A Tradition Begins: The First Ever “Katrina Dinner”

Katrina and New Orleans food photos by Jason Perlow, 2005-2006.

This is one great idea and it seems to work on so many different levels:

despite our varying individual circumstances, I believe that most of us yearn for wholeness. For reunion. A few months ago, the idea of a ritual came to me. How powerful would it be if every New Orleanian currently living in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and every other town across the country, sat down at the same time to recognize the losses of the last year and to reaffirm their connection to the city? And how great would it be if this ritual centered around the favorite activity of every homegrown New Orleanian, eating? The entire New Orleans diaspora could sit down simultaneously, fork in hand, to tell the world that this was a special place, a special community, one worth fighting to restore.

And so, with that in mind, I humbly offer a basic outline of the first ever “Katrina Dinner” to be held on the one year anniversary of this momentous event. The outline does not have to be acted out literally, although you’re certainly welcome to follow it word for word. My hope is that it will be fun and delicious with only a smidgen of hokiness. Like everything in New Orleans, feel free to improvise. Make up your own blessings, your own questions, your own ritual food plate. Invent your own way of celebrating the city that connects us all. This August 29th, 2006, only a portion of the city will be where it’s supposed to be: HOME. But we can still eat together.


I am impressed with the creativity that went into this idea … needless to add, this is yet another version of the Seder at Passover … marking the beginning of the Exodus from Egypt …

Melissa Goodman reporting …

More news on the Katrina Dinner from Urban Conservancy (click)

... And From NOLA.com (click)

2 Responses to A Tradition Begins: The First Ever “Katrina Dinner”

  1. Kelly Russo says:

    You go Jason!

    Im working on a display for my 40th birthday party. I turned 40 on the day of Katrina ’06. I decided to do a tribute to our great City. I now live in Gainesville GA and am happy here. However, I desperately miss the rich culture I grew up with. I look forward to sharing our culture with the wonderful folks up here. It will be an evening of Jazz under the stars, signature desserts and drinks to celebrate New Orleans! Wish me luck

    Blessings and thanks for the great ideas :) Kelly

  2. Kelly, your idea of sharing the colorful vibrancy of New Orleans with the residents of Gainesville is one of the most perfect ways to honor what New Orleans has given all of those who visit there. You will make this happen with the verve and energy that your comments suggest. And, yes, good luck to you on this event!

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