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Cafe Society: Who dat? Meet the couple behind EMC Seafood’s Creole makeover in Oxnard – Ventura County Star

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Aliza DuPlantier and husband Man DuPlantier III are able to let the nice instances rolls as government chef and common supervisor, respectively, of the rebranded Louisiana Seafood Home by EMC at The Assortment at RiverPark in Oxnard. The couple beforehand operated their very own restaurant, Loopy Creole Cafe, in Lengthy Seaside. (Picture: LISA MCKINNON/THE STAR)

In social-media posts and on indicators taped to the home windows, the menu change taking place now at EMC Seafood & Uncooked Bar in Oxnard is credited to a “movie star chef staff.”

Inquiring diners wish to know: Who dat?

The reply: Man DuPlantier III and Aliza DuPlantier, the husband-and-wife duo who beforehand operated Loopy Creole Cafe in Lengthy Seaside.

The job contains overseeing a reputation change for the Oxnard restaurant, which now goes by Louisiana Seafood Home by EMC. However and not using a new signal on the constructing, the identify is not as apparent because the menu’s abrupt change from sushi, steamed mussels and New England clam chowder to seafood boils, catfish po’boys and New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp with dipping bread.

“Individuals aren’t fairly positive what hit them at first, however they get it once they strive our meals,” Man stated as he and Aliza posed within the eating room with a pair of second line parade umbrellas finished up in black and gold, official staff colours of the New Orleans Saints and their followers, generally known as the Who Dat Nation.

MORE: Pier Metropolis Cider able to make a splash at Ventura’s 4 Brix Vineyard

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“I wish to be the king of Creole delicacies,” says Man DuPlantier III. (Picture: LISA MCKINNON/THE STAR)

Man was born in California however raised in accordance with the identical French Creole customs and traditions as older half-sister Iris Rideau, he stated. (A good friend of the not too long ago departed culinary legend and activist Leah Chase, New Orleans-born Rideau based Rideau Vineyards within the Santa Ynez Valley in 1997; she offered the vineyard and retired about three years in the past.)

He acquired into cooking by the use of development.

“After graduating from highschool, I went dwelling to New Orleans and stayed there for 15 years. I used to be all the time in grandma’s kitchen – and by that, I imply anybody’s grandma. If I heard somebody had a very nice recipe for gumbo, I went and provided to do one thing round the home in trade for watching how she made it,” Man stated.

He met Aliza, who was born in Thailand and grew up in Cambodia, when she was working at a restaurant he frequented.

MORE: Leah Chase, civil rights activist and ‘Queen of Creole Delicacies’ at Dooky Chase, dies at 96

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A poster at EMC Seafood & Uncooked Bar at The Assortment at RiverPark in Oxnard alerts diners to a menu change that took impact June 5. The restaurant now options gumbo, po’boys and Louisiana-style seafood boils. (Picture: LISA MCKINNON/THE STAR)

“I prefer to prepare dinner. She likes to prepare dinner. One factor led to a different,” Man stated. They have two daughters, ages 12 and 10.

The couple briefly operated a Creole-themed meals truck in Lengthy Seaside earlier than opening its bricks-and-mortar counterpart practically six years in the past. They closed the 30-seat cafe final month, after deciding to not renew the lease amid ongoing issues with a scarcity of parking and signage, Man stated.

It helped that they had been already in severe talks with Zao Manufacturers restaurateur Michael Kwan about spearheading menu and administration modifications on the group’s EMC Seafood web site at The Assortment at RiverPark in Oxnard, open since April 2017. (The chain’s location on the Valencia City Heart lasted lower than a yr earlier than it was changed into Black ‘N Blue, a Zao-backed idea that debuted this week.)

In Oxnard, the re-branded 229-seat restaurant revisits the seafood-in-a-bag idea seen on the a lot smaller Captain’s Cajun Boil, which opened at The Assortment in late August and closed a mere two months later.

So what makes them suppose the thought will float this time?

“As a result of I am Creole,” Man stated with fun. “It is in my DNA. And I am on a mission: I am already the ‘Loopy Creole,’ however I wish to be the king of Creole delicacies.”

He already refers to Aliza because the Asian-fusion Creole queen. She is government chef to his common supervisor, making ready jambalaya and Gumbo Ya-Ya, a chicken-based model popularized by the late chef Paul Prudhomme, in addition to her personal takes on the delicacies. The latter embody crawfish egg rolls and Bang Bang Sauce, a candy, bitter and barely salty seafood-boil possibility rooted in Cambodian cooking, she stated.

