I had many great conversations with my late friend, Texas Chef Bill Moran about Warren Leruth, as we were both fascinated by the man. Bill was a food broker during the 60’s and had many meetings with Chef Leruth in his restaurant in Gretna during it’s heyday. He was enamored with Chef Leruth’s scientific precision with recipes. Bill taught me a lot and shared a wealth of incredible stories of his meals and dealings in New Orleans during that time. He & I were enamored with Warren LeRuth because:
After all, Chef Warren LeRuth:
*Invented Oyster and Artichoke Soup which has since become an icon soup in New Orleans
*Formulated the recipes for Popeye’s: Biscuits, Red Beans & Rice and Dirty Rice.
*He did R&D for: Outback Steakhouse, Boston Chicken, Brinker International, Burger King and many other restaurant chains.
*Created Leruth’s “Vanilla Bean Marinade” and “Melipone Mexican Vanilla”. He sold the formula to Ronald Reginald’s, thank God, because it is the best Vanilla on the market, in my humble opinion.
*Created the formula for the “Seven Seas Green Goddess Dressing”
Bill and I planned on doing a Great Chefs of New Orleans bio on Chef Warren LeRuth, as we did for Austin Leslie. We never got around to it.
I miss my friend Bill, I think of him all of the time. Every 4th of July I look for an email that says “Happy Firecracker!”. It never comes anymore. I miss our long drawn out trails of email messages about Roast Beef Po Boys, and how the higher the stack of napkins, the better the Po Boy. I miss his praise on all of my posts, he was my biggest supporter, my cheering squad, because he knew I was trying to preserve some of the old cooking ways.
I talked to Bill for the first time on the phone the day before he died in 2007. I was working on my Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy post when the call came in. I told him I was thinking of him, the napkins were piled high and I would save half for him. He liked that. I had no idea how ill he was. I cried when a mutual friend told me he died the next day. We never met in person. I miss you Bill. I’m gonna get that piece about Warren LeRuth done. I’m researching, I wish you could watch these videos! Oh, the culinary conversations we would have about the master at work!
I learn something fundamental every time I watch one of Chef Warren’s videos. There is always something that I thought I knew…but now I realize that I don’t know squat.
Shrimp Remoulade with Chef Warren LeRuth!
Although Bill’s Texas Chef blog is sadly gone his daughter Nicole carries on his legacy at Texas Chef’s Daughter!by