In the kitchen with singer songwriter Gaynielle Neville, there’s so much to discuss as we look back through old photos.
“That’s Antoinette K-Doe, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Cyril and I and I think it was maybe like Mardi Gras 2004, but I miss that lady she was a great lady and Al “Carnival Time” is the most perfect gentleman ever,” says Neville.
Today we’re making okra and shrimp stew, an old family recipe she submitted for the WWOZ cookbook “That Sounds Good.”
“Let’s get to work!” she exclaims. “ My father used to cook it and it was so delicious and I said if I cook it, I want to cook it just like him.”
To her friends, family and fans she’s known as Queen G, but in the kitchen she’s the Queen of Everything, she even has the apron to prove it.
The way she floats gracefully around the kitchen it’s clear, she’s as confident here as in the recording studio.
“Music and food, you can’t live without the two, it’s going to heal the world I tell you,” says Neville.
Life rarely slows down for the Nevilles, but these days Gaynielle has even more on her plate with the release of her new album “Woman Power.” It took six weeks to complete and contains songs that she wrote before Hurricane Katrina. “One of the songs is called Caught in the Crossfire and it’s about kids getting killed in New Orleans.”
When talking about New Orleans culture her face lights up the room, “Everything is about food, it’s food and music, you got to, its Queen G’s rule. Here! Here! ”
Gaynielle Neville’s Okra and Shrimp Stew
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 pounds fresh or frozen okra
1 pound turkey sausage (optional)
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 pound deveined peeled shrimp
Hot cooked rice
Vegetable oil for sautéing
2 bay leaves
Salt, pepper to taste
Saute the onion, garlic and okra in large saucepan, add the bay leaves. Add sausage and cook until browned. Add the shrimp and cook until pink. Add tomatoes and cover saucepan. Simmer briefly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with white or brown rice.