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Aliza DuPlantier, government chef at what’s now working as Louisiana Seafood Home by EMC in Oxnard, poses with a basket of egg rolls crammed individually with crawfish, greens, jambalaya and pork boudin sausage. (Picture: LISA MCKINNON/THE STAR)

With greater than 30 spices now in play within the kitchen, diners will not discover salt and pepper shakers on the tables, Man stated. Of their place are three manufacturers of scorching sauce and shaker-top containers of Tony Chachere’s Unique Creole Seasoning.

Different components shipped in from Louisiana embody alligator, dwell crawfish, Blue Plate Mayonnaise and French rolls from Leidenheimer Baking Co. It is not low-cost, nevertheless it’s value it, Man stated.

Louisiana seafood boils are offered by the pound, at market worth for shrimp, clams, mussels, snow crab, king crab, Dungeness crab and in-season crawfish. Entrees include two sides and vary from $15 for a Southern fried pork chop plate to $19 for a jambalaya plate. 

Bowls of Gumbo Ya-Ya are $Eight and $16; seafood gumbo, $22, is made with shrimp, grilled rooster thighs, two sorts of sausage and snow crab legs. Baskets vary from fried catfish or purple snapper, $14, to alligator or comfortable shell crab, $19. Po’boys embody house-made rooster, beef or Cajun pork sausage ($10), fried oyster ($15) and alligator ($19.50).

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EMC Seafood & Uncooked Bar opened at The Assortment at RiverPark in Oxnard in April 2017. Its house owners are presently working it as Louisiana Seafood Home by EMC, with a menu by Man DuPlantier III and Aliza DuPlantier, previously of Loopy Creole Cafe in Lengthy Seaside. (Picture: PHOTO BY LISA MCKINNON/ THE STAR)

Diners could quickly discover the bar space rebranded because the Saints Who Dat Bar, with a selfie station geared up with second line umbrellas and different props.

A cheerful hour menu that includes alligator, fish and shrimp tacos is anticipated to launch on June 24, after which it is going to be obtainable from Three-6 p.m. Mondays by way of Fridays. Chef Man’s Secret Menu, a weekends-only array of specials, will make its debut June 22-23.

Man is not positive the place the “movie star chef staff” description got here from, however there isn’t any denying he and Aliza have a following. Throughout a go to to the restaurant this week, I met a Moorpark resident who had pushed to Oxnard simply to test it out.

“Scrumptious, and with much more parking than their place in Lengthy Seaside,” she stated. “I shall be again.”

Hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays by way of Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and midday to 9 p.m. Sundays (511 City Heart Means, Suite 3015, 805-278-4997, and 


Headed for an anticipated summer time opening on the former Marie Callender’s at Cochran Road and Madera Street in Simi ValleyMad Period Brewing Co. final week introduced the identify of its government chef.

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We’re excited to announce that Eddie Garcia has joined the staff as Mad Period’s Govt Chef! Previous to becoming a member of Mad Period Brewing, Eddie has served because the Govt Chef of plenty of gastropubs and eating places within the higher Los Angeles space, together with Sweeney’s Ale Home, The Woodman, Cocina Codesa, and Paloma. Eddie has additionally been featured in quite a few articles and commerce journals, together with LA Instances and KTLA. In his position because the Govt Chef at Mad Period, Eddie shall be placing collectively signature dishes that may embody using the freshest, seasonally acutely aware components, and daring flavors that can’t be discovered elsewhere. Having labored within the culinary realm for over 20 years, Eddie has been educated by quite a few influential cooks, together with Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. Right this moment, Eddie’s culinary model stems from his wealthy Mexican ancestry and his distinctive dishes are positive to offer unforgettable experiences for anybody who has the pleasure of indulging in them. @chefvalleyboy 🍻 🍺 🍻 🍺 🍻 #bar #bars #beer #beergeek #beerlovers #beerme #beernerd #beerporn #beers #beerstagram #beertime #beertography #brewery #brewerylife #brewing #craftbeer #craftbrewery #labeer #localbrewery #madera #maderabeer #maderabrewery #maderabrewing #restaurant #simi #simivalley #simivalleybrewing #supportyourlocalbrewery #kickstarter

A submit shared by Mad Period Brewing (@maderabrewing) on Jun 10, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT

Eddie Garcia, whose earlier gigs have included The Woodman in Sherman Oaks and Sweeney’s Ale Home in Encino, will oversee a menu described within the brewery’s social-media posts as that includes “seasonally acutely aware components and daring flavors” (

FROM THE ARCHIVES:: Simi Valley brewery guarantees new period for long-vacant Marie Callender’s


Three wineries with ties to Ventura County earned awards through the 33rd annual Ojai Wine Competition June 9 at Lake Casitas.

