Josh Jackson, a respiratory therapist at Regional Medical Center, traces his family’s roots to the bayous of Louisiana. “I grew up watching my grandparents cook on their farm in Beauregard Parish,” he said.
That’s an area resting on the Texas side of the state, opposite from New Orleans, home to farmland and oil fields.
“They know how to cowboy,” Josh said.
While playing there as a child, he remembers his grandfather and uncles boiling crawfish or shrimp, depending on which one was in season. He also learned a lot about Cajun dishes from his grandmother, aunts and cousins.
His wife, Candice, also a Louisiana native, is an accomplished cook in her own right, having attended the Gulf Coast Culinary Institute. She’s the new chef at Vista Cliffside Restaurant at Cheaha State Park. She can also add bayou cuisine to her repertoire as she, too, learned that unique style of Louisiana cooking from Josh’s family.
After settling in Alabama to be near other family members, Josh and Candice teamed up with her cousin, Heather Gagnon, and Heather’s husband, Kevin, to host crawfish boils for friends. Heather, an administrative assistant at Ballard Dentistry, is a native of St. Charles Parish in Louisiana. Kevin is a U.S. Army veteran who was stationed in Cajun country and is now working as an engineer with Honda.
“We all enjoyed just standing around the crawfish boilers drinking beer and watching everyone having a good time,” Josh said. “And then it hit us. We could probably make a few extra bucks doing this as a business.”
Heather and Kevin were ready to roll with it. So was Candice, but Josh was reluctant.
“That is until I was having coffee with my grandfather at his farm in Louisiana,” he said. “I told him about it and he thought it sounded like an opportunity not to be wasted.”
That bit of encouragement was all it took to boost Josh’s confidence. He called the others and they got the ball rolling.
These four friends want to provide not just a meal, but a tried and true bayou boil experience for their customers. Whether it’s for a family gathering, wedding reception, birthday party or any celebratory event, Bayou 2 Geaux is an opportunity to enjoy real Louisiana cooking from real Louisianans.
For the first six months of the year, Bayou 2 Geaux offers authentic Cajun crawfish boils (with corn and potatoes on the side). Then, just like back home, when it’s no longer crawfish season, the group switches to shrimp boils for the remaining six months of the year. All of it served up perfectly seasoned, just like it is in Beauregard Parish.
“We won’t serve anything we wouldn’t be proud to give our own family,” Josh said.
For more information, visit Bayou 2 Geaux on Facebook or call 251-215-9781.
Donna Barton’s column appears every Sunday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.