Chef Cunninghmam of V Seagrove, photo by Susan Benton
Chef Cunningham of V Seagrove, photo by Susan Benton

See below to enter the Le Creuset Giveaway with Rafflecopter

Le Creuset and 30A Eats have once again teamed up, and on Thursday, December 3rd at 5:30 p.m. we will bring you one of the hottest chefs on 30A! Chef David Cunningham, formerly with V Seagrove, will be showcasing his culinary talents at the Le Creuset Silver Sands Premium Outlet location, demonstrating the proper technique of cleaning and preparing fresh Gulf flounder, while sharing a few of his favorite recipes from his Louisiana heritage. How does Gulf Snapper Paupiette with Pecan “Grand Isle” Rice Stuffing, Fennel Saffron Broth, Pan Roasted Root Vegetables and Winter Kale sound? I think pretty amazing!

Native to south Louisiana, David Cunningham grew up in a family of great cooks in Baton Rouge.  His passion for the outdoor lifestyle inspired his desire to develop his culinary craft and he learned to cook game and seafood at any early age.

After graduating from Louisiana State University in 1993, Cunningham attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C. and then attained a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration from the University of New Orleans. While earning his third degree, he completed his formal training at the famed New Orleans restaurant Commander’s Palace, under the late Chef Jamie Shannon. During his time at Commander’s Palace, Cunningham gained experience and recognition through opportunities from cooking at the James Beard House in New York, to being highlighted in Gourmet Magazine’s feature of the Top Five Chocolate Desserts, and participating in the Turner South “Off the Menu” television show. Most recently, Chef Cunningham has appeared on Emeril’s Florida.

Cunningham says, “My mentor, Jamie Shannon, gave me the insight I needed to be a more devoted chef. I was taught to search in my own back yard so to speak, for the best local products, to learn farming techniques, and to be creative.”

V Seagrove is currently under renovation and will reopen in the spring of 2016. Check their website for more information.

Gulf Snapper Paupiette with Pecan “Grand Isle” Rice Stuffing, Fennel Saffron Broth, Pan Roasted Root Vegetables and Winter Kale 

David Cunningham says, “One of the first steps in this recipe is to make the stock that we will need for a couple of different parts of this recipe. So, technically the first step will actually be to butcher your fish. This dish can be made with other Gulf fish. Red snapper also works very well. When you buy your fish, be sure to buy whole fish. You can save some time and mess by asking your fish monger to scale it for you. A good rule of thumb is that you will get about 50% yield from a whole fish. Whole fish should be a good bit less expensive than fillets. So, if you purchase 4 pounds of whole fish, you should end up with about 2 pounds of fillet, which is perfect for 4 people.”

Fish Stock

2 pounds fish bones, rinsed

1 each yellow onion, peeled, chopped

2 each, medium carrots, peeled, chopped

2 each ribs celery, chopped

1 each leek top (green part), rinsed, chopped

3 each bay leaves

1 tsp. black peppercorns

10 cups water, cold


In a heavy bottom stock pot, place the first 7 ingredients and then cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and then lower to the very lowest temperature. Chef Cunningham says, “This is what I call “percolate”, meaning 2 or 3 seconds between bubbles.” Let it “percolate” for about 1 hour.

Strain, discard bones and vegetables, and set aside mixture for later use.

Pecan “Grand Isle’ Rice Stuffing

Chef Cunningham calls this dish “Grand Isle” rice because it is similar to a rice dish he made in a large cast iron dutch oven on a propane stove outside of his fish camp in Grand Isle, Louisiana with his father as a kid. You will have a little left over after stuffing the fish. it is quite delicious, so plan on making enough for more than one meal.


