It’s almost time for Mardi Gras! The annual holiday, which is also known as Fat Tuesday, marks the last day of eating richer foods before the leaner days of Lent begin. Since many Christians fast or give up certain things for Lent, Mardi Gras typically serves as a fun and food-filled send-off. This year, the holiday falls on Tuesday, March 5.
The festive occasion is celebrated throughout Louisiana, and New Orleans, in particular, marks Mardi Gras with a series of parades and masquerade balls. Like most holidays, Mardi Gras is ushered in with a variety of tasty dishes. However, even those who don’t live in the Big Easy can get in the holiday spirit thanks to these recipes that New Orleans-born chef Brandon Boudet has shared with Us Weekly.
As a child, Boudet tells Us he has fond memories of his mom taking him out of school so he could watch the Mardi Gras parades from ladder boxes his father set up along the routes. Following the parades, Boudet recalls friends and families in his neighborhood gathering to feast on po’boys, gumbo and jambalaya.
Though he got his start in New Orleans, Boudet is now known for churning out tasty dishes at celeb-favorite restaurant Little Dom’s in Los Angeles. The eatery has attracted stars such as Ryan Gosling and Katherine Heigl, and Mad Men alum Jon Hamm has visited the restaurant so often that he has his own booth with a designated plaque.
Each year, Little Dom’s hosts an annual Mardi Gras feast to honor Boudet’s heritage and upbringing. The celebration features dishes such as chicken and smoked andouille sausage gumbo, which he tells Us is an “undertaking,” and jambalaya, which is ideal for “serving a big crowd.”
Check out recipes for some of the holiday-inspired dishes below and bring the spirit of Mardi Gras into your own home!