What Effect will Katrina Have on Cajun and Creole Cuisine?The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina will no doubt have an effect on the culinary establishment in New Orleans. What will this mean for the city's chef jobs, its rich culinary traditions, and for Creole and Cajun cuisine in general?
New Orleans has long been known for a cuisine rich in texture, benefiting from the influence of many cultures that settled along its bayous. From French, Spanish, African, and English settlers who came as early as 300 years ago emerged Cajun and Creole cuisines. These culinary treasures are defined by their rich sauces, fresh seafood, spicy meats, and spicy-hot flavors.
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It's difficult to know what kind of effect Katrina will have on the future of New Orleans cuisine and chef jobs. Chuck Subra Jr., executive chef and owner of La Cote Brasserie told The New York Times that he would return to New Orleans. But other restaurant owners and chefs aren't as optimistic about returning to the Big Easy. Frank Brigsten of Brigsten's Restaurant said he wouldn't come back to New Orleans because "there's not going to be tourism for many years", according to a quote in The Times.
One effect Katrina could have on Cajun and Creole food is to spread it throughout other parts of the country, places in which New Orleanians have begun to settle and build new lives. Creole and Cajun chef training could subsequently take hold in other parts of the country.
While it's too soon to tell what the future holds for New Orleans' cuisine, it is clear that many are dedicated to restoring all that is authentic to the city as soon as possible. In the word of Mayor Ray Nagin, "start looking forward to 300 more years of our unique music, art, food, and festivals."