As problems go, long lines and worrying about running out of food, are the sort that all restaurateurs dream of. We knew going in that the latest edition of the Scrumptious Chef pop up restaurant series was going to be big due to the heavy traffic the articles breaking down the nature of the event received.

We lock and load on a regular basis so it’s just another day at the office for our crew. While we’re nearly 400 miles west of Acadiana we reckoned Cajun food, with its sustained narrative of deliciousness, would be a hit and we fully expected to get drilled from the get go through the afternoon.

And did we ever.

Thanks y’all.

As a gray Texas morning turned into a golden, Bradbury-ian October day, we cranked up the Clifton Chenier and Balfa Brothers and started ladling out the Gumbo, Dirty Rice and Grillades and Grits. We had hoped to take advantage of East End Wines’ brand new patio, but the project is not quite finished. We made do with our normal, guerilla-style arrangement of tables and chairs.

The magic touch of David Norman, maestro baker at Easy Tiger, came into play, as we sourced our baguettes from the 6th street bakery that the old dough puncher put on the map. He’s at the top of the game in USA and everybody bragged on the hunks of bread on our platters.

But not nearly as hard as they did on the gumbo. Twenty hours of labor went into the kettle and it showed, as folks bought bowls to sit around and eat, then bargained for to-go pints and quarts for the fridge back at the house. Homemade pork belly sausage and hickory smoked chicken can have that effect on people.

It’s one of our best recipes, and to this day is the best gumbo we’ve ever eaten {sorry Li’l Dizzy’s,} we attribute it to the power of smoked pig neckbones, as that’s our secret weapon. We went through 20 quarts of neckbone stock during the ramp-up to the pop up. It’s the backbone of our kitchen.

A table of local Cajun eaters informed us that our handmade boudin was “Lafayette quality.” We responded that if we died in a fiery van crash on the way back to the house after the party we’d go happily into the nether after hearing that accolade. True or not, we have deep, deep love for Lafayette and the region’s cuisine.

We’re in the planning stages now for our next Scrumptious chef pop up. Someone suggested fried chicken as a possible theme and we’re certainly not opposed. If you have a suggestion please leave it in comments below, and once again thanks for making the event such a big success.

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