Food n soul
I’ve lost track of the many hours I’ve spent talking, thinking about and consuming the amazing food of New Orleans. Sensuous is the only word that comes close to describe it. Like the music of New Orleans, the hit of flavour, texture and well, vibe, is intoxicating.
The history of Louisianan food reflects the rich and wildly interesting history of the land and the people that immigrated there. The food can be spilt (broadly) into Cajun and Creole cooking- the Cajuns, exiled out of Acadia, Canada in the 1750’s settled in the swampy West of Louisiana used the land to flavour their food- alligator, shrimp, native herbs and leaves. This fuses with more ‘Creole’ cuisine- thicker soups and stews, rice and beans reflecting the early French and Spanish settlers.
Staples are gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice and Po- Boys- think a massive French stick stuffed full of fried shrimp, salad and more.
In New Orleans the music, food and people and are all intertwined. Food is frequently served up at gigs and on second lines, you gorge on amazingly seasoned fried chicken to fuel up to 10 miles of shimmying.
I particularly like nights here in London that that bring together food and music, reminding me of sashaying across miles of New Orleans neighbourhoods with a huge crowd of locals to the most infectious brass band music. Over at Bayou Soul, Camden this Saturday, I’ll be scooting from an early set at the Hospital Club to chow down on some hearty gumbo then I’ll be spinning 50’s RnB and funk grooves as hot and tasty as the spices in their fab jambalaya.
Then there’s Gumbo Galley, one of London’s best supper clubs. Hidden deep within a beautiful mews house in West London in a subterranean dining room, New Orleans born and bred chef Nataleigh Rene transports you “…on a journey to experience New Orleans French Quarter decadence. The focus is on serving up the tastiest most authentic southern dishes you have ever tried.”
Bon appetit y’all.
This Saturday 30th May- Live music from 8pm, Bayou Soul, 20 Inverness Street, NW1 7HJ *FREE*
Gumbo Galley: Southern feasts regularly, for dates check out http://www.gumbogalley.co.uk/