Chef Jemil Aziz Johnson – From NOLA with Love

Jemil’s Big Easy in South Lake Union

The sight of Jemil’s Big Easy food truck makes me do a double take every time.  I’ve been following the truck for years with good reason – the food is amazing!  Combine that with great staff and I’ll follow the truck just about anywhere! 

On Monday, July 27, 2015, I stopped by Kraken Congee to attend Jemil’s pop-up – From NOLA with Love.  My mouth was watering as I looked over the menu and smiled when I saw a picture I took on the Dyne page.  I’m in!!!

First Course – Corn Fritter with Crab, Spiced Yam, and Greens.  The fritter had a crispy texture.  The crunch was tapered by the delicate greens.  The sweetness of the spiced yam was a perfect pairing with the salty crab.  Great way to start the meal! 

Corn Fritter with Crab, Spiced Yam, and Greens

Second Course – Duck and Andouille Sausage Gumbo.  I’ve had Jemil’s gumbo many times.  The bite of the spices keep me coming back for more!  The sausage is expertly prepared.  The tender, fatty duck is a perfect addition to the already well-composed dish.  This was comfort in a bowl.  

Duck and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

Third Course – Melon Soup.  I’d never had melon soup before and imagined it would be overly sweet.  I was wrong.  It was refreshing and the sweetness was balanced by a nice mix of peppers which also gave it a kick. 

Melon Soup

Fourth Course – Pasta Bordelaise with Toast Points and Basil Butter.  The pasta was cooked al dente.  The crunchy toast points covered with basil butter had me wanting to eat the butter by the spoonful!  My friends literally tried to grab my bread off the plate! 

Pasta Bordelaise with Toast Points and Basil Butter

Fifth Course – Cajun Trio Taster.  Yikes!  By the time this course rolls around, I’m seriously struggling.  Jemil loves to feed people and you’ll never walk away hungry.  The blackened quail was cooked really well and was a great way to introduce folks to the dish if they’ve never had it before.  The jambalaya is one of my favorite dishes!  It had perfectly cooked rice and the seasoning was on the money.  I have to confess that I couldn’t eat all the étouffée since I stuffed my mouth full of jambalaya! 

Cajun Trio Taster

Sixth Course – Flambéed Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.  Just when I thought I couldn’t eat another bite, it was time for dessert!  Okay, maybe I can have just a bit.  Yes.  I ate it all.  All the sweetness of bananas foster with chunks of bread pudding.  Did I mention the dreamy ice cream?  How could I forget?  I scream for ice cream!!!  

Flambéed Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Overall, it was a great night and honestly one of the best pop-ups I’ve been to.  Then again, I’ve come to expect nothing less from Jemil.  I left with a very happy tummy.  🙂

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Oh!  Guess who’s getting some national attention?  That’s right, catch Jemil on Cutthroat Kitchen later this month!  

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