At complete opposite ends of the restaurant spectrum we find local legends and chefs extraordinaire Bozz Baucum and Jason Brady. The two came together to talk about their time together in the kitchen and their respective family holiday traditions. Baucum and Brady began by greeting each other as old friends, having begun their relationship at the Cambridge Club when Brady was head chef and Baucum was his employee back in the early 2000’s. Both chefs not only have very different approaches to the kitchen, but also enjoy unique holiday traditions when it comes to food.

During the holiday season around the Brady home, the chef himself cooks the main meats, having plenty of fresh game from recent hunts. The delicacies include duck bites and venison, along with a good old-fashioned turkey or leg of lamb. The classics for his family include his favorite dish from growing up, Spinach Madeline, which his mother prepares for him every holiday season. With 20-30 family members at his home, the holiday is a complete family affair with everyone always in good spirits after enjoying some fine wines.

Growing up in Baucum’s home with his most cherished Steel Magnolia momma, a fully dressed dinner was promptly served at 6 p.m. every night. After he and his siblings grew up, they decided to ditch the duds and have a more laid back atmosphere with gumbo as a family favorite for the holiday season. One favorite Christmas dish that brings back happy memories is Egg Creole, a delicious Creole tomato sauce with layered eggs similar to lasagna. This was certainly not a traditional goose or dressing meal, but his family enjoyed eating “outside” of the box.

There is no question that these two superb chefs have different approaches to cooking, with one valuing a good quality salt and the other keeping coriander close. Although the two might have taken different paths, today both run successful restaurants, have dabbled in dishwashing, value dining experiences, and enjoy a signature style in the kitchen.

For Brady whose resume includes owning and operating several restaurants, the kitchen is serious business with nothing less than perfection expected for a sophisticated dining experience. Baucum, owner of Marilynn’s Place, freely admits that food is a fun experience. He can often be found playing with his food, even using a flamethrower in the process.

The admiration Baucum has for his long-time friend is apparent, as seen in his nickname for his friend, Brady “Lord Commander of all Things Food”. Quickly, in reply, Brady affectionately discussed the “Bozz Factor”, mentioning that his friend has come a long way from being his employee so many years ago.

Baucum quips, “Did you tell her about the shoes?” Brady quickly replies, “I STILL have them!” Yes, these two even share a unique pair of zebra print faux fur oxfords thanks to Baucum’s flare and desire to be anything but a boring uncle. Wearing these spectacular shoes, God Bob (as he was called) was the roar of his niece’s third grade class, when he showed up to her private school function with the most fabulous pair of oxfords known to Shreveport. Baucum went on to wear the shoes the following day to work, and Brady flipped out loving them instantly. So, naturally, Baucum ordered his then boss a pair.

The self-proclaimed odd couple took very different paths to get to where they are today. Brady chose to study finance, then went to culinary school in South Carolina, and worked in the finest restaurants around Charleston. His paycheck did not matter to him as much as the experience he was able to gain. He settled in Shreveport, his hometown, after fate prevented him from an apprenticeship in France where cases of foot-and-mouth disease were rampant. Meanwhile, Baucum graduated from Dubrulle International Culinary & Hotel Institute of Canada, a French culinary school before working his way up from bread chopper on the Lindblad Expeditions for National Geographic. He also lived on several cruise ships as a chef before jumping off in Puerto Rico. Eventually, he found his way home and has been cooking up good fun ever since.

No matter the road, whether wild and curvy or a straight path, both chefs have arrived at the same place. Mutually admiring one another, these two have a bond that transcends food and are each a powerhouse in their own right.

The holidays can be stressful for those who might not be as clever in the kitchen as Brady and Baucum. We asked the two chefs to provide a sampling of some of their favorite holiday recipes. Whether you need a simple appetizer for last minute guests or the perfect roasted leg of lamb with brown butter and mint demi glace, these are the recipes for you.

Roasted Smith Family Leg of Lamb

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• 1 leg of lamb (8-9 lbs)
• 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
• Salt to taste
• 1 cup of water
• 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 large cloves of garlic, cut into 16 slivers
• 2 onions (about 1/2 pound), cut crosswise in half
• 1 carrot (about 1/4 pound), trimmed, scraped, and cut crosswise into 6 pieces
• Freshly ground pepper to taste

• Preheat the oven to 425°
• Cut off and discard the skin of lamb, leaving a light layer of fat
• Rub the meat with the oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the thyme
• Make 16 gashes in the flesh of the leg and insert the garlic slivers
• Place the leg, the thickest side down, in a roasting pan and scatter around it the onion halves (cut side down), bay leaves, and carrot pieces
• Place in the oven and bake one hour
• Remove the lamb and pour off the fat from the pan
• Return the lamb to the pan, the thickest side up.
• Pour the water into the pan and continue baking for 30 minutes for medium-rare lamb (130 degrees
internal temperature) If you want the lamb well-done, continue cooking for 30 minutes or longer*
• Let rest for 10 minutes, slice, and serve.

