Cooking the food that’s closest to his heart has earned Chef Isaac Toups rave reviews. Isaac represents the new guard of Cajun chefs for his updated sophisticated approach for a cuisine that’s best known for deep rustic flavors. His culinary style is the direct result of growing up in Rayne, LA (in the heart of Cajun country) and his New Orleans, LA fine dining experience in Emeril Lagasse’s kitchens. Since opening Toups’ Meatery with his wife Amanda in 2012, Isaac has three times been named a James Beard Best Chef of the South Semi-finalist, and earned other notable accolades.
His Cajun roots run deep as Isaac’s family has lived in South Louisiana for more than 300 years. Growing up, he developed a deep appreciation for nature, which fuels his steadfast commitment to protecting America’s wetlands today. Grandmothers on both sides contribute to his unique “born and braised” culinary style that’s all about layering flavors. Classical culinary technique was developed while working for Chef Emeril before setting out on his own. That experience and extensive travel have encouraged his seamless exploration of other interesting flavors while maintaining a deeply-rooted Cajun menu.
Accolades & Publications
- James Beard Foundation – Best Chef: South Finalist (2016) and Semi-finalist (2014-2015, 2017)
- Bravo’s “Top Chef: California” – Contestant and Finalist, Fan Favorite Award (Season 13, 2015)
- The Wall Street Journal – 20 Great Modern Meateries
- FOOD & WINE – Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Guide
- Eater – Young Guns of the South, Chef of the Year (2014)
- Southern Living – 100 Best Restaurants in the South, Top 10 Best Restaurants in New Orleans
- Louisiana Cookin’ – Chefs to Watch
- New Orleans Times-Picayune – Best New Restaurant