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Scrumptious Chef's annual New Orleans pop-up returns with gumbo, cocktails

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com
RL Reeves Jr. is hosting a gumbo pop-up on Sunday at 6 p.m. at Tamale House East to celebrate the ninth anniversary of his blog, Scrumptious Chef. [Contributed by RL Reeves Jr.]

The friendship between the Valera family and former Austin chef and writer RL Reeves Jr. goes back more than a decade, when the Scrumptious Chef blogger still lived in Austin and hosted pop-up dinners at restaurants and trailers around town and Carmen Valera had just taken over her family's restaurant and opened Tamale House East.

Nowadays, Reeves lives, eats and writes in New Orleans but makes it back to Austin about once a year for a pop-up dinner. This year's New Orleans Creole Gumbo Pop Up is at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, at Tamale House East, where he's celebrating the ninth anniversary of his blog, Scrumptious Chef, one of the original food blogs in Austin.

"When we came out in 2009 there were a handful of bloggers in Austin, and that number quickly grew into the hundreds," he writes. "Sadly most of them have folded up camp, and gone on to other pursuits." Reeves continues to post nearly 500 articles a year on his site and keeps an archive going back to the very beginning. (Don't miss his post on what makes an authentic bowl of Texas red.)

Reeves, not one to boast, says that after five years researching gumbo in kitchens throughout his 9th Ward neighborhood, he'll be making "the best kettle of gumbo ever served in the great state of Texas." He'll be toting in his favorite ingredients from Louisiana to make gumbo, red beans with smoked sausage and pineapple bread pudding coated in New Orleans rum sauce.

Tamale House will be serving New Orleans-themed cocktails, and "Fats Domino's Imperial Records singles box set will be on the hi fi," Reeves says.

The event is free, but it's wise to get a ticket via Eventbrite. The $5 fee will be applied toward the food bill once you get there. Once on site, you can pay for the food on site with check, cash or Paypal.