Broken Brown Butter & Mint Demi-glace

Ingredients

• 3 tbsp of butter
• 1/2 of a lemon
• 8oz of demi-glaze
• 20 mint leaves (chiffonade)
• Salt & Pepper

Directions

• In small sauce pot, heat butter until it starts to brown
• Add demi-glace
• Season with salt & pepper
• Add fresh mint and let it rest for 10 minutes
• Heat and serve

Chardonnay Poached & Sautéed Potatoes

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• 2lbs baby Yukon gold potatoes
• Salt
• Fresh ground black pepper
• 1 bottle of chardonnay
• 1 bunch fresh thyme
• 3 tbsp butter
• 2-3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley leaves

• Place the potatoes in a deep skillet
• Add salt and pepper, to taste
• Cover potatoes halfway with chardonnay and bring to a boil
• Cook the potatoes in the wine about
• 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender, depending upon the size of the potatoes
• Remove potatoes from wine
• Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat
• Add butter and potatoes
• Allow the potatoes to brown on each side, another 5 minutes, and re-season with salt, pepper and thyme
• Remove the browned potatoes from the skillet and place onto a serving platter
• Garnish with the parsley

Bacon Wrapped Teal Poppers with Pepper Jelly

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• 6 wild teal breast (skinless)
• 1lb of your favorite smoked bacon
• 35-40 slices of pickled jalapeños
• 12oz of cream cheese
• Salt and pepper
• 6oz of pepper jelly

• Cut wild teal into 1/2 inch strips
• Take each slice of teal and place a cube of cream cheese with a jalapeño
• Season with salt and pepper
• Tightly roll with a half slice of bacon
• Secure with a toothpick
• Continue assembling until done
• Grill the poppers over medium-high heat for about 6 minutes, or until bacon is crispy
• Remove from flame and toss in mixing bowl with pepper jelly
• Remove toothpicks and serve

Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Lemon & Parmesan

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• 3 medium heads of garlic
• 2.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2lbs fresh green beans, end trimmed
• 1/3 cup toasted pecans
• 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 tsp lemon zest
• 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
• Salt & pepper to taste

• Preheat the oven to 375°
• Slice about 1/4 of the top end of your garlic clove off (not the stem end) and peel away the outer layer
• Place on a sheet of foil and drizzle 2 tsp of oil over top then sprinkle with salt
• Secure in the foil and place in your oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown and tender
• Open and let cool for 10 minutes, then squeeze the stem end to release the cloves
• Chop the roasted cloves
• While the garlic is roasting toss the beans with remaining melted ghee/oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
• Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and roast for about 32-38 minutes until starting to brown. Toss once or twice while roasting.
• While roasting place a dry pan over med-low heat on the stove. Add sliced almonds to the pan.
• Once beans are done roasting toss with lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped roasted garlic. Spread onto a platter and top with Parmesan, toasted almonds, and more salt + pepper if desired.
• Serve immediately.

Seafood Gumbo

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• 1lb tasso, diced
• 2.5lbs smoked sausage, sliced
• 2lbs crawfish tails, rinsed
• 8lbs shrimp
• 6 gumbo crabs, quartered
• 1lb lump crab meat
• Vegetable oil
• 1 qt oysters & liquid
• 3 lemons, juiced
• 1/2 cup minced garlic
• 1.5-2 yellow onions, diced
• 1/2 bunches celery, diced
• 1.5 green bell peppers, diced
• 1-1.5 cups medium
• brown roux
• 1 pack LOUISIANA-brand Gumbo base
• 1.5 bunches green onion
• 1 gallon vegetable stock
• 2.5lb of Bergeron’s andouille sausage, sliced
• Salt, pepper, cayenne, white pepper, & hot sauce to taste
• White rice
• French bread

• Sauté sausage and tasso
• Add vegetables, sweat mixture
• Mix roux with 1 cup of water and blend until smooth, add to pot
• Add 1/2 vegetable stock
• Combine gumbo base with vegetable stock and add to pot
• Add remaining ingredients, except seafood and lemon juice
• Boil for 5 minutes
• Add crawfish, shrimp, lemon juice, and gumbo crab
• Reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness
• Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, cayenne, white pepper, and hot sauce
• Serve over steamed white rice
• Finish with green onion and French bread

Holidaze Cranberry & Jalapeno Leg of Lamb

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• 1 3-5lb rolled & netted leg of lamb
• 1 cup craisins
• 1 cup chopped fresh jalapeños
• 1 cup diced red onion
• 1/4 cup sriracha
• 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup sweet chili glaze
• 1/4 cup hot chili paste
• 3 lemons
• 1 bunch green onion
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
• Salt, pepper, fresh herbs, and butter for gravy

• Remove net. Wash, unroll, and pat dry leg of lamb
• Cover with marinade and let sit 4-12 hours.
• Grill lamb over hot charcoal flame (as close to coals as possible) for 5-7 minutes on both sides
• Place in deep baking dish
• Cover with beef broth and red wine and braise in over for 3 hours at 400 degrees
• Remove lamb and let stand
• Pour braising liquid into sauce pan and boil to reduce by half
• Melt butter and adjust seasoning to taste
• Add fresh herbs
• Slice lamb into thick slices and finish with braising liquid
• Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon wedge

For Marinade

Directions

• Combine all other ingredients and blend in a bowl
• Add seasonings and lemon juice to taste
• Add a cup of olive oil and spread all over leg of lamb

Creole Eggs a la Marilynn

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• 18 Hardboiled eggs
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 green bell peppers
• 6 tbsp butter
• 1 lemon, squeezed
• 4oz scoop of AP flour
• 2 cups of whole milk
• 1 large can of Rotel tomatoes
• 1/4 cup of mixture consisting of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese
• 1 bunch green onions, chopped
• Salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

To Make Creole Red Sauce:

• Melt 2 tbsp butter
• Sauté onions, peppers, and garlic for 5 minutes
• Add Rotel tomatoes and lemon juice. Cook for 5 more minutes.
• Set aside for later

To Make White Sauce:

• Melt 4 tbsp butter and whisk in flour
• Stir continuously while you cook until it is light brown
• Slowly add milk while you stir until consistency is a thick, creamy sauce
• Add salt and pepper to taste
• Set aside for later

To Make Main Dish:

• In buttered, oven-safe serving dish, add Creole Red Sauce
• Layer with hardboiled eggs
• Add white sauce on top of the layer of eggs
• Repeat steps 1-3
• Finish top of dish with Creole Red Sauce and sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese on top
• Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly with a golden, brown top