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Inauguration Day dinner: Oakland chef serves up gumbo in honor of VP Kamala Harris

Oakland-based chef Robert Dorsey is making a seafood gumbo in honor of Harris, who shares his love for the New Orleans specialty.
INAUGURATION MENU
Vice President Harris shared that her sister makes a "delicious gumbo" every Christmas.TODAY illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Oakland-based chef Robert Dorsey shares a special connection with Kamala Harris and is celebrating the inauguration of the country's first first female, Black and South Asian American vice president with a special dish. As ABC7 first reported, Dorsey is making a seafood gumbo in honor of his fellow Bay Area-native, Harris, who shares his love for the New Orleans specialty.

Dorsey's "Inauguration Day Dinner," available for takeout, includes panko-crusted crab cakes with organic coastal greens and Cajun remoulade, bayou shrimp and sausage gumbo, and for dessert, banana-raisin bread pudding with bourbon caramel, for $46 a person.

Back in 2018, Harris tweeted a picture of herself on Christmas Day with her sister, Maya, who she said makes gumbo for the holiday every year.

"The inspiration for our Inauguration Gumbo came from learning that vice president elect Kamala Harris and I shared a very important mentor in that of teacher Mrs. Francis Wilson from Thousand Oaks Elementary and Berkeley, California," Dorsey told TODAY Food in an email. "We were both taught by Mrs. Wilson in the '70s but at different times. I came to know that Kamala Harris has a love for gumbo and it is definitely one of my favorite dishes to share with others and to eat myself!"

Tujague's Creole Gumbo

"I am so proud of the work that she has done and I’ve watch this journey to the White House and pray that she’s able to do the work that this country needs done to heal and to make this an America that is great for all," he added.

Dorsey posted a video on Instagram showing the dish approximately 200 lucky patrons will get to enjoy.

Dorsey said in the video that he would enjoy his serving of the dish with some Champagne. But he wasn't the only one honoring Vice President Harris with a culinary creation. "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi posted a video of herself on Instagram Tuesday making tamarind rice, which she said is a typical South Indian dish and one of her and the VP's favorites.

"I know we're all waiting on tomorrow with bated breath," Lakshmi posted. "Here's one of my (and Madam VP's) favorites to tide you over."

Harris has been open about her love for cooking, especially in difficult times. In 2019, Harris even stepped into the kitchen with Mindy Kaling to prepare some Indian food together.

If you're looking for some more menu ideas to honor our new leaders tonight, you might want to consider curd rice, potato curry, dal, idli or sambar, all South Indian dishes Harris said she ate growing up. For President Biden, put some pasta with red sauce on the menu, a dish former President Obama said Biden can "go deep on," and end the meal with ice cream, which Biden famously loves.