Chef John Folse learned early that the secrets of Cajun cooking lay in the unique ingredients of Louisiana’s swamp floor pantry.
When Folse opened Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant in 1978 in Donaldsonville, he set out to market his restaurant by taking “a taste of Louisiana” worldwide. He introduced Louisiana’s indigenous cuisine to Japan in 1985, Beijing in 1986 and Hong Kong and Paris in 1987. In 1988, Folse made international headlines with the opening of “Lafitte’s Landing East” in Moscow during the Presidential Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
The international success of Folse’s cornerstone property spawned the incorporation of several other Chef John Folse & Company properties. such as White Oak Plantation. He has produced nine cookbooks in his "Cajun and Creole" series, plus a novel, two children’s books and a religious memoir by other authors. “A Taste of Louisiana” is Folse’s international television series produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting since 1990.
The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University inThibodaux, La., opened in October 1994 and is dedicated to the preservation of Louisiana's rich culinary and cultural heritage.
The bakery division was launched in 1996 to create specialty desserts, pastries and savories.
In November 1999, the Acadiana Chapter of the American Culinary Federation inducted Folse into the Louisiana Chef's Hall of Fame for his lifetime contributions to the promotion of Louisiana cuisine.
In August 2010, Folse announced his partnership with Chef Rick Tramonto and the formation of Home on the Range: Folse Tramonto Restaurant Development, LLC. Their first joint venture, Restaurant R’evolution, opened in June of 2012 at 777 Bienville St. at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans. Restaurant R’evolution offers modern, imaginative reinterpretations of classic Cajun and Creole cuisine.
In August 2012, Folse was honored to represent Louisiana and the Gulf Coast with BP’s Spirit of the Gulf campaign at the London Olympics. He led a group of eight Gulf region chefs who prepared and served seafood dishes to guests at USA House.
In spring 2013 Folse received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Research Chefs Association.
More than thirty years of culinary excellence later, Folse is still adding ingredients to the corporate gumbo he calls Chef John Folse & Company, which is as diverse as the Louisiana landscape, and he would not want it any other way.
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