University Press Announces Launch of ‘Classic Creole: A Celebration of Food and Family’

Photo of the cover of the book "Classic Creole: A Celebration of Food and Family"

“Classic Creole” is a cookbook of author Ann Cuiellette’s family recipes, but each also includes a story about Cuiellette’s family traditions associated with each dish.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, March 8, 2011 — Just in time for “Fat Tuesday,” The Southeast Missouri State University Press announces the release of “Classic Creole: A Celebration of Food and Family.”

The cookbook is authored by Ann Cuiellette, vice president of human resources with World Wide Technology, Inc. Cuiellette  is a native or New Orleans who grew up in a large, Creole familyᾰthe 12th of 13 children. All of the dishes in the cookbook are family recipes, but each includes a story about Cuiellette’s experience with that dish growing up in a household filled with love, energy, camaraderie and great food.

It is both a cookbook and storybook. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Cuiellette wanted to find a way to honor her family heritage, especially since she had siblings who lost their homes in the tragedy.

“I loved being in the kitchen with my mother, and I absorbed all her passion for cooking. This book reflects my family story and our traditions; I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do,” Cuiellette writes in the book.

On her Web page, Cuiellette writes, “New Orleans is known for great food and fun but it is also filled with a rich history and unique culture.  ‘Classic Creole’ is about honoring the traditions and legacy in my family, but I also want to learn about your family and their unique influences and traditions around food. Whether it’s sharing special occasions, holidays or significant events in your life, food brings us together.”

Main dish recipes featured in the book include New Orleans Creole Gumbo, Jambalaya, Red Beans & Rice, Mother’s Fried Chicken, New Orleans Shrimp Po Boy, Stuffed Crabs and many others. The book also includes recipes for several appetizers and side dishes, including Rosemary Potatoes, New Orleans Potato Salad, Stuffed Mushrooms and Homemade Biscuits. Dessert recipes include New Orleans Bread Pudding, Sweep Potato Pie, Calas and others.

Chef Lea Chase of the Dookie Chase Restaurant in New Orleans, endorses the book, saying, “I have known Ann Cuiellett’s family for many years, and all the recipes in her cookbook are authentic New Orleans Creole dishes. I am happy to see their legacy continue with this cookbook and the stories about her family.”

Pam Nicolson, president and chief operating officer of Enterprise Holding, adds, on the book jacket, “Whether she’s in the office or in the kitchen, Ann Cuiellette does everything with passion. When you sit down to one of her special dinners, you’re surrounded by Ann’s love for both people and food. Her cooking is a rare gift that nourishes the soul as well as the body.”

Cuiellette was featured today on CBS’ “The Early Show,” on which she prepared authentic Creole dishes. She also has done a cooking demonstration featured on WGN in Chicago’s “Lunchbreak” program, and her book has been highlighted in the “St. Louis Business Journal” and the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch.”In addition to devoting time to her cooking hobby, Cuiellette is also chair of the WWT Charitable Foundation and is very active in the St. Louis community.  She serves on the board of the St. Louis Minority Business Council, Focus St. Louis, the Urban League of Greater St. Louis and St. Louis Forum.  Marr holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resources management from Webster University.

Cost of the book is $21 and is available through the Southeast Missouri State University Press website at www6.semo.edu/universitypress and from amazon.com.