Howard University > Alternative Spring Break 2012
By Alyssa Heard
Howard University News Service

ASB Students Help Preserve the Food Legacy of New Orleans

New Orleans Southern Food and Beverage Museum plans to have its new home ready by next year.

NEW ORLEANS (March 14) –A big part of the New Orleans’ culture is the region’s unique food.  New Orleans specialties, such as gumbo, red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee, po-boys and jambalaya, are not regular fare in many parts of the United States, delicacies in others and are known throughout the culinary world. 

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is dedicated to showcasing great southern food, particularly New Orleans and Creole cooking.  A group of Howard Alternative Spring Break participants volunteered in the museum as part of their service week in New Orleans in an effort to help preserve the history of the local food and make that history and other information available to those visiting the region.

The students spent the day collecting and boxing the museum’s numerous artifacts. Liz Williams, the museum’s director, explained why their work is important.

“Food is very important to many local people’s identity,” Williams said.  “Our food holds many special traditions that are essential to our culture.”

Some worked in the museum’s library, helping prepare for the museum’s grand opening scheduled for the spring of 2013. The library will host tons of cookbooks and non-fiction books about classic southern food.

Freshman Jocelyn Troutman, a finance major from Odenton, Md., said aside from maintaining important recipes that can be passed along, she thought the museum is essential because “reading cookbooks and the museum’s other things about food will help improve the literacy rates in the community.”

Samantha Clarke, AGE, is a sophomore health and management major from Hartford, Conn., who worked at the museum.  She said seeing the improvements students have been able to bring by working at the museum and as well as work at the other sites has bolstered her spirits.

“It gives hope that you can still rebuild and move on,” Clarke said.

To learn more about the museum, visit

© Howard University, all rights reserved.
2400 Sixth Street,
NW, Washington, DC 20059
Phone: 202-806-6100 -
Webmaster / Contacts - WWW Disclaimer