"The Path of Stone Soup" is a series of food, film and music events at Vaughan's Lounge Nov. 9 and 11-13 that highlight the freshwater seafood soup prepared by the indigenous Chinantec community of Oaxaca, Mexico.
The traditional fish soup is cooked using scorching hot stones. It is usually prepared by men as part of a tradition meant to honor the elders, women and children of the community.
Visual historian Sarah Borealis launched the series last year. The schedule includes a screening of her 24-minute documentary film, which chronicles chef Cesar Gachupin de Dios' family's efforts to preserve the tradition in their community. Gachupin and his son Victor Gachupin Velasco are visiting from their home in Mexico to prepare the soup for the event.
The soup includes red snapper, shrimp, scallops, chilies, cilantro, garlic, tomato and epazote, an herb common in Mexican cooking, and it is usually served in hollowed-out gourds. Stones are heated in an open fire for at least two hours and dropped into the bowl, instantly bringing the water to a boil and cooking the seafood in minutes. Vaughan's proprietor Cindy Wood imported 400 river stones from Oaxaca for the events
The pop-up event includes a cooking demonstration, a film screening with a Q&A session, a bowl of stone soup, live Latin music and mezcal drink specials by Nancy Lovewell of Johnny Sanchez restaurant. Also featured is an exhibition of Chinantec textiles hosted by indigenous designer Elisema Gachupin.
Gachupin will teach a workshop for students in the culinary program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and students will help the chef prep ingredients for the pop-up.
Tickets for the event are $20-$35. Proceeds support the Chinantec Council of Elders in San Felipe Usila, Oaxaca.