Nicholls Hosts Annual Culinary Celebration ‘Bite of the Arts’

THIBODAUX — The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University will explore the state’s German cuisine and heritage at the 17th annual Bite of the Arts fundraising gala.

The celebrated culinary event, themed “Oompah! Celebrating Louisiana’s German Heritage,” will begin with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 in the Bollinger Memorial Student Union. A special meal and a live auction will follow at 8 p.m.

“Bite of the Arts is our biggest fundraiser, and one of the best culinary events of the year. We want people to come back year after year,” said Chef Randy Cheramie, executive director of the Nicholls culinary institute. “This year we’re celebrating the rich German heritage of Louisiana. And once again Blaine Kern Studios will be decking out the ballroom to fit our theme — people aren’t going to recognize the place after they get done with it.”

This year’s event will honor Chef Gunter Preuss with the 2013 Lafcadio Hearn Award, which honors significant contributions to the culinary profession. Preuss, a second-generation restaurateur classically trained in the European tradition, began his career in West Germany before eventually landing in New Orleans at the Fairmont Hotel. He opened his own restaurant, Versailles, in 1972, and in 1993, Preuss and his wife, Evelyn, acquired the historic Broussard’s Restaurant in the French Quarter. Pruess had taught culinary arts at Delgado Community College and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls, and has been the recipient of numerous culinary awards.

Guests will be treated to a multi-course German dinner prepared by distinguished visiting chef Tory Stewart. Trained at the famed French Culinary Institute in New York City, Stewart settled in the south, drawn in by the big, assertive flavors of Louisiana cooking. He worked with Preuss at Broussard’s before opening Jubilee Restaurant & Courtyard in Mandeville.

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.

Call 985-449-7114 by Thursday, Nov. 7 to reserve your tickets.