A Taste of Louisiana with Chef John… | Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Main Menu
CLOSE close
passport_logo SHOP LPB (0)


A Taste of Louisiana with Chef John Folse & Company

A Taste of Louisiana with Chef John Folse & Company

In this series, world-renowned Cajun and Creole chef John Folse examines Louisiana’s culinary history and celebrates the French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, American Indian and African influences on Louisiana’s cuisine. Filmed before a live audience, the program combines music, history and of course, great cooking. 

Please Specify Episode Number in the notes field below.

1101 Native America 1: Poverty Point At the time Ramses II was ruling Egypt, Moses was leading the Israelites from bondage and the Phoenicians were trading along the Mediterranean, Native Americans were thriving at Poverty Point in northeastern Louisiana. Jon Gibson, an expert on the Poverty Point settlement, introduces us to this unique civilization. David Griffing of Poverty Point explains how these early Americans were ingenious in their “hot rock” cooking and demonstrates how to prepare steamed fish. Donna Pierite performs Native American songs during the show. 

1102 Native America 2: Sportsman’s Paradise Before agriculture, hunting and fishing were the primary food sources for the Native American tribes of Louisiana. While they hunted deer, game birds and small animals, they also enjoyed a bountiful harvest of fish and shellfish. David Griffing, a Louisiana park ranger and Native American expert, gives us insight on our first Americans. Bertney Langley and his mother, Loris, of the Coushatta tribe, demonstrate how to make fry bread, a traditional Native American food. Hazel Dardar performs Native American songs during the show. 

1103 Native America 3: Native Plant Foods The Lower Mississippi Valley provided over 250 natural herbs for the Native Americans. Kim Hollier and Dr. Charles M. Allen of the Louisiana State Arboretum in Ville Platte give us a firsthand look at these wild edibles. Dr. Alma Blanchard, a “traiteur,” explains the art of this alternative medicine practice and even treats Chef Folse for an old injury. Hazel Dardar performs Native American songs during the show.

1104 France 4: New World Exploration The 17th century ushered in history’s Era of Colonization. New places grew across the landscape: New Spain, New France, New England and New Scotland. But, exploration was tough business. Whoever controlled the new land also controlled the riches within it. Chef Folse introduces us to some of Louisiana’s most famous, and infamous, pioneers. The boucherie, or hog killing, is one of the most celebrated events in Louisiana. Chef Folse visits with his brother Jerry, Buddy Bailey and Lucien “Troop” Perkins as they demonstrate how to make red boudin. Neil and Donna Wilkinson perform traditional music from the French colonial period.

1105 France 5: Fort St. Jean Baptiste and the Colonial Frontier Early settlers faced many hardships in taming Louisiana’s wilderness. There were no formal communities or laws, food was scarce and there were very few women. Chef Folse visits with Rick Seale at Fort St. Jean Baptiste in Natchitoches about life on the Louisiana frontier. Then, Darren Vermillion demonstrates how to make corn and venison stew. Neil and Donna Wilkinson perform traditional music from the French colonial period.

1106 France 6: The Ursulines Chef Folse explores the contributions of Louisiana’s unlikely pioneers: the missionaries, priests and nuns. Sister Joan Marie Aycock introduces us to a bit of Louisiana’s early “morality” and the contributions of the Ursuline nuns. Chef Folse visits with Tommy Adkins as he demonstrates French bread making on the Louisiana frontier. Celeste Veillon and musicians from the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra perform religious pieces appropriate to Louisiana’s French colonial period.

1107 Cajun 7: Expulsion from Nova Scotia Dr. Carl Brasseaux and Mary Anne Pecot de Boisblanc tell the tragic tale of Louisiana’s Acadians or “Cajuns.” Following intense hardship, expulsion from Nova Scotia, murder, and exploitation, the Acadians were welcomed to Louisiana’s shores. Chef Folse joins Buddy Bailey and Lucien “Troop” Perkins at the annual Boucherie as they create andouille sausage, a Cajun delicacy. The Larry Miller band performs Cajun favorites.

1108 Cajun 8: Louisiana’s Cajuns Join Dr. Carl Brasseaux, Brenda Trahan and Jane Bulliard as they explore the arrival of the first Acadians on Louisiana soil. Cracklins, a common Cajun snack, are made by Prince Davis, who also introduces us to the “Cadillac of cracklins.” Johnette Downing entertains with fun Cajun songs, especially for kids.

