Touring from the Home Kitchen (Recipes) – Mauritius – Seafood Rougaille

Mauritian cuisine is, typically, a borrowed method of cooking, borrowed cultures, and adapted over years of French, Indian, British, Chinese, and African occupation and habitation. Mauritian dishes are not too spicy, by default, but can be modified to be as spicy as you’d like. On our trip, especially this being the first “trip” we took on the Country Spinner, we went with three dishes, Cheese Fritters, Ojja, and Rougaille. I’m going to split them throughout different posts as to not overwhelm you with text and make it difficult to follow. Also, I’m going to tell you what I messed up on or did very well in true transparency. This is really more of an experiment than how to do everything right. I did mess up some things. We worked around it.

Seafood Rougaille

Here we go…


Prawn rougaille (roo-GUY) is a Mauritian dish that is usually cooked with king prawns in a rougaille sauce. What does that mean? Well, rougaille is a Creole dish that is tomato-based with incredibly rich flavors thanks to the combination of spices used. Rougaille is a traditional dish that is handed down from generations before so recipes will vary from generation to generation. That’s okay. What I made is a Creole-style dish that I made “my own.” This was one of my favorite dishes that I’ve made.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-4 Red or green chilies chopped (according to your heat preference)**
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 2 thyme sprigs (leaves only)
  • 1 bell pepper (thinly sliced)*
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup of diced pineapple (drained)
  • 1 pound extra-large peeled and de-veined shrimp
  • 1/2 pound of cod (or other firm but delicate white fish)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  1. In a saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in the onion and half the garlic and fry until golden.
  3. Pour in 1/2 the wine to soften the onion then add in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes over high heat then reduce to simmer.
  4. Stir in the cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and white pepper and drizzle a bit more olive oil.
  5. Add in the parsley, chili, bell pepper, thyme, and pineapple, and remove from heat after just a few minutes.
  6. In another frying pan, heat up a little more oil and fry the remaining garlic until fragrant. Add in the shrimp and cod, season with salt and black pepper, and cook for two minutes.
  7. Deglaze the pan with the remaining wine.
  8. Add the seafood into the rougaille and stir through the fresh cilantro.
We served it on top of couscous, which is popular throughout Africa. Enjoy!

*I used 1/3 each red, orange, and yellow pepper. I don’t like green bell peppers.
**I used just one serrano pepper, seeded and chopped. Use more for more heat.


If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out and I’d love to see some pictures. Either email me or hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Thank you for reading!!

Touring from the Home Kitchen (Recipes) – Mauritius – Ojja

Mauritian cuisine is, typically, a borrowed method of cooking, borrowed cultures, and adapted over years of French, Indian, British, Chinese, and African occupation and habitation. Mauritian dishes are not too spicy, by default, but can be modified to be as spicy as you’d like. On our trip, especially this being the first “trip” we took on the Country Spinner, we went with three dishes, Cheese Fritters, Ojja, and Rougaille. I’m going to split them throughout different posts as to not overwhelm you with text and make it difficult to follow. Also, I’m going to tell you what I messed up on or did very well in true transparency. This is really more of an experiment than how to do everything right. I did mess up some things. We worked around it.

Here we go…


Ojja (oh-zjuh) is originally a Tunisian (northern Africa, Mediterranean coast) dish.  It’s made from eggs, known for its ease of preparation. simple and fast, and super tasty! While Ojja is often eaten with bread, we chose a large-scale cracker. Also, the recipes I found all called for Merguez sausage, a lamb sausage. No one around here (Winston-Salem, NC) had those, so we went with chorizo instead, trying to keep the Mediterranean vibe.

  • 4 chorizo sausages cut into sections
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree (I took 1 tbsp of tomato paste and diluted it with a little bit of water. Still thick but manageable)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway
  • Harissa (a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste) – use to taste or not at all, your preference
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 fresh tomato, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces water
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced ​​or diced, I always use red, orange, or yellow, green bell peppers are too bitter
  • 2-4 eggs
  • Parsley (for garnish)
  1. In a pan pour olive oil, the chopped onion, and the crushed garlic and fry for a few minutes then add the tomato puree and the harissa and simmer for a few minutes then add the fresh tomato cut into small dice, chorizo, and spices.
  2. Add salt and pepper and simmer for ten minutes on low heat then add water.
  3. When the chorizo has cooked, add the pepper.
  4. When the sauce becomes a little thick, break the eggs on top of the mixture. Cook for ten minutes without simmering (cover if you want hard-boiled eggs).
  5. Ensure that every portion has its own egg to break over the dish.
  6. Finally decorate with parsley and serve with good bread, lavosh, or crackers.

