WE come downstairs from the roof terrace and walk into a scene like a genuine New Orleans bar: there is some kind of hip hop brass band on the stereo, people are laughing loudly and gesticulating wildly and waiters are bringing out wine in all shades.

In the middle of it all, proffering two bowls of gumbo like the tablets from the mountain, is a giant of a man in an apron wearing a bandana and beads: this is Monsieur Chef.

Freshly returned from a hedonistic three-month ‘research’ expedition in the birthplace of Jazz, during which he ate at 'pretty much every restaurant in the city', Marston’s own Jack Greenall has booked out Oxford's poshest night club for two nights only to cook up a four-course feast inspired by Cajun and Creole cooking.

Inspired by, but not imitating - that's the key this evening.

Arriving at The Varsity Club on my Tod, I'm lucky enough to bump into a group of Mr Greenall's gang, some of whom I've met before at his home supper clubs – indulgent and intimate evenings of dirty, yummy, sexy food.

With Jack's reputation having swelled to bursting point over the past two years in Oxford, the atmosphere is buzzing as the 40-odd guests arrive for their New Orleans feast, and the evening gets off to a raucous start when one of my new friends breaks his chair as soon as he sits on it, sending him sprawling across the floorboards.

Having got that out the way, we are brought our first dish. This is composed of an ingredient which could not be more New Orleans – crawfish – stuffed in another which couldn't be less – tortellini – served with smothered greens.

The dish is certainly not the blow-you-away flavours I had been expecting from Cajun cuisine: this is subtle, sophisticated and aromatic; the pasta al dente and the crawfish (or crayfish as we Brits say) tender and sweet.

Next up – Boucherie Gumbo Ya-Ya with cured meats and crispy rice.

Above the excited hubbub, Mr Chef explains that 'ya-ya' is slang for everyone talking at once, and comes from the way this gumbo is traditionally made, with everyone standing around chatting for hours while stirring the rue.

Boucherie, meanwhile, is a traditional event where everyone gets together to slaughter a pig then takes away what they can cook.

What we get is a bowlful of flavours that smack you in the face one after the other: sweet, succulent, juicy meat; tart and salty cured meat; some kind of fruit and then the bizarre crispy rice – the closest thing I've had before is stuffing balls, so the whole effect is almost like a fruity roast dinner.

Our third course is the most recognisably southern states supper: shrimp and grits with red pepper jelly. Being in the UK, the part of the shrimp is played by King Prawns, and these are sea salty-fresh and fluffy. The grits, however, are genuine US of A – Aunt Jemima Old Fashioned Grits. If you haven't had grits before, they are a porridge-like substance made from sweetcorn. The closest familiar comparison is probably sticky rice, but grits are less stodgy, more gritty.

Combined with the sweet pepper sauce the whole thing is surprisingly refreshing.

By the time we reach our dessert, many of us are wondering whether we could possibly have room – then it comes out.

The dish is a sweet potato bread pudding with Bourbon-Cayenne syrup and toasted marshmallow ice cream, served with a Royal Tokaji (a Hungarian sweet dessert wine).

Mr Greenall explains that this dessert is one you get all over New Orleans from the sleaziest dive to white tablecloth restaurants, but this particular one was inspired by a restaurant called Patois which was so good he managed to visit twice.

We each take a bite then look at each other in a wild surmise: the pudding is a crunchy, chewy, sweet, sticky and smokey revelation, but still manages to be light and fluffy. Tokaji is a perfect complement.

We waddle out, saturated with southern splendour and go looking for the nearest bayou.