WITH the sun shining and summer well and truly on the way, Oxford’s rooftop bar The Varsity Club (TVC) has added several events to its already action-packed schedule.

During May foodie fans can experience a New Orleans themed kitchen takeover.

Local chef Jack Greenall of the Smoke & Thyme Supper club is hosting a Kitchen Takeover on May 16 and 17 at The Varsity Club. Jack has just returned to Oxford from a flavour-filled culinary tour of New Orleans.

He has tasted his way around the city known as The Big Easy on a single-handed mission to get to authentic grips with the roots of New Orleans cooking.

Fresh off the plane, Jack is bringing the flavours of New Orleans and Creole classics to The Varsity Club for two nights only. It’s time to get your mitts on unctuous sticky dishes such as ‘shrimp and grits’ and ‘crawfish etouffee’.

Jack said: “I had an absolute blast on my culinary tour of New Orleans. But as much as I enjoyed myself, I went to bring back a little something for the people of Oxford.

“I can’t wait to reveal the stonking flavours of the amazing city that is New Orleans and to do so at one of Oxford’s most iconic venues where we can genuinely combine food, drink and music for a proper New Orleans guest experience.

“As far as my menu goes, take the Crawfish Étouffée Tortellini, which does its best to combine Louisiana flavours with European fine dining.

“Gumbo Ya-Ya is a rich, roux-thickened stew, hailing from Louisiana’s Cajun country traditions.

“Shrimp and Grits combines the most commonplace of New Orleans produce – prawns – with a traditional breakfast cornmeal in the most delicious of ways.

“Sweet potato bread pudding with bourbon-cayenne syrup and toasted marshmallow ice cream was the best thing I ate in New Orleans – what better excuse than to recreate and share.”

But it isn’t all about the food.

Alongside Jack’s finger-lickingly good cuisine, the evening will also be a celebration of the music, rhythm and libations of the Crescent City, with New Orleans inspired cocktails and tunes. Tickets are £30 – for four courses and a cocktail of your choice from The Varsity Club’s special New Orleans themed menu.

Making the most of May’s double bank holiday serving, the next event for the diary which promises to liven up the rooftop bar is the Summer Sessions. Kicking off with a DJ and barbecue to help the cocktails go down and the SPF go on, make sure you ear-mark Sunday, May 27.

Also launching this week is the TVC’s refreshed cocktail menu to help you and your pals to soak up the expectant sunshine on the roof.

The new cocktail menu still promises classics and modern twists, but it most recognisably gives a nod to its home city.

The Tom Collins has been lovingly renamed Tom Tower. Their top selling homemade plum gin cocktail has been deservedly renamed the Varsity Plum Garden.