Chefs from 4 Louisiana colleges collaborate on cookbook to showcase regional cuisine

“Taste of Louisiana” highlights the talents of the campus chefs and exposes students to the uniqueness of Cajun and Creole food.
cookbook cover
The "Taste of Louisiana" cover pinpoints the recipes' regional roots. / All photos courtesy of Sodexo

Campus chefs from four Louisiana colleges came together to showcase the local cuisine by compiling a cookbook.

“Taste of Louisiana” features authentic Creole and Cajun recipes from Sodexo chefs at Tulane University, Nicholls State University, Loyola University New Orleans and Louisiana Christian University.

“Southern Louisiana cuisine is so unique, that we wanted to reach out to students to expose them to authentic dishes and tell our story,” says Norman Hunt, executive chef at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La. “The cookbook is also a way to showcase the talents of these college chefs.”

Stuffed MiriltonMirilton is a local squash known as chayote in other parts of the U.S. Here it's stuffed, Louisiana-style.

The chefs are hosting events at the campuses to give students an opportunity to sample some of the 20 recipes in the book.

“Louisiana Christian College held the first event, and the other three chefs came down to cook,” says Hunt. “We created tasting plates at different stations.”

Mock Turtle soupMock turtle soup exposed students to a Southern Louisiana specialty typically reserved for fine-dining menus. 

The menu included mock turtle soup, seafood-stuffed mirliton squash (aka chayote), a vegan gumbo made with mushrooms, and pralines. “Many of the students come from this area and talked about how the dishes related to what they had eaten in their own homes,” says Hunt. “The recipes for some of the classics, like jambalaya, vary depending on where in the state you’re from.”

Event organizers went all out to coordinate the decor and music with the Cajun theme, Hunt adds. The celebration even boasted live entertainment by Tet Dur, a local swamp musician.

Next up, the chefs will sample the recipes at farmers markets at each college, and the Sodexo team intends to invite the community, too. “There’s lots of strength in teamwork among the Louisiana college chefs," says Hunt. "We help each other out.” 



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