Three teens to cook in Baton Rouge Monday
By: CARISSA HEBERT
Kyle Lachney, 13, and his cooking team of Cody Brignac, 14, and Tucker Fontenot, 13, have been invited to cook in Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Senate Monday, April 28.
Kyle and his buddies got the invitation from Louisiana Senator Eric LaFleur. The trio will be cooking for approximately 300 people in what is known as a Taste of the Senate at the Louisiana State Museum.
“I thought he would be a great representative for this senate district,” said LaFleur, when asked about his invitation to these young men. “He’s won the Belaire Cove event twice along with several awards at Le Festival de la Viande Boucanee. That’s some very tough and serious competitions,” added LaFleur.
Kyle won his second first place trophy at the Belaire Cove Crawfish Cookoff a few weeks ago, and he has two wins under his belt from the Smoked Meat Festival Cookoff. He has two grand champion trophies.
“I was excited,” Kyle said about his invitation to cook at the capital. “This will be the most I’ve ever cooked for.”
Kyle’s first outing as a chef was for 4-H. He cooked a crawfish fettuccine and placed first in the parish with the dish and then second at the state level. He said his experience comes from watching his dad, Larry Lachney.
When asked if his crawfish etouffee’s ingredients were like the other competitors’ ingredients, he said he didn’t really know the answer because he had never asked them what they put into their etouffee. He did say one of his secret ingredients was his family’s seasoning, Papa Gators.
Larry said he had been participating at the area cookoffs, and one day Kyle asked him to cook. He came out second that year at the Belaire Cove Cookoff using his dad’s recipe. Then, he went on to win first place at the Smoked Meat Cookoff and capture grand champion honors. The next year at the Belaire Cove Cookoff is when he added a secret ingredient, which he will not repeat to anyone but his family.
Kyle said he was looking at his dish as he was cooking it and something just didn’t look right. He saw the ingredient and asked Tucker Fontenot to run and get him some. Fontenot got the ingredient and Kyle won first place at the cookoff.
“He added an ingredient to my recipe,” Larry said. “I used that recipe before at the Belaire Cove Cookoff and he won.”
Kyle said Tucker usually stirs the pot as he puts his recipe together. Cody Brignac and his dad get to cut the ingredients. His younger sister, Darrelyn, jumps into the conversation and said she gets to stir sometimes.
For the Belaire Cove cookoff, Kyle’s mom, Sherron, said Kyle had no worries about this dish. She said she kept worrying about whether he had it all together, and he kept telling her everything was fine. And then a few hour before judging time, Kyle turned over his sauce and headed for a game of washerboard. He crossed Larry on the way, and Larry said he asked him about his dish. He said Kyle said it was cooked and he planned on a game of washerboard and then he would put the fire back on and complete his dish just in time for the judges.
“‘I’m done; it’s turned off,’ is what he told me,” Larry said. It was an hour and 45 minutes until judging. “I did taste it and it was good.”
Kyle said he usually tastes his dish at the end.
In preparing for Monday, Kyle said he has made a list. He has calculated he will be using a big army pot to cook 25 pounds of crawfish. He said this means its a bigger dish, but it still centers around most of the things he’s done when he’s cooked before.
Larry said they’ll probably start cutting Sunday. Kyle said he used three onions last year and four this year. For this special dish, his team will be cutting 22 onions, 10 bell peppers, four big bundles of green onions, two bundles of parsley and two bundles of celery. He said usually if everyone helps, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cut up the ingredients, but Larry thinks it might take a little longer this time.
After Kyle puts his list together, he said they pick up the ingredients. Then he starts setting up everything. He makes it sound easy, and he’s excited about cooking for these senators.
Cody said, “This is an opportunity to go cook for that many people. I’m just so excited.”
The boys received permission to miss school from their principal for this unique event.
Lafleur concluded, “We take our cooking serious around here. With the number of victories he has under his belt, he was a worthy choice to cook for this event.”