Chef Nate Winters: ‘Butter makes everything better’ - American Press | American Press

2022-07-14 00:47:55 By : Ms. vivian Yang

It was time spent in the professional kitchen working for great chefs that drove Chef Nate Winters to go for classroom credentials. Now the Lake Charles native is flexing his creativity and craft as executive chef at Tin Lizard Bar & Grill, the newest restaurant to open at Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel.

“After discovering my passion for food, I attended Sowela Technical Community College where I earned my degree in culinary arts,” Winters said. “I give Chef Kevin Thompson, an incredibly accomplished, creative and nurturing chef, the credit for opening my eyes to cooking as an art. Really, it sparked a desire that I didn’t even know existed.”

Winters’ food philosophy is to keep food fun, simple and approachable, and diners will recognize that in the menu. Tin Lizard Bar & Grill features tasty, Cajun/comfort food inspired shareables such as boudin egg rolls with spicy boudin, pepper jack and chipotle ranch; Idaho potato skins with smoked bacon bits, melted cheddar, sour cream and green onion; and blackened crawfish queso with house-made queso, blackened crawfish tails, creole tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro corn chips; and crawfish cornbread, served hot in the skillet and slathered with jalapeno butter.

“Butter makes everything better,” Winters said. “It enhances and complements everything. It’s great for finishing a sauce, giving a sauce a deeper, richer flavor. It’s great as a condiment or spread. It enhances the texture and flavor of baked goods. I’m almost convinced that butter makes the world go round. I put it in everything.” 

The 12-oz. chargrilled sirloin steak is slathered with herb garlic butter. The baby back ribs are perfection. However, the big pull at Tin Lizard is not only the perfecting of a few popular dishes. Tin Lizard has great variety, fun food for enjoying and sharing. Diners can build their own pizza. Wings can be sauced and tossed with buffalo, house bbq, pineapple teriyaki, mango habanero and garlic parmesan, or order dry rubbed wings with spicy cajun rub, lemon pepper or mesquite barbecue.

Other menu items include soups, salad, fish and sandwiches. The Dessert Menu follows the same formula for fun, simple and approachable. S’mores (in a skillet), coconut cream pie with caramel sauce and warm pan cookies. For those looking for a dessert recommendation, get the apple crisp. It must be loaded with butter because it couldn’t be any better. The crust is crisp. The apples are cinnamony, sugary while still tasting like apples and it’s topped with pecan crumble and vanilla bean ice cream.

The cocktail menu is unexpected: The Middleton Mule is made with Jameson Orange, fresh lime juice, dash of bitters and topped with ginger beer. The Raspberry Lemon Drop features New Amsterdam Raspberry Vodka, chambord, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. Other drinks listed are Captain Punch, Perfect Margarita, Old Fashioned and Negroni. Choose from six -ondraft and 11 bottled beers.

“Every day is a brand-new adventure when you work in the kitchen,” Winters said. “Sure, we have our routines, but there are plenty of opportunities every day to break the mold and try something different. I hope you’ll try something out of the ordinary when you’re here.”

Tin Lizard is stylish, yet comfortable with ample seating. The design showcases modern elements accented with brick and wood-plank walls, metal chandeliers with unique light fixtures and contemporary art and decor.

“I’m excited about the whole concept of Tin Lizard,” Winters said. “It’s a vibe. It has a really fun and upbeat atmosphere, unique cocktails, and delicious food that the guest will love and come back for.”