Keeper Henry Butcher
Practitioner: Louisiana Creole Cuisine
Owner and chef: Creole Kitchen
Henry Butcher, nearing retirement age in Ohio after decades
in busy restaurant kitchens, is finally keeping a promise to
himself. He's putting his Creole recipes on paper in a northern
city seriously in need of such. Of course, his favorite is his own
personal approach to crawfish etouffee. Publication date is
an unknown factor in his busy life, but close friends are putting
on pressure to get his collection into the ink-on-paper stage.
Butcher detests cell phones and all the accouterments related,
so you know he will not permit any of his culinary creations
to be disturbed by something called an e-book.
Born in Bayou country to a family that wanted to escape
the south's pervasive proverty, his father headed north
to a better post-WW2 life in 1959. That was then Detroit.
A quick stop to visit an old friend in Columbus, Ohio, was
as far north as the father had to travel. That friend pointed
the father to a possible job in the Ohio capital city. The dad
retired at age 75 and 30-plus years with the city sewer
department. His son the line cook, the fry cook, the evolving
fine dining chef in top Italian restaurants, always knew he
would own his own eatery. Today he owns and commands
a pure Creole kitchen with his family over key cooking
In his constant endeavor to keep to authentic Creole, his
favorite cookbook is his culinary bible...
Wouldn't you know:
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen
by Paul Prudhomme
William Morrow Cookbooks
This was the first cookbook by the chef who enhanced
the tastes for Cajun and Creole cooking in this country.
He gave new meaning and appreciation for a cuisine
that dates back some 200 years. Chef Butcher's food
in a northern state is a close country cousin. Chef
Butcher has made pilgramages to NOLA's
Foodie followers say there has never been a negative
newspaper review about Prudhomme's restaurant, The
same can be said about Butcher's cooking in Central
His second choice for history:
The Escoffier Cook Book
A Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery
by Auguste Escoffier
Chef Butcher favors Chef Escoffier for his total French
in the original. Butcher sees a kinship in Cajun country
with french influences. His edition, of course, is the
Tease: This is one of the recipes to appear
in Chef Butcher's forthcoming cookbook now
under the working title of Creole In Columbus.
Chef Butcher has concerns about country of
origin when it comes to product such as his
preferred mudbugs, aka Louisiana crawfish.
Once published in hard cover, the chef intends
to offer a source guide on the restaurant website.
Serves 4 people
For a good etoufee' you need a good rich stock. Chicken stock and
Shrimp stock should be infused together and reduce for a good rich flavor.
1/2 cup black roux
6 Tbsp creole vegetables ( finely diced celery, onions, peppers )
3 Tbsp tomato puree
1 lb crawfish tailmeat
11/2 qt in fuse stock plus 1 cup
Bring stock to a hot simmer, add black roux whip until smooth.
Add tomato puree, keep whipping and then add the creole vegetables
and simmer for 3 minutes. Add crawfish tailmeat and 1 to 1/2 Tbsp of
Chef Butcher's creole seasoning.
Salt to taste - serve over white rice or grits.
Black Roux, Infuse stock and Creole seasoning can all be
purchased at Chef Butcher's Creole Kitchen.