On the Menu: Kajun Kidd’s praline cheesecake featured in Mardi Gras food guide

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 15, 2022

LAPLACE — Local business Kajun Kidd Burgers & Wings has earned a spot on the 2022 New Orleans Culture Food Guide for king cake and other Mardi Gras-themed treats.

LaPlace chef Cardell Smith serves up slices of his signature Mardi Gras praline cheesecake from his mobile food trailer, which can often be found parked along Airline Highway in front of the Becnel Law Firm.

Stuffed with traditional Mardi Gras colors and topped with a delectable New Orleans style praline, Kajun Kidd’s cheesecake is a locally-inspired spin on a traditional dessert.

Smith was contacted by a representative of the popular social media account “Where Black NOLA Eats,” a platform that highlights Black-owned food and beverage businesses in New Orleans and the surrounding region. Among the 15 food spots highlighted on the king cake and Mardi Gras themed treat list, Kajun Kidd is the only business representing the River Parishes.

“It feels so surreal. Just being a food truck, you wouldn’t think you would get that much attention. It just feels like a dream come true, honestly. This means our hard work is paying off,” Smith said.

According to Smith, every menu item has meaning and involves incredible attention to detail.

“We put so much creativity and work into designing the menu and bringing new ideas,” he said. “We put a lot of time into testing recipes to make sure we can please our audience. Seeing that list means we are going in the right direction.”

Smith added that he is thankful for “endless support” from the St. John Parish community. One reviewer praised Kajun Kidd’s “creative and well executed recipes.” Another customer described the food as “phenomenal and fresh” and appreciated the thoughtful presentation of every dish.

The most popular menu items have included fish tacos, crab cake shrimp fried rice, and Smith’s special Young Money burgers topped with jalapenos, bacon onion jam, bacon, cheese and onions. Kajun Kidd offers several unique burgers served on Hawaiian rolls, in addition to loaded fries and a wide selection of chicken wings.

Smith has enjoyed a lot of success in the culinary world. He previously worked as a chef for luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotels in New Orleans and Atlanta and served as a sous chef at the University of Alabama. His culinary talents were also featured on a 2017 episode of Food Network’s Cooks vs. Cons. However, when it came time to start his own business, Smith knew he wanted to stay true to his roots.

The weekly schedule for Kajun Kidd Burgers & Wings is published on Facebook. While the food trailer makes regular stops in LaPlace, Smith has expanded his presence across Southeast Louisiana.

“I’m getting calls from breweries in Gonzales. I got a recent call from Lakeside Mall asking me to show up there. We’ve been traveling to places around Baton Rouge and New Orleans as well. I’m thankful for all of the support,” Smith said.

Those who want to get a taste of Smith’s praline cheesecake should act fast — the dessert is only available during the Mardi Gras season. For more information, like Kajun Kidd Burgers And Wings on Facebook or visit thekajunkidd.com.