2012 Chefs to Watch – Zac Watters


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Zac Watters
Chef Zac Watters, Zachary’s, Mandeville

Chef Zac Watters learned the joys of living in the Bayou State early. Meals at his childhood home in Mandeville— especially loud holidays with the whole family bringing their best jambalayas, etouffées, and gumbos to the table—formed a solid base for his love of food and cooking.

“I grew up hunting with my father and grandfather,” Zac says. “Then we’d go home and cook with what we’d caught. It was a very eye-opening experience.”

After training at the Louisiana Culinary Institute, Zac worked in the kitchens of Cafe Adelaide in New Orleans, followed by a few years at Del Porto in Covington. He soon returned to the Crescent City for an internship at Stella! with Chef Scott Boswell.

Zac now delights customers with his “modern American food with a touch of French” at his restaurant Zachary’s, which is tucked inside a cozy cottage in Mandeville. His small plates and appetizers are quite popular, as are the slowly cooked short ribs, which are served on turnip mash with demi-glace and his Redfish Daiquiri (pan-fried Louisiana redfish with lemon crab cream sauce).

“We get most of our produce through Louisiana Fresh, and we’ve just started working with Covey Rise. Their Creole tomatoes are awesome. You can really tell the difference when you’re using locally grown products. They taste like Louisiana.”

In addition to the availability of superior raw ingredients, Zac uses the restaurant’s small footprint to his advantage: Since Zachary’s can only seat 40 guests at a time, he benefits from being able to order high-quality products from smaller producers.

In his spare time, Zac drives across Lake Pontchartrain to sample dishes and drinks around New Orleans.

“We have such a great variety of chefs with different inspirations,” he says. “We’ve all put our minds together to make a unique style of Louisiana cuisine.”


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Fried Wild Mushroom Spring Roll
Fried Wild Mushroom Spring Rolls

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Shrimp and Andouille Beignets with Crawfish Corn Maque Choux
Shrimp and Andouille Beignets with Crawfish Corn Maque Choux


 Click to meet the 2012 Chefs to Watch

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Zac Watters
Chef Zac Watters
Zachary’s, Mandeville
CHEF MANNY AUGELLO Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro, Lafayette
Chef Manny Augello
Bread & Circus Provisions, Lafayette

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Chef Lindsay Mason Executive Chef, Cristiano Ristorante, Houma
Chef Lindsay Mason
Cristiano Ristorante, Houma
BRAD MCGEHEE Executive Chef, Ye Olde College Inn, New Orleans
Brad McGehee
Ye Olde College Inn, New Orleans

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Chef Ryan Andre
Chef Ryan André
City Pork, Baton Rouge
2012 Chefs to Watch
Meet the 2012 Chefs to Watch


photography by Sara Essex Bradley[/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]