Curried Gumbo? Saffron Nola is Breaking All the Rules

Seema Staff

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In early January of 2019, The New York Times profiled the New Orleans restaurant scene through the lens of one of its most iconic dishes: gumbo. This humble staple, a little thicker than a soup but perhaps not quite a stew, thickened with a rich roux, usually (but not always) okra, and occasionally ground sassafras root (filé), was, suggested writer Brett Anderson, increasingly difficult to find on New Orleans menus in its traditional form. The good news, Anderson posited, is that there were a handful of chefs in town doing something entirely new within the classic structure of the gumbo, and perhaps the most exciting of these was the curried gumbo rolling out of the kitchen of Chef Arvinder "Dickey" Vilkhu, proprietor of one of New Orleans' most exciting contemporary restaurants, Saffron Nola.