In the fourth episode of this season's The Mind of a Chef, chefs Sean Brock and John Currence visit Louisiana to explore the state's lasting influences on Southern cooking. In this clip, Currence and Brock fry up some thin-fried catfish — the signature dish at legendary New Orleans spot Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant — where catfish are sliced paper-thin before hitting the deep fryer. While fabricating, the duo take the opportunity to talk sustainability, using farm-raised catfish and heirloom cornmeal: "It used to be the role of a chef was very, very simple," Brock says. "Now, people are becoming more and more educated about our food system and therefore they have more questions. And they look to us for the answers."
The resulting dish is not perfect, but as Currence says, "I don't think they're going to take your Beard medal back... you're like the Grant Achatz of fried catfish." Go, watch: