Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

BLT of the Sea Best of Flavor 2017

Fried Oyster BLT with smoked pork belly, tomato jam and micro arugula

Eric Cook

When you leverage the BLT’s proven flavor system, you’re tapping into an impeccable combination of flavor and texture. Eric Cook, Executive Chef at Bourbon House in New Orleans, disregarded the bread and moved the BLT into a signature bar bite.

His Fried Oyster BLT sees a crispy fried Gulf oyster battered with masa corn flour and seasoned with Dickie Brennan’s custom Creole seasoning. Three plump fried oysters sit atop a sweet, vinegary tomato jam, made from locally grown cherry tomatoes. Cured and smoked pork belly replaces bacon, and micro arugula— dressed with Louisiana sugarcane vinegar and salt and pepper—sits in for lettuce.

“This BLT is so popular because it’s approachable,” says Cook. “This dish features a spectrum of textures and flavors: sweet from the tomato jam, salty from the bacon and oyster, acidic from the vinegar and peppery from the arugula.” The appetizer holds position in the top-three best sellers, he reports. Cook is considering turning it into a specialty po’ boy for the lunch menu.

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