The James Beard award winner (and self-described "freak of nature") discusses his commitment to maintaining and celebrating Creole tradition, and the importance of respecting the history of traditional regional recipes. McPhail also identified New Orleans as the birthplace of the first "fusion" cuisine:
"In my mind, New Orleans has always been about Creole food. Creole’s been a more refined, European-style food compared to Cajun. And these days, it’s ever-changing—generations ago, it really was a cross between French and Spanish influenced food. That, and some sort of Chinese, German, Italian, and a lot of Vietnamese influences. These days, there isn’t a whole lot of culture that’s outside the realm; it’s probably America’s first fusion food."
While "fusion" may be a dirty word for many chefs today, McPhail's take makes it seem downright historic. Click here to read the full essay.