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First Annual “Gumbosium”

First Annual “Gumbosium”

Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival “Gumbosium”
1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Nov. 18 & 19

at the  Tremé  Creole Gumbo Festival, Armstrong Park
Free Admission

The 2017 Tremé  Creole Gumbo Festival may be the 10th edition of New Orleans’ premier brass band showcase, but it also includes a first: the debut of our “gumbosium,” a symposium with cooking demonstrations and panel discussions dedicated to New Orleans’ signature culinary treat.

When we expanded the  Tremé  Creole Gumbo Festival last year to include not only a food court in Congo Square but also cooking demonstrations, we learned something that now seems obvious: New Orleans folks really like to argue about gumbo.

So we decided to expand our cooking demos into a full-blown symposium explores various topics surrounding this iconic dish.

As we saw from the social media uproar that ensued last year after Disney published a recipe for “healthy gumbo” that included kale and quinoa – but no roux – there is no shortage of opinions on what makes a gumbo real.

Many people – even experienced cooks – have questions about whether to use okra or filé as a thickener, or about the right technique for making a roux. And lots of folks wonder about the distinctions between Creole gumbo and Cajun gumbo.

If these sound like subjects you can sink your teeth into, don’t miss the debut of our gumbosium.

We’ve assembled an all-star cast of professional chefs and gumbo enthusiasts for cooking demonstrations and panel discussions that are sure to whet your appetite for a hot bowl of gumbo – which will be plentiful, considering that we have 12 food booths at the festival, all serving different interpretations of the dish.

Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival “Gumbosium”

Saturday, Nov. 18
1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.  Gumbo Basics
Panel Discussion:  What Is Gumbo? What Is It Not?  (Subtitle: Okra: What Is It and Do We Need It?)
Ian McNulty, moderator
Toya Boudy, chef
Wayne Baquet, owner, Li'l Dizzy's Café
Jason Seither, owner/chef, Seither's Seafood
2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.  Roux Fundamentals
Cooking Demonstration:  The Gospel of Roux According to Frank Brigtsen
Frank Brigtsen, chef/owner, Brigtsen’s restaurant

3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pro Gumbo
Cooking Demonstration: Seafood Gumbo
Susan Spicer, chef/owner, Bayona, Rosedale and Mondo restaurants

4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Comparative Gumbo 101  
Cooking Demonstration: Creole Gumbo vs. Cajun Gumbo
Kevin Belton, chef and host of “New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton”
Isaac Toups, chef/owner, Toups Meatery and Toups South
Sunday, Nov. 19
1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Gumbo or Just No?   
Panel Discussion: Is There Kale (or Tomato) In Gumbo? (Subtitle: Is Gentrification Killing Authentic Gumbo?)
Dana Honn, chef/owner, Café Carmo
Michael Gulotta, chef/owner, MoPho and Maypop restaurants
Celestine Dunbar, chef/owner, Dunbar's Creole Cuisine
Ericka Lassir, chef/owner, Diva Dawg
2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.  Yes, It’s Really Gumbo
Cooking Demonstration: Smoked Tofu and Portobello (Vegan) Gumbo
Troy Brocato, chef/owner, Brocato's Catering
3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Gumbo Forever
Panel Discussion: How to Keep Seafood Gumbo Sustainable
Dana Honn, Café Carmo
Colles Stowell, One Fish Foundation
Ryan Prewitt, chef/owner, Peche Seafood Grill
Gary Granata, Slow Food Governor of Louisiana

4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Gumbo Real
Panel Discussion: Who Makes the Best Gumbo in New Orleans? (Hint: It's Your Mom)
John Simmons II (a.k.a. Johnny Brasco), MuzArt
Justin Pitard, chef/owner, Avery's On Tulane
Stacy Fortenberry, film industry professional
Loretta Harrison, chef/owner, Loretta's Authentic Pralines
5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Gumbo Soul
Cooking Demonstration:  Traditional Seafood Gumbo
Linda Green, chef/owner, Miss Linda’s New Orleans Soul Food

The first annual Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival gumbosium is produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Thanks to our media partner the Southern Food & Beverage Museum.

Thanks also to Lolis Eric Elie, Kevin Belton and Ian McNulty for consultation.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.