Though Emanuel Lombard isn't originally from South Louisiana, he says Cajun cooking has influenced almost everything he does in the kitchen.
"My cooking style, it's off the cuff," he says. "I don't follow a recipe. I just have an idea of whats going to taste good and what's not going to taste good."
He enjoys blending different cooking styles and coming up with unique creations for his friends and family. For us, he made shrimp, bok choy and yams.
"A lot of my recipes, I come up with them," he adds. "Everybody thinks cooking is a science. It's not, it's more of an art."
Cooking began with the simple task of boiling the yams so they would be easy to peel.
While those softened, a saute pan was heated and in went avocado oil, sesame oil and clarified butter along with a handful of mushrooms. His seasoning, a sprinkling of salt.
Next comes the shrimp sauteed in clarified butter and Emanuel's favorite Nunu's seasoning.
Lombard adds salt an white wine to taste to his dish, but recommends that home cooks add whatever seasonings and finishes they prefer.
"It's all about flavors so right here. You have a little Cajun, a little Asian and a little traditional American," he says. "It's all about what tastes good to you."
Continuing with his dish, Emanuel adds his bok choy which he prepped by smothering it in onions, curry, coriander and sesame oil.
Next, he peeled the yams and added those on a separate skillet. In order to create a nice crust, he covers them in a mixture of sugar, ginger, cinnamon and his favorite Jamaican ingredient, scotch bonnet.
"here's where the heat comes in. Its not in most kitchens but i would bet if you try this versus cayenne pepper you would probably like this more," he says.
With the seasonings and Lombard working their magic, it doesn't take long before this dish is done.
The final product is a mix of flavors using simple ingredients and a bit of ingenuity in the kitchen.