¼ cup olive oil

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

½ cup yellow onion, small diced

½ cup celery, small diced

1 tbsp. garlic, minced

½ pound pecan halves

2 each bay leaves

1 cup jasmine or long grain rice

2 cups fish stock

2 tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. fresh thyme (optional)

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ cup green onions, finely sliced


Melt the butter in the oil in a pot with a lid. Add the pecans and toast while stirring frequently in the pan. Add the onions, celery and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, stirring to take care not to burn the pecans. Add the rice, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Continue to cook stirring frequently. Continue cooking until the rice becomes fragment and golden brown. Add the fish stock and fresh thyme. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cover. Let cook for 10 minutes.


After 10 minutes, turn off heat and let sit covered for an additional 10 minutes.


After the second 10 minutes, fold in green onions. Turn out onto a sheet pan to cool until ready to stuff the flounder.

Fennel Saffron Broth


¼ cup olive oil

½ cup yellow onions, small diced

¼ cup celery, small diced

¼ cup carrot, small diced

¼ cup leek white, small diced, rinsed

½ cup fennel bulb, small diced

3 tbsp. garlic, minced

3 each concasee tomatoes

1 ¼ cups red wine

6 cups fish stock

2 pinches saffron

2 each bay leaves

¼ cup fresh basil chiffonade

2 tsp. crushed red pepper

2 tsp. fennel seeds

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. kosher salt


Heat a medium sized roasting pan over high heat.

Add oil and garlic. Cook while stirring to toast garlic. Quickly add onion, carrots, celery, fennel and leeks. Cook until vegetables soften and begin to caramelize.

Add saffron, bay leaves and spices. Cook for about 2 minutes then add red wine. Cook until reduced by half then add fish stock and tomatoes. Simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside while we prepare the fish, leaving it in the roasting pan.

For The Fish


2 lbs. Snapper or Flounder Filets

2 each parsnips, peeled, julienned

2 each purple top turnips, peeled, julienned,

1 each rutabaga, peeled, julienned

½ butternut squash, peeled, julienned

½ lb. winter kale, chiffonade

4-6 tbsp. unsalted butter

Kosher salt and black pepper or your choice of seafood spice


After filleting the fish, cut each fillet in half lengthwise down he central seam. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper or your favorite seafood seasoning. Arrange the filets skin side down. Smear with butter. Ball up about ¼ of the previously prepared rice and place on one end of each fillet. Roll the fillets up to surround the rice. Use a toothpick to secure the roll. Arrange the Paupiettes in the roasting pan with the fennel saffron broth. Place a dot of butter on top of each one. Place in the oven at 350°F and bake uncovered for about 25 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, peel and julienne the winter vegetables on a mandolin. To serve, heat heavy skillet on high heat. Quickly sauté the root vegetables in a scant amount of oil until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Form a nest in the bottom of four large bowls. Remove the toothpicks from the paupiettes.   Place one – two paupiettes on each nests. Ladle about 6 ounces of the broth over each paupiette and serve with fork and soup spoon. You can reserve some of the fronds from the top of the fennel bulb to use for garnish. 


Giveaway & Event Details

The cooking demonstration will be held on Thursday December 3rd at 6 p.m at the Le Creuset location at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, 1076 Emerald Coast Parkway West, Suite 125 in Miramar Beach. Please call (850) 654-5900 to give them a heads up if you do plan to attend! You do not need to be present to win the 4.5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven, but you do need a U.S. A. mailing address.

To Enter
Leave a comment below on what you will cook for the holidays in the Red 4.5 Quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven as your main entry, and check the Rafflecopter that you did. You can enter again by following Le Creuset on Facebook and 30A Eats on Pinterest. The contest begins today, November 30, 2015 and will end on December 7, 2015 when the winner will be announced. The winner will be chosen by random via Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

44 thoughts on “Gulf Snapper Paupiette Recipe , Cooking Demo with Chef David Cunningham of V Seagrove December 3rd at Le Creuset & Le Creuset Dutch Oven Giveaway

  1. PS: I would love all the recipes that everyone shared in their post entry!! They all sound so deliciously amazing!

  2. Good evening! The last winner was from Oregon and we shipped the braiser! This time the winner was local, and was so excited they have the Dutch Oven in their hands already! They stopped by the Le Creuset store and picked it up within minutes of being emailed! Thank you all for entering! We will be having another Chef Demo in January with and another great giveaway… so stay tuned! I hope you can make it to the event! Chef David Cunningham’s Snapper was out of this world!! 🙂

  3. I had a wonderful time at the cooking demonstration with Chef Cunningham !I can’t wait to try making The Gulf Snapper Pauliette myself! The Dutch oven would make it perfect! Can’t wait to attend the next one!

