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Chef John Folse Makes Hunting Taste Good

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

John Folse
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People have different opinions about hunting. Maybe you love it, maybe that’s your passion, but not everyone feels the same. No matter how people feel about hunting, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like to eat - epically well-prepared and spiced just right, fresh from the woods and water -  wild game.

Everyone has their own recipe for venison, fish or fowl and take great pride in preparing and serving those dishes for friends and relatives, but few have taken it to the level of chef John Folse.

Born in 1946 in  St. James Parish, Louisiana, on the Mississippi River, John Folse is a true Louisiana chef, a restaurant owner, and a leading authority on Cajun and Creole cuisine and culture. He has cooked for kings and presidents and traveled the world, but his love for preparing wild game comes from a childhood in and around the outdoors. He learned early that the secrets of Cajun cooking lay in the unique ingredients of Louisiana’s swamp floor pantry. Folse seasoned these raw ingredients with his passion for Louisiana culture and cuisine, and from his cast iron pots emerged Chef John Folse & Company.

His philosophy of life is summed up in the quote, “Risk is the tariff paid to leave the shores of predictable misery. The best fruit is not on the trunk of a tree; it’s on the limb.”

In other words, he is not scared to take a chance in life or in food and that  philosophy has made him one of the most well known chefs in the world.
When Folse opened Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant in 1978 in Donaldsonville, he set out to market his restaurant by taking “a taste of Louisiana” worldwide. He introduced Louisiana’s indigenous cuisine to Japan in 1985, Beijing in 1986 and Hong Kong and Paris in 1987. In 1988, Folse made international headlines with the opening of “Lafitte’s Landing East” in Moscow during the Presidential Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1989, Folse was the first non-Italian chef to create the Vatican State Dinner in Rome. 

Like I said, he’s famous.

According to Chef Folse:
“There is an old jazz saying here in Louisiana:  - ‘mo is betta!’ In the world of cooking, this is the greatest fallacy - “simplicity is betta." The simple flavors are the ones we long for day in and day out. Like all great artists, chefs must create a style that is recognizable. In order to stand out, you should stay true to your roots, stay true to your region and stay true to your heart and soul.”

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