John Folse to headline Nicholls commencement

THIBODAUX – Chef John Folse, namesake of Nicholls State University’s culinary institute, will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary Doctor of Letters on Saturday, Dec. 10, when the university confers approximately 670 degrees during commencement exercises in Stopher Gymnasium.

Chef John Folse

Folse will speak at 10 a.m. to graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. At 2 p.m. he will address graduates of the College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Allied Health and University College.

Often called “Louisiana’s Culinary Ambassador to the World,” the St. James Parish native founded Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant in Donaldsonville, after which he expanded into catering and manufacturing. Chef John Folse & Company is one of only a few chef-owned, food-manufacturing companies in the United States that produces custom-manufactured foods. Bittersweet Plantation Dairy, also owned by Folse, utilizes milk from local dairy farms to produce cheese gelato, yogurt and butter. His catering and events management division is housed at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge.

Folse has also authored seven cookbooks in his Cajun and Creole series, including “After the Hunt: Louisiana’s Authoritative Collection of Wild Game & Game Fish Cookery.”

A certified executive chef, member of the American Academy of Chefs and past president of the Research Chefs Association, Folse recently completed the filming of “Louisiana’s Food Heritage: The Encyclopedia Series,” based on his best-selling cookbook, “The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine.” He also hosts his own television cooking show, broadcast on public television stations, as well as a syndicated radio show, “Stirrin’ It Up!”

The Rev. Tim LaFleur, director of the Nicholls Baptist Student Ministry, will offer the invocation and benediction at both commencement ceremonies.