Justin Simoneaux’s cooking is all about soul – and with a style that mixes California ingredients with Louisina Cajun and Creole dishes, it’s no wonder there’s so much of it. The Boxing Room is Simoneaux’s playground, where he mixes his New Orleans background with his training in California. The menu hosts many of Simoneaux’s personal favorites; since Simoneaux was a child, he’s always had a palate for truly great food. He now shares this palate with his customers, and the restaurant has become nothing short of a San Francisco hot spot, boasting menu favorites like Cajun Boiled Peanuts, Smoked Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo, and New Orleans-Style Stuffed Artichoke. The New Potato couldn’t resist sitting down to hear what this chef recommends…
What’s different about your food?
Well, Nothing really. I’m just sourcing good local ingredients and mixing it with flavors and cooking methods from another part of the country. Just so happens that my local is San Francisco and other part of the country is Southern Louisiana.
Are you constantly making changes? How so?
Always. It may be as simple as the plate presentation, garnish, etc…Being in San Francisco it seems there is a different season every week, so there always something new to play with. I think I speak for all chefs by saying that we are never satisfied with anything so changes are constant.
What’s special about your menu?
Question number one sums it up.
How do your travels and experiences play into your restaurant?
Well I haven’t traveled much but experiences do play a major roll. Being a Louisiana native helps with the core of what Boxing Room is, and also working in San Francisco under some great chefs helps with seasonal sensibility.
Your go-to recipe when cooking outside the restaurant for family and friends…
Roasted Chicken with braised greens and bacon fat potatoes. I cannot explain how much I love a good roasted chicken.
Can you share some menu favorites from Boxing Room?
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Shrimp Po’Boy and Hog’s Head Cheese.
What are your favorite cities to travel for food? What spots do you go to there?
Every Vacation I’ve taken since living here (7 years) has been back home to Louisiana – which isn’t a bad place to go. I always eat at Cochon, Willie Mae’s Scotch House, Butcher and my favorite place: my mom’s house.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Where would you like to travel for inspiration that you haven’t been to yet?
I would love to go to Spain.