BEAUMONT, TX, UNITED STATES
Story by Sgt. Matthew Wright
56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (36th ID, TXARNG)
Beaumont, TEXAS -- There is a saying during the Napoleonic period, an Army marches on its stomach. Centuries later, that saying still holds to be true. Though the Texas National Guard’s objective is not war related, the supplies most needed to run this hurricane relief mission still stands, being fed.
This is where Heads and Tails, a part of Cajun Caterers company comes in. The Thibodaux, LA based company works from disaster to disaster providing three meals a day and refreshments to the military and first responders. The company is a subsidiary of Disaster Resource Group based out of Baton Rouge, LA and their food is measured by size and style to accommodate those they serve.
Co-Owner and supervisor, Ronnie A. Eschete explains, “My purpose is people are fed with a protein, a vegetable and we make sure they’re hydrated with all types of beverages.”
They support all different types of disasters, which includes fires, earthquakes and tornadoes among others. The company is setup to cater to a large group to endure for a long time period.
“We have fed from 1500 people to 2400 plus, here.” Eschete said.
Though the people they feed are large in numbers, the staff comprises of only 17 people. They play different roles, cooking, setting up the serving areas and loading and unloading the food.
Cajun Caterers receives its supplies from both Beaumont and Louisiana. Since East Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey, they have reached out to other distributors from other cities and states.
The company prides itself on the quality of food even with the quantities they have to serve. Their chefs have cooked from all over the world, like Paris, and some of the finer restaurants in the United States he said.
There is a lot that goes into making meals for a large group. They have to follow a specific menu that would be able to accommodate the majority of the people. Yet the cooks still try to infuse some of their hometown flavors.
“A lot of people are not used to Louisiana style cooking, a lot of people get construed with seasonings.” Eschete explained, “People think seasoning is Cayenne pepper. Seasonings are shallots, bell peppers, onions and garlic, that is the Cajun way.”
Through it all, Cajun Caterers have one mission, to support those involved with disaster relief and help out the best way they can. Feeding the first responders is their way of doing that.
“Naturally these guys support the Military and we also support law enforcement and naturally we will do whatever it takes to support our neighboring states.”