Chances are your spice cabinet already contains what you need to prepare great Gulf Coast dishes―ground red and black pepper, kosher salt, and Creole seasonings. The key is having a light touch, not a heavy hand, says chef and cookbook author Robert St. John. Some of his recipes include plenty of herbs and spices, but don't let that intimidate you; most ingredients are basic and familiar. Make it fresh, seasoned, and simple. That's the key to enjoying the food―and the lifestyle―of the Gulf.