NATCHITOCHES – The Northwestern State University Foundation will host the fourth annual Flavor of Louisiana, the university’s popular spring food festival that raises funds for student scholarships, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3 in Prather Coliseum. Presented in partnership with the Louisiana Seafood Board, Flavor of Louisiana will feature samplings of Louisiana seafood dishes prepared by chefs, caterers and restaurateurs from around the state, as well as specialty cocktails, desserts and choices for non-seafood diners. The event will also include music, raffles, a silent auction and features from each college at the university.
“Flavor of Louisiana has been our premier spring fund raiser and one of the most well-received, well-attended events presented by the university,” said Erin Dupree, assistant director of donor relations. “By partnering with the Louisiana Seafood Board, we are able to feature the cuisine of Louisiana with more than two dozen vendors preparing specialty dishes for guests to sample while they mingle with friends and enjoy music and prizes. All proceeds go to supporting our students, faculty, academic programming and scholarships.”
About 750 guests attended last year’s event, raising more than $77,000.
NSU will welcome back Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser as a special guest at the event. Last year, NSU presented Nungesser with an Nth degree and inducted him into the hospitality management and tourism (HMT) program’s Hall of Distinguished Hospitalitarians in thanks for efforts to promote Louisiana tourism, particularly Natchitoches and NSU.
“We have received tremendously positive feedback about Flavor of Louisiana and are grateful to be able to present this event for our donors, community partners, alumni and friends,” Dupree said. “Best of all, the event supports student scholarships. NSU has been very strategic in doing all we can to help our students grow academically and personally. The funds we raise at Flavor of Louisiana enhance academic programing and help ease the burden for students with financial hardships that are trying to complete their degrees.”
Last year’s vendors offered samplings of seafood lasagna, blackened alligator, charbroiled oysters, seafood gumbo, seafood cornbread, catfish creole, crawfish frittatas, Cajun crab balls, marinated crab claws and shrimp prepared in a variety of ways with grilled chicken, barbecue and sliders available as non-seafood options. Desserts included baked-from-scratch treats such as peach cobbler, bread pudding, chocolate brownies, pralines, key lime bites and crème brulee with specialty coffees, teas and lemonade. Regional craft beers, wine and specialty drinks will also be available.
Dozens of student volunteers help with logistics, set-up, event management and clean-up, Dupree said.
“It’s been important to get students involved in Flavor of Louisiana. They are hands-on in hosting the event because they know that proceeds have a direct impact on them and their friends,” she said.
Academic departments and registered student organizations will host booths that feature raffles, silent auctions and items for purchase to raise money for their individual programs. Last year’s items included NSU and athletic memorabilia, weekend getaways, gift baskets, certificates to area restaurants and spas, unique artwork and more.
Tickets to Flavor of Louisiana are $65 per individual and $125 per couple and can be purchased by visiting northwesternalumni.com or by calling the Office of University Advancement at (318) 357-5699. Sponsorships are available at the Louisiana ($5,000), Bayou ($2,500) and Magnolia ($1,000) levels, which include reserved seating, signage and other perks. The deadline for sponsorships is March 27.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.northwesternstatealumni.com/flavor-of-louisiana/ or call (318) 357-5699.