Local chef Jay Ducote discuses his rise in the culinary industry
POSTED: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 3:56pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 3:57pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Unique is a great word to describe Jay's rise to fame. Aside from being a chef, he founded Bite & Booze, a culinary media company that celebrates the food and beverage culture of Louisiana. Right now you can call him an ambassador for the states rich food scene. But once upon a time, Jay was just a freshman at LSU - summoned to grill duty.
"When I got to LSU and started my freshman year in college, my cousin who is a couple years older than my handed me our grandfathers old bar-b-que utensils and said here freshman you're in charge of the grill and from that point on is really when I started cooking," said Ducote.
And after years of honing his skills right in his back yard of Baton Rouge, people began to take notice. He made appearances on national cooking shows which led to a casting call from a producer for Cutthroat Kitchen.
"I felt comfortable going in there and competing against executive chefs at restaurants around the country because it's so random, anything can happen," he said.
Once the national exposure came, Jay wanted to continue to build his brand and put his unique touch on the food industry.
"I had the idea of doing my own bar-b-que sauce and I started playing with recipes and it took me about six months to really get the recipe to where I wanted it," Ducote added.
Now when Jay released his signature sauce in July, it flew off the shelves in a couple of weeks. But don't worry, this bit of Louisiana sweetness, should be right back in stock, during the most important time of the year.
"Right in time for football season we should see the second batch come out and hit the shelves. And it going to be about three or four times as big as the first batch," he said.
And while home will always be where the heart is for Jay, he says the best part of his career is experiencing the food culture of other places.
"I also get to travel across the country and in fact sometimes even internationally to go explore culinary cultures and food scenes in other places. That's the part of it when I started a blog four years ago, I certainly had no idea that it would lead to something like that."