As part of Classics Week 2015, Eater NOLA is taking a closer look at what makes the most iconic dishes of New Orleans, well, so iconic. Today, Michael Sichel who helms the kitchen at local culinary institution Galatoire's talks to Eater about why the restaurant's Shrimp Remoulade is one of the city's Try Before You Die Dishes of New Orleans.
When does shrimp remoulade date back to?
It's a traditional French dish which was served since the first day Galatoire's opened in 1905. New Orleans cuisine is based on Gulf seafood, and to this day people come to the restaurant with the expectation that they will be able to enjoy it. It's a signature of New Orleans as presented by Galatoire's. The red remoulade sauce is a fan favorite, it's spicy with a kick of horseradish.
Who came up with the Galatoire's recipe?
It was conjured up by Galatoire himself. It's all about the Louisiana shrimp, all those flavors are held in the shrimp. It's a great appetizer to share family style like a shrimp cocktail but so, so much better.
Why is it so popular?
That's the beauty of cooking and eating in the south, it has its own philosophy. Diners like to know what to expect, they walk right through that door already craving the shrimp remoulade. It's the history, too. What's unique about New Orleans is that people like to know what they're getting.
What's another of your favorite classic dishes in New Orleans?
Gumbo probably is the most classic dish here. If you don't have a gumbo on your menu, you're not gonna make it. There are so many variations, every chef can make it their own. We're all a piece of history here, and we want to be a part of the New Orleans food culture.
What are your thoughts on the New York Times article discussing French Quarter Creole cuisine as a kind of Jurassic Park?
Everybody has their own opinion, but you know, every day at Galatoire's is a celebration - we're celebrating traditions. We're proud to hang our hat on the traditional cuisine, we embrace it, we embrace this New Orleans cuisine. People come here just to be a part of it. I'm really proud to be a part of Galatoire's and a part of New Orleans. That's what I'm here for.