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Kids' Lunch on the Bayou

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Lunch with my boys takes on many different meanings. On Sunday it's “supper”—deliberate, homey, and substantive south Louisiana meals not very different than those that I was reared on. 

John's real-life gumbo (left) versus the shot in his new book (right).

Saturday's lunches are often more or less utilitarian in nature, too often consumed on the go between sporting events, often a po' boy will suffice, and weekday lunches are normally fun rifts on sandwiches and wraps packed up in brown bags with Satsumas, a cookie, and some chips of sort. I'm an early morning guy who loves to wake in those predawn hours to prepare a warm breakfast for the boys, pack their lunches, and start dinner before heading out to the restaurants for the day. 


My mission in regards to those Sunday suppers is to nourish my sons on those slow-cooked, soul-warming dishes that the bayou country is identified with. I want the little fellows to know who they are by the foods they eat, the same ones that informed my palate, just down the very same bayou, decades ago. 

It's our gumbos, étoufées, jambalayas, and daubes that moved me both then as boy and now as a father. 


This is a beautiful pot of chicken and sausage gumbo that my boys requested along with potato salad, cornbread, and rice. It's the food that I've written about in Besh Big Easy and a perfect dish for a cool fall afternoon.

Photos by John Besh, top left, and Maura McEvoy and Andrews McMeel Publishing, top right, and Mark Weinberg, bottom

Tags: kids' lunch, john besh, southern, louisiana, brown-bag lunch, bayou, new orleans, gumbo