How chef David Guas' aunt inspired his love of cooking

The Dish: Chef David Guas

David Guas was born and raised in New Orleans and started cooking Louisiana specialties as a teen. He started his career as a pastry chef and was eventually hired by a restaurant group in the Washington, D.C., area. In 2010, he opened Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in nearby Arlington, Virginia, serving southern-influenced specialties. He's also the author of two cookbooks, both savory and sweet, "Grill Nation" and "Damn Good Sweet."

Here are some of Guas's signature recipes: 

BBQ shrimp, New Orleans style

Ingredients

5 pounds Gulf Shrimp, 16/20 or U-12's, no heads
.25 cup Creole seasoning [note: be careful: some contain a lot of salt]
1.5 tablespoon Olive Oil
.5 cup Garlic, minced
.25 cup Fresh rosemary, chopped
.5 cup Worcestershire sauce
To taste Hot Sauce
5 each Lemons, juice of, reserve the skin and quarter
1 each Bottle of beer (Abita amber)
To taste Salt and pepper
.5 pound Butter, unsalted

Directions

• Toss the shrimp in a bowl with half the creole seasoning. Heat a large skillet on a high heat with olive oil (should begin to smoke a bit). Add the garlic and rosemary in the pan, stir barely brown the garlic (do not burn-creates a bitter flavor). Add the shrimp and stir carefully. Add the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice and quartered lemons.
• Add the beer to deglaze the pan. Allow the shrimp to cook for 2 minutes (depends of size) and add the remaining seasoning and salt and pepper. When the shrimp have finished cooking remove them from the pan, reduce the liquid on medium-high heat and add butter, one tablespoon at a time until the liquid become a slightly thickened sauce. Taste to adjust seasoning.
•  Return the shrimp to the sauce, stir for just a quick second and then portion the shrimp into large (shallow) bowls and spoon sauce over the top.
•  Serve with warm French bread and, as a recommendation, use dish towels – not fancy napkins.

Deviled eggs with lazy man's crawfish remoulade

Ingredients

18 eggs, large grade A
.5 c. mayo, dukes
1.5 tsp. Dijon
.5 tsp. salt, kosher
.5 tsp. cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp. hot sauce, crystal's 

Crawfish remoulade ingredients

1 pound Louisiana Crawfish tail meat, drained
1 cup Duke's mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 tablespoons Ketchup
2 teaspoons Crystals Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (see below for recipe)
To garnish Chives, Fresh 

Creole seasoning ingredients

1.5 tablespoons Spanish paprika
1.5 teaspoons Black pepper, ground
1.5 teaspoon Kosher salt
.75 teaspoon Garlic, granulated
.75 teaspoon Thyme, dried
.75 teaspoon Oregano, dried
.75 teaspoon Basil, dried
.75 teaspoon Onion, granulated
.5 teaspoon Cayenne  

Directions

• Boil eggs for 12-15 minutes and then remove and reserve. Peel the cooked eggs, and cut in half. Separate the egg yolks and reserve the egg whites in the refrigerator while prepping the remaining ingredients.
• Take the cooked yolks and place them in a mesh sifter and using a metal spoon push the yolks through the sifter over a s/s mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients to the yolks and using a rubber spatula, mix by hand until smooth. Place mix in a piping bag and store in refrigerator. When time to assemble, remove the reserved whites and pipe the yolk mixture into the whites, nice and full. Take your reserved crawfish mixture and top each egg with about a teaspoon of the mix. Finish with chives. 
• Remove the crawfish meat from the bag and allow them to drain and reserve. Combine the remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl and blend using a whisk. Then using a rubber spatula, add the reserved tail-meat, combine and refrigerate it overnight or for at least 4 hours.
• Place all ingredients into a stainless steel mixing bowl and using a whisk combine well. Break up all the dried spice lumps. Store in an airtight container on spice shelf. If you have any leftover, it can be used to season your glass rim for Bloody Mary's.
• Once deviled eggs are assembled, place some of the Remoulade mixture on top of each egg. Garnish with fresh chives..   

Pimento cheese drop biscuits 

Ingredients

2.5 cups White Lilly all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Baking powder
.25 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, ground
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
8 tablespoons Unsalted butter, cubed
.75 cup Sharp Cheddar, grated
.5 cup Roasted Red Peppers, roughly chopped (roughly 1 large bell pepper)
1 cup Buttermilk, cold  

Directions

• Heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt, in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse 3-4 times, then add cold cubed butter, and pulse again 8-10 times. 
• Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the grated cheese and the roasted peppers. Using your hands, fold in the cold buttermilk, about half-cup at a time, into a portion of the base, just until it comes together and forms a dough ball. It should be dry enough to roll out. Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface.
• Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using a straight rolling pin that has been lightly floured, roll the dough into a .75-inch thick rectangle. Fold the dough in half so the short ends meet. Repeat the rolling and folding process 5 times. Roll it out to be .5-inch thick on final roll, then punch out with ring cutter (3.25 inches in diameter.) Be careful - DO NOT TWIST YOUR BISCUIT CUTTER!!
• Brush with buttermilk and bake for 12 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  
• Remove from oven and brush with melted unsalted butter.

Spinach madeline

Ingredients

2 packages Spinach, chopped, frozen
4 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons All purpose flour
.25 cup Sweet onions, small diced
1 teaspoon Garlic, fresh, minced
.5 cup Evaporated milk
.5 cup reserved Spinach liquor (reserved liquid from chopped spinach)
.5 teaspoon Black pepper
.75 teaspoon Celery salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
To taste Salt
To taste Cayenne to taste
6 ounces Velveeta Mexican cheese or pepper jack, sliced into ¼-inch cubes 

Directions

• Cook the spinach according to directions on package. Drain and reserve the liquid. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add flour, stirring until blended and smooth, but not brown. Add the onions and the garlic, and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
• Then add evaporated milk, spinach liquor and Worcestershire sauce slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook mixture until smooth and thick, stirring constantly. Add seasonings and cubed cheese. Stir until melted and combine with cooked spinach. 
• This may be served immediately or put into a casserole and topped with buttered breadcrumbs. This is best to make a day in advance and left covered in refrigerator overnight.

Lemon icebox pie

Ingredients

Crust ingredients

14 each Graham crackers
.25 cups Sugar
.25 teaspoons Salt
6 tablespoons Butter, unsalted and melted, still warm 

Filling ingredients

2, 14-ounce cans condensed milk
1 1/4 cups strained lemon juice [from 2 zested lemons and an additional 4-6]
2 each lemon zest
8 each egg yolks 

Directions

  • Heat the oven to 325°F. Break the graham crackers into small pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor along with the sugar and salt. Pulse 8 times, until the cracker crumbs are semi-fine [they shouldn't be powdery but not in large shards either] and the crackers and sugar are combined. Pour in the butter and pulse until the butter is blended in and the mixture isn't crumbly and holds its shape when you squeeze it, about twelve 1-second pulses. Transfer the crust to a 9-inch springform pan and push and press the crumb mixture into the bottom and two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crust into place. Set aside.  
  • Whisk the condensed milk with the lemon juice and set aside. Whisk the zest with the egg yolks in a medium bowl until pale, 30 to 60 seconds, and then whisk in the lemon juice-condensed milk mixture.
  • Place the spring-form pan on a rimmed baking sheet, pour the mixture into the crust, and carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake until the center jiggles slightly, like a soft-setting custard, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour on a cooling rack. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap (be careful not to let the plastic wrap touch the top of the pie) and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.