Nicholls Partners with Rouses For Community Cooking Courses

Nicholls recently announced that it would be partnering with Rouse’s Supermarkets to offer a series of cooking classes to the local community called Cooking With the Colonels.  Each class will be Saturdays throughout the year from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 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 Culinary Institute.  

The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute is named after famous Louisiana chef John Folse.  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 introduced Louisiana’s indigenous cuisine to Japan, Beijing, Hong Kong and Paris. In 1988, Folse made international headlines with the opening of “Lafitte’s Landing East” in Moscow and again when Folse became the first non-Italian chef to create the Vatican State Dinner in Rome. Later, the Louisiana Legislature gave him the title of “Louisiana’s Culinary Ambassador to the World.”

Folse’s Culinary Institute invites aspiring chefs with an adventurous palate and an insatiable desire to work in the food and service industries to pursue a Bachelor of Science or Associate of Science degree in culinary arts at Nicholls, currently the only post-secondary institution in Louisiana offering a four-year culinary degree.  They pride themselves on teaching their students about cuisine from around the world. However, their students are a step above others because of their knowledge of cajun and creole cuisine.

Each class will be taught by award winning chefs and teachers from the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute and will concentrate on complex Louisiana fare.  Currently, only the first three classes have been scheduled, the first for Saturday, Jan. 26. That class’s theme will be Louisiana’s natural resources and rich history.  Students will learn prepare dishes incorporating rabbit, oyster, and andouille gumbo; duck and pistachio terrine; wild boar osso bucco with polenta and glazed root vegetables; and riz au lait.  The next class, titled New Orleans Creole Table, will be held on  Saturday, Feb. 23 and participants will cook T’Frere’s turtle soup; oysters Marie Laveau; spit roasted creole leg of lamb; and strawberry creole cream cheese ice cream over pecan pound cake.  The third class is scheduled for Saturday, March 23, and students will veer towards Italian cuisine as they experiment with recipes from Tuscany and Florence like ribollita soup; bruschetta; pollo alla cacciatore; bistecca alla fiorentina; and biscotti.

Class size is limited to 16 students and you must be at least 16 years old to register. Requirements are long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and flat, non-slip, closed-toe shoes. Long hair should be pulled back and students should be prepared for a 2-3 hours of physical activity. Students will work on the recipes in groups of two to three.  Tools will be provided but students are encouraged to bring their own.

Registration for one costs $125, for a couple $200, and for a Rouses’ employee $100. Payment is due two weeks before the class. For more information or to register, visit or call the Office of Continuing Education at 448-4444.

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