You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. On the set of Paramount’s Yellowstone, chef Gabriel “Gator” Guilbeau is that hand. Not only is Gator in charge of craft services on set, but also he plays the onscreen role as John Dutton’s in-house cook. And if Yellowstone stars Jefferson White (Jimmy) and Denim Richards (Colby) are to be believed—and they should be—Gator is the most popular man on the set.
Both Jefferson and Denim chatted with Outsider about Gator’s culinary prowess.
Jefferson Goes Jambalaya
“Oh my God, he makes a jambalaya,” said Jefferson to Outsider. “Basically, I don’t really ask what it is anymore. He hands you something, and you hide in the corner like a dog with a bone and eat it. He takes care of us. The hours on a show like Yellowstone can be incredibly punishing. We’re in the middle of nowhere. Like often, we’re in the middle of a field. It’s zero degrees outside. It’s four in the morning, you’re freezing cold. Working on a ranch is an incredibly and difficult lifestyle, and so is pretending to work on a ranch sometimes.
“And Gator just keeps us all going. Gator can sort of tell when everybody is floundering, he can tell when we’re exhausted and worn out. And he always manages to show up and take care of everybody. And the thing that’s amazing about Gator is he takes care of everybody. Our crew is huge. Anytime you as an actor start complaining, you’ve got to remember that the crew was there before you, and they’ll be there after you and everything you’re pretending to do, they’re doing for real. And Gator keeps that whole machine running. It’s incredible.”
“It’s so interesting, Gator is like a staple where it’s almost, I feel like when people get onto the show, the first thing they’re like, ‘Okay look, I’ll sign the contract, but is Gator still catering?’ says Denim to Outsider. “And then they’re like, ‘Yeah, he is.’ They’re like, ‘Okay, where do I sign?’ Gator, he’s one of the few that his whole passion is food, and he makes a killer Louisiana stew. And I say this one because I just remember the day that we were filming, and that was two or three in the morning in Utah. I think this was season three maybe, and I just remember it was so bitterly cold. And we were just on these horses and we’re going after buffalo, we’re just doing take after take.”
“And then all of a sudden you smell something wafting through the mountains, and then you see this giant cast iron pot with just boiling steam, just coming out of it. So they say, ‘Cut,’ and we’re getting ready to turn around. So we naturally all just jump off of our horses and we run over and it’s this savory . . . you’re full before you’ve even tasted anything because of the smell of it. And it’s just everything that you need. This is what Gator does. And for me, one of the great things is like he has a great memory, so before you even are going to say, ‘Gator, can I have?’ He’s already handing you something outside of the truck, practically shoving it into your mouth. So with Gator, we’ve become little children wanting mother’s milk for us on Yellowstone.”