Chef Roger Mooking recently traveled
to the United States and Jamaica, and returned with tons of photos and
stories about the incredible food culture. We hope you’ll be inspired
to explore different cuisines and exotic ingredients this summer. We’ll
be publishing a new post every Thursday over the summer, so stay tuned
and enjoy Roger’s eighth post below! Make sure to also check out
Roger’s latest solo album, Feedback, available on iTunes.

The South and I have a love/hate relationship. I love the hospitality and the food history, but there are other dubious parts of the history that are unsettling and certainly still quite prevalent today. I will spare the history lesson but will not spare the food story.

The crew and I rolled into Ville Platte, Louisiana, after a long day of driving from our previous city – Bastrop, Texas. We got lucky on the way and made a detour into Houston for some delicious Indian food (go figure).
Our hotel was situated right next to a crawfish shack that was closing up for the day. I knocked on the door to discover that they had just closed – until the owner saw my sad face and decided to serve us the last of his crawfish (I learned that trick from my kids; it works on me every single time). We quickly ordered 4 pounds of boiled Crawfish and checked into our rooms.
Irene, our Executive Producer, and I burst into in my room and unleashed the bag of spicy, briny little mud bugs. We ate them all (2 pounds each), even though the whole time she was guzzling soda to combat the spice, and I was dealing with the salt overload that is quite common in the south. I’ve found they like their savory foods salty and their sweet stuff ultra sweet. If you have ever had sweet tea in the South, then you know what I mean.