THIBODAUX – Today the State Bond Commission approved funding for the planning and design of the new John Folse Culinary Institute facility on the corner of Louisiana Highway 1 and Bowie Road, moving Nicholls State University one step closer to breaking ground.
“After so many years of waiting, I could not have been more excited when hearing of the State Bond Commission’s approval of the $700,000 necessary for the planning and design of our institute’s new culinary arts building,” Chef John Folse, the institute’s namesake and chairman of the board of advisors, said.
“With the rapid growth of enrollment in the culinary program at Nicholls, the timing of this initiative could not have been better. We are simply out of space.”
The institute is currently housed in Gouaux Hall on the Nicholls campus, with more than 300 students enrolled.
Chef Randy Cheramie, executive director of the institute, said the new facility will “become the regional epicenter for culinary arts training, as well as opportunities for teaching the wider community what we do, and who we are.”
“Our approach to culinary arts is scholarly as well as hands-on, with a specialized commitment to teaching the history and traditions of Cajun and Creole cuisine, the most unique and important regional cuisine in America,” Cheramie said. “We live in a mecca of great food, so this institute is certainly vital to our region. It is an important cultural initiative, and we are only limited by our imagination. If not us, then who?”
For additional information about the institute, go to www.nicholls.edu/culinary/. An artistic rendering of the future facility is featured on the updated campus map, posted online at www.nicholls.edu/about/campus-map/.