In partnership with LSU Health New Orleans, Nicholls State University proudly announced its latest offering– a two-week course in culinary medicine beginning in the summer session of 2019. The program began July 1st. Nine third-year LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine students are enrolled. They are currently studying the possible preventative effects that nutrition can have in treating chronic diseases, as well as the crucial, fundamental culinary skills and recipes to promote good nutrition. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, eating patterns and specific foods have proven to be effective treatments in some cases of epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and acute cough.
Dr. John La Puma, the founder of ChefMD and Chef Clinic, defined culinary medicine as: an evidence-based field that blends the art of cooking with the science of nutrition. It is multidisciplinary in its way of blending art and science, which are arguably very similar in that they both take time, craft, and attention. Culinary medicine promotes the teamwork of physicians and nutrition professionals to prevent and treat patients’ illnesses by learning more about the food we eat.
“The Office of Undergraduate Medical Education is excited to offer this career planning elective to the Class of 2021. While students are taught the science of nutrition during their first and second years of medical school, the Culinary Medicine CPE gives them the opportunity to translate this into practical knowledge,” Dr. Catherine Hebert, the associate professor of clinical medicine and co-director of clinical sciences curriculum at LSU Health New Orleans stated. She continued, “It is not just about telling a patient to cut out salt and fat. It is about teaching them how to do this in a way that is realistic given the time and money constraints that we all face.”
During the course, students begin the day in the classroom. Here, they learn nutrition theory through lectures, case studies, and simulations that focus on such ailments as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity. In the afternoon, the third-year will move from classroom to kitchen in order to learn fundamental culinary skills and related recipes from chefs and other culinary professionals. What is learned in the morning is then created in the afternoon, meaning that the nutrition content learned at the head of the day is used in relevant recipes in the afternoon. The Culinary Department Head Chef John Kozar gave the example, “Let’s say they learn about diabetes in the morning, we will work on dishes appropriate for the diabetic patient in the afternoon.”
The learning does not stop at the walls of the classroom or kitchen. Students will also take field trips to Rouses Supermarket with a Registered Dietician (RD), tour the kitchen at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, and test their new nutritional knowledge at local restaurants.
“This is an exciting opportunity for both Dietetics and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute to have an even bigger impact on the community,” expressed Dr. Brigett Scott, associate dean of the College of Science and Technology and associate professor of dietetics. “What people eat has one of the biggest impacts on their health. Ultimately, the goal is that these future doctors will practice in Louisiana and promote the nutrition and culinary skills they learned to make an impact on the health of our community.”
For more education related information, click here.
Nicholls State University recently announced that on March 26th it will screen a new award-winning documentary regarding Female Chefs by Joanna James, “A Fine Line: A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen.” Part of a national tour, and screening during National Women’s History Month, the acclaimed documentary highlights female chefs who make up only 7 percent of head chefs and restaurant owners. The film takes a deeper look at why this statistic exists, despite the high number of female culinary students. “The ironic part about this discussion is that most culinary programs, like the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, have predominantly women enrollees, yet professionally those numbers don’t match,” said the Nicholls Culinary Department head, chef John Kozar. “That’s what the film is all about. What can we do, all of us together, to create a level playing field?” Nicholls’ female to male ratio at the John Folse Culinary Institute is more than 65 percent female,” Kozar said.
Hosted by The John Folse Culinary
Institute housed at Nicholls University and emceed by Marcelle Bienvenu,
culinary instructor and longtime New Orleans journalist, the event will include
the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to New Orleans Chef, Author
and television host Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole Cuisine and owner of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant.
After the screening, there will be a
discussion amongst a series of expert panelists, including some notable
Nicholls alumnae and local chefs. Among the panelists are: Kristen Essig,
chef and owner of Coquette in New Orleans; Katie O’Hara, pastry chef at Mopho and Maypop in New Orleans; Anne Milneck, owner of Red Stick Spice Co. in Baton Rouge; and Samantha Love, assistant executive
property chef at Caesars Entertainment Corp. in Baltimore, Maryland.
Kozar stated when interviewed, “We’re excited to be able to host this
documentary. Our enrollment at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute is
more than 65 percent female, so we have made it a priority to showcase the
success of our alumni and other women in the workforce. That’s why we started
and continue the Empowered Women Chefs Series, which brings in successful
female chefs to connect with our students.”
Founded in 1993 in response to the
disparity outlined in Joanna James’s documentary, was the nonprofit organization The International Association of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR). WCR includes membership of thousands of women,
from culinary students, line cooks, pastry chefs, and executive chefs to
educators, food writers, farmers, media professionals, and more. Their mission
is to advance women across the culinary industry through education and
connection. They offer opportunities for professional development and
mentorship. Their annual National Conference is held every spring, with the
2019 National Conference scheduled for Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota on
The conference will cover all aspects
of the food and hospitality by offering class, speakers, and camaraderie. It
celebrates the strength and success of women in the profession and hopes that
women leave feeling inspired and revitalized. If you’d like more
information on WCR and/or the April conference, click here.
