Our first foray, called NOLA’s Backyard, was an immersion in Louisiana Bayou country. Most people in the food world have been to New Orleans but few have experienced the Bayou country. We joined forces with Chef John Folse...(it is not just a term, he really is a force to be reckoned with!) a food historian, and renowned authority on Cajun and Creole cuisine and culture. We corralled the best and the biggest names in the foodservice world, and assembled a knockout itinerary that couldn’t help but build everyone’s businesses. Together we discovered a unique food culture and learned of the seven nations that contributed to the delicious gumbo that is Louisiana cuisine today.
In the fall of 2015, we sent the following invitation to promote our NOLA's Backyard trip:
We would like to invite you to participate in a new kind of hands-on conference—In NOLA’s Backyard, an immersion in the food ways and folk ways of Louisiana’s Bayou country October 13-15. Instead of sitting in a classroom, you will hear the stories and meet the characters, the farmers, the fishermen, the producers and the cooks who make the Bayou country one of the most colorful regions of the United States. We’ll hit the Boudin Trail, visit an alligator processor, learn about the culinary contributions of the seven nations that created the modern day gumbo that makes Louisiana cuisine so exciting.
This unique experience will begin with a cochon de lait (Cajun pig roast) on the grounds of Chef John Folse’s White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge. Think Gone With the Wind—a white, Greek Revival mansion on sweeping manicured grounds graced with massive oaks. The following day, Chef Folse, a raconteur par excellence and an expert on Louisiana history, will lead the group on a road trip through the Bayous. And don’t worry about getting hungry! There will be plenty of boudin, biscuits, Bourbon and even alligator to keep starvation at bay.
We will overnight Tuesday and Wednesday at Houmas House, the crown jewel of antebellum plantations in Darrow, Louisiana. Thursday there will be more food discoveries and intriguing insights and then it’s on to New Orleans where you’ll be on your own to let the good times roll!
Due to limited space, the invitation only leadership event for food and beverage professionals, will be limited to the first 15 R.S.V.P.s. to this email. We’ve got your back for hotel rooms in Bayou country, local transportation, and meals.
NOLA'S Backyard was documented in two beautiful books. Check them out below and on our blog.
In NOLA’s Backyard, Presented by
Chef John Folse, Ambassador of Louisiana Cuisine
Michaela York, Communications Director, Chef John Folse Co.
Barbara Mathias, former publisher Food Arts magazine
Beverly Stephen, former executive editor Food Arts magazine