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.
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.
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.