Born and bred in Terrebone Parish, Louisiana, Melissa Martin uses her New Orleans restaurant, Mosquito Supper Club, as way to celebrate and preserve traditional ways of cooking that are at risk of disappearing, just as the lands of southern Louisiana are vanishing into the Gulf of Mexico, no longer renewed by regular changes in the course of the Mississippi River that once deposited fresh soil there.
Martin comes from a fishing family and the food in Mosquito Supper Club abounds in oysters, crabs, crawfish, and shrimp. Greens and other vegetables get more attention than beef or even pork, and there is more duck than chicken. And despite culinary training that includes stints in some of the Napa Valley's better known restaurants, Martin's cooking feels like the sort of food you would be delighted to find on the table of a local family: fried stuffed crabs, shrimp jambalaya, oyster spaghetti, smothered okra, strawberry pie.
So although this is the work of a restaurant chef, it's arguably not a restaurant cookbook. Martin writes her recipes with the clarity of someone who has to be able to communicate exactly what she wants her cooks to do, but there's no affectation here, just plain good cooking.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.