Nicholls culinary students to compete on the grill

Students from Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute will fire up the grill for the next six weeks as part of a cooking competition sponsored by the Dansereau House Bed and Breakfast.

The public is invited to attend the Grill-Off Challenge, which will be held every Thursday night for six weeks, beginning on Aug. 7. The competitions will take place on the Dansereau House lawn during the downtown Thibodaux establishment’s weekly “Drinkery,” held from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Much like the Iron Chef competitions on Food Network, the weekly competitions will feature two Nicholls culinary students preparing a dish inspired by a secret ingredient. Beginning at 7 p.m., the secret ingredient will be revealed, and the competitors will have 45 minutes to grill off. Free tastings will be available to those attending.

Each week’s winner will move on to compete against a different up-and-coming chef the following Thursday. The winner of the six-week challenge will receive $100 and a free night stay in the Governor’s Suite at the Dansereau House.

The grill-off is only one aspect of a larger partnership with the Dansereau House, which is also now offering externships and job opportunities for Nicholls culinary students.

“As a regional employer with multiple industry awards, we are thrilled to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute,” said Damon J. Baldone, owner of the Dansereau House. “We look forward to the continuing growth of our outstanding food and beverage program, and we intend to proudly utilize the excellent local resource that the premier south Louisiana culinary school provides, both to our local business and to our Thibodaux community.”

Chef Monica Larousse, assistant professor of culinary arts, said the partnership will help students gain experience in front-of-the-house service, bartending-mixology, pastry preparation, breakfast/small plate preparation and special events. “Nicholls and CJFCI are committed to educating a workforce-ready student community in order to meet the needs of Louisiana’s growing economy,” she said. “Our workforce connections are extremely important to us and will continue to be the driving force in our education and student development.”


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