The Webster University Association for African American Collegians treated students with cajun cuisine Sunday evening at it’s annual Soul Food dinner.
“Soul food is basically a comfort food,” said AAAC president Kayla Thompson. “It was created by african americans during slavery … It was really disgusting food, they just dressed it up and made it really good.”
Thompson, senior philosophy major, said soul food evolved over time, and while soul food is typically considered chicken and collard greens, different styles have emerged.
“All people have their own type of comfort food, so we just went with the cajun style,” Thompson said.
Broadway Oyster Bar, Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill and Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen catered the food for the event. The meals consisted of traditional cajun dishes.
Cajun culture comes from southern Louisiana, where french settlers established a colony in the 18th century. To this day a cajuns speak their own dialect of french. Their signature cuisine is based on seafood and spices, and includes gumbo, crab legs, and cornbread — all of which were served at the Soul Food Dinner. Thompson also brought macaroni she made from scratch.
One entree surprised attendees — fried alligator.
“I had some (alligator),” said senior political science major Joaquin Groves. “First time. It was good.”
A slideshow highlighting cajun culture, history, and information on famous Cajuns complemented the Cajun creole food. Live New Orleans-style jazz music was also performed by Webster students Lola Henicke, senior jazz performance and composition double major, Kevin Cheli, junior jazz performance major and alumna Brad Ellebrecht, who graduated in 2005. Julie Bonk, junior interactive media major, said she was impressed by the event.
“The atmosphere of this event really captures the cajun spirit,” Bonk said.
Over 100 students, faculty and staff attended the event held in the Sunnen Lounge. Thompson said the dinner went well, and that by the end of the night, every last bit of food was eaten.
“A lot of times we have to eat at Marletto’s or the University Center, and we get the same food every week,” Thompson said. “I wanted [students] to have some good food on Webster’s campus.”