NOLA Set to Bring The Soulful Flavors of New Orleans to The Marketplace at Avalon Park
For nearly 20 years Chef Kevin Brune has been bringing nostalgic flavors from the Big Easy to the Central Florida streets. From helping develop the celebrated Mardi Gras event at Universal Studios to carting the mobile "Voodoo Kitchen" around the Orlando food truck scene, this Lousiana-native’s latest soul food endeavor will soon be casting its culinary spell right here in Avalon Park. Located inside The Marketplace at Avalon, Kevin’s restaurant, NOLA, will be cooking up Louisiana cuisine inspired by the recipes he grew up craving and creating alongside his family.Working as Director of Events for the American Culinary Federation, Kevin was professionally trained by chefs from all over the United States, but his original love for cooking is as homegrown as his recipes.
“I practiced cooking in my Mom’s kitchen and my brother’s backyard. We spent so many holiday gatherings in mom's little kitchen in Ocean Springs, MS making gumbo or red beans or roast beef po' boys or frying soft-shell crabs or having a crawfish boil or.... you get the point.”It was in his family’s kitchen, and while taste-testing dishes all over New Orleans, that Kevin curated a repertoire of his favorite Louisiana fare. “Choosing a favorite dish is like choosing a favorite niece or nephew. But my favorites would have to be a legit crawfish etouffée, any gumbo from Dookie Chase, red beans and rice from Mother's, a hot roast beef & gravy po' boy from Johnnie's or Parkway Bakery, BBQ shrimp from Paschale's Manale, a muffuletta from Central Grocery, or boudin from some little hole-in-the-wall spot in Lake Charles that I pray is still open.”
Kevin’s take on every one of these items earned its place on the exciting NOLA menu, with each plate bringing authentic flavor and deep history to The Marketplace table. Although his menu inspiration comes from N'awlins, and his food truck has taken him all over the Sunshine State, Kevin felt sure that The Marketplace at Avalon Park was the perfect spot to put it in park and set up a brick-and-mortar home for the recipes he loves so much. “The enthusiasm and support of the community that we witnessed first-hand as Voodoo Kitchen during the Avalon Food Truck events told us that residents here love to have fun and participate. The Marketplace concept is perfect for this location, and the overall vision for an eclectic collection of diverse business owners and culinary offerings is outstanding.”