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The Scoop: New kitchen team to bring more NOLA to Lola

January 14th 10:01am, 2011

11311_beignetLook for more of a French Creole flair at Lola. That’s the word from Mike Ryan, whom Lola owners Chris Hansen and Cijo Matthew recently brought on board to helm the kitchen at their downtown restaurant.

The menu, slated to kick off in early March, will see the addition of items such as fricassees, cassoulets, an andouille corn dog with dirty rice, a Creole-dusted rib-eye and chicken and shrimp étouffée. Dessert change-ups are in the works as well. The restaurant will be adding a classic beignet to the offerings, as well as creative bread puddings, a variety of crème brûlées, and fun puff pastry bowls for semifreddos and custards, just to name a few. Those who have dined at Lola of late may have tasted a few of these sweet treats already (did you get a bite of that monkey bread or the pistachio crème brûlée with the dark chocolate crust?) as Ryan and his kitchen brigade have been testing the desserts at the restaurant over the last few weeks. “We’ve had a huge increase in dessert sales since rolling them out as specials,” said Ryan.

Ryan has been in the food industry for a number of years and has spent time in the kitchen at Dominic’s. Most recently, he worked for Chartwells Dining Services, operator of dining services at SLU, where he served as executive chef at Chaifetz Arena. Implementing the NOLA direction at Lola with Ryan is Montsho Harrel, recently promoted from within to sous chef, and new pastry chef Frank Mills, who accompanies Ryan from Chartwells.

By Ligaya Figueras

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2 Responses to “The Scoop: New kitchen team to bring more NOLA to Lola”

  1. Shari Tudor Says:
    March 7th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I went to Lola’s Restaurant on Valentines Day and I have to tell you how wonderful my dinner was. I had the lobster dog, which was a marvel in itself, but I have to tell you about the dessert…the white chocolate cheesecake with the red hot semifreddo,,,,,,,the presentation, the ingredients, just the absolute idea was terrific. I love to have something new and different, and this dessert was such a thrill and so much fun!! I intend to go back to Lola’s over and over again. I think next time I will ask to speak to the pastry chef and ask how he came up with his idea. I looked at other people’s desserts and found something different everywhere I looked. Whoever is working the desserts at Lola’s, sure knows their stuff!

  2. Sauce Magazine Blog » Blog Archive » More from our conversation with Lola’s Mike Ryan. Says:
    May 9th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    [...] this month’s Five Questions column (p. 56), Mike Ryan, the new executive chef at Lola, the swank downtown eatery and lounge, talked absinthe, corn dogs, Megadeth [...]

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