Nicholls promotes American dishes in Indian markets

THIBODAUX – The John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University welcomes visiting chefs from India this week – the first half of a cultural immersion program to be completed later this year when Chef George Kaslow, assistant professor of culinary arts, is slated to visit India.

Sponsored jointly by the Southern United States Trade Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the annual 15-day SUSTA Food Utilization Program at Nicholls kicked off Saturday, May 16, with the arrival of 12 distinguished chefs from India. The training series features culinary demonstrations, lectures and field trips designed to expose the visiting chefs to the rich traditions of Louisianan, Southern Soul, Latin American and Appalachian cuisines – as well as Cajun culture.

Kaslow said the objective of the program is to encourage the visiting chefs to introduce featured American dishes to India’s culinary markets.

The visiting chefs will return to India later this week – following a final dinner slated for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 28, in Room 408 of Gouaux Hall.

Pending SUSTA approval, the second half of the 2009 program will kick off either in July or November, when Kaslow will travel to India. For 15 days he will conduct demonstrations at trade shows and universities, furthering the overseas exposure of the featured American culinary traditions.

“It is an honor to be invited to participate in this prestigious program,” he said.

A native of New York City, Kaslow specializes in regional Italian cuisine, but his expertise also includes Latin American, Afro-Caribbean, Kosher and Hallal dishes, among others. His mentors include some of the culinary field’s finest.

“I was trained by Leonard Berkowitz, the man who was instrumental in bringing the Certified Angus Beef brand and program to the restaurant industry, and Dr. Lendall Kotchevar, who helped develop the first frozen foods for U.S. submarines during World War II.”

Kaslow earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and his master’s degree in hotel and foodservice management from Florida International University.

For more information on Nicholls’ SUSTA program – which in previous years has welcomed chefs from India, Russia, Hungary, Mexico, Thailand, Canada, Croatia, Taiwan and several Latin American countries – contact Kaslow at (985) 449-7091.

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