Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou
A sprightly, deeply personal narrative about how gumbo―for 250 years a Cajun and Creole secret―has become one of the world’s most beloved dishes.
The product of a melting pot of culinary influences, gumbo reflects the diversity of the people who cooked it up: French aristocrats, West Africans in bondage, Cajun refugees, German settlers, Native Americans―all had a hand in the pot. What is it about gumbo that continues to delight and nourish so many? And what explains its spread around the world?
In Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou, Ken Wells takes you back to his childhood in the Cajun bastion of Bayou Black, where his French-speaking mother’s gumbo often began with a chicken chased down in the yard. He spends time with octogenarian chefs who turn the lowly coot into gourmet gumbo; joins a team at a highly competitive gumbo contest; visits a factory that churns out gumbo by the ton; and observes the gumbo-making rituals of an iconic New Orleans restaurant where high-end Creole cooking and Cajun cuisine first merged. Beautifully written and easy to read, the book includes recipes from ten of New Orleans’ most storied restaurants.