John D. Folse to Return for April 9 Visiting Chef Dinner

Published 03.31.2005


Chef John D. FolseChef John D. Folse, a worldwide ambassador for Cajun and Creole cooking, will return to Pennsylvania College of Technology to prepare the Distinguished Visiting Chef Series dinner on Saturday, April 9.

The dinner, which costs $125 per guest, will begin at 7 p.m. at the College's Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Net proceeds will be used for annual scholarship awards and endowed scholarship funds.

Folse, owner of Chef John Folse & Co., will be accompanied by David Harris, executive pastry chef, and Jay Kimball, corporate executive chef.

Folse's enterprise includes his signature restaurant, Lafitte's Landing at Bittersweet Plantation in Donaldsonville, La.; White Oak Plantation, a catering and events-management division, in Baton Rouge, La.; Bittersweet Plantation Dairy in Donaldsonville; Exceptional Endings, a pastry division; Chef John Folse & Co. Manufacturing; Chef John Folse & Co. Publishing; the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.; "A Taste of Louisiana," Folse's international television series; and "Stirrin' It Up," a television cooking segment offered during newscasts of a Baton Rouge CBS affiliate.

In 1989, Folse was the first non-Italian chef to create the Vatican State Dinner. Among his many national and international accolades, he has been named "National Chef of the Year" by the American Culinary Federation, and Nation's Restaurant News inducted Lafitte's Landing Restaurant into its "Fine Dining Hall of Fame."

He has opened restaurants around the world, promoting Cajun and Creole cuisine worldwide. Louisiana Sales and Marketing Executives named Folse "Louisiana's Marketing Ambassador to the World," and the Louisiana Legislature gave him the title of "Louisiana's Culinary Ambassador to the World."

Along with Folse, Harris and Kimball will work closely with students during their visit to campus. Harris is executive pastry chef of Exceptional Endings, responsible for the design and development of all menu items for the Chef John Folse & Co. pastry division. He has received numerous awards and honors from various ACF chapters, as well as the silver medal during a world competition in Berlin in 1996.

As corporate executive chef of Chef John Folse & Co., Kimball oversees all culinary activities of White Oak Plantation and Bittersweet Plantation. He acts as a consultant for restaurants throughout the nation, directs the research-and-development team and heads new-product development for the Chef John Folse & Co. food line. His culinary honors include being named one of New Orleans' Top Five Chefs in 1994.

Folse will offer a cooking demonstration from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, in Room B132 of the Hager Lifelong Education Center. Tickets are $35 per person for the event.

He will also lead a talk and question-and-answer session on his newest book, "The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine," in the Penn College Library on Friday, April 8, from 3 to 4 p.m. Folse will also autograph copies of the book. The event is free and open to the public. The library is located in the Learning Resources Center at Penn College.

This will be Folse's fourth visit to the Penn College campus to work with Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts students for the Distinguished Visiting Chef Series. The School of Hospitality presents a Chef John Folse Excellence in Hospitality Award to a graduating student at each spring commencement ceremony.

To reserve seats for the April 9 dinner or the April 7 demonstration, call the Special Events Office at Penn College at (570) 320-5229.

The menu and wines for the April 9 Distinguished Visiting Chef Series Dinner are:

AppetizerTower of Twin Tartars Sushi-grade tuna and salmon layered with spicy slaw, house-pickled ginger and caviar garnish Hunt Country Vineyards Riesling 2003 Dry, Finger Lakes, N.Y.

SoupBisque of Creole Tomato The classic Creole tomato marinara, thinned with a shellfish stock and finished with cream Alban Vineyards Viognier 2003, Arroyo Grande, Calif.

EntreeBraised Breast of Pork Cabanocey Pork breast braised in herbs and spring vegetables served over stone-ground grits with sauce naturale and baby vegetables Concannon Petit Sirah 2003, Livermore Valley, Calif.

SaladRoasted Quail Ponchatoula Herb-roasted quail stuffed with prosciutto-wrapped strawberry on a medley of greens with cane syrup vinaigrette and Bittersweet Plantation Dairy Fleur-de-Teche Pumari Pinot Noir 2002, Santa Lucia Highlands, Calif.

DessertLemon Doberge Cake The famous six-layer New Orleans confection served with raspberry and passion-fruit sauces and a crispy tuile cookie Taylor Fladgate Port, Late Bottled Vintage 1997

The menu for the April 7 cooking demonstration is:

Cream of Cauliflower and Duck Soup Pan Saut饤 Filet of Fish on Stone Ground Golden Grits with Creole Tomato Jus Creole Tomato Grits Creole Cream Cheese and Strawberry Shortcake