The Art of the Gumbo Dance

Tony Krysinsky's wood engraved painting entitled Gumbo Dance.

Tony Krysinsky’s wood engraved painting entitled Gumbo Dance.

Pensacola’s Seafood Fest is a bustling outdoor food carnival which attracts people by the  thousands. Cooks in tents and food trailers hawk their seafood dishes – mullet, crab, shrimp, paella, crayfish, catfish, grouper and an occasional pot of jambalaya. Alongside the chefs, dozens of craftsmen, artists and catalog-gypsies showcase their goods.

With no gumbo in sight, I feasted on shrimp and grits that brought back memories of a South Carolina trip. I moved on to the crafts – from rocking chairs to custom knives to beer coozies to jewelry. An eighteen-wheeler had unfolded itself exposing racks and rows of bass fishing t-shirts.

My son pointed to the engraved wood paintings of artist Tony Krysinsky, and I stopped to marvel at his intricate, yet carefree work entitled “Gumbo Dance.”

In the piece, a chef, seen only from his back, juggles ingredients for gumbo. I envision his hips (or is it a her?) sashaying to the rhythms of bell pepper and garlic spinning in midair. Krysinsky depicts making gumbo like directing a Broadway performance – no music needed as the chef directs the ingredients. My imagination soars and I see myself chopping the ingredients to a cha, cha, then two-stepping to the tempo of a waltz when stirring the roux. The dish then heats up with a boiling salsa, and finally simmers to a tango.

I like to dance around the kitchen every now and then. Doing a “bam” impersonation of Chef Emerill Lagasse and kicking it up a notch is liberating. Of course a real chef, more like the one in the artwork, stretches the ingredients to all limits, tries a new routine, a different number, then presents his final creation to an appreciative audience.

Krysinsky’s engraved wood painting elevates the dish – as they say on the cooking shows. The artist adds the color of the flavors.

In the early 1970s when I was on a tight Christmas budget, I tried making gumbo art for my grandmother's kitchen. It came back to haunt me.

In the early 1970s when I was on a tight Christmas budget, I tried making gumbo art for my grandmother’s kitchen. It came back to haunt me.

I tried to capture the flavor of gumbo with art years ago when I made a wooden plaque for my grandmother’s kitchen. When she died, my primitive piece came back to live with me.

I’d much rather own Tony Krysinsky’s “Gumbo Dance” — I could dance around the kitchen all day long, finding interesting ideas in his art.

To see  Tony Krysinsky’s wood engraved paintings visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tony-Krysinsky-Artist/147838691913551

 

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About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!
This entry was posted in Dear Diary (Gumbo Experiences)... and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Art of the Gumbo Dance

  1. Sandra Scott says:

    Enjoy the dance! Sandy Scott

    Like

  2. Pingback: Gifts for the Gumbo Lover | The Gumbo Diaries

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