Friday, April 16, 2010
Tchoup Shop this Sunday April 18th
I run the Tchoup Shop. People in New York have no idea how to pronounce Tchoup. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked, "What's a Choop?" I then explain to them that "Tchoup" is short for Tchoupitoulas which is the name of a famous street in New Orleans, and actually pronounced "Chop." Tchoupitoulas is named after a Native American Indian tribe, but that's another story fit for a different time, this is dedicated to Tchoup Shop-which, similair to a "chop shop," is kind of an underground thing.
Tchoup Shop is a New Orleans style BBQ that takes place once a week in the backyard of a bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is solely promoted through Facebook, there is a link to the Facebook page at the footing of this blog. When I talk to people about Tchoup Shop BBQ they get really excited and start talking about ribs, pulled pork, brisket, etc… It’s not really like that. It’s more like if you came over to my house in the Bywater to watch the Saints play and we cooked out on the grill in the backyard, drank some great beer, tuned the radio to WWOZ, and commenced to getting stupid, crazy hammered and ate some BBQ’d shrimp and gumbo. Sounds fun right? It’s not fun-IT’S A BLAST!!!
As far as the food, I make everything except the bread (yes, I make the biscuits). I make pickles, mustard, hot sauce, pepper jelly, and ketchup. I try to source locally and organically when possible. I use high quality beef and pork products, local oysters, and get andouille sausage from Louisiana (I know I just said I source local, but the local manufacturer can't make it the same). I am proud of the quality and flavor of the food I serve, I cook with love and season it to what I believe to be as perfect as possible-it shows through when you eat it. I change the menu slightly from week to week in accordance to what's available and what people ask for. So, if you come to Tchoup Shop and wish that we had some dirty rice or gator sausage, let me know and it will probably happen.
I enjoy cooking at Tchoup Shop for a few reasons:
I like that NOLA ex-pats can get authentic NOLA grub.
I also love that it turns people on to one of this country’s most misunderstood cuisine’s, especially if they have never had it. It’s NOT spicy, it’s well spiced. Blackened DOES NOT mean “burnt.” And BBQ’d shrimp aren’t grilled, that’s just what it’s called.
For a professional cook it means so much more. It’s really awesome to get rid of the kitchen walls and really connect with my guests. I can’t really describe how cool the experience is to form that direct connection of you watch me cook, I watch you eat and see your satisfaction, which is my satisfaction. It is truly unique and remarkable to be part of this.
This Sunday marks the opening day of Tchoup Shop for the 2010 season. The weather looks like it's gonna screw with me a bit, but I'll be there. So will Linnzi Zaorski, who is an incredible New Orleans vocalist-Linnzi and her band are a lot of fun.
I am currently desperately trying to get the bar to get HBO on the TV so we can all watch the 2nd episode of TREME, which comes on at 10 PM on Sundays. What a cool show! It was fun to see Rebirth marching around and to see Kermit Ruffins at Vaughn's-brings back some memories and makes me miss New Orleans just a bit more.
Click on the menu below to see what I am serving this Sunday:
Hope to see you there!!!!