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Chefs to Watch: Alcorn State’s Sodexo Executive Chef Richard Drummond develops menus with Caribbean fire and Southern charm

Caribbean food is projected to be one of the hottest cuisines of 2022. At his new job as executive chef at a Historically Black University in Mississippi, Chef Drummond explores overlaps in the foodways of the American South and his Jamaican roots.


Red beans and rice is a well-known dish in Mississippi. Rice and peas? Not quite as common. So, Sodexo Executive Chef Richard Drummond has been introducing a few authentic Jamaican dishes to the students and faculty at Alcorn State University, a Historically Black University near Mississippi’s Louisiana border on the Mississippi River.

Drummond talks about his idea of true Jamaican food, having grown up there. We also delve into the ideas of fusion and commonalities between traditional Caribbean food and the way it’s traveled to Southern states. This is where the red beans and rice vs. rice and peas conversation comes up.

Drummond has had success with serving jerk chicken, a runaway hit at the dining halls, and he’s got plans for some Asian fusion, as that cuisine is very popular with the students. Also happening on campus, brand-new dining hall was just unveiled at Alcorn State, so Drummond has been instrumental in setting up new concepts there.

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