Lunch brings New Orleans flavor
Posted Oct. 24, 2008
Stephanie Arellanes
A spicy New Orleans menu came to La Verne at the hands of Chef Eddie Briones in the creation of his creole shrimp with rice. Students gathered at the Davenport Dining Hall on Oct. 16 during Homecoming week to try out many different recipes. Briones also served creole jambalaya with collard greens, biscuits and red beans and rice. Those who attended enjoyed the fun-filled event.

New Orleans Mardi Gras came to Davenport Dining Hall last week when the Campus Activities Board sponsored a lunch for students and faculty.

CAB’s New Orleans-themed lunch event was part of the many festivities held during Homecoming week.

Since the theme of Homecoming week was “Road Trip USA,” CAB chose major cities throughout the U.S., including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Honolulu and New Orleans as themed cities for the events, Kaitlin Eckert, CAB philanthropy chairwoman, said.

Many students knew the lunch was a Mardi Gras theme because of all the green, purple and gold balloons in Davenport Dining Hall.

Intense spicy aromas of New Orleans cuisine permeated the room.

Head chef and general manager of Davenport Aaron Neilson prepared the lunch, which included Creole jambalaya, collard greens, red beans and rice, and biscuits.

“The jambalaya has a lot of shrimp and sausage,” server Santa Anastasia said.

“Also, there are not a lot of spices overpowering it,” she said.

“I like New Orleans food,” Anastasia added.

“I think the jambalaya is pretty good,” Alex Hacker freshman athletic training major said.

“It is a good change from the everyday normal,” he added.

“The lunch is actually really good,” Monica Esparza CAB concerts chairwoman said. “I really like the jambalaya.”

“Overall Homecoming week is coming along really well,” Esparza added.

“I think the students and faculty really liked the lunch,” Naime Laskar CAB major events co-chairwoman said.

“The themed lunch was really festive and different,” Laskar said.

Even though many liked the New Orleans inspired lunch in Davenport, one student preferred another lunch theme.

“The New Orleans theme is OK,” sophomore Uvette Vernon said. “It is just food.”

“I would have much rather preferred Chinese food day,” Vernon added.

Although the New Orleans themed lunch turned out well, CAB members had many more ideas that they wanted to add to the themed lunch.

Esparza wanted to add New Orleans music for students to enjoy while they were eating.

“I was supposed to hire a dixieland jazz band to play during the lunch, but I was unable to because they were really expensive,” Esparza said.

“The band would have made the New Orleans lunch even better,” Esparza added.

According to Laskar, chief lunch planner, the themed lunch did not take much time to plan for.

“The planning was not stressful at all,” she said.

New Orleans did not end with lunch in Davenport.

Mardi Gras celebrations continued through the night.

Later that night, CAB held a Mardi Gras dance in the Sports Pavilion.

Laskar said the New Orleans dance was a “black sock affair.”

“The entire day was New Orleans,” she said.

Natalie Veissalov can be reached at

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