Star Chef Surprises Grandmother in Kitchen Today

Ousted by Katrina, Glenda Ceaser returns home to find chef Cris Comerford in her Kitchen

Five years ago, Glenda Ceaser’s house, below the ninth ward of New Orleans’ St. Bernard Parish, spent fourteen days underwater. When Mrs. Ceaser cuts the ceremonial ribbon and opens the door to her newly rebuilt home, she will be welcomed not by family members, but by a young man in a starched white jacket, an official representative with the recognizable seal of our President. That’s right, White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford and her colleague in the kitchen, Tafari Campbell will be cooking Mrs. Ceaser’s favorite dish, Shrimp Jambalaya with just right amount of “kick!”

Not only was 3500 Shannon Drive Mrs. Ceaser’s home, and her family’s home, it was also her place of business – a state-licensed daycare facility. On Monday, September 13, 2010, she and her five grandchildren, whose mother was the victim of murder in 2007, will return home to a completely rebuilt house by St. Bernard Project, a non- profit organization that has rebuilt the most homes since the devastating storm. Its ribbon-cutting at 6:30pm will be the big event at a festive block party outside Mrs. Ceaser’s home hosted by top Louisiana chefs, high profile national chefs, and a few Food Network celebs. It is the grand finale of a weekend with the Louisiana Seafood Boardshowing these prominent national chefs that Gulf seafood is back and safe and good as ever.

Imagine Mrs. Ceaser’s surprise when the rich aromas wafting from her brand-new kitchen are revealed to be the work of two chefs who usually cook for heads of state! Chefs Cris Comerford and Tafari Campbell will be on hand ‘christening’ the kitchen with a great big batch of Shrimp Jambalaya, sending familiar scents and potent culinary talismans throughout this other very special American house.

Campbell has made a name for himself in this part of the world: now cooking for his second President (both Comerford and Campbell were hired by First Lady Laura Bush), and having won third place in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off sponsored by the Louisiana Seafood Board. “I’m honored to be doing this,” says Cris Comerford, adding Campbell, “if I know anything about old New Orleans grandmothers, Mrs. Ceaser could probably be cooking circles around me…”
0 Responses