Come join us when author/journalist Ken Wells talks gumbo, presenting and signing his new book. GUMBO LIFE: Tales from the Roux Bayou.
Ken Wells was to the gumbo born. Enhancing that felicitous beginning, he has traveled the Gumbo Belt researching, recording, and—most importantly—savoring the myriad interpretations of the iconic Louisiana soup. He even has recipes, including two of my favorites. (I’m not telling which ones!) Like a dense, flavorful gumbo filled with tastes of the region, this is a book to savor.” - Jessica Harris, author of High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America
Ken Wells looks at the history and influence of gumbo, the role it plays in Cajun culture and life on the bayou, and how the soup has become one of the world’s most beloved dishes. Inspired by his own roots growing up in the Cajun bastion of Bayou Black, Wells’ pilgrimage traces gumbo’s past and how it helped to define what it means to live what he calls the Gumbo Life—where the rhythms of the day cling to rituals of a previous century and gumbo begins with a chicken chased down in the yard. Along the way, Wells explores the soup’s global profile—including how it got to China and who won New York City’s Gumbo War. A lively travelogue and moving memoir, GUMBO LIFE is a celebration—of a place, a dish, and the cultures that created it.
Ken Wells covered car wrecks and gator sightings for his hometown weekly before leaving the bayous for a journalism career that included twenty-four years on the Wall Street Journal. He’s written five novels of the Cajun bayous and lives in Chicago.
Ask any self-respecting Louisianan who makes the best gumbo and the answer is universal: "Momma." The product of a melting pot of culinary influences, gumbo, in fact, 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.