If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out and I’d love to see some pictures. Either email me or hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Touring from the Home Kitchen (Recipes) – Mauritius – Cheese Fritters

Mauritian cuisine is, typically, a borrowed method of cooking, borrowed cultures, and adapted over years of French, Indian, British, Chinese, and African occupation and habitation. Mauritian dishes are not too spicy, by default, but can be modified to be as spicy as you’d like. On our trip, especially this being the first “trip” we took on the Country Spinner, we went with three dishes, Cheese Fritters, Ojja, and Rougaille. I’m going to split them throughout different posts as to not overwhelm you with text and make it difficult to follow. Also, I’m going to tell you what I messed up on or did very well in true transparency. This is really more of an experiment than how to do everything right. I did mess up some things. We worked around it. I will say that I can’t find any pictures that I took of this recipe and I realize that sucks. I think I have everything else, though. This picture is from someone else. I don’t know who but it isn’t my picture.

(not my picture)

Here we go…


Cheese fritter is a snack that Mauritians like to consume during picnics or other occasions. It is also very popular during the month of Ramadan, probably because you can premake the batter and do these really quick after sunset.

These Cheese Fritters came out a little overdone because I had the oil too hot, I think. The lesson was learned and the next time (and there will be a next time) I will make sure to have a candy thermometer or similar to make sure the oil is at a good temperature. One thing, we looked for chickpea flour instead of regular wheat flour as chickpea flour (or more precisely, bessan powder for the recipe) is what the Mauritians use.

  • 3 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 pinch of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chopped serrano peppers, seeded
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives*
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Cubes of cheese**
  • Oil
  1. Pour chickpea flour, salt, pepper, cumin, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl and mix everything well.
  2. Gradually pour your water in until you get a very soft and consistent paste. Don’t just dump the water in. Mix vigorously, adding more water if necessary, then leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour coriander, peppers, onions, and chopped chives into the batter and mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat your saucepan or pot over medium heat and pour in the oil.
  5. One at a time, add the cheese cubes to the batter, using a tablespoon to cradle it (so you don’t lose it in the batter) but making sure it is completely coated by the batter.
  6. Dip the battered cubes into the oil and brown for about 2 minutes or just before the cheese starts oozing from the crisping batter.
  7. Let drain before serving.

*If you don’t have fresh chives, you can use dried, but I’ve found that fresh has a brighter flavor.
** Use a good melting cheese. We used Dubliner and that was not a good melting cheese. You want one that melts but also keeps its consistency. I suggest a fontina, gouda (smoked or otherwise), mozzarella, or gruyere. And, if you have some pimento cheese sitting around, roll some in a ball and use that, I think that would be good.


If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out and I’d love to see some pictures. Either email me or hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Thank you for reading!!

Mr. Barbecue to Finally Re-Open Its Doors on March 15

©Walt Unks/WSJournal

The heck with the Ides of March! Winston-Salemites or as I like to call them Camel Citizens, will finally be getting their BBQ Mecca back on Monday, March 15 when Jimmy Carros reopens the famed restaurant almost two years after the fire that gutted part of the building. Thankfully, when that fire happened on April 10, 2019, during prime dinner service, everyone got out and no one was injured. The restaurant has been open and serving delicious “Q” since 1962.

To find out more, visit their Facebook page or their website. I will talk more about this on Monday’s podcast!

Those We’ve Lost

2020 was a bad year for everyone, but especially the Food & Beverage Community.

Here’s a list of those that have closed since the pandemic started. The dates are the dates of the posted announcements (if known). Not all restaurants closed because of the pandemic, necessarily, but it certainly didn’t help matters. This list will update as needed.

