325 W. Mills Ave.
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 332-4648

201 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-1492

Kerry Boutte grew up in the small town of Arnaudville, eating his French-speaking mother’s Cajun cooking at every meal and, later, working at her restaurant, the Teche Drive-In. He went on to become a butcher, a restaurant worker, and finally a restaurateur himself. When Kerry opened Mulate’s, in 1980, he branded it “a Cajun restaurant,” which was an innovative term in those days before Cajun culture became a hot commodity. He developed a menu of familiar Cajun dishes—fried seafood platters, jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo—and staged live Cajun music every night. Both Mulate’s locations (the original in Breaux Bridge, now run by Kerry’s ex-wife, and a second location in New Orleans run by his daughter, Monique) remain deeply Cajun today­—in décor, in music, and in gumbo. Kerry’s own gumbo-cooking style reflects his mother’s, whether he’s basing the dish on seafood or on chicken and sausage: a rich, peanut butter-colored roux, rice served on the side, filé sprinkled on top to taste, and absolutely no celery.

Date of interview:

July 17, 2007


Sara Roahen


Sara Roahen

Mulate's - Kerry Boutte - Gumbo Trail
I looked at New Orleans and said What does New Orleans have that Cajuns don’t have? New Orleans has, you know, its own music: birthplace of Jazz. It has its own food, you know. And it has a culture, and I thought well Cajuns—you know, we have our own music, we have our own food, we have our own language…And so I thought that that’s what I wanted to do, was to have a restaurant that reflected all that in a very casual way. It’s like a fais do-do, except it’s a restaurant and not a nightclub.

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