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Hurricane Katrina survivor opens Creole restaurant in Central Arkansas

SAP’s Creole Cuisine is a new restaurant led by New Orleans’s native Chef Sylvia Pennington, who made a home in the Natural State after surviving Hurricane Katrina.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — New Orleans may be a seven-hour drive away, but it turns out, you can now get authentic Creole food right here in Central Arkansas!  

SAP’s Creole Cuisine is a new restaurant led by New Orleans’s native Chef Sylvia Pennington. Her culinary journey began like many others, cooking with her mother. 

Later, her passion for cooking led her to the Culinary Institute of New Orleans. In the midst of chasing her dream to become a chef, she found herself in the midst of a storm— Hurricane Katrina.  

For a time, Pennington’s dreams were shattered. Having lost everything, she evacuated to Arkansas and began trying to pick up the pieces.  

To overcome the trauma of surviving such a historic storm, she returned to her roots. She passed time in the kitchen, letting the science and art of food heal the wounds of Katrina. She filled binders with new recipes she had come up with in the years following the storm. 

One day she looked at these binders and realized the unfulfilled potential they held. It was this moment that convinced her it was time to pursue her goals once more— which is how SAP’s Creole Cuisine came to be!  

Her menu is inspired by her own story. The Ninth Ward Gumbo is appropriately named after the community she was born in, and one of the hardest hit during Katrina. The Bourbon Street Cajun Pasta is dynamite!  

If you’re wondering, yes, Pennington can cook an AMAZING beignet and the daiquiris taste exactly like the ones you’d find on Bourbon Street.  

SAP’s is located off of Maumelle Boulevard at 13120 Crystal Hill Road in North Little Rock. They are open Tuesday through Saturday, and their menu can be found here.

Credit: KTHV

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