Isaac Toups

Location: New Orleans, LA
Restaurant: Toups' Meatery
Awards/Accolades: Semifinalist 2015 James Beard Best Chef South

If you can taste Isaac Toups's food and not immediately know where you are, there's a good chance your tongue is busted. The Louisiana-born-and-raised (and "braised," he jokes) chef is a meat guy down to the bone, and he's made it his business to boost the art of Cajun charcuterie and offal cooking. There are boudin, rillettes and cracklins on his signature meat board, but they're given equal billing alongside more obscure traditional preparations like chaurice, rillons and more—as well as playful reimaginings like a terrine layered with Sazerac cocktail flavors and bone marrow with duck-heart bordelaise on chicken liver mousse crostini. He makes darn sure each and every one tastes like home.

Cook up a pot of dirty rice like Toups.