Melting Pot I: The Diverse Dish that Is Gumbo, and a Recipe for Seafood Gumbo

There are three key elements to the best gumbo–an excellent seafood stock, a solid brick roux, and quality ingredients to go into it–fresh seafood when possible, okra in season, and so on. While you may sometimes have to make due with frozen or out-of-season ingredients, the stock, roux, and giving the gumbo the time it needs to develop flavor will still always give you incredible results.

Smoky Seafood Chowder

This rich, briny, creamy, slightly smoky seafood chowder is also easy to put together, and is a sure-fire way to impress dinner guests.

Gras Double (Tripe Lyonnaise)

Gras double, or tripe lyonnaise, is a staple in the bouchons of Lyon, France. The name gras double describes the method of cooking it in two helpings of fat, which not only makes the tripe tender while still slightly chewy (about the same texture as really good calamari) but also gives it a subtle richness.

Wafu Pork Belly Skewers

The pork belly on these skewers is succulently tender, coated in a sweet and salty sauce. This a simple but memorable meal that makes my fiancé nostalgic for good times in Japanese yakiniku restaurants.