Wantsumeaux translates from Cajun to “Want Some More” in English, and Gumbeaux translates to… yes, that’s right… “Gumbo.” So, when we say Wantsumeaux Gumbeaux, we are not asking a question, but simply acknowledging what we already know; once you have tried it, you are gonna want some more of our Gumbo!
Who we are:
We are Susan Armand and Wes Pate; a brother and sister team. We were born and raised in Houston by a native-Houstonian mother and an East Texas father. Susan married an LSU grad (Geaux Tigers!) from just outside Baton Rouge, and when Ken joined the family, he brought his Cajun heritage and culinary proclivities with him. Susan wanted him to be happy in his new hometown of Houston, and though she knew she would never replace his momma’s cooking, she set out to try.
Over the years Susan mastered the Cajun classics: crawfish etouffee, shrimp creole, red beans and rice, jambalaya, steak-and-rice-and-gravy, shrimp and grits, turtle soup, fried catfish, and – the centerpiece dish of any self-respecting Cajun cook’s repertoire – Gumbo. It became tradition in her house to make a huge batch of seafood Gumbo every New Years Eve. It was so good that her friends began bringing their friends to the party, and before she knew it, she was feeding 100 people out of her home kitchen.
The cook-off circuit:
Back in 2005 or 2006, neither of us can remember for sure, Susan heard about a Gumbo cook-off being hosted by the Cajun Festival at Medina Lake in the Texas Hill Country. We thought it would be fun; a diversion; a departure from the weekend norm. We needed a name for the registration, and our cousin and a member of the cooking team, Leslie, came up with Wantsumeaux Gumbeaux. We worked hard, the Gumbo was excellent, and we finished in first place!
That was our first taste of success and it served as a launching pad for what became both our passion and our obsession. In 2007 the Wantsumeaux Gumbeaux cooking team took first place at the Clear Lake Crawfish Festival & Gumbo Cook-off near the Johnson Space Center, between Houston and Galveston, and we never looked back. Since then we have competed all over Texas and Louisiana, winning or placing each and every time, including the World Championship Gumbo Cook-off in New Iberia, Louisiana.
What we’re up to now:
A couple of years ago, a friend of Susan’s with Celiac Disease asked if she could develop a gluten-free Gumbo for her, which she did. There were a few trials and errors, but in the end, what she came up with was almost indistinguishable from the original, award-winning Wantsumeaux Gumbeaux. But more than that, it planted a seed of an idea that sprouted and began to grow.
We hunkered down and put our heads together. Knowing that “it’s all about the roux,” we set out with a monumental goal of developing something that would be quick, easy, and – most importantly – true to the appearance, consistency and flavor of the original Wantsumeaux Gumbeaux. After months and months of experimenting with different ingredients, and more than a few failures along the way, the end result was a dry roux-based Gumbo mix that is not only delicious and authentic tasting, but also gluten-free.
What the future holds:
After more than 10 years, we decided to take a break from the frantic pace of the cook-off circuit, but not from cooking Gumbo. We are as passionate about Wantsumeaux Gumbeaux today as we have ever been.
But we are also passionate about making it available to people from all walks of life, including those with restrictive diets. It is important to us that we not sacrifice flavor or appearance by using anything less than the best ingredients available. We think you are going to love our products, not just because they are gluten-free, but because they taste good.
C’est si bon (it’s so good), you’re gonna want some more!