"I’d never made gumbo before, and our team won!” Joe Kidd, dietitian and Iberia Medical Center’s Director Food & Nutrition/ Environmental Services won the World Gumbo Cookoff’s first place loving cup on his first gumbo attempt – ever. So, when he tells you the food at Jim’s Bayou Bistro in Iberia Medical Center is restaurant quality at amazingly reasonable prices, you can believe it.  

Jim’s Bayou Bistro is named after late IMC CEO Jim Youree, who advocated for a quality cafeteria of sufficient size to serve IMC visitors and employees. The Bistro serves full breakfast and lunch, and prices are outstanding.  

“You can get a chicken breast that is the same as a restaurant, for $3.49 here,” said Kidd. “We want to feed our employees, visitors to the hospital, and really, the general publicgood food without straining their budget. We have some traffic from the doctors’ offices near here, and most of the employees eat at least one meal a day here, if not both.”  

The Bistro offers a variety of cuisines, from Cajun and Comfort food, to Asian, Soul and Hispanic entrees. Each day there is a full breakfast menu, and two entrees, two vegetables and two starch choices available for lunch.  

The buffet presentation is managed by employees, and the salad bar and grill are currently closed because of COVID, but boxed salads are available and there are indications that the grill may open again soon. “It’s been a challenge during the pandemic, but we’ve done as well as we could have,” said Kidd. 

Jim’s Bayou Bistro is open for breakfast 6:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch. The IMC North campus features the same food service, open Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1p.m.. “The North Campus is actually easier to get in and out for lunch,” said Kidd. 

So if you’re in the mood for high-end restaurant food, at a price that won’t bust your budget, maybe take a little lunch adventure to Jim’s Bayou Bistro on the Iberia Medical Center Campus. A Gumbo Grand Champion can’t be wrong.    


Chicken Madeira, Juicy chicken and mushrooms in creamy sauce under melty cheese... 

Prep Time: 15 minutes  

Cook Time: 45 minutes  

Total Time: 1 hour 

Servings: 4 as a main course 


lb Chicken Breasts (2 large) halved lengthwise and pounded to an even 1/4" thickness 

lb asparagus blanched* 

3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided and black pepper to taste 

3 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter divided 

2 Tablespoon Olive Oil divided 

16 oz button mushrooms thickly sliced 

1 small or 1/2 medium yellow onion finely diced 

2 large garlic cloves minced 

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped, plus to garnish 

1 1/2 cups Madeira Wine sweet white wine* 

1 1/2 cups low sodium beef stock or broth 

1/2 cup Whipping Cream heavy or regular 

1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded 


1. To blanch asparagus: Remove fibrous stems from asparagus by snapping them off. Fill a medium pot with 6 cups water, bring to a boil and add 1 Tbsp salt. Add asparagus and boil uncovered until crisp tender and bright green (2-3 minutes then remove from hot water and set aside). 

2. Place a large heavy (oven-safe) pan over medium/high heat and melt in 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil. Add sliced mushrooms and cook 5 min until soft. Stir in diced onion and cook 3 min. Add minced garlic cloves then season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper and 2 Tbsp parsley. Cook another 2 min then remove mixture to a plate and wipe skillet clean with wet paper towel. 

3. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise and pound each cutlet between plastic wrap until no more than 1/4" thick. Season chicken all over with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Place same pan over medium/high heat and add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil. When butter is finished foaming, add chicken breasts and sauté 3 to 4 min per side or until golden and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan to the same plate with mushrooms. 

4. In the same pan, add 1 1/2 cups Madeira and boil until reduced by half (5 minutes vigorous boiling), scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add 1 1/2 cups beef broth and boil until 2/3 cup liquid remains or about 1/4 of its original volume (10 min). Reduce heat to medium, add 1/2 cup cream and simmer until sauce thickens (2 min). Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

5. Return chicken to the pan, turning it to coat in the sauce. Top with mushrooms, asparagus and sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top. Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, garnish with fresh parsley. 


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