Cooking Channel chef Chuck Hughes takes his show on the road to Cajun Country, with rising chef and Northwestern State University graduate Manny Augello as one of his culinary ambassadors.
The network’s popular ‘Eat the Street’ takes viewers on a tour of the foods served along some the most famous streets in America, including a trip “the cultural capital of Louisiana.”
This episode of the show, shot earlier this summer, explores the kitchens of Lafayette’s most popular restaurants, like Augello’s Bread & Circus Provisions. The restaurant, market, and deli, co-run with business partner Abi Broussard-Falgout, offers an assortment of “condiments, preserves, tasty piggy parts and old school retro confections.” Demand recently fueled expanded menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Augello is widely known for his charcuterie skills, which lead Hughes to chow down on a bowl of ramen with miso broth, pork rib and pickled quail egg. Television profiles like this, frequent magazine mentions, and a devoted online following of niche farm-to-table bloggers have propelled Bread & Circus’ reputation across Louisiana.
With a 40-year award-winning veteran chef as a father and thriving family restaurants as training ground, Manny learned to cook the old-fashioned way, from the bottom up. Born and raised in Palermo, Sicily, Augello has always been inspired by the old world cucina povera way of cooking — quality ingredients prepared in simple ways leaving little waste behind.
Moving to the South as a child, Manny was exposed to Louisiana ingredients, cooking, and way of life. He says Louisiana couldn’t be luckier to have access to incredible seafood.
“Maybe it’s that muddy Mississippi water that goes into the Gulf but, man, there’s nothing like it. That flavor, you can’t beat it.” When it comes to cooking with his favorite ingredients, he says there’s not much to do. “The flavor’s already there, [so] you don’t have to try to alter it. Apply just enough heat and don’t mess with it.”
Augello’s rise to notoriety began at a break-neck pace. After graduating from Northwestern State University in 2008, the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity alumnus moved to Lafayette to help in the opening of Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro as sous chef and charcutier.
In 2011 he was promoted to executive chef, establishing Jolie’s as a leader in Lafayette’s farm-to-table movement. Manny is also co-owner of .blue – a popular underground dining experience which was the first to bring its dining concept to the Lafayette area. As a culinary activist, Augello currently serves on the advisory board of Acadiana Food Circle as a representative for the Slow Food movement.
In 2012, he was invited to appear at the esteemed James Beard House to cook and showcase his signature cuisine. Augello was also awarded the prestigious ‘Chefs to Watch’ Award by Louisiana Cookin’.
The episode featuring Augello, ‘A Canadian Goes Cajun,’ will re-air November 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM (Central) on the Cooking Channel.