BIG MOMMA'S CHICKEN & WAFFLES
When Henry F. Holden and his partners were developing what would become the signature item of their restaurant, Big Momma's Chicken and Waffles, he admits they were pursuing an amorphous goal. The testing went on for several months.
"I didn't know what we were looking for," he said, "but I knew it was supposed to taste good and better than what we tasted before."
Big Momma's, a fast food place in an eastern New Orleans strip mall that Holden hopes to develop into a large chain, serves a plate of hot, diner-style waffles alongside a separate plate of seasoned, double-battered and fried chicken wings.
Holden relied on skills acquired working in the restaurants of John Besh and those growing up in a family of fried chicken loving chefs -- both his mother and aunt worked at Charlie's Steakhouse -- to arrive at the recipe for Big Momma's signature. With partners Earl Mackie and Larry Lee, a onetime member of KFC's corporate restaurant team, the chef-entrepreneur hopes to expand Big Momma's internationally. And he believes New Orleans is a friendly proving ground.
"New Orleans is open to whatever kind of food comes here," Holden said. "I figure that if people try (Big Momma's chicken and waffles), they'll embrace it."
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