How to Eat Like a Local in NOLA | Chef Alex Harrell’s Guide

There isn’t another foodie destination quite like New Orleans, Louisiana! Here to bring you his list of must-try spots is chef Alex Harrell, owner and executive chef at his French Quarter restaurant Angeline. Chef Alex, raised in Alabama, spent weekends on his grandparents’ coastal farm. With this early experience digging potatoes and picking fresh berries and figs for family meals, it’s no surprise that Alex has continued to prioritize the use of local and regional products in his restaurant. An early education in cooking from his father, as well as time working under chefs Susan Spicer and Gerard Maras, taught him many of the skills and values he carried into the establishment of his own restaurant, Angeline, in 2015.

WHY VISIT NOLA

We know what you’re thinking – it’s way too hot to go to New Orleans in the summer. BUT, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat and take advantage of the summer energy and smaller crowds. And with a bustling restaurant scene built on a rich history of food culture, you can experience much that NOLA has to offer simply by selectively choosing where you eat each meal.

CHEF ALEX HARRELL’S ANGELINE

“Angeline is a direct culmination of my experiences in kitchens in New Orleans. It’s a mash-up between my growing up in the south and my professional growing up in New Orleans. I want it to have a sense of place in New Orleans, especially within the French Quarter.”

Taste California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil in dishes from the seasonal menu including the Burrata with Olive Oil Braised Fennel, Oil-Poached Cobia, and Olive Oil Cake with Louisiana Strawberries.

WHERE ELSE TO EAT

Radosta’s

It’s in the Old Metarie neighborhood and it’s a family run lunch counter that was originally a neighborhood grocery store with the deli component. It’s one of those New Orleans, locals-only neighborhood places. Super casual, unpretentious. Great po-boys and hot lunch plates. It is New Orleans food culture.

What to order: Shrimp po-boy

Maypop

Because it’s delicious. Michael Gulatta is born and raised in New Orleans and he was one of the first – there’s such a huge Vietnamese population in New Orleans, but it was in the undercurrent of NOLA food culture. He was one of the first to bring it more mainstream and making it a focus of what he was doing.

What to order: Crispy Fried P&J oysters

Avo

Nick is from New Orleans and he approaches the generational Sicilian influence in New Orleans and brings it into a more modern context. Super fresh, seasonal.

What to order: Charred octopus and I love any of the pastas.

Peche

There is not a lot of pretension. It’s super fresh, very carefully sourced Gulf seafood that isn’t overly complicated or covered by too many components on the plate. It represents that huge presence of Gulf coast seafood. It’s a more contemporary interpretation of a fish house, which are incredibly popular in New Orleans.

What to order: The grilled cooked fish cooked over hardwood and served with salsa verde.

photography by: Denny Culbert

Can’t make it to the south anytime soon? Here’s a recipe for chef Alex’s Crispy Cauliflower with Olivade Aioli to bring a taste of New Orleans to you.

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