City Social Magazine

MAR-APR 2017

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 18 of 59

19 " i have loved to cook as long as i can remember. t o this day, it is the only thing, other than my wife, that consumes my attention and concentration," said an energetic Justin Ferguson, the executive chef, owner and operator of the soon to open B r Q, a new restaurant serving distinguished barbecue fare and other extensive food favorites. " i t is my calling and it is what i love to do," said the d enham s prings native. a nd he did not waste anytime pursuing that calling with a career as a chef once he returned from his a rmy tour of duty in i raq where he served as a r econ s cout. He began working in restaurants in Baton r ouge where his culinary interests were piqued, leading him to enroll in the l ouisiana c ulinary i nstitute. Following his graduation Justin took to the road, where he began honing his skills as an innovative chef in the big city restaurants of Boston and Chicago. It was in those surroundings in an atmosphere of fierce compe- tition, working alongside chefs who had been the recipients of the Michelin award, that he was spurred to strive for perfection as a chef. "Working in Boston opened my eyes as a young cook learning to appreciate food and understanding it. I was like a sponge in that city in Italian restaurants where we cut our own fish daily, made pasta fresh every morning and baked all the bread for the restaurant," said Justin. In Chicago, he was exposed to a culinary scene of many ethnic foods and devoured knowledge of their culture and origin. A visionary anxious to absorb as much infor- mation as possible about food, the youthful chef worked with great farmers and describes that time as "changing my life." Through this impressive experience he viewed how food is grown naturally with no chemicals or pesticides. Justin Ferguson has just returned to Baton Rouge to open his own restaurant, armed with an arsenal of expe- rience as he creates new and delectable dishes, confident of his culinary ability as well as his professional organizational skills. For the food lovers in the Capital City who crave mouth-watering barbeque, Justin plans to satisfy that craving at BRQ with his partners Charlie and April Ruffolo, and Keith Rush, owners of the Louisiana Culinary Institute, when it opens in May. "I decided on barbecue because I wanted the challenge to present it in a fashion that is a bit more polished instead of the paper plates and squeeze bottle," said Justin. He also notes that BRQ is, of course, about barbecue but it is also about farm to table, local seafood, and prime steaks. Everything is made in the restaurant. The rubs, sauces and drop biscuits are made to order. Barbecue at BRQ is prepared in a competition style that represents South Carolina, North Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis and Texas, where the concentration is on the quality of the meat, rub and smoke. "We believe that the key to creating good barbecue results from the cooking over applewood and hickory at a low temperature for anywhere up to 12 to 14 hours. BRQ strives to provide the best quality of food and pre- senting it in a style of comfort and a touch of elegance," stated the chef proudly. All barbecue at the BRQ is served without a sauce on it, emphasizing the belief that great barbecue does not need sauce, but they are offered as a condiment for the diners who prefer sauces as accompaniment to their meal. BRQ will also offer numerous Gulf seafood items and prime steaks. In perusing the unique gourmet menu, customers will see octopus, smoked rabbit, duck and maybe even chicken fried frog legs. Justin stressed that BRQ will be a Southern restaurant and a local one that will highlight dishes from Louisiana products. In addition to its marvelous food, BRQ will introduce an extensive liquor portfolio that includes whiskey, rum and aged spirits with an emphasis on tasting flight. The drink list offers the traditional, inventive and obscure, along with a large champagne and wine group. An expert and competent bar team remains eager with "lots of fun things to introduce." Justin Ferguson and his staff will assure their customers a sincere sense of hospitality at BRQ. "While other establishments may focus on service and go no further, we feel that our product would be sorely misrepresented by similar lev- els. We want to provide and maintain an atmosphere of genuine comfort, and warmth as well as great service. In addition to lunch and dinner, we are very excited about showcasing BRQ's brunch every Saturday and Sunday that promises to be lots of fun," he said excitedly. With a planned target day for opening in May, BRQ will be located at 10423 Jefferson Highway. " m uch m ore than s queeze Bottles and Paper Plates" Chef Justin Ferguson to Open Barbecue Restaurant in Baton Rouge By Rosalind Tuminello 19

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