Atlanta Creole Heritage Society: ‘Love and Spices’

The Creole culture is an integral ingredient in the rich gumbo that is Louisiana. The term Creole was first used in this country by French settlers to denote a native-born Louisianan, but the origin of the word is African. There are as many as thirty different definitions of Creole, but it is now most commonly used to describe descen-dants of Louisiana settlers of French, Spanish, African and/or Native-American ancestry.

 

Irish, German, Italian and Asian immigrants occasionally married into Creole families, further spicing the pot. The Creoles were predominantly Catholic and concentrated in south Louisiana, but there are enclaves in other parts of the state as well. And of course Creoles have a presence in the Peach State melting pot; a fact that the Atlanta Creole Heritage Society (ACHS) is only too proud to point out.

 

The ACHS was formed in 2012 following a plea by the Creole Heritage Center in Louisiana to establish na-tionwide chapters. The Atlanta group now exists independently of that entity. Its mission is to promote and pre-serve Creole culture through language, genealogy, music, history and food.

 

Said food was on the frontburner at a recent ACHS fundraiser called “The Secret of Creole Cooking.” Held at the Little Five Points Center for Arts and Community in Atlanta, the gathering featured a screening of the DVD “Secret to Making Louisiana Gumbo” by New Orleans chef Carolyn Shelton. Lively music is appar-ently part of the secret since the chef’s preparation is accompanied by zydeco accordionist Anthony Dopsie! The film was followed by a cooking demo courtesy of Chef Herbert who operates Couteux’s Cajun-Creole Catering.

 

Atlanta resident and ACHS board member Jo Ann Cooper extends a warm Louisiana welcome. “Anyone interested in Creole culture is encouraged to join us,” said Cooper.

 

Learn more at www.atlantacreoleheritagesociety.weebly.com and Facebook.com/pages/ Atlanta-Creole-Heritage-Society or email creoleheritageatlanta@gmail.com

-Steve Kilbride