Beltran’s Gumbo & Some Zydekats

Sep 27, 2012

Lisa Haley was singing up a storm, making her violin strings hum, and leading the crowd in cheers to support “the girls.”

Those girls would be the foster teenagers who live in a cottage run by Rosemary Children’s Services. Chef Claud Beltran and his team were whipping up gumbo, doling out bowls full of cooked shrimp and crawfish, supervising chalk drawings and kids’ activities, and taking a spin on the dance floor (actually, the back lot of Boston Court Theatre)—all in the name of raising money for a bathroom overhaul.

Teenage girls; 19 of them. We’re sure no further explanation is necessary in regard to the importance of this endeavor.

As the afternoon wore on, the sun kicked in, beating down on Lisa & the Zydekats, but they were undaunted. The lively music continued, luring kids and adults onto the dance floor, including Mr. Beltran.

A few sedentary folks were able to rouse themselves out of their comfortable spots at their tables to enjoy one more bowl of the dark, biting gumbo, served over white rice and sprinkled with green onions, or another handful of tender cooked shrimp and crawfish with an addicting dipping sauce.

Chef Jeff Hemphill servin’ it up

Server Anna Lèger who works with Claud at Noir Food & Wine spoke about her thrill of working with the girls making these wonderfully creative and potent cutouts:

Little ones jumped-on and otherwise engaged with the chalk drawings as though they were something other than intangibly one-dimensional. They also enjoyed wrestling the alligator…

L to R: Donna Pierson, president of the Cottage Guild; Isabel and her mother Lori Cucchiaro, fundraiser dynamo

From L to R: Keely, Julie, Claud, and Susie Beltran

Aah, yes, it was a good day…





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