New Orleans has become one of the best places to eat in the US, with a thriving restaurant scene that’s doubled in size since Hurricane Katrina and driven by a new wave of chefs giving classic regional dishes a modern twist
When chef Isaac Toups was a boy, he would go fishing with his dad in the bayous of Louisiana. What they caught, they ate; father conjuring up a ceviche of the fresh catch by the waterside.
Toups is from Cajun country, where people have always eaten simple, hearty food such as rice, pork and chicken, shrimps, oysters and crawfish, so it was only natural that he brought those ingredients to his newly opened restaurant in New Orleans, Toups South. But, as one of a new wave of chefs in the city, he is taking tradition and experimenting, using unexpected combinations and unusual seasoning in a way that is consolidating the city’s position as one of the most original culinary centres in America. In 2015 the city was ranked fourth in the Washington Post’s 10 best food cities list – ahead of New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.