“My mom is the one who inspires me.” ~ Chef Ryan Tapp
When you think of New Orleans, food and libations will always come to mind. Let’s not even mention the possible extra pounds one may incur from the delicious taste of a Po-Boy. However, in the grand scheme of things, who doesn’t love to explore new foods in this tourist city?
Introducing Chef Ryan Tapp! For now, let’s just call him the “King of House Calls.” This fettuccine making, big
ass steak cooking, stuffed baked potato having guy is simply good at what he does. The character James Evans from the classic sitcom, “Good Times,” once told his wife, Florida Evans, that women were only good “in the kitchen and in the bedroom.” Well that dated notion doesn’t hold true to Tapp...the cooking part, of course.
Tapp’s House Calls business has been doing incredibly well with his home cooked meals with premium food items and just in case you’re a vegan, his menu is all inclusive. With the option to pick-up, despite his business’ name, he also does deliver with his trusty right hand man— Mr. Henry.
Being established for three years, thus far, Tapp and Henry can’t help but continue to go up. The duo, from Uptown New Orleans, is filled with enthusiasm and vigor to deliver the best.
Check out Tapp’s thoughts on the current state of his business:
On what inspired him to become a chef:
I lost my mom last August to Cancer. Coming up, she pushed responsibility on me which included cooking. It was five kids, three sisters and a twin brother. I carry myself well because of my mother and coming up, the first thing she taught me how to cook was rice. Since then, I’ve loved cooking. I started being a GM at the age of 17. I’m 27-years-old now and being around that gave me a passion for food. I tried other jobs like TJ Maxx, Winn Dixie, but they got boring to me. My mom inspired my gifts in the kitchen.
Tapp had his own vision that didn’t include working for others, so even though his mother motivated him to pursue a culinary career, he still had his own God given vision that he had to follow. He went to school for Business Management, got bored with Culinary School, and said “Hey, let me follow what God is leading me to.” That led into the land of being completely self-taught.
On the most popular item ordered on the menu:
The Crabcake Seafood Pasta dish and the Big
Ass Steak dinner [laughs].
Now if you just so happen to be a vegan, Tapp did explain that any option customers would care to make substitutions on are more than welcomed. He even has the Veggie Potato and Shrimp Salad. See there? He’s makes magic in more ways than one in the kitchen and is an equal opportunist.
On the significance of delivery fees:
Delivery fees range from $10 to $15 dollars. No matter where we go, we have to charge a sizeable fee to help maintain the business. People cater to us not only for support but because we’ve got quality food. Understanding that is really important because people will complain about the delivery charge for the Pizza Hut driver.
Speaking of delivery, one my question about how safe drivers have to be. We’ve seen fatalities in the news for delivery drivers in the past, so we asked Henry about safety precautions. Here’s his belief on taking safe measures in New Orleans:
You know, we know New Orleans so it’s not really any area we have to be really concerned about. I’ve been around this. I don’t go to the door; they [customers] come to the car. We do take things into consideration. There’s no real sketchy neighborhood for me [laughs]. I mean I know this place!
On whether or not a restaurant will eventually open:
I do want a restaurant. When people open up a restaurant, people start thinking about how they’re going to increase their sales? How am I going to do? It’s a real process. Build yourself before you build the business. When I open up a restaurant, people will come because they already know who’s behind it.
Here’s what we learned about Tapp and “House Calls,” his food is not only good in taste, but he also gives back. Tapp has adopted a work ethic that a lot of homemade businesses have become compliant with in the city — giving back. House Calls does provide food to the less fortunate citizens in New Orleans from incomplete orders and on his own time. What’s good about that is each plate contains premium ingredients and is not conventional dinners; how awesome is that?
Check out Tapp and Mr. Henry on Instagram at NolaTopChef or 504.462.4871. If you need catering, he’s got you for that as well. We highly recommend the Shrimp Fettuccine, Big
Ass Steak Dinner and the Crabcake Shrimp Pasta dish with a side of broccoli.