The Nicholls documentary screening will
be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Mary and Al Danos Theater. Tickets are $40 for the
cocktail reception, the screening and the panel, or $20 for the screening and
the panel. To purchase tickets, click here.
The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute is named after famous Louisiana chef John Folse, acclaimed and award-winning Louisiana chef. It was
recently announced that it would be offering a series of Saturday cooking
classes to the local community called Cooking With the Colonels. Each class will include an orientation, cooking
lessons, a family meal, and a tour of the Lanny D. Ledet Culinary Arts Building
which is the facility that houses the Nicholl’s State on-campus Chef John Folse
Louisiana Travel has compiled a list of their Top 10 Louisiana chefs and the list is nothing to blink your eyes at. Louisiana is known for our unique foods and exquisite restaurants that rank in the upper echelon of the entire world, so to make it among the best of the best is a true honor. We wanted to give homage to the chefs that make it all possible. Chefs are the behind-the-scenes magic makers with complex palates that require creative, out-the-box thinking, and maintenance of close-knit, local relationships with food distributors, farmers, and the like. Their job descriptions are varied and far-reaching, including being business savvy, working well under pressure, managing line cooks and servers, hobnobbing with local entrepreneurs and business owners, all while creating the next best dish for the customer. It’s harder to remain a chef than to become one- the industry’s cutthroat competitive nature is made even more difficult by the sheer rate of restaurants popping up every year, every month. Only the good ones survive, and we have compiled a list of the Top 2 Louisiana chefs that have stood the test of time.
1. Emeril Lagasse
Emeril is probably one of the most
widely known Louisiana chefs as his resume includes Television Personality and
even Author. Chef Emeril Lagasse’s passion for food was ignited as a
young boy growing up in the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts, where he
spent time in the kitchen with his mother, Hilda. As a teenager, he worked at a
Portuguese bakery where he mastered the art of bread and pastry baking. After high
school, Lagasse turned down a full scholarship to the New England
Conservatory of Music to pursue his dream
of becoming a chef. He earned a degree from the respected culinary institution, Johnson and Wales
University, and later received
an honorary doctorate degree. Wanting to broaden his culinary horizons, Lagasse
then traveled to France where he honed his skills and learned the art of
classic French cuisine. Returning to the United States, Lagasse practiced his
art in fine restaurants in New York, Boston and Philadelphia until a job offer
from Dick and Ella Brennan lured the young chef to New Orleans, where Lagasse
helmed the kitchen for nearly eight years at their legendary restaurant, Commander’s Palace.
Chef John Folse, born in St. James
Parish in 1946, learned early that the secrets of Cajun cooking lay in the
unique ingredients of Louisiana’s swamp floor pantry. Folse seasoned these raw
ingredients with his passion for Louisiana culture and cuisine, and from his
cast iron pots emerged Chef John Folse & Company.
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 traveled all over the
world bringing tastes of Louisiana with him. 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. In 1989, Folse was the first non-Italian chef to create
the Vatican State Dinner in Rome.
The international success of Folse’s cornerstone property, Lafitte’s Landing
Restaurant, spawned the incorporation of several other Chef John Folse &
Company properties. White Oak Plantation in 1986 established Folse’s catering and events management
division. Chef John Folse & Company Publishing, since 1989, has produced 9 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 in Thibodaux, La., opened in
October 1994 and is dedicated to the preservation of Louisiana’s rich culinary
and cultural heritage. In 2014 a brand new facility was built for the
In August 1996, Folse expanded his professional repertoire and began
broadcasting his radio cooking talk show, “Stirrin’ It Up” which eventually
turned into a television cooking segment.
The bakery division was launched in 1996 to create specialty desserts, pastries
and savories. In October 1998, a fire destroyed the 200-year-old Viala Plantation, which housed Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant, and in May 1999 Folse
opened his former Donaldsonville home as Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant at
Bittersweet Plantation offering fine dining and bed and breakfast
accommodations. In the year 2000, Folse incorporated Digi-Tek Productions, a
full service digital recording studio.
Folse has received numerous national and international accolades including but
not limited to: In 1987, the Louisiana Restaurant Association named him
“Louisiana Restaurateur of the Year.” In 1989, Nation’s Restaurant News
inducted Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant into its “Fine Dining Hall of Fame.” In
1990, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) named Folse the “National Chef of
the Year.” In 1995, Folse was one of 50 people recognized in Nation’s
Restaurant News’ “Profiles of Power.” In 1999, the Research Chefs Association
(RCA) named Chef John Folse & Company “Pioneers in Culinology”
because of the efforts of Folse and his culinary research team. In 2001, Folse
was elected to RCA’s Board of Directors and served as RCA president from
2005-2007. In 2006, Folse was inducted into National Restaurant Association
Educational Foundation’s College of Diplomates. In 2007, Folse served as
the American Judge for the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyon, France.
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.
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
As stated recently on their twitter page, Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls University is the only four year culinary program offered in the state of Louisiana. This state of the art facility opened in 2015 with Mr. Arlen “Benny” Cenac Jr. as one of the major fund building contributors.
With world famous Chef John Folse as the Certified Executive Chef, this four year program boasts some of the newest and up to date culinary equipment. For more information on program and institute, you can visit their website here.