True Grit Hospitality | Voodoo Bayou's Gumbo and its History
Voodoo Bayou, Gumbo
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Voodoo Bayous Gumbo and its History

Voodoo Bayous Gumbo and its History

There’s no dish more synonymous with Louisiana Cajun than Gumbo. Its American roots are derived from the traditional African American dish containing okra, fish, and shellfish, making its first appearance in New Orleans in the mid-18th century. The word “Gumbo” is derived from the West African word for okra, “ki ngombo” where okra was used as a thickening element for the stew. By the time it became popular in the mid-19th century, European and Native American influences had evolved the dish with the introduction of “Filé,” a powder made of dried and ground sassafras leaves, and the “roux,” a thickening element made from browning flour in a hot skillet. Many of the recipes and cooking techniques we still see today have been passed down through generations and represent family traditions dating back as far as 250 years. Gumbo became even more well-known in the late 19th century when local publications started printing different recipes in cookbooks, making Gumbo synonymous with the city ever since.

Today, Gumbo and Louisiana Cajun are celebrated together, and we are especially proud of our signature recipe at Voodoo Bayou. We craft our Gumbo with Gulf shrimp, house-made Andouille sausage, and chicken, slowly stewed with vegetables and herbs. We then add perfectly cooked Carolina white rice for a hearty version of this classic dish. We also throw in a little extra spice and flavor so that every bite tastes like Cajun perfection. Our Gumbo is thickened with a combination of okra and a dark roux, creating a rich and distinct flavor of Louisiana.

Every bowl of “Gumbo Ya Ya” we serve has a little bit of Voodoo Magic in it! Our dedicated chefs make our gumbo fresh from scratch each morning to ensure guests get to experience the BEST and most authentic Gumbo in Florida. Want to give it a taste? Come dine with us at Voodoo Bayou in our Downtown Palm Beach Gardens location and enjoy the culinary experience that is Southern Cajun Cuisine! Book now at!