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Let’s Eat, Mississippi: Chef...

Let’s Eat, Mississippi: Chef Louis LaRose offers full service and quick eats at two delicious spots

By: Courtney Ingle - February 15, 2024

  • LaRose prides himself on sourcing as many local ingredients as he can, from high-quality steaks to produce.

Whether your ideal southern cuisine includes shrimp and grits, a hearty steak, or a delicious southern-style chicken sandwich with just the right amount of spice–Chef Louis LaRose has you covered. 

Chef LaRose is the chef and owner of Lou’s Full-Serv on Fortification in Jackson, and more recently, Lou’s Southern Sandwich Company on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland. Both places offer plates that Chef LaRose has crafted with the true Southern palate in mind. 

If anyone would know Southern cuisine, it’s Chef LaRose. A native of Jackson, LaRose got his first taste of the restaurant scene at Poet’s, which used to be in The Quarter in the Capital City. LaRose also found his way to other hotspots, such as Mik and Mot’s, Sam’s Westside, Brick Oven and Bravo!. It was during his time at Bravo! that LaRose took it a step further in his culinary education— in 1998, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Jackson and Wales and made his way back to Bravo! 

After serving at Bravo! as a sous chef, then chef de cuisine, LaRose helped launch Local 463. After a stint as executive chef at the Mississippi Museum of Artt, LaRose took a leap to open his own restaurant, Lou’s Full-Serv, in 2013. 

Lou’s Full-Serv 

The concept for Lou’s Full-Serve was simple: good, approachable, southern cuisine. 

“I wanted approachable food that wasn’t overly intimidating with fancy terms and technique,” said LaRose. “I wanted to serve good food that people would return to again and again.” 

LaRose honed in on the elevated simplicity of Southern cuisine, even to the point of altering his menu in the middle of training right as he was opening Lou’s. 

“I was going over the menu with the staff and it still felt too complicated,” said LaRose. “So, I was still making changes to the menu the day before we opened.” 

LaRose prides himself on sourcing as many local ingredients as he can, from high-quality steaks to produce.

“I have the same steaks you’d see at the finer steak houses,” said LaRose. “But we’re not a ’la carte style. You’re getting a great steak dinner without the steakhouse price point.” 

A customer favorite at Lou’s Full Serv is the Redfish #2, served with rock shrimp and sweet peppers with risotto. 

Lou’s Southern Sandwich Co. 

In August of 2023, LaRose launched Lou’s Southern Sandwich Shop off Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland (in the former Majestic Burger location). This more fast-casual eaterie is aimed at having simple, quick, delicious sandwiches, burgers, and wraps that appeal to all the tastebuds. 

This menu offers Lou’s twists on classics. The Grilled Cheese, for example, also has ham and bacon and is “super cheeZy,” per the menu. There’s also the SA CO Patty Melt, with silky and melty mozzarella and cheddar with griddled onions. Don’t be fooled by the name of the restaurant, however; there are  also wraps, wings, dips, and more to choose from. 

“While people want quality food, and they want it quickly,” said LaRose. “They get tired of the drive-thru. This food is fast, but it doesn’t have your deli meat sandwiches either.”

With that in mind, LaRose designed a menu that is simpler and faster to prepare than what you’d see at Lou’s Full-Serv. 

More about Lou

Being around food all of the time, Chef LaRose has his choice of any of his fantastic dishes at all times. He couldn’t name a favorite dish at Lou’s Full-Serv, which may be a good sign about the quality of the meals. 

“I’d have to say the redfish. Or the steak frites. The shrimp and grits are good, too,” said LaRose with a laugh. “Or the steak. I can’t choose!” 

Oftentimes, Chef LaRose is away from home until well into the night. So by his dinner time, he’s a little over the cooking routine for the day. “My wife, Victoria, handles the cooking at home,” said LaRose. “Or we’ll cook together, but with the kids at home, she’s handling the cooking there a lot.” 

Louis and Victoria have two children, a twelve year-old and a two year-old. The restaurant business doesn’t always have family-friendly hours, but LaRose said he and Victoria make it work. “I’m able to take my oldest to school most days, when I’m on my way into work,” said LaRose. “And our two-year-old is on a schedule that many would think is crazy. There’s a nap at three or four o’clock in the afternoon, and then she’s up when I get home and she may be up until after midnight.” 

That’s just one of the many ways that the LaRose family makes it work. 

“I don’t take many vacation days, and it’s safe to say that unless the restaurant is closed, I’m there,” said LaRose. “And now that’s the case with both restaurants.” 

LaRose credits his wife, Victoria, for his motivation and his endurance. “My wife is in this industry with me, and she’s incredibly supportive,” said LaRose. “We were scared to death when we decided to do this on our own, but she’s been there every step of the way.” 

But there’s another driver to his success. 

“My staff –  they rely on me to provide them with a reliable place to work,” said LaRose. “And they work incredibly hard and stand by me. They trust me, so I can’t let them down.” 

Visit their website for more information – Lou’s Full Serv or Lou’s Southern Sandwich Co.

About the Author(s)
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Courtney Ingle

Courtney Ingle is a veteran journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience in print, radio, and digital media. Courtney brings her talents to bear at Magnolia Tribune to cover family-centered education and to elevate those unique aspects of Mississippi culture.