Councilmember Freddie King III of District C and Camellia Beans are joining forces to celebrate New Orleans' rich culinary culture in March with “Red Bean Month”. This year, Camelia Red Beans is committed to donating one million meals in honor of its 100-year anniversary.
To promote the significance of red beans and rice in the city, Councilman King visited KIPP Leadership Academy to talk about the history and tradition of red beans in New Orleans.
Principal Amber Mills welcomed students to the event, saying, “We are excited to welcome our community leader Councilman Freddie King to talk to us about the history and tradition of red beans in our city.”
“It’s Red Bean Month," declared King. "Camellia Beans started right here in District C, and part of their commitment to this community and to this city is to teach children how they started.”
As part of the celebration, students were able to view a short film produced by Camellia Beans on the history of red beans and rice and sample red beans and rice prepared by Camellia's Chef Jamie Warrick.
Chef Warrick, who works in research and development for Camellia Beans, asked the students what their favorite side dish was, to which they responded "cornbread," "rice" and "chicken." When asked what dish is most associated with red beans, the students all answered "rice."
Anita Schexnider, the School Operation Leader, believes hosting the event was important for students to understand the history of the city and its rich traditions. “I think this event is important for our students to understand the history of our city and how things develop over time,” Schexnider said. “The rich traditions that we have in our city make our communities very unique as opposed to other places in the world.”
Ashara Price, a fifth-grader at KIPP Leadership Academy, said she enjoyed Chef Warrick’s red beans just like she enjoys her mother’s red beans. “My mom cooks red beans at home, and we eat it with hot sauce,” she said. “I want her to teach me how to cook red beans just like hers. Chef Jamie’s beans are really good too.”