Memorial is kicking off 31 Days with Cookin' for a Cure, featuring an evening with Celebrity Chef John Folse. Cookin' for a Cure will be held October 1 at the Lake Charles Country Club, beginning at 7pm. In recognition of Breast Health Month, cancer survivors will be honored during the evening.
Proceeds from Cookin' for a Cure will benefit The Foundation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Cancer Care Fund, which helps meet the increasing costs of maintaining a state-of-the-art oncology program. Support helps the hospital acquire new technology, upgrade the physical attributes of the oncology unit, acquire new chemotherapy chairs for patients undergoing treatment, or even provide educational materials to the community at large.
The always ebullient Folse will delight guests with a cooking demonstration that is as much fun as it is instructional-and delicious. His Cajun-inspired masterpieces are known around the world.
A native of St. James Parish, Folse opened Lafitte's Landing Restaurant in 1978 in Donaldsonville. He set out to market his restaurant by taking "a taste of Louisiana" worldwide, introducing 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 spawned the incorporation of several other Chef John Folse & Company properties: White Oak Plantation established Folse's catering and events management division; Chef John Folse & Company Publishing has produced eight cookbooks in his Cajun and Creole series, as well as a novel, two children's books and a religious memoir by other authors; "A Taste of Louisiana," Folse's international television series, is produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting; Chef John Folse & Company Manufacturing, one of the few chef-owned food manufacturing companies in America, produces custom-manufactured foods for the retail and food service industry, and Exceptional Endings, the pastry division, creates specialty desserts, pastries and savories.
In October 1998, a fire destroyed the 200-year-old Viala Plantation, which housed Lafitte's Landing Restaurant, and the following May Folse opened his former Donaldsonville home as Lafitte's Landing Restaurant at Bittersweet Plantation offering fine dining and bed and breakfast accommodations. A year later, Folse incorporated Digi-Tek Productions, a full service digital recording studio. Expanding on the catering services of White Oak Plantation, Chef John FOLSEvents Management & Catering fulfills the special events needs of clients both regionally and nationally. And in 2002, Bittersweet Plantation Dairy opened, offering a full line of fresh and aged cheeses.
In addition, The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux is dedicated to the preservation of Louisiana's rich culinary and cultural heritage, and the chef's radio cooking talk show, "Stirrin' It Up," has expanded to a television cooking segment on WAFB-TV Channel 9 in Baton Rouge.
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. He wouldn't want it any other way.
Tickets for Memorial's Cookin' for a Cure are $75 a piece, or $750 for a table of 10. Seating is limited, and advanced purchase is required. Sponsorships are tax-deductible as prescribed by law.