Silver awards – and 91 factors every – went to Outdated Creek Ranch Vineyard of Oak View for its 2015 sangiovese from White Hawk Winery in Santa Barbara County and its 2017 Albariño de Moto from Paragon Winery within the Edna Valley.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Outdated Creek Ranch Vineyard close to Ventura able to pop a reopening cork (2018)

Closed for practically three years of renovations, the vineyard’s rustic out of doors tasting areas reopened to the general public beneath new possession in April 2018. The property has since been planted with albariño, viognier, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc vines (

Majestic Oak Winery, which operates a tasting room in downtown Ojai, additionally took silver (90 factors) with its 2017 Los Olivos District grenache (

Bronze went to Lester Household Cellars, which opened in Ventura in October as a working vineyard with an on-site tasting room. Judges awarded 82 factors to its 2015 San Miguel petite sirah from Paso Robles (

With fewer than 700 instances produced yearly, Mail Street Wines, of Santa Barbara County, took each the highest-ranking silver award (95 factors, for its 2015 Mt. Carmel Winery chardonnay from the Sta. Rita Hills) and a bronze (85 factors, for a 2014 Mt. Carmel Winery pinot noir).

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Ojai Rotie’s home-grown sommelier hopes to present diners next-level expertise

Factors had been awarded throughout a blind tasting by members of StAR, or Sommeliers of American Riviera, a community of sommeliers in Santa Barbara. The judges’ panel this yr featured Carlos Mascherin, beverage director of Armada Wine & Beer Service providerAlejandro Medina, co-owner of Bibi JiEmily Johnston, purchaser for Wine + Beer and wine director at Ojai RôtieDrew Cuddy, proprietor of Satellite tv for pc Santa BarbaraJenny Mitchum, sommelier at LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton and Tyler Silvestre, beverage director at Sama Sama Kitchen.

For details about the Ojai Wine Competition, go to


Find out about bees, beekeeping, native agriculture and extra through the California Honey Harvest Competition from 9 a.m. to five p.m. June 22-23 at Central Park in Fillmore (250 Central Ave.) Admission is free, however deliver cash to spend on crafts, meals, honey merchandise and practice rides aboard the Honey Bee Specific to Bennett’s Honey Farm (

The Conejo Meals & Wine Competition will give attendees an opportunity to pattern meals from the newly reopened Mediterraneo on the Westlake Village Inn and beer from the still-to-come Tarantula Hill Brewing Co. of Thousand Oaks when it takes place 1:30-5:30 p.m. June 23 at St. Paschal Baylon Church, 155 E. Janss Street. Proceeds from tickets, $75 on the door, will profit Many Mansions and FOOD Share of Ventura County (

Take one final sniff: The Ojai Lavender Competition is asking it quits after 16 years of celebrating the various makes use of of the aromatic herb. The competition’s swan music from 10 a.m. to five p.m. June 29 in Libbey Park, 205 E. Ojai Ave., will embody lavender-themed crafts, meals and lemonade. Admission is free. The occasion will embody dwell music and discussions by Renee Roth on gray water reclamation, at midday, and by Amanda Mullins on wholesome cooking suggestions, at 2 p.m. (

Off-site occasions embody visiting the U-pick lavender fields and present store at Frog Creek Farm, open 10 a.m. to three p.m. Saturdays and Sundays now by way of the top of July. Lavender bundles are $7 every. Picnicking is welcome, however there aren’t any bogs on web site (10924 Ojai-Santa Paula Street,

Common-admission and VIP tickets are on sale now for the eighth annual Kiwanis BrewFest, set Four-Eight p.m. Aug. 22 at Conejo Creek Park North in Thousand Oaks. Common tickets are $60 prematurely or $70 on the door. VIP tickets, $80 prematurely, embody early entry, unique meals pairings and small-batch beers, particular parking and a swag bag. The occasion contains dwell music and a silent public sale (805-907-5947,


In case you missed it, the Open and Shut column printed within the June 15 Enterprise part of The Star featured the closures of Westlake Brewing & Libations in Westlake Village, Loncheria La Paloma in Oxnard, Prime Cutts in Thousand Oaks and Pho & Tea in Ventura.

Additionally featured had been the comfortable openings of Mediterraneo and Novo Cafe in Westlake Village and the coming-soon standing of Lucas Sellers Wine in Moorpark, Stay to Eat in Ojai, Marco’s Pizza in Oxnard and O-R Genuine Thai Delicacies in Thousand Oaks. To learn it, click on on

MORE: Future is hazy for Westlake Brewing amid questions on fines, taxes

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:: Outback Steakhouse to Thousand Oaks: G’bye, mate

As beforehand reported, the Thousand Oaks location of Outback Steakhouse is scheduled to shut on June 24. Hours of service that day shall be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (137 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., 805-381-1590,

Lisa McKinnon is a employees author for The Star. To contact her, ship electronic mail to

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