Dick and Jenny’s has seen a lot of changes over the years. Originally a grocery store, then a po-boy shop, now the restaurant is for people who want to enjoy fine dining in a casual and affordable setting. Today, chefs Lyndsay Mason and Stacy Hall bring their own touches to the restaurant while still keeping the same comfortable atmosphere.
Neither chef wanted to change Dick and Jenny’s – it’s already a great place that people love. But they did want to influence and refine the restaurant slightly and elevate what people were being served. Chef Mason, who came from Cristiano Ristorante in Houma, brought some Italian influences with him. Chef Hall worked for years in Alaska. The unique backgrounds of the two chefs allow them to come up with new, interesting menu items that are unique to the restaurant.
“We’ve also developed a lot of different dishes now,” says Chef Mason. “Because we didn’t want to, you know, just take Cristiano’s dishes and plug them straight in, there’s a difference. You know, there’s things that are expected here, and a different mentality. So we more merged dishes together.” A huge slice of pistachio cake became more manageable pistachio cupcakes. Fried green tomato recipes from both restaurants were merged to create an entirely new recipe with influences from both sides. The Dick and Jenny’s feel and taste remains, but influences of both chefs are visible.
It would be difficult for Dick and Jenny’s to find two more varied and passionate chefs. Both of them are clear that people don’t become chefs for the money – they do it for the love and passion for cooking. Chef Hall started off at Ryan’s Family Steakhouse in Slidell when she was only fifteen and worked there for seven years before deciding to go to culinary school. Delgado started her varied journey – she began working at the House of Blues, then cooked seasonally in Alaska for ten years while also working at various restaurants in New Orleans. She has now been head chef at Dick and Jenny’s for four years. “Definitely know it’s for the love and not the money,” she stresses. “You’ve got to be dedicated.”
Chef Mason had similar beginnings. He also began working at a restaurant at the age of fifteen: Flannigan’s in his hometown of Thibodeaux. He started as a dishwasher, worked his way up to kitchen manager, and worked at several family restaurants before he, too, decided that culinary school was the way for him to go. He attended John Folse Culinary Institute in Thibodaux and began working at Cristiano’s about seven years ago.
The partnership between these two chefs has been established for months now, and the two are looking forward to continuing to improve the restaurant to the best of their abilities. Hall and Mason continue to be committed to finding the best, freshest ingredients for their dishes and following their love of food. It’s impossible to know what the future will hold, but it will definitely be something interesting. “It’s always challenging and it’s always something new,” Chef Hall says. “And that is what drives you to do what you do.”
Dick and Jenny’s will also now be serving serve brunch starting every weekend this fall.