Chef Tory McPhail grew up in the northwestern part of the United States, but he bleeds Creole. He became the youngest chef to head the world-famous Commander’s Palace Restaurant in New Orleans, following the likes of Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse who worked in the kitchen before him. As luck would have it, he also fly fishes for redfish. For us at TEN & TWO, that pretty well closed the circle on writing a story about redfish in the Gulf.
Nash Bridges is one of the icons of fly-fishing guides in southern Louisiana. Nash knows the marsh; and, in a sense, he is the marsh. It’s where his heart beats. He took us out for a day of fly fishing with chef Tory. Reds were cruising the marsh and holding tight to the grassland islands south of New Orleans near Port Sulphur. Nash and Tory agreed that when these fish are turned on, the fishing can be spectacular.
After a great day on the water, we ate dinner at Commander’s which is to say, we had the kind of dinner that isn’t forgotten anytime soon. This is a restaurant that truly manages to make every diner feel as though he is the only customer in the room, while turning out hundreds of world-class dishes. Chef Tory uses a soft touch to manage the crew, the customers and the ingredients with elegance and grace.
Stay tuned for Tory’s Creole Spiced Redfish recipe in the February issue of TEN & TWO.