Gumbo is to Louisiana as clam chowder is to New England. And, if that doesn’t thoroughly explain how important this traditional soup is to the Bayou State, then perhaps the Cajun cuisine savvy Greg Dickinson, native Louisianian and front-of-house manager at L’Espalier, can.
Dickinson whips up a pot of his family’s traditional gumbo for staff dinner every now and then. And last week was one of those times, to be served to fellow employees before the New Orleans-hosted Super Bowl (Feb. 3) and Mardi Gras (Feb. 12). Gumbo, which is said to mean “throw it in the pot,” is a dish with humble origins. It isn’t glamorous and it definitely isn’t couture cuisine. Although recipes are tailored for families large and small, the dish always calls for inexpensive, simple, and seasonal ingredients. This philosophy of gumbo fits Dickinson’s Southern notions about cooking, and goes with L’Espalier’s tenets of local and fresh cuisine.