It doesn’t matter where you hail from, in the U.S., comfort food almost always harkens to home. Fried, stewed, slow-roasted, or smoked, these are the dishes that hit you at your core, wrap you up like a bear hug, and that taste, as cliché as it sounds, like home. What better way to warm up this winter than with a little hometown NOLA Cajun spice?
New Orleans native Chef William Jones developed his love for cooking at a very young age. “I can remember the scent of savory aromas in my mother’s kitchen growing up that still bring me back to why I started this journey.” Today, he is busy dedicating himself to his craft: honoring the memory of his mother by keeping the family tradition of cooking with love alive in each dish he serves.
Chef William Jones is the Owner & Executive Chef for By Culinary Design. Photo courtesy Curtis J. Moore
Jones boasts an ability to create signature dishes based on his clients’ personal tastes while preserving flavor profiles that marry Creole/Cajun cuisine with fusion food around the world. “I absolutely enjoy the cuisine in Louisiana as we have some of the most sought-after recipes worldwide. We are culturally rich in that way. If I can take the knowledge that I learned in my mother’s kitchen as well as from my formal culinary education to create fusion food with a twist that connects people to one another in a unique way, my purpose is fulfilled.”
Jones has worked in the culinary arts arena for over 17 years, garnering respect for his ability to train, manage, and consult in his field.
Chef William Jones has developed a collection of spice blends that are available for purchase. The collection includes five creative and uniquely crafted blends of fresh herbs and spices curated to please your palette. Learn more at: bcdnola.com/collections/frontpage
Having attended Chattahoochee Tech in Atlanta, the Delgado Culinary Program in New Orleans, and graduating from Sclafani Cooking School, Inc. in New Orleans,
Jones has been recognized with Leadership in Culinary Arts awards and other distinctions throughout his career.
Jones has worked with such celebrity clients as NBA All-Star Anthony Davis, Beyoncé, former Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie, former Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey, former Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, former New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jarrett Jack and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Lebron James.
Here are two of Jones’ favorite Southern-style recipes: Mediterranean Seafood Orzo Pasta and Garlic and Herb Shrimp. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Mediterranean Seafood Orzo Pasta
16 oz. orzo
5½ cups seafood stock or water
1 T kosher salt
1 T light olive oil
1 cup kalamata olive salad mix
½ cup roasted red peppers, diced
½ cup roasted yellow peppers, diced
4 T Creole seasoning, such as By Culinary Design House Blend Seasoning
½ lb Louisiana crawfish tails
½ lb crab, claw meat
A few drops liquid crab boil
1 lb gulf shrimp
8 oz. Atlantic salmon
Salmon rub to taste
1 cup feta crumbles
4 basil leaves
¼ cup parsley, freshly chopped
- Add orzo to boiling seafood stock or water, add salt and olive oil. Cook for approximately 9–11 minutes or until done. Strain pasta, cool, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine kalamata olive mix, roasted red and yellow peppers, and Creole seasoning. Mix well.
- Marinade the shrimp with 2–3 T Creole seasoning and salmon rub. Cook shrimp (baked, sautéed, pan seared, or grilled), whichever method you prefer. Season with 1 T of remaining seasoning. Chop (keep chunky pieces, not too fine) and place in a bowl.
- Combine crawfish tails and claw meat with cooked shrimp. (You can add more seasoning to your desired taste level.) Toss seafood mix well.
- Season salmon and cook. Let salmon cool after finished cooking. Flake off pieces of salmon and combine with the seafood mix (crawfish, crab and shrimp).
- Combine seafood mix, orzo, salad mix, and all other remaining ingredients. Toss/mix/fold thoroughly.
- Garnish as you like.
Garlic & Herb Shrimp
5 lbs headless, shell-on gulf shrimp
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup olive oil
6–8 garlic cloves, minced
½ bunch of parsley, chopped
3 sprigs of thyme, minced
2 sprigs of rosemary, minced
6–10 sweet basil, chopped
½ tsp Zatarain’s Liquid Shrimp & Crab Boil
3 T white wine
4–6 tsp Creole seasoning blend, such as By Culinary Design’s House Blend Seasoning
- Thaw shrimp if necessary. Once thawed, place shrimp in a plastic bag or container large enough to hold desired amount and set aside in refrigerator or cooler until further use.
- Melt butter and mix with olive oil, set aside. Chop or mince fresh garlic cloves and remaining herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary and basil). Place all chopped herbs into butter and oil blend, whisk vigorously. Mix in crab boil, seasoning, white wine, and lemon zest.
- Pour butter and herb marinade over shrimp (whether in the plastic bag or container, seal tightly). Marinate shrimp in refrigerator or cooler for at least 10–15 minutes.
- Place shrimp in a baking pan or oven safe dish. If on a baking pan, line the pan with foil. Pour remaining marinade over shrimp and bake in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 10–12 minutes or until shrimp appears light orange.
- Garnish as you like.