Jon Batiste’s family holiday tradition involves a “friendly” gumbo competition: “It’s a gumbo throwdown”

Written by on December 7, 2023

Jonathan Batiste

Christmas in Jon Batiste‘s household means there’ll be a lot of gumbo making and eating. 

He dished about his family’s longstanding “gumbo throwdown” in a podcast episode of Your Mama’s Kitchen, telling host Michele Norris he’s looking forward to the traditional “friendly competition.”

“The staple,” Batiste says, “is the gumbo my mother makes.” 

The special pot of goodness is transported to his grandfather’s house where there’s a second pot of the stew available for tasting. 

“We’ll bring our gumbo over. And you get to try the gumbo from my mom and the gumbo from my grandparents house,” he notes.

Batiste, a Louisiana native, says family members “got to be ready” for the taste tests because the New Orleans-style gumbo is not just “some overnight situation” — “everybody’s spending about a week making the pot.”

A new contender will be joining the competition this year. That person, who Batiste decided to leave unnamed is not from New Orleans, but they threw their spoon in the pot with a bite-for-bite challenge of Batiste’s mom’s famous gumbo.

“It was a very bold claim,” Batiste says. “Especially for someone who is not from the home of gumbo.”

Check out the full podcast episode for a step-by-step on how to make the Batiste’s all-important gumbo roux. 

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