Cook finds new comfort zone

Bryant Thibodeaux, of Baton Rouge, began experimenting with his grill 10 years ago, not long after his outdoor kitchen was built.

“I really didn’t know a whole lot, but started having fun with it,” he explained.

He became inspired after watching television’s food channels and decided to get adventurous.

“The very first thing I did out of my comfort zone was to roast garlic in the oven,” he said.

Thibodeaux, the co-owner of SDB Catering, said he routinely grills for his family, which includes wife, Sarah; son, Chase; and daughter
and son-in-law, Haleigh and Jesse Wingate, and their daughters, Emma Hazel and Laney.

He has made many mistakes through the years.

“My first attempt at trout almondine was a disaster,” he confessed.

“You’ve got to be willing to make mistakes,” he said.

He now considers himself pretty adept at grilling and over time has acquired five more grills. With his steak grill and warmer, he is able to achieve the high heat necessary to sear steaks and keep them at the proper temperature until ready to serve.

“You don’t want a steak temperature to warm below 170 degrees or the fat will begin to congeal,” he said.

His griddle grill is perfect for grilling onions and hamburgers; his larger grill, for fish, vegetables, chicken and sausage.

Ribs and roasts are usually cooked in his Big Green Egg.

His smoker is used for various cuts of meat and his latest, a Go Galley grill, allows him to grill, smoke, fry or boil wherever he decides to travel or tailgate.

Thibodeaux has a rib rub recipe that he has perfected over time, but most of his meat marinades or rubs are simple sprinkles of seasonings here and there, whatever he decides at the moment.

He seasons his grilled vegetables with salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and sometimes balsamic vinegar or lemon juice that he gets from the lemon trees in his yard.

Entrée accompaniments are up to his wife.

“It’s whatever Sarah decides to make. I’m the meat man,” Thibodeaux said.