Chef Berthelot gets the Louisiana cuisine cooking in Atlanta

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LSU fans traveling to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game won’t have any trouble finding some home cooking or some friendly smack talk.

‘We get to end their season, so how great is that going to be?’

‘There it is, it never stops!’

At Ray’s in the City restaurant downtown, there are both LSU and Georgia fans working in the kitchen.

‘I’m so looking forward to this game,’ Chef Dean Berthelot said. ‘I have a lot of guys who are entrenched with Georgia. And I get to talk so much smack because I know we’re gonna win. I know what the outcome is going to be.’

Berthelot grew up in New Orleans and graduated from LSU but has made Atlanta his home over the past two decades.

‘You never leave the state,’ Berthelot said. ‘You may physically get away from it, but Louisiana will always be with you. From the flavors you put in the food, the cuisine , all that stuff that you get is just amazing. We have the best gumbo, better than anything I’ve ever done in New Orleans or had in New Orleans and you guys are going to try it and you’re going to agree.’

Berthelot is excited to welcome in hundreds of Tiger fans over the next few nights, expecting some of the best crowds of the year.

‘We already were nearly full with reservations and now the phone is just ringing off the hook. It’s great, I’ll have my LSU hat on walking around and talking to people. It’s just good to see all the purple and gold on here. We opened in 2003 and we always when LSU came to the sec championship had a smattering of purple and gold. It’s been growing over the years when they come up, but this time it’s just going to be something else.’

The restaurant has 600 reservations alone Friday night.

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