“A Night of Southern Moods” – Jambalaya and Gregory Peck with the American Corner

Péter, the chef at Trafik reviews the ingredients that will go into our jambalaya.

Margaret and I wanted to host a “Southern” style party for our friends, colleagues and students at the American Corner here in Pecs, but when we started to get into the details of making jambalaya for 30 in our small, sparsely-equipped kitchen, the wise women who run the A.C. office (Zsuzsanna and Réka) came up with the idea of having a restaurant make the jambalaya with my recipe (and maybe a little guidance).  And although the large meeting room at the A.C. is indeed large, it made more sense to have the event at the restaurant, especially because we wanted to screen “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the restaurant is a converted movie theater.  So that’s how “A Night of Southern Moods” – an event sponsored by the American Corner Pecs and hosted by me and Margaret came to be.  It was on this past Tuesday evening at Trafik, a very hip restaurant/bar in Pecs.

James took all these photos.  You can see photos taken by the American Corner staff on their Facebook page here.

Margaret makes a few comments after the screening of "To Kill a Mockingbird." It's the 50th Anniversary of the book's publication in the U.S.

That's me discussing the recipe for jambalaya with Péter, the chef at Trafik.

There were a few minor issues with the jambalaya recipe.  Smoked sausage in Hungary is more like what we would call a hard salami in the U.S., and  their celery is a different animal altogether as you can see from the photo below. The restaurant was unable to find cayenne pepper, but Péter ground up some fiery Italian peppers that tasted a lot like cayenne.  It was fun cooking with a pro (though Péter did all the actual cooking)- I felt like I was on a cooking show.

This is Hungarian celery - you don't use the stalks - you chop up the white ball. It's got a much stronger, more bitter flavor.

Our friends seem to enjoy the jambalaya at Trafik.

This is James's friend from school who came to try the jambalaya and check-out the movie. He's a great kid - in my 8th grade English and Drama classes.

This is another friend of James's from school. She's also in two of the classes I teach. Her father is British, so she's fluent in English - a very bright kid.

Students pose with Gregory Peck.

Péter and Szilvi from Trafik join me for a photo. They did a great job with the jambalaya (and they were very gracious to allow me into their kitchen for an evening).

In all I think we had 50 or so guests at the event and from what I could tell, they enjoyed themselves.    Thank you to Zsuzsanna, Réka and Eszter at the American Corner for handling all the logistics, and thank you to Péter and the staff at Trafik for making the jambalaya and providing us with a great venue.


About patster66

I'm visiting Pécs, Hungary with my wife and son for the Fall 2010 semester. My wife, Margaret McMullan, received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and do research at the University of Pécs. My 13 year old son is attending a semi-bilingual school here called the ANK where I am teaching English Language and Drama to 4th - 8th graders 2 days a week.
This entry was posted in American Corner Pecs, Food, Life in Pécs. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to “A Night of Southern Moods” – Jambalaya and Gregory Peck with the American Corner

  1. Bill Issel says:

    Hi Peter! Great blog entry. Terrific idea to combine cuisine and culture studies.
    Looks like you are all enjoying your time in Pecs. Your blog entry and photos bring back the wonderful time I had there while a Fulbright history prof working with Gabriella Voo and all back in 2008-2009. Best wishes to you and your family.

  2. Kathy M says:

    Sounded and looked like a delicious evening. Wish I would have been there.

  3. Jim Ellerbrook says:

    Looks and sounds great! I wish I could have been there because I love jambalaya, and I would also have enjoyed the ambiance.

  4. BILL HARRISON says:

    There’s always a good party with good people wherever Pat, Margaret & James travel. We send our love on Thanksgiving. BILL

  5. Jamesy says:

    What a great night. all that, and a picture of Pat on the cover of the To Kill a Mockingbird DVD – brilliant! Seriously, made me hungry!

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