Bib’s Downtown – Dec 31, 2020
Bonefish – June 23, 2020
Cafe Vera Du – Oct 17, 2020
Carmine Italian Restaurant – Sept 15, 2020
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen – May 18, 2020
Cimarron Steakhouse – August 26, 2020
Corks Caps & Taps – August 24, 2020
Dr. Chops – September 24, 2020 (Closed since March 2020)
Lighthouse Grill – September 17, 2020
Mary’s Gourmet Diner – May 25, 2020 (Closed since March 14, 2020)
Miyako Japanese Restaurant – January 1, 2021 (Sold and changed to a chain)
Mooney’s Mediterranean Cafe – October 12, 2020 (Closed since March 2020)
Mozzarella Fellas – January 1, 2021 (Rebranded to Dom’s on Spruce Street)
Organix Juice Bar – November 2, 2020
Paul’s Fine Italian Dining – July 1, 2020
Providence at BB&T – May 29, 2020
Ruby Tuesday in Clemmons – August 11, 2020 (Closed since March 2020)
Silo – March 31, 2020 (Turned keys in long before the announcement)
Social Southern Kitchen & Cocktails – January 2, 2021
Spruce Street Garden – Craft Tavern – October 30, 2020
Tart Sweets – October 22, 2020
The Beer Growler – December 14, 2020 (Closed since September 2020)
The Slanted Shed – October 18, 2020
Trade Street Diner – July 1, 2020 (Closed since March 2020/rebranded Cibo)
West End Coffee House – August 31, 2020
Zesto’s Burgers & Ice Cream – Official date unknown.

Wild Willie’s Wiener Wagon – Moved to Myrtle Beach September 2020
Twin City Hive – Moved to Gibsonville August 22, 2020 (and have since closed again).
The Flour Box is closed temporarily in search of a new location (late February 2020).

Take-Out Pledge Winston-Salem

I have taken the #TakeOutPledgeWS and pledge to support local businesses. Some are only doing downtown but I think all businesses in WSNC need some push. Here’s a video to explain more.

Take the pledge with me!

Broad Branch Distillery Introduces Winston-Salem’s Own New Bourbon

According to the Broad Branch Distillery Facebook page:

An exciting announcement — Winston Salem FINALLY has its own bourbon arriving next week! We can’t wait to introduce you to Big Winston Bourbon.
This initial release is a 4-year single barrel low rye straight bourbon coming in at 85 proof. It boasts a great balance of spicy and sweet, with notes of tea, vanilla, tart cherries, baking spices, and pistachios.
For the time being, bottles will ONLY be available for purchase at the distillery starting on Saturday, January 23. The first 100 commemorative bottles – each one signed by Broad Branch owner John Fragakis – will be available for sale on our website starting Jan 18 (Monday) with curbside pickup beginning that same day at noon.
Mark your calendars to come to grab a bottle in person on Saturday the 23rd or grab a signed bottle online on the 18th.
This barrel WILL sell out fast.

We will have Daniel Spivey, the Head of Brand Development with Broad Branch Distillery this coming Monday. Tune in to hear more!

Bib’s Downtown Closes Today

We held out hope that one of our downtown food staples, Bib’s Downtown, would find a buyer and continue on. It seems that’s not to be. This is reposted from Michael Hastings’ article in the Winston-Salem Journal, it’s not mine.

©Bibs


Bib’s Downtown, 675 W. Fifth St., has decided to permanently close. Its last day of business will be Thursday.

In mid-December, the owners announced that they were negotiating to sell the business. They expressed confidence that the sale would go through, saying they needed only to finalize details and they expected a seamless transition.

But in a statement Tuesday, co-owner Robert Moreau said that the sale did not go through as planned.

“We have had ongoing talks with potential buyers over the last year,” Moreau said. “Despite favorable lease rates, buyers just weren’t able to get past the uncertainty of what the pandemic holds for 2021 and 2022.”
Bib’s opened in December 2008, a partnership between Moreau, chef Mark Little and Little’s son-in-law Ricky Seamon. The restaurant quickly became a popular destination downtown, offering what Little called neither Eastern nor Western barbecue but “Bestern.”

The restaurant sold a variety of smoked meats, including pulled pork, ribs, Texas-style beef brisket, smoked sausage, and smoked turkey breast and chicken.

The restaurant participated in many community events and won awards at such festivals at [sic] the Twin City Rib Fest. Little and Seamon competed on the show TLC show “BBQ Pitmasters” in 2013.

Moreau said that the restaurant’s lease was up at the end of 2020 and that it had suffered from the closing of Business 40 in 2019, and from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

“What really hurt us is what we do is 20% or more catering and that vanished by decree,” Moreau said, referring to the lack of gatherings during the pandemic. “We could wait nine or 10 months, and maybe people will be throwing some big parties. But with the timing of the end of the lease, it just didn’t make sense.”
In a post on its Facebook page, Moreau said the closing was a hard decision. “Winston-Salem, our hometown, needs to know that their support of Bib’s has been nothing short of amazing. A huge thank you to all.”


Thank you again to the Winston-Salem Journal and Michael Hastings.

