Chris Montero and his family are New Orleans institutions. His heart belongs to New Orleans and the kitchen. If you ask Chef Montero where he went to culinary school, he’ll quickly answer “The French Quarter!” Montero’s career began at Ralph Brennan’s Restaurant Group at BACCO. He is the executive chef of both café b, in Metairie, which specializes in ‘elevated neighborhood cuisine,’ and Café NOMA in the New Orleans Museum of Art, which was just named one of America’s Best Museum Restaurants by Travel + Leisure.
We asked Chef Montero to share a recipe that he felt captured the spirit of fall. He offered his Mac & 3 Cheese from Café b. It’s comforting, but done in a way that elevates the dish, this is not your mom’s Mac n’ Cheese.
Chef Montero told us that “Our signature Café b’ Mac and 3 Cheeses hits home for me because it started as a family recipe, and has now quickly become a staple at café b. It is a constant on my menu both at home and at work…Coming out of the kitchen of a Louisiana restaurant, one might think “Hey! That’s definitely not Creole!” which is true – but it does start with a béchamel sauce, which is a blond roux, so call it a distant cousin.” When owner Ralph Brennan was developing the concept for café b, he wanted the menu to be packed with homey favorites, so out of café b comes perfect dishes for the fall. This dish is pure comfort food with the gruyère, Irish cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, all topped off with brioche crumbs. “Ending a chilly day with the warmth of this bowl of goodness is the perfect late-autumn meal. When cooking in cooler weather you have to have keep the soul warm at all times!”
White Cheddar Cheese Sauce
4 cups Irish white cheddar cheese, grated
1 quart (4 cups) Cream
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
Toss cheese with cornstarch. Set aside. Reduce cream by half. Slowly add cheddar, a little at a time, until fully incorporated, constantly whisking to achieve a smooth consistency. Never let the sauce boil.
Brioche Parmesan Topping
1 tablespoon Brioche
2 teaspoons Butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
Crumb the brioche in the food processor. Heat unsalted butter in a sauté pan, add crumbs,
and sauté until light brown. Allow to cool and mix with grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese.
Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound Elbow macaroni
4 cups White cheddar cheese sauce
1 cup Imported Gruyere cheese, shredded
.25 cup Brioche Parmesan topping
Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package. Fold the sauce into the macaroni. Scoop into a baking pan or serving vessel of your choice. Top with shredded Gruyere and crumb topping. Place in 375° oven or under broiler until cheese topping is
golden brown and melted.
Cafe B is located at
2700 Metairie Rd
Metairie, LA 70001
Cafe B is located near to the Sheraton Metairie, Lakeside Shopping Center, and the Hampton Inn Metairie.
Have you been to Cafe B? Click the following link to leave a review or to look for Cafe B coupons for your next visit.