  4. I would make a big pot of gumbo from the leftovers. Something yummy and a nice change of pace from the usual Christmas fare 🙂

  5. I don’t cook, but if I were to win this I would try my hand at a Sunday roast and make my family very happy!

  6. Mom’s arroz con pollo or red beans and rice! But really anything she makes is great!

  7. We always make chili to eat after we cut down our Christmas tree. I think this beautiful pot would be perfect for a batch of chili!

  8. I will make our Christmas Eve Perogies! I bet they would come out unbelievably good in the Le Creuset Dutch Oven!

  9. I would cook our family’s favorite recipe – baked rice, plus we would would cook a roast. Afterwards, we would cook a wonderful pot of soup the next day. We just lost our red dutch oven a few weeks ago and have been missing it since the porcelain cracked. Of course, it was not Le Creuset, but it was well loved for years by our family. Definitely the most used pot in our household that cooks large meals daily.

  10. After spending time on the Gulf Coast this thanksgiving, I’m ready to make some seafood gumbo!

  11. I made the best mac & cheese, using Gouda & cheddar cheese

  12. Fish and shellfish soup.
    This soup is always part of the menu at any Spanish celebration and Christmas is not
    different. ( Im from Spain) this soup is a wonderful start to a meal.Serve it piping hot with French bread slices.

  13. Would love to try various recipes. Never owned one of these before. Probably would start with a hearty ham and bean soup or beef stew.

  14. My grandma’s signature chicken soup – rich with a slow boiled chicken, root vegetables, and dill. Served with a generous helping of either rice or wide egg noodles (diner’s choice).

  15. I love the instructions to not lift lid to peek or stir, twice. 🙂 I’d prepare short ribs, starting on the stove and then finish in the oven.

  16. This is a beautiful Dutch Oven and I would cook many things, including stews, sauces and easy one pot meals for my crowd

  17. I would love to slow roast a FRESH raw ham in his for Chistmas! It would be so fabulous!

    (I also followed on Pinterest! Username: Kayleighsmama)

  18. These recipes sound amazing……must try! I would cook my yummy homemade Chicken and Dumplings my grandmother taught me to make!!! She would be so proud!

  19. Let me first say that I love leftovers around the holidays and would use this Dutch Oven to make Italian Wedding Soup or Ham Potato Soup…or both! I’d also like to make a loaf of bread in the Le Creuset.

  20. I will use this beauty to make a delicious seafood pan roast:).

  21. Red !! My favorite color, it would match my other pieces so well

  22. I love making wedding soup for Christmas Eve & this Le Creuset would do the job just fine.

  23. I’d make a good old Louisiana gumbo in it – very typical for the Holidays around here.

  24. One pot meals are the best, and I have a great one for Osso Buco! Fingers crossed on the win!

  25. I’d love to cook oyster stew in that pot. I make it as a first course to Christmas dinner every year. Thanks!

  26. We recently had the best butternut squash soup at a local restaurant. My husband said I should give it a try! 🙂

  27. I know it’s not a traditional side for a Christmas dinner but this Le Creuset Dutch Oven would help me get my favorite Lyonnaise potatoe recipe done faster than I usually can.

  28. I think Chef Cunningham has made a rice stuffing that needs to make in onto our holiday table! Sounds perfect for our Christmas eve dinner that I’m in charge of! Yum!

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