Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 68 of 83 | 69 | 69 I was supposed to be fishing in South Louisiana. Monster redfish and tasty speckled trout—that was the damn plan. Yet, I found myself in New Orleans, on Bourbon Street no less. That usually spells brain trauma, but this time I was inside the Bourbon House restaurant being served like royalty. Not that I'm complaining. In fact, I was downright giddy. White tablecloths, dapper servers, fine wines, oys- ters, baked trout, redfish dip and, the crème on the brûlée, so to speak, the head chef popped out every few minutes just to make sure our pallets were smiling. Being asked to a delectable evening of dining by Dickie Brennan is like an invitation from Bill Gates to chat about software. You do it. Among restaurateurs worldwide, the Brennan name is of royal blood. In Louisiana, it's Godlike. So, we willingly split the fishing lodge for a night of consuming exquisite calories and indulging recklessly in the spirits. The culinary twist to our fishing itinerary has been orchestrated by a couple of clever Cajuns: Ginger Jenné (pronounced "Gin-A") and her partner in crime, Theophile Bourgeois, a name so obviously Cajun that pronouncing it requires a Frenchie tongue twist. "Toe-feel, Boarsh-Wa" is the proper phonetic utterance, but some just call him Captain Toe to keep things simple. Ginger and Toe run Bourgeois Fishing Charters, a bayou paradise in the fish- ing village of Barataria, a place with more boats than cars, more fishermen than anything else and a high school called Fisher High. The local grocery is a Piggly Wiggly. The anchor store in town is a Dollar General. The town is cozy and quiet, yet only 30 minutes from the frenzy of downtown New Orleans. A few years back, Capt. Toe bought an old school house and converted it into a fishing lodge with some bunk rooms and a few private suites. It's rustic chic. Stuffed furry critters and lunker fish hang everywhere. Fishin' and huntin' photos spice up to the rusty, corrugated decor. Seating in the dining room is at picnic tables. Coffee flows freely and a fully-stocked open bar is set up on the screen porch 24/7. It's laid back, low key and relaxing in every sense, except for this fishing, which is 100% ethanol-free, high octane. From the lodge, the boat dock is just about a Drew-Brees-Hail-Mary-pass away, where a half dozen center console boats hang in lifts ready for action. Two float planes wait in the hanger ready to buzz eager beavers to the Chandeleur Islands for epic trout and red hookfests. All of this should have been enough for the geeky group of journalists Ginger and Toe has assembled. But no. They decided to toss in a massive mouthful of New Orleans. "We literally have people coming here from all over the world," Ginger said. "To travel all that way and not get a taste of New Orleans just doesn't seem right. We know Dickie because he fishes with us, so it became a natural partnership." Ginger, who keeps Toe and the rest of the crew on their toes, speaks the truth. Our crew was fortunate enough to get the grand tour of Bourbon House, which began in the kitchen with Dickie and the head chef, sampling delicious fried oysters and redfish dip. We had brought along some of the reds and specks we'd caught that day, so we presented them to the chef for a down-home Louisiana Hook and Cook extravaganza. "For years, restaurants in Louisiana weren't allowed to cook what sport fisher- men caught," Dickie told us. "A couple of years ago, the state finally passed new laws that changed that. We love it because it just adds to the visitor's experience and you know for sure what kind of fish you're eating and where it came from— you caught it!" We gawked in awe as the chef prepared some whole trout and redfish "on the half-shell," which entails filleting the red but leaving the skin and scales attached to one side. It's then baked skin down until the meat slides off the skin with the gentlest touch of your fork. Without going into every delicious detail, I'll just say that we left NOLA stuffed fatter than a pregnant nutria. We enjoyed DB wines, Dickie Brennan's private label, and finished the night with a crème brûlée that was inspirational. We worried that our fishing companions back at the lodge would be jealous, but apparently they feasted on gumbo, shrimp and plenty of fresh, local seafood—another bon temps in Cajun World. The Food Fest

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