Tyler Dugas is a 15 year-old culinary student in his second year at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). He has cooked at a wide variety of local events including French Quarter Fest, Boudin Bourbon & Beer Fest, and JazzFest. Tyler loves the pressure of the kitchen and the cooperation it takes to serve a great meal. He says “I love the challenge of cooking on the edge when time is limited, such as cooking challenges or cook-offs. I enjoy learning to work as a team, and turning a mistake into a challenge that the team can work together and turn into a positive.” He is also interested in the health aspects of preparing food. He says, “Anytime people are cooking at home or eating at an establishment that cooks from scratch, I believe that they eat healthier. Cooking from scratch allows the person preparing it to control the ingredients, and eliminates pre-packed foods that may contain unhealthy additives or preservatives. You can take one of the unhealthiest recipes and rearrange it to make it a better tasting, healthier version.” Due to a family member’s food allergy, Tyler has learned to cook healthy alternatives for people with special diets, including without oil and meat, and shares this recipe featuring local seafood with Louisiana Pain Quarterly.

Anytime people are cooking at home or eating at an establishment that cooks from scratch, I believe that they eat healthier

Crawfish Alfredo by Tyler Dugas


  • 10-12 ounces heavy cream
  • ½ pound of peeled crawfish
  • 8 ounces of any type of noodle
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup bell pepper
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Tony Chachere’s seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons onion powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions (serves 4):

  1. Season throughout
  2. Put noodles to boil
  3. In large sautee’ pan bring heavy cream to simmer
  4. When cream thickens add noodles
  5. When most cream is soaked up add crawfish and veg.
  6. Lower heat once crawfish is warm
  7. Mix in parsley and any other herbs you like

With a great attitude and focus on developing excellent skills in the culinary arts, Tyler will go far in New Orleans food scene. Look for him in the food tents at your next festival!