Second Annual NOLA's Backyard


F&B executives take inspiration from the food ways and folk ways of Louisiana Bayou country.

A group of food and beverage executives from major hotel and restaurant groups gathered in October for our second annual NOLA’s Backyard conference without classrooms. They heard the stories and met the characters, the farmers, the fishermen, the producers, and the cooks who make this one of the most colorful regions in the United States. They learned about the culinary contributions of the seven nations that created the modern day gumbo that makes Louisiana cuisine so exciting.

Sugah! Sugah! was the theme. They hit the cane fields, visited a sugar house, and followed the process from cane to candy. They were surrounded by the sights, sounds, and smells of the cane harvest. They dined like the sugar barons on the grounds of Chef John Folse’s White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge, a Greek Revival mansion on sweeping manicured grounds graced with massive oaks.

Chef John Folse, a raconteur par excellence and an expert on Louisiana history, led the road trip through the Bayous.