Scott Boswell's first encounter with Laney Chouest was brief. Chouest had dined at Stella! and, through a mutual friend, invited Boswell to his home to discuss building a restaurant in Chouest's new NOLA Motorsports Park.
"I walk in and there's a half dozen guys sitting around a blueprint of a racetrack," Boswell recalls.
The rest is history.
Chouest and Boswell hit it off immediately, thanks to their shared love of fast cars (Boswell owns a Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale) and their hyperactive lifestyles (neither allows himself much down time). Soon Boswell and Chouest were texting each other recipe ideas and concepts for two track restaurants that would fit with the blurring pace of a motor-sports park.
"You don't want to have really rich New Orleans food here," Boswell says. "What we want here is smarter fare; feeding ourselves as opposed to shutting ourselves down."
Boswell explained the importance of having food that helps a person stay energized throughout the day while showing off a roast beef po-boy he and Chouest came up with after Chouest saw a sesame-seed hoagie in Chicago. The Kart Track restaurant menu features a breakfast plate and an omelet sandwich, a turkey croissaint, mixed baby greens salad and a "power lunch plate" featuring cold cuts, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
To top it all off, the Kart Track also features "Fast Balls," caffeine-infused sno-balls in 10 different flavors.
The Kart Track is a scaled-down version of the 150-seat restaurant at the park's main clubhouse that is set to open in the coming weeks. After the two restaurants are established, there are plans for a food research and development lab and a farm that will provide produce for the park and Boswell's other restaurants.
"I could see myself staying here a few days a week, experimenting with dishes, going to the farm and then taking a few laps around the track," the chef says.
Boswell has even bought one of the villas being constructed at the park, so he will have a home away from home.
"This is just such an exciting place to work," he says. "It makes it very hard to leave." — Alejandro de los Rios