It’s not true that angel food cake served at Friday night’s “Cajun Casual” fundraiser at the Pine Bluff Country Club was prepared with a roux, but it could have been.
The event — featuring the Cajun creations of three respected chefs — benefited the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra and attracted a hungry crowd of about 200 supporters who dined to their delight with their $75 tickets.
Chefs for the evening included father and son Jamie McAfee and Jay McAfee of of PBCC and Brian Hargis of Stuttgart’s Five Oaks Catering. The elder McAfee, 54, trained his son, 33, and the 42-year-old Hargis.
“I’ve been looking forward to this,” Hargis said, adding that he was demonstrating a roux, crawfish bread and lemon-soaked salad.
Jamie McAfee has been cooking for nearly four decades, including 11 years at PBCC. During his time there, he said, he’s enjoyed cooking at assorted events that have raised a total of more than $3 million for charities.
“I’m following closely behind my dad,” Jay McAfee said. “I love cooking.”
The McAfees are instructors in Pulaski Technical College’s culinary school in Little Rock.
In addition to the Cajun delicacies, a violin performance by White Hall 15-year-old Carson Bohner, a first-section member of PBSO, was relished by attendees. Young Bohner, who has been playing the violin since he was 6, said he had been inspired by his parents, Michael and Landy Bohner, and his former instructor, Aldero Gomez. The high school student said his mother has pushed him to succeed.
“She’s told me to never stop,” he said.
“I’m beside myself with his ability,” said Landy Bohner, a former high school band flutist. “He amazes me every time I hear him play. He gets better and better every day.”
Carson Bohner’s proud father has a doctoral degree in vocal and choral music direction.
PBSO Executive Director Bill Fox is especially keen on on the young violinist. Fox said in his 19 years with PBSO, he has never before seen a high school student perform in the first violin section.
A pair of PBSO supporters in attendance — Edna Neal and Jestean Thomas of Pine Bluff — voiced their appreciation for young Bohner’s musical talent as well as Cajun food and zydeco music.
“I make the best gumbo in Pine Bluff,” Thomas boasted with a smile.
“She is an excellent cook,” Neal said, grinning toward her friend.