Chef John Folse

Chef John Folse, Louisiana Cultural Ambassador, to receive Ella Brennan Award

Louisiana has bred many icons who need no introduction, and Chef John Folse is part of that clique. Whether you’ve seen him on T.V., or maybe you’ve attempted to cook one of his recipes, (I’ll nail that gumbo one of these days), or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who’ve had the pleasure of eating the Cajun master’s food made from his very own hands. 

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience announced that Chef Folse will be the recipient of the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award this January. The award recognizes one individual each year who has made a lifetime commitment to the hospitality industry through extraordinary leadership, personal and professional accomplishments, and philanthropic contributions to the community. NOWFE incoming President Ewell Smith said, “It’s difficult to imagine a more deserving recipient of this honor.” Agreed.

Just when I was starting to think my resume was looking impressive, I read his. The accolades don’t quit. Chef Folse opened his first restaurant in 1978 in Donaldson, Louisiana. He had big dreams from the get, setting out to market  ” a taste of Louisiana” worldwide, and did just that. From Beijing, Hong Kong, Paris, Moscow, London, Bogota, Taipei and Seoul, the Cajun chef accomplished his mission. In 1988 Chef Folse was named “Marketer of the Year” and ” Louisiana’s Culinary Ambassador to the World.” A few years later he opened The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University. In ’96 he had his first cooking talk show called “Stirrin It Up” which expanded into a television show in 2001. In 2010 he announced his partnership with Rick Tramonto and opened Restaurant R’evolution in 2012. He’s written more books than you’ll read this year and he’s received top awards throughout his career such as “National Chef of the Year” and “Pioneers in Culinology.” 

If that wasn’t impressive enough, he’s deeply committed to his philanthropic endeavors as well. Contributing to Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center, Sister Maria Dulce, and Farmers Market in Baton Rouge to name a few.

Tickets to the event are $175 a person, or roll with your friends VIP for $1500-2500 a table. Proceeds from the gala benefit many local non-profit organizations NOWFE supports throughout the year. For full details and to purchase tickets, click here.