Gumbo and more

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Friday, May 30, 2014

APPARENTLY Filipinos may have also had a role in developing the famous dish from Louisiana, the gumbo.

Theorists suggest that the addition of shrimp to the dish—which is already a multicultural pot of culinary influences from the Africans, Choctaw, Spanish and French—came from Filipino settlers in a fishing village south of New Orleans back in the late 19th century.

Now whether true or not, this interesting tidbit shared by entrepreneur couple Ian and Vivian Chaplin was what inspired them to put up Gumbology, a restaurant that aims to somehow educate the local market about the dish. “This is our analysis of the cuisine,” Vivian described.


Vivian is an instructor in a university in Macau but had spent more than a decade of her career in the hospitality industry there. Gumbology is their first venture in to the local food scene, and together they have excitedly given it their personal touch.

The paintings on the walls, for instance, were done by Ian himself.

On the menu side, Vivian said that though gumbo is the house specialty, they have added other favorite items as well such as pizza, pasta plus a variety of local fares.

“Everything here is made from scratch,” Vivian said. “As much as possible, we don’t use ingredients that come from bottles. Even our breads are also made by our chefs.”

It’s easy to accustom one’s taste buds to gumbo. A playful blend of different spices and vegetables, it is a familiar flavor to the Filipino tongue—not to mention, since it is traditionally paired with rice, quite satiating.

First-timers can have a go with Gumbology’s bestsellers which are the “Grilled Chicken Gumbo” or the “Seafood Gumbo” (otherwise known there as the “Big Easy”). Then pair it with other bestsellers that Vivian identified are the kamunggay soup, steamed clams, seafood pasta and chicken kebab.

Plus, complementing the food selection is the restaurant’s interiors that have been inspired by the Mardi Gras, a celebration Louisiana is also known for. Headdresses and masquerade masks are placed all over, which customers can freely use as they dine—making the Gumbology experience festive and educational, and worth a shot.

Gumbology is open from 10 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. It is in City Times Square along Mantawi Ave., North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 31, 2014.


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