Mardi Gras Munchies: Dining halls to offer Mardi Gras meals

Maria Rodriguez, Contributing Reporter

Eastern will provide Mardi Gras-themed cuisine for students and staff Tuesday so they can experience a glimpse of the holiday at all on-campus dining options.

The dining halls on campus with purple, green and gold decorations set up are the ones that offer the cuisine.

Stevenson is providing a Mardi Gras meal with jambalaya, jalapeno corn bread, red beans and rice.

Jamie Huckstead, Stevenson Hall tower dining director, said the dining hall will be celebrating the holiday with decorations.

Chris Coffey, University Food Court director, said the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union will be celebrating the same way.

“The Union is celebrating the Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday tradition of New Orleans; it is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and generally the Catholic church gives up something for lent,” Coffey said. “Fat Tuesday is the day before where it is an indulging celebration, and we will have Cajun-style food in the Panther Grill and decorating the plates. We will also have New Orleans big-band music throughout the day.”

Rucker Parsons, a junior special education major from Louisiana, said he enjoys the celebration at home.

“At home, we buy the decorations, the purple, the green and the gold, and our entire home is decorated,” Parsons said. “Last year, we made our own reeds and we decorated the outside of our house as well as buying the king cake.”

Allorah Miles-Littote, a senior graphic design major who is also from Louisiana, said her family goes all out when celebrating the holiday.

“When I am specifically down in Louisiana on this big night, my parents and I go out to many parades that represent the different parts of Mardi Gras encompassing the different gods and the French culture,” Miles-Littote said. “It is crazy; people throw beads and there are beads stuck on trees for weeks. I also celebrate with my family by buying the king cake and eating a lot of crawfish and gumbo.”

Brian Yard, senior music education major, said while he is not from Louisiana, he enjoys participating in Mardi Gras activities with his friends from Louisiana.

“I celebrate with a couple of friends up north,” Yard said. “We typically have jazz going on the entire day, a lot of big-band stuff. We also have a potluck and make gumbo as a group. We all use Mardi Gras as an excuse to get together as a family.”

Billie Little, County Market cake decorator and assistant manager, said she enjoys the tradition of king cakes.

“Making the king cakes for everyone this time of the year is for tradition and celebrates the new year and a new birth as the little toy baby is put inside the cake,” Little said.

Miles-Littote said the tradition of king cakes is important to her family.

“When you share the king cake among a group of people and you cut into the little toy baby, the person who cuts into it has to make or buy the next king cake for the celebration, and my family goes through about almost 10 king cakes during one Mardi Gras celebration,” Miles-Littote said.


Maria Rodriguez can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]