When I say the words "Cajun food," do you think: big, spicy, blackened, with people yelling "Bam!" in the kitchen? Well, Melissa Martin was raised on the bayou in Chauvin, Louisiana and the food she grew up with wasn't very much like what we see on TV. She has a restaurant in New Orleans where she serves the home cooking that takes her back to her mother's kitchen. It's called the Mosquito Supper Club, which is also the name of her debut cookbook. The book is a beautiful portrait of the coastal Louisiana she remembers, and we were so glad to talk with her about it. She also left us with her recipes for Lucien's Shrimp Spaghetti, Shrimp Boulettes, and Smothered Chicken.

Try Melissa Martin's recipes for Lucien's Shrimp Spaghetti (left), Shrimp Boulettes (center), and Smothered Chicken (right) from Mosquito Supper Club. Photos: Denny Culbert


Melissa M. Martin is the author of the memoir-cookbook Mosquito Supper Club and chef at the New Orleans restaurant of the same. Photo: Denny Culbert

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Francis Lam
Francis Lam is the host of The Splendid Table. He is the former Eat columnist for The New York Times Magazine and is Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Clarkson Potter. He graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America and has written for numerous publications. Lam lives with his family in New York City.