Chef Isaac grew up in Cajun country in Rayne, Louisiana. His family has lived in South Louisiana for more than 300 years. Hunting and fishing were an everyday aspect of life for him, and the shrimp and crawfish boils, fish fries, boucheries, and barbecues he grew up with inspire his cooking style today.
Chef Isaac began working for Emeril Lagasse, where he crafted his culinary skills and developed a sophisticated approach to Cajun cuisine. He opened Toups Meatery with his wife, Amanda, in 2012 with inspiration from his family’ table growing up, and nods to his grandmother’s kitchen. He uses deep rustic flavors to create unique Cajun cuisine. He has been a James Beard Best Chef of the South semi-finalist and finalist three times, and has won several other accolades. He also was also a finalist on season 13 of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef.”
In 2016, Isaac and Amanda opened a second restaurant, Toups South, inside the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. This restaurant appropriately focuses on regional southern cuisine. You can sit up close and personal to the kitchen, watching the chefs create their masterpiece. Their counter club brunch has become especially popular.
Check out his book, Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups & The New Cajun Cooking, for his delicious recipes. He also has his own Food Network show, Kitchen Takeover.