Mary Tutwiler

Boudin in the Big Easy

by Mary Tutwiler

Someone finally got it right. New York Times reporter Mimi Read has a story this morning about New Orleans chef Donald Link who opened a Cajun meat market, Cochon Butcher, yesterday, in the Big Easy. Link is a native of southwest Louisiana, cousin to Bubba Frey who makes superior boudin at the Mowata Store, just south of Eunice. Cochon, Link’s second restaurant in New Orleans, (Herbsaint was his flagship before Katrina and continues to serve white tablecloth country/city fusion) is the only restaurant in the Crescent City where diners can get truly authentic Cajun cooking. In 2008, Cochon and Link made the New York Times top ten list of best new restaurants in the country. In order to support his habits — andouille, chaurice, tasso and of course boudin — Link took up the sausage grinder and fired up a smokehouse, making the kind of fresh and smoked charcuterie Cajuns take for granted.

The opening of Cochon Butcher is great news for Cajun expats, who had to drive three hours to get their boudin fix. Equally gratifying is Read’s article, which clearly outlines the difference between New Orleans urban Creole cooking and Cajun country fare, a maddening confusion the national press continues to perpetrate. Good job Ms. Read.