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is New Orleans. I really believe this. I believe that once you understand Carnival you understand New Orleans. I believe this because I am filled with anxiety each time it approaches. You must breath  Carnival, you must eat Carnival – you must be Carnival. I am not ready for this yet (I may never be).

Sara Roahen does. I mean she cracked it (the city) and wrote a book about it. Her book “Gumbo Tales, Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table”, is a fantastic read and brings a lot of understanding to this city. She told me that for her Mardi Gras is about finding a way to make yourself happy. It’s hard she said, but people in New Orleans know how to make themselves happy. Its seems like such a simple concept, doesn’t it? For her making Gumbo Z’herbes, the Green Gumbo for family, friends, neighbors, fellow New Orleanians is what makes her happy.

So I went and followed her. To the market, to the butcher, to her kitchen. I took my camera. I shot only with my 35mm and decided to observe. Soak in. Listen. Understand.

I am still terrified of Carnival. But thinking of Sara and her gumbo makes me happy. That’s a start.


Iko Iko by The Dixie Cups

  • Carol Sensenbrenner - How wonderful to see the loving preparation of what, was to me, a true highlight of my first Mardi Gras experiences. Thanks for inviting us and for sharing your home, family,gumbo and family.ReplyCancel

  • austyn - wow. I love the description before we are exposed to a life in a day of this New Orleanian woman who is very proud of her gumbo dish! I love seeing the whole day of buying, prepping, and consuming of friends and family.
    Great job!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Spencer - This is so beautiful, taking us through the process. It really does capture the spirit.ReplyCancel

  • Laure-Anne - What an exquisite documentary — the pictures are so intimate that one almost forgets there was a photographer there and makes us feel we’re seeing everything directly. Great choice of details, great eye! Wonderful photos, and a perfect rendition of the ambiance. But mostly, a perfect, perfect portrait of beautiful Sara and her passion for cooking New Orleans food — and, especially, the gumbos!ReplyCancel

  • Alice - Dorka! I loved this post, of course I did. Your photos are beautiful and that gumbo looks amazing. I hope you put your camera down and ate some.ReplyCancel

  • Katalin Gaspar - Astonishing series of photos,showing everything from the beginning till the end. The details, the colors, the people and all the food …amusing, clever photographic epic, leading us through the whole route with skillful confidence. (Liked the empty chairs as a contrast, and the photo taken outside of Sarah in the window as well) Joyful journey! Celebration of life,telling us the simple fact how important is producing vegetables and cooking and eating…why, gastronomy is a form of art! Cooking and eating like this, together, is so very precious. To be happy and making people happy like Sara in New Orleans. Thanks, Dorka – and Sara – for this exceptional experience. Thanks that you went with Sara and took us with you with your camera. The gumbos must be yummy – look at the empty plate!ReplyCancel

  • trina - Awesome. And achingly jealous.ReplyCancel

  • Kevin - I love this story. And I hope the gumbo comes around more often than Carnival!ReplyCancel

  • nicole - dorka, these are amazing! i love how I feel like I just watched a wonderful short documentary about her and her journey to make this feast. makes me miss NO and you!ReplyCancel

  • Brodi - Brilliant. The pictures are perfect! Love to you Sara.ReplyCancel

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