THIBODAUX — The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University will present its inaugural Dinner of the Century at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 23 in the Grand Ballroom of the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans.
Dinner of the Century is a new annual event that will recreate historic dinners of the past. This dinner, presented by some of the best chefs in New Orleans and students and faculty of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, commemorates the 200th anniversary of the “Defense of Fort McHenry,” the poem that would eventually become our national anthem.
On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, observed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy. In awe, he watched as the flag of the United States continued to fly and was inspired to pen the poem. Once set to music, the poem was renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Three weeks prior to the battle, President James Madison and his wife, Dolley, eagerly anticipated an American victory against the British at the Battle of Bladensburg during the War of 1812. The First Lady prepared the state dining room for 40 guests in anticipation of a victory feast. But the Americans were defeated, leading the British to occupy and set fire to Washington. The First Lady fled, leaving dinner behind. That evening the British arrived at the White House, where it is believed that they sat to eat a sumptuous meal before plundering and burning the building.
The event will feature a menu reminiscent of the meals served at the White House during this era prepared by top New Orleans chefs including: Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace, Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s Restaurant, Chris Lusk of Restaurant R’evolution, Susan Spicer of Bayona, David Harris of Chef John Folse & Company, and others.
Individual tickets are $200, benefiting the construction of the culinary institute’s new building. For additional information or to RSVP, contact the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at 985-449-7114.