Mardi Gras: The Feast Before the Fast

12 down-home and delicious New Orleans-style recipes worth hootin' and hollerin' over
John Besh's Tips for New Orleans

The August chef gives an insider look at where to eat and go in the Big Easy


Creole Seafood Gumbo

Folks down in New Orleans, or N'awlins, if you prefer, take their cooking seriously, and it becomes especially important on Mardi Gras. Just ask anyone about Paul Prudhomme, Cajun-Creole spice mix (which will likely make them spout off for a bit about how everyone thinks the two cuisines are the same when they're not), or who they think makes the best po'boy or muffaletta in the city, and it's likely that no two people will agree on anything.

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But on Mardi Gras, food occupies a particularly special place in the hearts and minds of many Roman Catholics around the world, not just the folks in New Orleans, because historically it's the last day of feasting before Lent, a season which calls for 40 days of fasting. So in a place like New Orleans, with its strong French-based culinary traditions, this is one meal that you don't want to leave up to the amateurs.

That's why The Daily Meal rounded up a wealth of recipes from some serious cooks. There's no kidding around here — from Galatoire's Creole Seafood Gumbo to Taste of Tremé's Rebirth Kickin' Chicken and Wicked-Ass Waffles — breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served, fellow revelers. Rejoice!


Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.