Nicholls culinary dinner celebrates steamboat bicentennial

THIBODAUX — The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the New Orleans steamboat at its 16th annual Bite of the Arts fundraising gala. The event, themed “Rollin’ on the River: Celebrating the Steamboat Bicentennial,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Bollinger Memorial Student Union.

In February 1812, the steamboat New Orleans docked in its namesake city after making the first-ever journey down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. To commemorate this historic voyage that helped spur the industrial revolution, guests will be treated to live Dixieland music and a three-course dinner prepared by Nicholls culinary students under distinguished visiting chef Regina Charboneau’s direction. A native of Natchez, Miss., Charboneau is the chef de cuisine for the American Queen, a paddlewheel steamboat offering overnight Mississippi River cruises. She is known for recreating American classical dishes and using fresh, seasonal ingredients from the Mississippi River region.

“Bite of the Arts is no doubt the culinary event of the year in this region,” said Chef Randy Cheramie, executive director of the Nicholls culinary institute. “Regina is a great chef, a terrific role model for our students and a force of nature. Blaine Kern Studios will once again be transforming the ballroom to fit our theme. It is sure to be a fun evening with good food, good wine and good friends.”

A cocktail reception with hor d’oeuvres and a silent auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dinner and a live auction will follow at 7:30 p.m. Wine will be served during the meal, and every couple will receive a commemorative event poster.

Individual tickets are $150 per person. Benefactor tables for eight are $2,500, and corporate tables for 10 are $5,000. All proceeds benefit the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, particularly student scholarships, faculty development and equipment. To order tickets, call 985-449-7114 by Monday, Oct. 29.

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