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Louisiana Eats: Pearls Of Wisdom From Grand Isle

Two marine biologists working triangular cages used in raising the baby oysters, known as spat.
Poppy Tooker
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Two marine biologists working triangular cages used in raising the baby oysters, known as spat.
Marcos and Boris Guerrero pulling a heavy wire cage onto their boat, packed with growing baby oysters.
Credit Poppy Tooker
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Marcos and Boris Guerrero pulling a heavy wire cage onto their boat, packed with growing baby oysters.

On this week's Louisiana Eats! we venture down to Grand Isle to explore the current state of Louisiana's shellfish industry.

We begin with a visit with the Guerreros family, owners of the Caminada Bay Premium Oyster Company, who are leading the way in new product with Louisiana's first farm-raised oysters. Marcos and Boris Guerrero take us on their compact bay boat to give us a first-hand look at their off-bottom cage system method that creates an entirely new oyster that lives its life without ever touching the muddy bottom.

Then, we speak to Lisa Bourassa, Research Associate and Phycologist at Louisiana Sea Grant's Grand Isle Oyster Hatchery, to learn the scientific background on these amazing shelled mollusks. Lisa walks us through the oyster research lab, where we observe each step of the delicate oyster farming operation.

Lisa Bourassa walks us through her role in the oyster farming operation at the Grand Isle Oyster Hatchery.
Credit Poppy Tooker
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Lisa Bourassa walks us through her role in the oyster farming operation at the Grand Isle Oyster Hatchery.

Next, we hear from marine biologist Rusty Gaude at Sea Grant, who has some big news surrounding the Louisiana clam, coming soon to a restaurant plate near you!

Finally, we head into the kitchen to hear what Tory McPhail, the Executive Chef of Commander's Palace is doing with this brand new bounty of the sea.

It's shellfish time on Louisiana Eats!

Poppy's Clams and Spaghetti
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 - 6.5 oz. cans of minced clams, with the juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped, flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons grated parmesan or Romano cheese
  • ½ lb of spaghetti, cooked

In a sauté pan, combine the olive oil, the entire contents of two cans of minced clams, 3 finely minced cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. Bring it all to a boil and cook until the mixture reduces by half. Remove from the heat and mix in the parsley then whisk in the butter to thicken and enrich the sauce. Pour the sauce over cooked spaghetti and toss in the cheese. Serve immediately.

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.