Grab a bunch of food photographers, stylists and writers, send them out to explore the byways of southern Louisiana, and what you’ll end up with is a photojournalistic journey celebrating the region’s signature dish: gumbo. Room in the Bowl is a collaborative labor of love by some of the country’s most talented food photographers and writers. New Orleans’ unique food culture lives on these pages,” says editor Jamie Tiampo. Published by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in April 2009, the book captures the essence of gumbo—not just the act of making the it, but also producing the very ingredients that make gumbo possible. Beautiful photographs of the region’s oystermen and shrimpers, farmers and cooks bring the book to life.
The sine qua non of Louisiana cuisine, gumbo is a part of the DNA of Louisianans. And like DNA, everyone’s gumbo is different. If you’ve spent any time at all in New Orleans, you know there really aren’t any recipes for gumbo—just a little bit of this and a little bit of that . . . and a lot of love. Here’s a few of our renditions for all those yearning for a taste of the Big Easy.
Photo by Mark Boughton