Though he is a Houston resident, Joshua Bernard was born and raised in Louisiana, and now he’s using the lessons he’s learned in the kitchen to bring some Cajun flair to others
Simply known as “The Boudin Man,” Bernard, 36, lived in Lydia for the majority of his life and it was there where he learned how to cook from his uncles. Bernard’s father was the second youngest of 14 children. Constantly surrounded by uncles, Bernard learned cooking at an early age and hasn’t stopped since.
“My dad had a big family,” Bernard said. “A lot of aunts and uncles so a lot of my Louisiana cooking came from my uncles.”
His father’s side of the family lives in the Jeanerette and New Iberia area, a place that means more than just home to Bernard.
“I learned a lot of my cooking from them,” Bernard said.
One thing Bernard loves to cook is his own boudin — something that has been a hit with the Texas locals since he started making it in 2020.
Boudin is a Cajun sausage made with meat, rice and seasonings. Boudin is normally stuffed with pork and rice, but one can add shrimp, crawfish or even alligator meat to the mix.
Bernard said that his passion is cooking. Through four years of service in the U.S. Navy that sent him to Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hawaii, Australia, Brunei, Singapore and Guam, he said his passion returned him back to the south to complete his love for cooking.
When he initially got started with his boudin products, Bernard was trying to think of something creative to go with his brand. When he started selling his boudin to the locals in Houston at various farmers markets, it was then that the name pretty much was given to him.
“People would roll up and be like, ‘Hey man, what do I call you,’” Bernard said. “ They said, ‘Hey you what, I’m just going to call you ‘The Boudin Man,’” Bernard said.
Bernard doesn’t just make boudin. He also has other signature Cajun dishes like cracklins.
But mainly, one can see Bernard weekly making his boudin because the main goal going forward for him is to eventually buy a food trailer.
“I’ll get me a food truck, a food trailer and go out and tour a lot more,” Bernard said. “Go out more into Louisiana and more cities outside of Houston.”
The miles between his two homes is just a distance for Bernard. Being from Louisiana, no matter how long he is away, he knows what it truly means to represent Louisiana, a place that has so many different cultures to offer in the area.
The son of a mother who is full-born Puerto Rican and a father from South Louisiana, Bernard believes his hometown is like a big gumbo pot, mixed with different ideas and ethnicities.
“Louisiana is like a big melting pot,” Bernard said. “We have our Cajuns, we have our Native Americans, we have everything,” Bernard said.
No matter where a person is from originally, one thing is for certain, cooking is one of the foundations for Louisiana and its people. Bernard said he simply loves cooking for others because it allows him to show them his heart and home in a bowl.
“I enjoy people,” Bernard said. “I enjoy giving back.”