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Darnell Reed – Chef/Owner -Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Luella’s Southern Kitchen is located at 4609 N. Lincoln Ave.


The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America culinary series is returning to Chicago on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022. The event will be held at River Roast (315 North La Salle) and will feature a delicious meal curated and cooked by executive chef Cedric Harden and he will be joined by his friend and fellow chef Chef Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen. Taste America brings chefs and diners together to celebrate local independent restaurants and support efforts to rebuild a more sustainable and equitable industry.

James Beard Foundation Taste America

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

6:30 PM 
River Roast
Price: $300 per pair


River Roast is located at 315 N. LaSalle St.


King Crab and Pork Belly Gumbo

6 ounces flour (3/4 cup)

6 ounces butter (3/4 cup)

6 ounces small diced green bell peppers (3/4 cup)

6 ounces small diced celery (3/4 cup)

6 ounces small diced onions (3/4 cup)

9 ounces sliced andouille sausage (1.125 cup)

3 ounces crushed tomatoes (.375 cup or 6T)

1 ounce roasted garlic (2T)

1.5 quarts mussel broth 

1 tablespoon Filé powder

1/2 teaspoon dry thyme

1/4 teaspoon dry oregano 

1/4 teaspoon dry basil 

2 ounces hot sauce (4T)

10 ounces king crab meat (1 ¼ cup)

5 ounces smoked pork belly 

Kosher Salt to taste

Black Pepper to taste 

  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan slowly cook the flour and butter until golden to peanut butter brown color. 
  2. Add the bell peppers, celery, onions and Sausage and sauté until the vegetables are cooked through and the sausage is visibly releasing oil.
  3. Add the tomatoes and garlic and continue cooking. 
  4. Add the stock, file, thyme, oregano, basil and hot sauce and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and add the pork belly continuing to cook until the meat is tender. 
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and lastly stir in the crab meat. Serve over rice.

You’ll need the following equipment to complete this recipe:

Heavy bottom pot at least 2 gallons. 

Rubber Spatula for scrapping and mixing vegetables. This is if your pot is non stick or you can use a metal spatula if it’s a normal stainless steel pot.

Whisk for stirring.

Vegetarian Dirty Rice

1.5 cups beyond beef 

1 tablespoon of canola oil

1/2 cup minced mushrooms

1 tablespoon minced celery

1 tablespoon minced bell peppers

1 tablespoon minced onions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 tablespoon minced shallots 

1 teaspoon chopped sage 

1 teaspoon chopped green onions

1 teaspoon chopped parsley 

to taste kosher salt

to taste black pepper

  1. Sauté the bell peppers, celery, onion, garlic and shallots until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until cooked through.
  2. Add the beyond beef and cook until it resembles cooked ground beef. 
  3. Gold in the herbs and season to taste. 
  4. Fold in the cooked rice.