A look into the kitchen of Driftwood Cask & Barrel
With the first bite it is easy to tell that every dish at Driftwood Cask & Barrel comes with a side of passion. We wanted to get to know the dream team behind the downtown eatery and find out what we can expect next. Chef Cameron Kelly and Sous Chef David Foret have personalities like their menu: upbeat, adventurous, and warming. The Louisiana Culinary Institute grads aren’t scared of any additional prep time or technique.
“We are all about respecting the ingredients and wasting as little as possible. When we met, we clicked right away. Our culinary vision has grown together, and we have a great time getting creative,” said Kelly with a smile.
Chef Kelly is a New Orleans native who came to Baton Rouge after Katrina. He was raised in the kitchen, learning all the basics from his paw paw.
“He used to put a penny next to the stove so I would know when my roux was the right color.”
Kelly worked the front of house in restaurants for over twenty years, then became a DJ before returning to his true calling in the kitchen.
“David and I both love the creativity that cooking allows us to have and our specials menu is where we can really try some amazing new things.”
We sampled their braised and fried pork belly with an Abita glaze and local honey gastrique. It was served with house made sweet potato gnocchi and a brown butter sage sauce for a mere $10. The special had a fine dining look and appeal, with a taste that far exceeded the price tag.
“We want people to come and enjoy that elevated taste without the elevated price tag.” They always post their specials on Facebook and Instagram so you can check out what is cooking ahead of time.
Chef Kelly has also ramped up the local wing game.
“We sous-vide our wings before frying. It makes a world of difference.”
Photos by Alyssa Fisher