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CHEF DU JOUR: Darrell Breaux

CHEF DU JOUR: Darrell Breaux

Tennessean.com

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Growing up hunting and fishing around Lafayette, La., Breaux watched a lot of men at the camps trying to out-cook each other, but it was his mother who really taught him the secrets of the Cajun kitchen. “I told my wife I was a better cook, and you know what? I’m still cooking.”

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Raised in the grocery business, Breaux started cooking in restaurants before his stint in the Navy, where he ended up at cook’s school. When he got out of the service, he opened his first restaurant in 1975 in Lafayette, but a downturn in the local oil-business economy led the country music fan to Nashville with $5 in his pocket.

Here and there

He opened Bro’s in 1988, and after four moves and developing an “allergy” to landlords, he finally bought his own real estate and settled on Charlotte Avenue. “It took a while, but a poor man do what a poor man can,” he says laughing, and thanking a very loyal customer base that followed him from place to place.

Simmer down, now

Breaux says the key to making a roux, the foundation of a good gumbo, is to have lots of patience. “You can’t rush a roux. It’s not difficult, but you need to stir it constantly. So many people leave the stove and it will scorch or burn, and then you need to start all over.”

What’s old is new

“I read recipes all the time. I’m always learning. I go back to the old-type recipes, like Joy of Cooking, and I Cajunize them,” say Breaux, referring to the addition of a blend of seasonings and his marinades for meats.

—JIM MYERS, STAFF WRITER

 

Bro’s is simply the best cajun cooking in Nashville. The menu is limited, yes. The style is country-cajun, yes. Are there other styles and dishes out there, yes. But, ounce for ounce, his food is hands down the best. Everything on the menu is well prepared and seasoned to perfection, and he will FILL YOU UP. The price is right too. The specials are all incredible. You can’t miss at Bro’s unless you are on a diet.

Recommendations:

Main Menu: (all are classics, but here’s some advice)
Gumbo. This classic is the chicken and sausage variety.
Boudin Sausage. An amazing sausage, perfect for splitting as a side to an entree.
The Sampler is enough to feed two (or one cajun) and for the price is hard to beat. Comes with all the staples, Gumbo, Red Beans & Rice, Crawfish Ettuffe, Shrimp Creole, Boudin Sausage Link, and a side!

Specials:
Any Barbequed meat or seasoned pork steak. The marinated meats rock!
Cajun Fried Catfish is a staple special for him, and highly recommeded
PoBoy Sandwiches. He added these this year, and they are perfect. They come with fried Shrimp, Catfish or Soft Shell Crab.