The Bucky Moonshine Story

Bucky Moonshine was my name for 14 years growing up. Although I was born in a small town in the Bayou Country I was an adopted member of a Merry band of hippies that traveled through this beautiful country of ours. These travels took me to places from California to Florida with a few stops up North. Living in places like New Mexico, Tennesee, Arkansas, California, LA, and mostly Texas for extended amounts of time. We even lived in the Virgin Islands and Hawaii having saved money from playing music for spare change or in coffee shops. Every one of these journeys we did with little to no money so we did a lot of cooking using the resources we had on hand or had to fish, hunt, forage, or grow ourselves.


First meal I ever remember making was Rabbit Gumbo and learned to prep Collard Greens from a woman who was born in 1870 named Ella Mae. The cover page of my Personal page is the people I travelled with and they never minded that I spent my time in the kitchen because I became the cook of the family at a very young age. We ate everything from baked salmon to Field peas flavored with salt pork, butter lettuce and mustard sandwiches, and my Mom’s never ending casserole creations. We fetched our water from a natural spring on the side of the mountain and even made our own butter and maple syrup. The water jug hung in the kitchen where you drank from it from an old metal ladle while cooking beans and rice on a wood burning stove. These travels took place in old 1950’s school busses or occasionally an old car like a 57 Chevy that broke down in freezing Colorado forcing us to hitch hike 40 miles to the nearest town where my little brother Hucky was born.


These stories are many as well as the recipes I have created over the years. Bucky Moonshine’s is my tribute to all of my people. Most of which took place in the lower half of the country and where I started my career cooking homestyle, Cajun, and Soulfood. The Alligator Cafe will live on with respect to my heritage but as a Chef I am branching out now. Having grown up with artists and musicians I will always have live music and support the arts which I include cooking and mixology as part of. I promise to you that I will give you as much love in my cooking as my family gave me not to mention 25years and counting as a professional chef. And do not fret my signature dishes stay with me as well as many new items I may have run as specials over these many years that people still request. The rest you will have to discover on you many visits as we will evolve As a restaurant and as people. And always come as your are, as you were, as we want you to be as friends.


– Chef Ivan ”Bucky” Pugh