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Astro Cafe ready to serve up Cajun cuisine

Union Leader Correspondent

March 23. 2014 9:08PM

CIA Chef Brannon Soileau '91 makes a roux. 

DERRY — Some Pinkerton Academy culinary arts students will get a chance to learn from an expert in Cajun cuisine Tuesday during the Chef to School Series.

Brannon Soileau, an assistant professor at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), is scheduled to participate in the event throughout the day, according to school officials.

“By having a CIA chef working with our students to prepare a dinner served to the community, Pinkerton Academy sees the event as an opportunity for students to gain vital hands-on experience and knowledge from those who know the industry best,” said Mark Cahill, lead chef instructor at Pinkerton.

Solieau is scheduled to work with students in the schools culinary arts program during the day. The students will then get a chance to demonstrate what they’ve learned from Solieau and whip up a three-course Cajun-inspired dinner at the school’s Astro Café. Solieau will later hold a question-and-answer session over dessert.

A Louisiana native, Solieau’s resume is extensive. A 1991 CIA graduate, he was chef/owner of Maize: An American Grill, Maize Catering on Columbia, and Buon Appetitio in Lafayette, Ind.; executive chef of the Pump Room in Chicago; banquet and private club chef at the Four Season’s Resort in Las Colinas, Texas; executive sous chef at Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco; and cook at Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas and Chicago.

Tickets for the 5:45 p.m. dinner are $20 per person, with proceeds going toward student scholarships.

Pinkerton Academy and the Astro Café are at 5 Pinkerton Street in Derry. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Keith Desjardin at

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