USA - John Folse
Maître Rôtisseur
A taste of Louisiana
" Never be afraid to take risks - it's the foundation for success "

Chef John Folse is a successful author, cookbook writer and broadcaster. He owns a food production business, which as well as supplying retail and foodservice sectors specialises in custom-manufactured foods for restaurants. He’s also a Chef with a string of awards and accolades to his name.

“Never be afraid to take risks - it’s the foundation for success.”

That is the mantra of Chef John, whose lifelong culinary quest has been to introduce the food and flavours of his native Louisiana to the rest of the world. He opened his Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant in Donaldsonville in 1978 and less than 10 years later introduced the indigenous cuisine of Louisiana to Japan, followed by Beijing, Hong Kong, Paris, London, Bogota, Taipei and Seoul.

John made history by becoming the first non-Italian chef to create the Vatican State Dinner in Rome (in 1989). Just one year earlier he made international headlines when he opened Lafitte’s Landing East in Moscow during the Presidential Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

In August 2010, he went into partnership with Chef Rick Tramonto and their first joint venture, the Restaurant R’evolution opened in June 2012, followed by the Seafood R’evolution just two years later. Seafood R’evolution pays homage to the heritage of the Mississippi, focusing on the freshness and flavours of the Gulf Coast region.

Somewhat fitting, then, that John says the first dish he can remember helping his mother to prepare was a Mississippi River shrimp - a small, freshwater shrimp with a fantastic sweet taste - and potato fricassee served over rice.

A founding member of the Bailliage of Baton Rouge, in July 2017 John Folse received the Brillat-Savarin Medal from the USA National Bailliage. At the same time he was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs (AAC) Culinary Hall of Fame; the highest honour AAC can bestow upon any individual.

Commenting on his membership of the Chaîne, John said, “It gives me the opportunity to meet like-minded people while at the same time showcasing my skills as a Professional member, since most often at Chaîne events I am certainly involved in the kitchen.”

John recalls his most memorable Chaîne event was preparing the Bailli Appreciation Dinner with Rick when New Orleans hosted the Grand Chapitre of the USA in 2014. John and Rick prepared seven courses showcasing the seven nations that collectively were responsible for creating the Creole cuisine and culture of Louisiana: France, Spain, Germany, England, Native America, Africa and Italy.

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne