Frois
Country Roads Magazine
Driving across the teal-colored waters of Lake Pontchartrain or through heat waves hovering over the River Road, wherever your search for a fine out-of-the-way place to dine takes you this month, the imperious heat of August ordains that your choice of food should be light. So we spoke with a sampling of chefs to get their take on the meaning of cool. These culinary craftsmen share the same philosophy when it comes to summer gastronomy—eat in moderation and eat fresh. Cuisine masters all, their suggestions are inspired creations when it comes to helping beat the summer heat.
Chef Michael Jetty, Maison LaCour "It's very easy for me to leave my home oven off for the entire summer," says Chef Michael Jetty of Maison LaCour Restaurant. "My wife...and I eat most of our meals cold during the summer; grilled otherwise."
Jetty has a penchant for items he considers "refreshing" when it comes to cooling epicurean concoctions—avocado, tomato and cucumber. Fish and shrimp also get a big vote from him for summer meals. "We preserve our own tuna and I make a mousse with olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, and garlic and then serve this with our own bread and a chilled glass of white wine."
Jetty, whose wife is French, advises to make like the natives in the South of France when the heat index is 108 degrees—add an ice cube to your white wine. Jetty shops at the local farmer's markets and gives Mrs. Grace "Mamma" Marino from Gino's Restaurant in Baton Rouge credit for steering him to the culinary arts. He also apprenticed with his mother-in-law Jaqueline who, according to Jetty, gave him all the cooking skills he would ever need.
"Jetty has a penchant for items he considers "refreshing" when it comes to cooling epicurean concoctions"