Chefs’ Secrets: ’Tis the season for crawfish

March 31, 2016
By: Chris Waters Dunn, SA Express News

With the height of mudbug mania upon us, John Russ, executive chef at Lüke, has shared two classic recipes featuring Louisiana’s much loved Lilliputian lobsters — Cajun Crawfish Boil and Crawfish Creole.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the subtle differences between Cajun and Creole cuisines, suffice it to say that a Creole chef would make a stock, discard the solids, strain the liquid and use it to make a sauce; a Cajun cook wouldn’t let anything in the pot go to waste, having grown, trapped, hooked or shot all of the ingredients.

Cajuns were originally “Acadians,” French colonists living in an area known as Acadia in what is now southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. They were forced from their homeland by the British, and after much hardship, some began settling in Louisiana by the mid-18th century. Cajun cuisine is based on country French — rustic and earthy — reflecting a heritage of wasting nothing and making the most of whatever ingredients are available. For example, when celebrity Cajun chef Justin Wilson was asked what kind of wine he recommended for a particular recipe, he answered, “What kind of wine you got?”

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San Antonio's River Walk Showcases Some of the City's Best Restaurants!

March 2016
By: Kimberly Suta for USA Today

You won't have to stray far from San Antonio's popular river walk to find the best restaurants this city has to offer! With so many new, exciting restaurants popping up all over town, your biggest challenge will be deciding which one to try first. 

Lüke is celebrity Chef John Besh's first restaurant outside of Louisiana and is run by locally-renowned chef, John Russ. Lüke is truly one of the best restaurant's on San Antonio's famed riverwalk. The menu features authentic Old World cuisine, combining classic German and French cooking techniques with a New Orleans touch. Locals love their happy hour which features amazing drinks for half-off and some of the most incredible oysters you'll find in Texas or even beyond - you can get them raw, charred or fried. You'll not regret getting a taste of all three! The restaurant is quite large with an old-timey feel. You wouldn't be surprised to see gentlemen lounging in their linen suits, smoking cigars. The menu is always changing and Chef Russ likes to feature the freshest local ingredients whenever possible, but you can always find delicious seafood dishes such as Jumbo Shrimp with jalapeno cheese grits the always classic Mussels with Fries

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From Mexican Institutions to New Hot Spots, Servers Share How They Keep Diners Happy in SA

March 9, 2016
By: Jessica Elizarraras, SA Current

While the majority of my job is to report new culinary trends, pop-ups and give honest reviews of the city's restaurants, I spend a significant amount of time pondering service at all levels. It's hard to pinpoint what makes great service, but it's unfortunately quite easy to recall that one time that one manager essentially shrugged off one of your questions, or that time a server spilled water on your new dress, or worse, beer on your handbag. It's never fun to sit at a table for 10 minutes waiting for your server to appear and greet you or have them visibly grit their teeth when we ask to split the bill by item.

I get it. Everyone has off-days, and sometimes even the best of servers can only manage to give 75 percent when triple-sat on a busy Friday evening while catering to needy motherfuckers. We've all dined with that hard-to-please asshat that needs their water filled exactly three times before they even consider adding a tip to their total. Hell, I'm prone to hangry dinner visits just like anyone else that forgets to pack office snacks.

Much like the staff at Cured and Lüke San Antonio, the servers at The Cookhouse are trying to drive Southern hospitality home in the Alamo City. No, you won't find napkin-draped forearms here. Instead, you'll find fine dining service in a casual atmosphere by design.

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