Photo by Jenn Ocken

Dish: The Gregory’s Cast Iron Banana Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is south Louisiana’s quintessential dessert, but the downtown Watermark Hotel’s stylish restaurant, The Gregory, prepares a standout version. Chef Chad Galiano uses French bread from Wayne’s Bakery on Plank Road, a local purveyor that’s been around for decades. Chunks of bread are blended with beaten eggs and cream along with a secret ingredient—mashed banana or butternut squash—to add depth of flavor. This time of year, it’s banana. “We let them get really ripe, then we peel them and pop them in the freezer,” says Galiano. “When you thaw them out, they’re really sweet and syrupy.” Each bread pudding is baked to order in an individual cast-iron pan in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, and finished with house-made caramel sauce. Galiano recommends pairing the timeless dessert with a cup of coffee or a shot of rum from The Gregory’s ample bar.

The Gregory

Inside The Watermark Hotel
150 Third Street
Open daily, 11 a.m. to midnight