We're cooking Cajun Gumbo with Universal Orlando Executive Chef Steven Jayson

February 22, 2011, 2:33 PM · Fat Tuesday is just two weeks away and the Mardi Gras Celebration at Universal Orlando is in full swing. We got invited to learn how to make one of the famous cuisines being served at the celebration.

Executive Chef Steven Jayson gave us a cooking lesson on how to make Universal's Cajun Gumbo. It was quite an experience and honor to learn from one of the theme parks world's best cooks. I'll tell you what, the final product was delicious. Follow along with the recipe in hand [PDF] as you watch our full-length cooking lesson video with Steven Jayson and learn how to make some delicious Cajun Gumbo.

After we got done cooking up the delicious authentic N'awlins treat we got a chance to talk about theme park food with Chef Jayson. I also asked him if there will ever be a Universal Orlando Cookbook, and tried to pry out the recipe for Butterbeer.

Once we got done with tasting our creations and of course the prepared finished dish, we headed down to the French Quarter where all the food is located. There's everything from Jambalaya, to Gumbo, to Beignets, and all are delicious. In the French Quarter you'll also find bands straight from Louisiana performing and keeping you entertained.

If you get there early enough, you could also take part in the parade. To do that just show up in front of Fear Factor Live around 5:45 p.m. as they are always looking to fill gaps in the 250 float riders they need each night of the parade. We got to be on one of the floats and it is just a blast.

The mission is simple, get rid of all the beads that are on the float. Each and every year float riders will throw approximately two million strands of beads and to think our float was only responsible for 16,000 of those. That's a lot of beads!

To wrap up the fun we got to watch the B-52s perform on the Music Plaza Stage. For a full list of performers check out this January flume post.

The 2011 Mardi Gras celebration will continue on select nights through April 23. For more information visit UniversalOrlando.com.

Replies (2)

February 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM · I get a kick out of Steven Jayson. It's inspiring that he's passionate about his work and his company.

That gumbo video had me drooling.

February 22, 2011 at 11:09 PM · Thanks for asking about the Butterbeer. No chance, but ya gotta give it a shot.

My attempt at home brew tasted great, but the consistency was all wrong - the cream soda base foamed up way too much when I added the butterscotch, and the cream topping just slid to the side, as a result. I'll keep trying, though. (And post a video when I come up with an acceptable result.)

A Universal Orlando cookbook could be brilliant. Thanks for planting that seed. They need to do this!

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