Southwest Minnesota State University
Guest Lectures on Creole and Cajun Cooking
October 7- 8, 2009
Mr. Michael Cheng is Director/Associate Professor of the Culinology and Hospitality Management Programs at SMSU. He was my bedrock for the week. If I asked for something, it would magically appear within minutes. Michael was phenomenal!!
Michael and I usually started out our mornings with a brief meeting of what we needed to do that day. Surprisingly enough we accomplished our daily goals!
He asked me to lecture to his students about Cajun/Creole Cooking. If you look closely you can see our class notes on the White Board. I lectured on what made today's Louisiana, Louisiana! I began the lectures with questioning the students on what they knew about Louisiana. Frankly, I was surprised at how little they knew about my state.
So basically I had 45 minutes to an hour to discuss the chronological history of Louisiana, ethnicities, famous Restaurants, Chefs and culinary dishes that have been produced in South Louisiana.
I led the students on some of the journeys of my personal ancestors. I discussed my Cajun roots of my Fouquet and Kimine families from Acadia, to France then rescued by the Spanish governor Galvez. I talked about how the Cajuns and Spanish fought the English during the Revolutionary War. I lectured about how the Cajuns settled west of New Orleans while the French, Spanish, Africans, and Italians settled in the urban environment of New Orleans. I also brought in the accomplishments of my Canary Islanders settlers (Islenous) of St. Bernard.
I brought the students on a historical journey of several of New Orleans' pre and post Civil War restaurants. Then how these restaurants formed and mainstreamed Creole cooking. Then introduced them towards today's restaurants and executive chefs that are leading the culinary world.
I talked about how hurricanes, the access as a seaport and how historical events effected our cooking techniques.
I finalized the lecture with a discussion of what is a Creole and what is a Cajun. AND that they are different but have many of the same roots, sooooo many people lump them two together.
A couple of the lectures ended with a taste sampling of Tasso, Andouille and Smoked Alligator Sausages.
But I am really here to cater several events, and before I do, ya gotta do a lot of prepping and we start with Mini Muffalettas.
My notes for the lectures are here. Feel free to comment on them, I am always looking for suggestions.
Thanks to Jim Tate and Michael Cheng of SMSU for taking and supplying many of the above pics!!
Check out many other pics on Michael Cheng's Facebook Photo Album
Contact us for further details....ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
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