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My NOLA

My NOLA: 20 Questions with Chef Toya Boudy

From her favorite date night spot, to her must-have desserts – here’s an inside look at the New Orleans chef.

Chef Toya Boudy (Photo courtesy of Chef Toya Boudy)
Chef Toya Boudy (Image courtesy of Chef Toya Boudy)

Chef Toya Boudy knows New Orleans food – it’s in her blood. Born and raised in the Crescent City, Chef Toya let her surroundings inspire her food, whipping up creations like shrimp and andouille sausage omelettes and New Orleans-style Cajun-stuffed burgers. Chef Toya works as a personal chef and cooking instructor in her hometown, but her recipes have reached thousands through her YouTube channel, blog, and appearances on The Food Network. Whether you want to make bananas foster or a roux, Chef Toya’s got a recipe for you.

We asked Chef Toya what she loves most about New Orleans in our 20 Questions series.

1. Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?

My parents. They were both born and raised New Orleanians, and they were my introduction to our culture here and embody all of what makes our city so unique.

2. What first brought you to New Orleans?

Born and Raised

3. In your opinion – what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans?

The Frenchmen area. It’s like a safe haven for artists there. I have so many good memories of drifting in and out of spots just to witness the art of music.

4. If it’s a beautiful day, where are you going to spend it?

First stop: sculpture garden and second stop: Snowballs and Nachos

5. Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans.

Crawfish Bisque with stuffed crawfish heads

6. Where’s your favorite brunch spot?

The Country Club

7. What’s your favorite type of po-boy? Where do you get it?

Shrimp Po-boy with ketchup, hot sauce and pickles from Parkway Po-Boys

Chef Toya’s bacon-infused red beans & rice (Photo courtesy of Chef Toya Boudy)

8. You’ve got friends visiting, and it’s their first time in New Orleans – where are you taking them?

Neyow’s for food and live music at Snug Harbor (Marsalis night)

9. What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?

Sweet Loraines

10. What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail, and where do you go to get it?

The Brandy Crusta served at Arnaud’s

11. What’s your favorite dessert or sweet treat in the city?

Beignets at New Orleans Famous Beignets & Coffee

12. Best spot to see live music?

Blue Nile

13. Favorite New Orleans musician or band?

Ellis Marsalis

14. Favorite New Orleans festival?

Jazz Festival

15. What’s your ideal New Orleans date night?

Fried Crawfish Ravioli from Cheesecake Bistro and a movie at the Prytania Theatre

Chef Toya’s nectar cream cake (Photo courtesy of Chef Toya Boudy)

16. What are your favorite local shops?

Funky Monkey (apparel) and Peaches Records

17. What is your favorite New Orleans museum?

NOMA

18. Where do you go to watch The Saints play?

In our living room with my husband

19. Describe New Orleans in one word.

Resilient.

20. When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans, and why?

A few years back when I first started giving Gumbo lessons and had to explain the history of the meal to tourists. It reminded me of how strong and innovative we are all while possessing an undeniable charm. People often look at us as being “behind” sometimes but I believe we are ahead in many ways. We as a people have learned how to make the best of what we have and how to arrange the bad cards dealt so that we still score on top. This city takes tragedy and turns it into a catalyst. In this city we speak to everyone because there are no strangers here. We know that we are all living the same life just in different lanes. That’s what I love, the struggle, the heart, and the passion that this city oozes onto people and that’s why they all want to “Come down to New Orleans.”

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