CHEF THEAUDRIC DAVIS
He may be famous for his GreenTea Gumbo, GreenTea Fried Chicken, and GreenTea Jerk served at the 2018 National Fried Chicken Festival, he also curated menus for Diner en Blanc New Orleans 2018 & The inaugural Friendsgiving Dinner Party with Very Local New Orleans. Theaudric Ferdinand Davis uses most of his time & energy to creating new cooking concepts and creating new flavor profiles. Mixing and matching flavors with a borderless approach to making real clever cuisine. He strongly believes he can help you rediscover your taste buds.
An honest discussion with Theaudric Davis about his brush with the law, and the way he “fell into”cooking to impress the ladies and turn his life around. The former actor has discussed the thinking behind some of his signature dishes and Creole influences.
New Orleans native and self-taught Creole chef Theaudric Davis may be a former comedian, but when it comes to food that looks as good as it tastes, this is a serious business.
A gift for food innovation and preparation rescued Davis from his wilderness years.
His “Real Clever Cuisine” encapsulates both his vivid imagination and his intent focus on ingredients that are as healthy as possible. For this reason, he prides himself on using green tea and turmeric long before their current upsurge in popularity. In fact, he uses them in combination to create one of his signature flavors.
Another great example of his devotion to making food taste good but also beneficial is the way he avoids using heavy cream, even in his sauces.
“I don’t use roux in my gumbo. It’s gluten free. I use carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. Those three colours create a brown. Green and orange makes brown.”
This attention to detail seems a million miles away from his early days working in the fast food industry, his time as a car salesman, and of course his spell behind bars, as well as inspiring careers in, acting and comedy.
Kreol caught up with Chef Davis to explore this multi-faceted path to culinary fame.
Early ingredients of today’s chef
Davis was born in 1976, part of a family with both Haitian and Indian creole roots. Naturally, food was a big part of family life: “I’ve been cooking since I was about five.”
Having four sisters meant Davis was usually relegated to the menial kitchen tasks. “I had to do all the grunt work, like peel potatoes and peel the shrimp, cut the peppers. All the pepper for the holidays. I was pretty much in training the whole time.”
The seeds of his trade were sown and aged 14 he started work at a Wendy’s diner. “I was a grill man. I was probably one of the youngest grill men at the company. I was working on a work permit, though, so I couldn’t work full time.”
As a youngster, Davis also benefited from support and guidance from the “Each One Save One”children’s charity, which his aunt co-founded. Davis appeared to be building a solid future for himself.
“My aunt paired me with Mark Landrieu brother of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. I was not sure if I was officially enrolled in the mentor program back then, When they started the EOSO cook-off, “Q’n for Kids” in 2011, they created a team made up of committee members, so I did all of the barbecuing for our team because of my experience at Applebee’s (a grill and bar restaurant chain). I Learned how to do their ribs and other stuff along the way, I came up with a fool proof, mistake-free way to do barbecue anything. We won multiple people choice awards”
He would get his first crack at extraordinary food presentations when he took a position as a Show Time Cook for an elaborate Sunday Brunch at the Historic Algiers Landing, an iconic gothic-looking New Orleans restaurant that all-but collapsed into the river in Historic Algiers. It was there where Theaudric’s (16) curiosity for cooking began. As a Showtime Cook, he would flambéed Banana Foster and Cherries Jubilee for Brunch guest with the Skyline of New Orleans in the backdrop. He also doubled as a dishwasher during the week.
He admits his Creole influence came from his mother’s kitchen peeling and divining shrimp, stirring the roux, stuffing mirliton, and learning family recipes.
His technical training came as a result of his childhood friend leaving his textbook from the New Orleans Culinary Institute.