by Kristen Preau of Cook Me Somethin' Mister

I’ve been cooking jambalaya with my dad since I was tall enough to stand next to the cast iron pot. What inspired me to make his recipe into the rice mix we have today was a result of my response to Hurricane Katrina. Evacuated from my home city of New Orleans, I still wanted to help. So I took my dad’s pots, traveled the country to college tailgates and served our jambalaya to raise money for New Orleans. The fundraiser was wildly successful (over $100,000 raised), but the fact of how much people loved our jambalaya is what got me thinking, “could I make a business out of my dad’s recipe?” I’ve since earned the title of New Orleans’ own “Jambalaya Girl” and an image of me with my signature fork earrings is now printed on hundreds of thousands of bags of Cook Me Somethin’ Mister Jambalaya Rice Mix. Beyond my wildest dreams, I am grateful that so many have cooked and enjoyed our authentic New Orleans family recipe.

This story was submitted during the 2013 My Story, My Ad Competition. Learn more at