The History and Recipe Behind New Orleans’ BBQ Shrimp

BBQ Shrimp is an iconic New Orleans dish.  BBQ Shrimp isn’t about slathering grilled or fried shrimp in a ton of BBQ sauce. Rather, it is a shrimp dish delicately prepared in a rich butter sauce flavored with Worcestershire and white wine and eaten with dripping dipped French bread. You can find iterations at various restaurants and in homes across the city, but the original recipe comes from an Uptown restaurant, Pascal’s Manale.

Pascal Manale's

In the mid-1950s, the local Italian restaurant Pascal’s Manale, opened in 1913 on Napoleon Ave, invented the the BBQ shrimp recipe. The story goes that one of the restaurant’s regulars, Vincent Sutro, had just returned from a business trip to Chicago, and he began explaining a delicious dish he had there to chef Jake Radosta. He knew it had something to do with shrimp, butter and a lot of pepper, and he asked Radosta if he could try to make it.

Radosta did his best to recreate the dish based on the customer’s description. What he presented to Sutro ended up being not what Sutro had tasted in Chicago, but he remarked instead that it was even better. The restaurant put the dish on the menu, where it’s been ever since. From there,  BBQ Shrimp eventually became a staple of the city’s cuisine.

Care to try to recreate BBQ Shrimp for yourself? Try Pascal’s Manale’s own recipe for yourself and your family at home, or take a trip over to the restaurant on your next visit to have the original  BBQ Shrimp in person.

Pascal’s Manale BBQ Shrimp Recipe


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