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UL tailgaters set for a new season of food, fun – TGing Southern U. ’09 – memories of Charlie Daigle

Herman Fuselier, The Advertiser, August 26, 2014


UL football fans fill their plates with a variety of foods at a Krewe de Chew tailgate party. (Photo: Krewe de Chew.net )

The Krewe de Chew, a tailgating group that supports the University of Louisiana at Lafayette football team, has nothing against fast food. Just don’t bring it to its tailgate party.

After all, the Krewe lives in a region world-famous for its homegrown cuisine. They know tailgating can be more than hot dogs and a bucket of chicken.

“We pride ourselves on making things from scratch,” said Krewe member David Fontenot. “As times have evolved, the modern family likes food quick. We don’t discourage that, but of the three entrees we make, ideally, someone may do a gumbo, barbecue or a chicken sauce piquante.

“Now if someone shows up with donuts from Meche’s or boudin, that’s OK. Some of the guys will show up at 8 in the morning to get the charcoals going. Half the people will do their cooking there. Someone may show up with their gumbo, because he lives six or seven blocks away, if there’s a gumbo that’s ready to eat.”

The Krewe de Chew is set for another season of down-home eats as the Ragin’ Cajuns begin the 2014 college football campaign Saturday against the Southern University Jaguars. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Cajun Field.

The Krewe continues a UL tailgating tradition that founding members Charlie Daigle and Randy Monceaux started 18 years ago. The group’s festive name is a play on words. In local French, “chu” means “butt” or to act foolishly. Daigle, who passed away in 2010, was affectionately known as “Le Grand Chew.”

* * * * * * * * * *
Athletic Network Footnote: Click here for the AN profile of Charlie Daigle. It includes Jay Walker’s blog on Charlie.

Click here for Charlie inspecting the roast pig at Homecoming vs. Western Kentucky in 2010.

Click here for the tailgating photo gallery of the Sept. 5, 2009 Southern University game which includes several photos of "our Tailgating Ambassador" Charlie Daigle providing Southern fans with the hospitality on he could provide.

Click here for Krewe de Chew website.

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The “chews” that have followed in his footsteps have grown from a small gathering to 30 members who sometimes feed as many as 200 friends and acquaintances on a football Saturday.

Before each home game, the Krewe selects three lead members to make entrees, which can range from seafood pasta to roasted Boston butt. The remaining members fill in with side dishes, appetizers and desserts, like peach cobbler and chocolate-covered strawberries.

The menu for the Southern game features roasted hog, barbecued chicken, chicken and sausage jambalaya and member Ronni LeBouef’s World Famous Cracklins.

DJ David Dugas provides continuous music, including the Krewe’s theme song, “You Can’t Roosta Like You Used To” by the late Zydeco Joe Mouton. Members dance, shake and a few even dress up like roosters when the song comes on.

Everyone joins in the fun, even fans and cheerleaders from the opposing team. Some have become the group’s biggest fans.

Reporter Jay Eller, who covers Troy State, wrote on the Krewe’s web site “Not only are the Cajuns great cooks but they are some of the most hospitable people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. It’s a shame we don’t play ULL in Lafayette every year — a truly unique experience.”

Fontenot said although the Krewe is an informal group, members pay an annual fee to offset costs for tailgating spots, tents and equipment storage. Each member absorbs the costs of the food they prepare.

Fontenot said the Krewe does it for a love or UL and the Ragin’ Cajuns.

“I love tailgating, meeting people and just welcoming everybody to the joie de vivre. We all live such crazy lives now, but here is a tradition with good food.

“You get to sit down and visit with friends you may work with or cross paths with or graduated with. You can’t do anything at tailgating but sit down and visit. It’s a friendship and camaraderie.”

Abita Pulled Cochon in Ragin’ Red Sauce

Krewe de Chew member Alex Mottram adds UL colors to a dish based on Chef Nesbit’s Abita Amber Pulled Pork.

1/2 cup Cajun seasoning

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 5- to 6-pound pork shoulder roast

2 bottles Abita Amber beer

2 medium white onions, chopped

2 carrots

1 cup minced garlic

1 cup tomato paste

2 cups Creole mustard

1 cup Steen’s Cane Syrup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup Tabasco Chipotle Sauce

1 cup Worcestershire Sauce

1 quart pork or chicken stock

Combine brown sugar and Cajun seasoning together in a bowl and mix with a whisk until smooth. Rinse pork roast and pat dry with a paper towel.

Coat the pork roast with the mixture and wrap tightly in a plastic wrap. Let the coated park roast sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven/grill to 250 F. Sear pork roast on all sides in a large roasting pan. Be sure to get a nice, brown color on all sides to h old in the slow roasting juices.

After searing, allow the roasting pan to cool. Stir to break up any bits on the bottom of the fan and return the roast to the pan.

Cook the roast at 250 F until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 190 degrees and begins to separate from the bone. Expect 1.5 to 2 hours of roasting time per pound of meat.

Let the roast cool and begin pulling, or let the roast baste in its own juices for a few hours.

Tear the meat into little chunks or small strips.

Ragin’ Red Sauce

Add onions, garlic and carrots to the juices in the roasting pan and cook over medium heat until the vegetables soften. Add the remaining ingrediencts and allow to simmer for an hour while the mixture thickens.

Add pulled pork to the mix and cook for another 30 minutes.

More Krewe de Chew information is available online at krewedechew.net.