Stir the pots. Meet the characters. Listen to the stories. Flavor Forays plans, organizes, and executes extraordinary culinary adventures that bring together the top leaders in the restaurant and hotel industry and suppliers for immersive, unforgettable experiences in food meccas all over the globe. Our goals are education, inspiration, and appreciation of culinary cultures.

Our partners, like our trips, are world class.

BARBARA MATHIAS, PRINCIPAL

Barbara Mathias excels as a connector of people and a facilitator of ideas. She is currently an independent brand marketing consultant, as well as producer of hospitality and food conference events. Until its closure in September 2014, Barbara was co-publisher/vice president of Food Arts magazine. Devoted to the quality driven concept of Michael and Ariane Batterberry’s Food Arts, Barbara helped launch the magazine in 1988, and played an integral role in its development and success over the ensuing 26 years.  

Previously Barbara had worked in the consumer goods advertising business in San Francisco. Barbara started as West Coast representative for Food Arts, moved shortly thereafter to New York City to become advertising director, and finally, became associate publisher/vice president in 2000.

BEVERLY STEPHEN, PRINCIPAL

As a veteran magazine and newspaper journalist, Beverly Stephen believes that timely stories, accurate reporting, and quality writing are the pillars of a successful publication. Most recently, she has been working as an independent journalist, hospitality consultant and conference producer. Until its closure in September 2014, Beverly was the executive editor of Food Arts magazine and FoodArts.com where she developed and led the execution of editorial strategy for this must-read insiders' resource. In addition, she developed programs, recruited speakers, and moderated panel discussions for leading industry conferences such as the Greystone Flavor Summit.

Prior to joining Food Arts in 1990, Beverly was an editor, reporter, and syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News and the San Francisco Chronicle. Coincidentally, one of her plum assignments at the Daily News was covering a groundbreaking culinary event showcasing American chefs that Michael and Ariane Batterberry staged to celebrate the first anniversary of Food & Wine magazine which they had recently founded. Neither suspected they would devote the next decades to chronicling the American food revolution at another Batterberry publication called Food Arts.

NOLA'S BACKYARD PARTNERS

Chef John Folse, Chef John Folse & Company, CEO/owner

Bayou-born and crawfish fed, Chef John Folse is a favorite Louisiana “homegrown” son. As Culinary Ambassador to the World, he is proud to share his passion for Louisiana’s swamp floor pantry across the state and around the world. As an entrepreneur, his interests range from restaurateur to manufacturer, author to educator. His various enterprises include Chef John Folse & Company Manufacturing – Donaldsonville, LA, Restaurant R’evolution – New Orleans, Seafood R’evolution – Ridgeland, MS, and White Oak Plantation – Baton Rouge. His recent endeavors include writing a cookbook dedicated to vegetable cookery, Can You Dig It, and negotiating the terms for Restaurant R’evolution – Chicago. John is the recipient of numerous accolades and hosts a national PBS television cooking show, A Taste of Louisiana. He is a member and past chairman of the American Culinary Federation, Distinguished Restaurants of North America and Research Chefs Association. He sits on the Board of Directors of The Sister Dulce Foundation, and perhaps his greatest honor is having the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University named in his honor. 

Michaela York, Chef John Folse & Company, Vice President, Marketing

A graduate of Northeast Louisiana University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism, Michaela York also received a Master’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. Since 1997, she has led the Communications & Marketing Department of Chef John Folse & Company. Michaela was named one of Baton Rouge’s Top 40 Under 40 executives and received a Marketer of the Year award in 2011. She oversaw the successful marketing launches of Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant at Bittersweet Plantation – Donaldsonville, LA and the openings of both Restaurant R’evolution – New Orleans and Seafood R’evolution – Ridgeland, MS. Annually, she helps organize Folse-related special events including Dining by Design, Dinner of the Century and NOLA’s Backyard. Specializing in marketing, research and writing, she has co-authored and edited several Folse cookbooks including Hot Beignets & Warm Boudoirs, The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, After the Hunt, Hooks, Lies & Alibis as well as Can You Dig It. Michaela is the author of two children’s books and produces Folse’s national PBS show, A Taste of Louisiana.