This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
One thing about me is if I like a product, I’m very loyal to the brand. And I have faithfully been using Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning as my must-have seasoning for over 30 years.
The real Tony Chachere was the first chef inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame and was known as the “Ole Master” of fine Cajun cuisine.
I first discovered Tony’s in the 1990s when I was living in New Orleans for college. As a poor college student that really didn’t know anything about cooking, this seasoning brought so much flavor to my basic undergrad meals. It is a staple seasoning in New Orleans and the local commercials featuring a Cajun-accented spokesman were always so funny to me. He said you can put it on everything, and boy was he not wrong. I use it on everything from eggs and salad to meats and stews.
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
The taste is a bold Cajun flavor
Iconic New Orleans seasoning
The shaker has a heavy pour
The real Tony Chachere was the first chef inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame and was known as the “Ole Master” of fine Cajun cuisine. When he published his first cookbook in 1972, his seasoning salt recipe was a crowd favorite for home cooks. Chachere packaged his creole blend and the rest was cooking history—his seasoning would be a staple in homes and restaurants for the next 50 years.
This Louisiana-style blend of black and red peppers, chili powder, and garlic has legions of fans from home cooks, chefs, and pit masters. Tony’s is a flavorful seasoning that adds authentic Creole flavor to any dish and has no MSG. These spices are meant to enhance the flavor of your food.
I keep my household stocked with a surplus of supplies by buying loads when I’m back stateside or I have friends who visit bring me back some.
The famous green can comes in an 8 oz or a 32 oz size and has a shaker-style lid for easy dispensing. The instructions on the package state, “Use it like salt. When it is salty enough, it’s seasoned to perfection.” This is a motto I try to live by, even though sometimes I might be a little heavy-handed and put too much, I’m learning to pull back—especially since the shaker is a heavy pour! The other thing to look out for is the seasoning can clump on the lid and just look messy. But other than these small flaws in the can design, it’s positively perfect in every possible way.
After I moved from New Orleans to Los Angeles, I packed several cans with me, hoping it would last until my next visit since Tony’s was still a local product, and only sold in Louisiana at the time. These days, it is sold nationwide. Now, I live in Berlin, but not even moving to another continent could keep me away from having my beloved Tony’s on my shelves. I keep my household stocked with a surplus of supplies by buying loads when I’m back stateside or I have friends who visit bring me back some.
It allows me to give them a little taste of New Orleans and to get my fix for the foods I miss when I’m so far away.
So, why am I still such a loyal customer these many years later, even though there seem to be so many other seasonings out there on the market? Well, it’s partly nostalgia but also the fact that it just makes my food tastes so good.
To me, if you’re not using Tony’s in your red beans and rice, Jambalaya, or gumbo, you are making it wrong.
I love to use it especially when I make fried chicken and red beans and rice for friends. It allows me to give them a little taste of New Orleans and to get my fix for the foods I miss when I’m so far away. I’m an OK cook, but when I don’t use Tony’s I feel like my food is not as flavorful, and is missing that smoky blend. To me, if you’re not using Tony’s in your red beans and rice, Jambalaya, or gumbo, you are making it wrong.
Dimensions: 8.11 x 3.58 x 2.68 inches | Weight: 2.16 Pounds | Unit size: 32 ounces
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Yolanda Evans is a freelance writer with more than 12 years of experience covering dining, cocktails, travel, and lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Afar, Here Magazine, Washington Post, Imbibe, VinepairShondaland, Zora, Food 52, Food & Wine, Punch, Travel + Leisure, Wine Enthusiast, Lonely Planet, Thrillist, Eater LA, and Architectural Digest. She's also won the 2022 IACP Narrative Beverage Writing.