A little bit of Louisiana has landed in Kokomo.
Poulard’s Cajun Cuisine is celebrating its grand opening this week with daily specials, the opening of dine-in service and an expansion of their menu.
The restaurant, located at 3015 S. Lafountain St. next to Pizza King South, is the creation of Kenneth Poulard, a former electrical engineer for Delphi Technologies, now turned full-time chef and restaurant owner.
Poulard, a Louisiana native, learned how to cook at the age of nine or 10 from his grandmother. One of his first jobs was working as a chef at Don’s Seafood in Lafayette, Louisiana while going to college to get his degree.
After college, Poulard moved to Howard County to work at Delphi. He never lost his passion and talent for cooking, though, often cooking the recipes he was taught and bringing them to work and church for others to enjoy.
“People would tell me ‘I wish I could get this food. You should do something,’” Poulard said.
Now, he’s doing just that.
Every little detail – to the restaurant decor, the music played in the dining room and food – is aimed at teleporting customers to the tastes and sounds of Louisiana.
Menu staples include gumbo, creole catfish and cajun jambalaya – a collection of sausage, beef and pork served with a special sauce, cajun seasonings and bread.
To keep its authenticity, Poulard’s Cajun Cuisine sources many of its core ingredients from Louisiana and cooks it the exact same way Poulard’s family did for decades.
“We want to recreate in Kokomo the experience of food and the way we cook cajun food down in Louisiana,” he said.
Poulard’s Cajun Cuisine opened in March just as the economy was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant has survived on carryout and delivery for the last few months.
But now, with dine-in now allowed, beginning Wednesday the restaurant is launching a lunch menu and is expanding its current hours of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday to 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
For Poulard, the restaurant is more than simply sharing the food he loves.
“It’s a throwback to the memories of my grandmother, my ma’s and my aunt’s cooking,” he said. “And so it was bred into me to love cooking. I love people enjoying the food.”