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Rans Pierson - secret chef

A proud native of Louisiana, our Yankee winters were hard on Rans. He would talk endlessly about “my mother’s jambalaya,“ and “my grandmother’s shrimp étouffée”. Finally, it was so cold out he couldn’t take it anymore. So, one bitter January night, he invited eight of us to cram into his Greenwich Village, sixth-floor walk-up for one of the best meals I’ve ever had. He had spent the day making a big pot of Gumbo - grandmother’s recipe - and combined with the beer, wine and whiskies we sucked down, it was the perfect antidote to winter in New York. ■