Innovative Southern Cuisine.

When Carrollton Market opened in March it did so with little fanfare, slipping into the space formerly occupied by One Restaurant and Lounge. It wasn’t entirely obvious at first that beyond its plate-glass windows awaited a completely new restaurant. The first impression might be the dining room and bar area following its overhaul by Curtis Herring, which sets a distinctively tasteful tone. Yet the real difference is in the kitchen, where chef and owner Jason Goodenough makes his mark with his ingredient-driven approach to southern cuisine.

Chef Goodenough alternately describes his style as “modern southern” or “contemporary New Orleans” but these labels don’t really pin it down. A native of New York, Goodenough started cooking while attending Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He switched gears from finance to cooking and went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After finishing there he spent a few years in Philadelphia while his wife finished medical school. They later moved to New Orleans, where Goodenough soaked up experience during his year spent working at Emeril’s NOLA. Now in charge of his own restaurant, Goodenough offers a style that’s more refined and in some ways more removed from any entrenched New Orleans style. The result is a more thoughtful, considerate approach that benefits from his fresh perspective. “I just use the techniques that I’ve learned elsewhere and apply them to what I can source here,” he says. “My job gets a little easier when I get to work with such great ingredients as they have here in New Orleans.”

Goodenough rewrote his menu for winter, keeping in line with his ingredient-driven approach. Dishes such as his chicken and dumplings rolled off to make room for braised oxtail with gnocchi. With a rich demi-glace made from red wine and veal stock, it’s finished with raisins and pine nuts yielding a complex profile that’s sweet, salty and a touch acidic.

“I’ve been waiting for the cool weather to put that one on,” Goodenough says. “It’s the first dish I came up with in my first executive chef job and I’m still really proud of it.” Other wintery dishes include a cassoulet with a New Orleans-twist, featuring red beans in lieu of the traditional white, distinctively smoky Allan Benton bacon, pork belly, duck confit, and andouille sausage.

“I’m just trying to do something a little different. I mean, I’m not from here, I didn’t want to come here and do my own barbecue shrimp because I’d just be imitating it and not really doing it as well as the locals,” Goodenough says. “I’m just looking to bring something new, maybe a little more modern conceptually.” With dishes like the cassoulet, the more he brings the happier we will all be.

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by Jay Forman

MyNewOrleans.com