Southwest Minnesota State University

Guest Lecture on Creole and Cajun Cooking and Culture

Friday, August 27, 2010

 OK!! SOOOOOO I am back in the corn field.  It is almost a 4 hour drive from Minneapolis to Marshall.  This time the corn looks bright green, and there were even some fields of soy beans!! But, I gotta teach....

Mr. Michael Cheng is Director/Associate Professor of the Culinology and Hospitality Management Programs at SMSU. 

He asked me to lecture to his students about Cajun/Creole Cooking. 

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 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.  And spoke how these restaurants formed and mainstreamed Creole cooking.  Then introduced them to 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.

The lecture ended with a trio taste sampling of Tasso and Andouille from Poche's, Jacob's and Bailey's. 

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

and Michael Cheng's Facebook Photo Album of my return trip!

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