Fork in the Road: Local chef brings big New Orleans flavor to the Little Apple

TOPEKA, Kan, (WIBW) -- It’s hundreds of miles away from the Bayou State, but the food at Mama Deaux’s will make you feel closer than ever.

“If you ain’t never been in the country or you ain’t never been to Louisiana I want to bring you right here,” owner and executive chef Que Purdy said.

Chef Purdy opened the restaurant, located at 3033 Anderson Ave. Manhattan, less than a year ago, naming it after her grandmother.

“I opened up on my grandma’s birthday which is August 24th,” she explained.

Since then she’s been serving up authentic Cajun and Creole dishes using some of her grandmother’s recipes.

“The alligator I added. And Etouffee is from here, and the greens when we have it on the menu. And the cornbread which my granddaughter makes better than me, but we have that. Most of the food here is family recipes,” she said.

Many of the items have become very popular.

“Jumbalaya when they don’t know anything else, but once they learn about the gator, gator is very popular. The jumbos. We do Cajun or Creole gumbo. Chicken and sausage or the seafood,” she explained.

Chef Purdy cooks all of her food as the orders come in.

“We’re not fast food. I’m going to tell you now. We’re not. We make it fresh,” she said.

While customers wait for their food they are sometimes entertained by live music.

“Jazz, blues, zydeco, swamp pop, New Orleans jazz, which is different from regular jazz, country. So all that we have in Louisiana I try to make sure we have it here,” Chef Purdy said.

Once the food leave the skillet and heads to the customer, there’s usually one complaint that Chef Purdy doesn’t mind hearing.

“And we do get complaints about the food being too hot sometimes, but I’m like…I want it to be fresh,” she said.

As visitors come to get a bowl of gumbo or a plate of beignets, she hopes they stay awhile.

“Everybody’s not all in a rush. You know there’s not TV’s in here. I don’t want you watching TV and on your phone. You know you have to, but I just want you to come and just enjoy family and food and fun,” Chef Purdy added.

Customers can reserve the Bayou Sunflower Table or the Mardi Gras table and a percentage of your bill will be donated to a local charity.

Hours are listed below:

  • Sunday Closed
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Thursday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.