Chef Joshua Hebert isn't afraid to put a twist on Southern cuisine. 

Passionate and enthusiastic about food, Hebert was hired in 2016 as executive chef of The Cabin Restaurant in Gonzales. For his menu, he culls ideas from family recipes and frequent visits to farmers markets then adds time, care and a few dashes of seasonings to each dish. 

With chef de cuisine Adam Reeson, Hebert is devoted to putting that thought and love of food on display at the historic restaurant. And the work is paying off as Hebert was named a 2018 Small Town Chef winner by Country Roads Magazine. 

Having known Hebert for more than a decade, I knew I had to get him to show us how to make one of his signature dishes. For this edition of Let's Dish, Hebert and Reeson show us how they create smoked duck and roasted root vegetable salad. 

Smoked duck

  1. The skin of the duck breast is scored in a crosshatch pattern. When doing so, make sure not to penetrate the meat of the duck. A special seasoning blend is then rubbed onto the duck.
  2. The duck breast is placed into a stovetop smoker.
  3. After being smoked, the duck breast is placed skin side down in a skillet to render and crisp the skin. The duck rests for about five minutes, then is sliced into four pieces.

Roasted root vegetable salad

  1. Turnips, radishes and beets are tossed in vegetable oil. A small amount of kosher salt is added.
  2. The vegetables are roasted in the over at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to one hour, depending on size.
  3. The vegetables are removed from the oven. Skins are removed immediately.
  4. Leave turnips and radishes whole. Dice beets into large pieces.
  5. Toss pea shoots in vinaigrette. Place in center of plate.
  6. The remaining root vegetables are arranged with the sliced duck breast and edible flowers. 
  7. For salad dressing, whisk the following ingredients in a bowl: satsuma juice, honey, Creole mustard, kosher salt, white pepper and smoked olive oil.

THE CABIN RESTAURANT

WHERE: 5405 La. 44, Gonzales 

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday 

INFO: (225) 473-3007 or thecabinrestaurant.com 


TASTE OF THE TABLE 

Near The Cabin Restaurant is Bernadette's Table, a fine-dining French restaurant that was led by chef Gerard Hemery and closed in 2013. However, chef Joshua Hebert plans to reopen Bernadette's Table this year.

Beginning last year, Hebert has given patrons a sneak peek of what he wants to serve at Bernadette's at Chef's Table events. These dinners showcase new interpretations of popular Southern dishes, paired with select wines and cocktails. Lucky for you, Hebert will host another such dinner on Thursday.

The next Chef's Table starts at 6 p.m. with a meet and greet on the grounds of The Cabin, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $114-$139 at bontempstix.com. Check out the menu: 

First course: Nana's Cioppino (fisherman's stew), paired with 2007 Domaine Serene Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve 

Second course: Fullness Organic farm greens with house-cured country ham, roasted figs, burrata, blood orange reduction and pistachio brittle, paired with a bloody orange aqua fresca 

Third course: Braised rabbit with white bean pasta, smoked ham, manchego, roasted rapini, sage and smoked rabbit stock reduction, paired with 2007 Domaine Serene Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve 

Fourth course: Pan-roasted chef's fish selection with garbanzo ucceletto, salmoriglio sauce, toasted capers and preserved lemon aioli, paired with 2008 Domaine J.A. Ferret Pouilly-Fuisse

Fifth course: Zeppole (Italian beignets) stuffed with café au lait custard and dusted with chicory-powdered sugar, paired with a café au lait.