Simone Rathlé of simoneink proudly welcomes another Southern gent to her prestigious group of chefs and restaurateurs. In a historic cotton warehouse in Monroe, Louisiana, that also once served as the nation’s western-most distribution point of alcoholic spirits, chef Cory Bahr, a no-nonsense cook, honors his roots of good southern rural cooking and serves “North Delta” fare with that down-home panache.
Chef and culinary personality, Cory Bahr, has been sharing his classic North Delta cuisine and his secrets for succulent seafood to the hungry citizens of Monroe since opening Restaurant Cotton in December of 2011. In less than a year, he has already leveraged that experience into an important and impressive accolade: this past June Cory showcased his talents nationwide and proved this “King” of Louisiana Seafood is also a champion on the Food Network’s Chopped!
On the cutthroat competition show Chopped!, where chefs are thrown curve balls with every opening of the Secret Ingredient Basket, Cory had to go beyond his ‘creative Southern cuisine’ which choices like gummy fried eggs, Jerusalem artichokes, and raisins on the vine to name a few. Despite the tricks up their sleeves, Cory’s skill, speed, and ingenuity wowed judges Aarón Sanchez, Amanda Freitag, and Maneet Chauhan and brought him Chopped! glory. He won! Dishes like Corned Beef Hash with Truffle Oil and Bread Pudding with Mint Sauce kept Cory off the ‘chopping block’ and on the “Sunny Side [of] Apps!” on the Food Network.
Born in Monroe, Louisiana, Cory began his cooking career as soon as he could stand at the stove. After many years of intense education he graduated from the “School of Grandmother’s Kitchen” where he was taught by his grandmother only the best: how to cook within the seasons with only what is fresh and good. In 2011, he proved the value of his training by battling against 12 other Louisiana chefs and winning the coveted crown as the King of Louisiana Seafood. Since his royal appointment, Cory has traveled across the country sharing his secrets as a representative of the Louisiana Seafood Board’s Chef Council. In December 2011, Restaurant Cotton opened its doors and introduced guests to a menu highlighting Louisian culture and heritage foods, where he earned his title as a ‘Chef to Watch’ by Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine. While Cory’s hard work put him on top in 2011, 2012’s Chopped! proved that this chef will be hard to beat.