This is sad news. They plan to be open today until 4p or until their supplies run out. Here’s to you, Mark, Robert, and Ricky, and may the next steps be full of heart and prosperity.

The Man Who Ate the Town Minute (or Two)

Things are happening in this city, food and otherwise, at breakneck speed. It’s really hard to cover it all. We do the podcast once a week and with that, we’re taking the next two off from recording.

Let me cover some stuff.

Bar La Ch.ngada had mentioned they were going to partner with Xcaret (which is owned by the same folks) to offer food options. Then the Governor’s orders came through and they decided to pull back on that. Then, they announced, again, that they were back on! So, they’re back on! New hours will be Tuesday-Saturday 4p-10p and Sundays 1030a-9p. They are closed on Sundays. These hours effective Thursday, December 17.


Local 27101/Artisan has officially changed their name and logo to Local Artisan. We had Greg Carlisle on the podcast a few weeks back for him to announce this and yesterday they unveiled the new logo. I like it. It’s simple, sleek, and easy to read. If you haven’t had this restaurant in a while, it’s still as good as it ever was (better, even) and whether you’re doing the lunch (27101) thing or the dinner (Artisan) thing, you’ll love it. Congrats, Greg, on the rebranding!


Arigato Japanese Steakhouse and Seafood has announced that it will take takeout orders up until 9p in GSO but their WSNC location isn’t doing takeout just yet. They are also selling gift certs/cards on their website but that website is currently (1030a on Wednesday) being repaired.


La Carreta on Robinhood has implemented QR codes for menus. I think this is great. I like that other restaurants have basically laminated a large QR code and put them on the table and people don’t have to handle grody menus. I will admit, though, that I have some trouble reading them, even on my Samsung S10+. But, I’m willing to take that inconvenience, especially in these times, with keeping both Stephanie and me and other folks safe. Good job, La Carreta (and other establishments doing this).


This one hurts. Social. Southern Kitchen is closing for good. This place was great. Granted I only ate there twice, once for my “Summer of Burgers Tour 2019” and another just for appetizers, but the folks were great, the food delicious, the atmosphere perfect. It was just all-around great. Now, why didn’t I eat there more? It takes me around 20-30 minutes to get there from my house. That’s an hour round trip and if we have any alcohol at all, we don’t want to have to drive that and Uber is way too expensive that far away. So, it was special occasions that got me out there.

Here is what the public announcement said:

Jeff and I have worked together in restaurants since March of 2000.
20 years of
~ Behind!
~ Heard!!
~ We 86’d that an hour ago!!!
~ I NEED RUNNNERS!!!!
Let us not forget the priceless sound of $5 wine glasses hitting the floor. 🤬
Oh how we love the sounds. 🥰
The sounds of plates clinking
Cooks singing..
The end of the night LAUGHS with our staff after literally climbing out of the weeds for hours.
The SOUNDS of our guest laughing over a delicious meal with their friends and family.
The SOUND of glasses clinking in celebrations, belly laughs that would fill a room.
You could hear the bear HUGS and huge smiles…
The delight Chef would get when he’d come out of the kitchen. Witnessing that first bite. Then your guest shares a bite, because “this is too damn good for you not to try”
That is why we have AND WILL ALWAYS be restauranteurs!
It is with huge sadness that we would like to share our closing in January. We are leaving the door open to be able to do what we love in the future and want you to know We LOVE Winston Salem!
We will still offer both catering and private chef events until the coast is clear of Covid.
There are very few OWNER operated restaurants who do it for the money, not with these profit margins!!
We do it for all the reasons listed above and when the celebrations of food and life pause, we must pause as well…
This too shall pass… and we hope to be back in the culinary scene, before you know it.
Thank you for all the love and support Winston! We love you dearly…
Erika and Jeff Gibbs
We have found a GREAT concept to take the space, and we know they will offer fabulous to-go options and eventually dine-in service later this winter.

Thanks for reading my The Man Who Ate the Town Minute (or Two).

Arigato Japanese Steak & Seafood Updates Their Hours During the New Executive Order

Arigato Japanese Steakhouse posted this scheduling update on their Facebook page:
Hello~ announcing some updates regarding the Executive Order that starts tomorrow.
– last reservation time we’ll be taking each day will be 8:30 pm.
– we’ll be opening 30 minutes earlier each day. ( new opening times will be Mon-Fri 4:30 pm, Sat & Sun 2:30 pm)
– takeout @ Greensboro location will take orders until 9 pm.