1109 Spain 9: Spanish Rule Spain was one of the first countries to explore the New World and was responsible for Louisiana’s system of laws, the architecture of the “French” quarter and the food markets of New Orleans. Dr. Paul E. Hoffman introduces us to early Spanish Louisiana. Chef Folse along with Tee Wayne Abshire and Ricky Breaux demonstrate how to make jambalaya, one of Louisiana’s most common dishes, which was inspired by Spanish paella. Neil and Donna Wilkinson perform traditional music from the Spanish colonial period.

1110 Spain 10: Fort Los Adaes In the 1700s, the Spanish border was just six miles from the French fort at Natchitoches. Fort Los Adaes became a Spanish stronghold, greatly influencing the culture and cuisine of northwest Louisiana. Ray Berthelot and Corneil Cox explore this intriguing Spanish story. Chef Folse visits Marie Roque, a Creole from Cane River, for a lesson in traditional meat pie making. Neil and Donna Wilkinson perform traditional music from the Spanish colonial period.

1111 Spain 11: Los Islenos Hurricane Katrina focused attention on Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish, home of the resilient, proud and hopeful Islenos descendants. Dorothy Benge introduces us to these wonderful people and the unique heritage of these Canary Islanders. Chef Folse visits Rhonda Gautier in Natchitoches, La. as she prepares the tamale, a great food contribution of the Spanish. Neil and Donna Wilkinson perform traditional music from the Spanish colonial period.

1112 Africa 12: African Slavery in Louisiana While the Africans contributed to the agriculture of the state, they certainly left their mark on the cuisine of Louisiana as well. Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, an authority on the African-American experience, introduces us to these ingenious culinarians by tracing their heritage from Africa to the cane fields, cotton patches and kitchens of South Louisiana. Chef Folse joins Chef Don Mastroni and Pearlie Jefferson at the Old Coffee Pot in New Orleans to make rice, or “calla” cakes, a favorite snack of New Orleanians. Judy Whitney Davis performs fabulous “spirituals” or “corn ditties.”

1113 Africa 13: Foods of Africa Foods such as yams, red beans, rice, melons, okra and eggplant are indigenous to West Africa, the ancestral homeland of most of Louisiana’s African-Americans. Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall and Professor Eileen Julian give audiences an insight on the roots of much of Louisiana’s African-American cuisine. Chef Leah Chase gives Chef Folse a lesson on making Gumbo Des Herbes, a traditional Holy Thursday dish. Judy Whitney Davis entertains the audience with “songs from the big house and songs from the field.” 

1114 Africa 14: Famous African-Americans Louisiana is home to many famous African-Americans. Tiwanna Simpson introduces us to “King” Oliver, Mahalia Jackson, Fats Domino and Louis Armstrong. In West Africa, chicken was a festive dish served to honored guests. Ann Green and Chef Folse make Guinea Hen Gumbo, a prized entrée for the Sunday dinner table in Louisiana. Eric Baskin performs pieces immortalized by famous African-Americans.

1115 Germany 15: German Immigration in the 1700s  John Law, a Scottish financier, lured Germans to Louisiana with a propaganda campaign entitled “The Magnificent Country of Louisiana.” When the Germans finally arrived after suffering grueling circumstances, they became fabulous farmers and saved the city of New Orleans from famine… twice. Glenn Falgoust enlightens us with the story of Louisiana’s German ancestors. Chef Folse visits Henryk Orlik, a German beer maker, at his Heiner Brau brewery in Covington, La. for a quick lesson in beer making. Julie Council and band members perform traditional German music.

1116 Germany 16: The German Coast The first Germans to arrive in Louisiana settled in the River Parishes on the outskirts of New Orleans. Glenn Falgoust shares the story of what has come to be known in Louisiana as the German Coast. Like many other cultures, the Germans celebrated the boucherie, or hog butchering. Chef Folse joins his brothers and a few good friends to celebrate this tradition. Bob Cheney, a one-man-show, plays traditional German songs on his accordion.

1117 Germany 17: The Germans of New Orleans, Minden and Robert’s Cove Germans immigrated to Louisiana in three waves, settling in various areas of the state. Frieda Arwe, Susie Lester and Josie Thevis guide us through their respective German communities in New Orleans, Minden and Robert’s Cove. Sauerkraut making, shredding and salting cabbages in large barrels, was common among German Coast descendents. Chef Folse joins Frieda Arwe to make a batch of this traditional dish. Bob Cheney, a one-man-show, plays traditional German songs on his accordion.

1118 England 18: English Louisiana Though France and Spain are known for their Louisiana colonization efforts, the English had a significant impact as well, especially in the Florida parishes. Libby Dart, a historian from St. Francisville, shares the story of Louisiana’s English heritage. Jane Dunn, a forager, gives Chef Folse a lesson on wild edibles and cooks up a delicious omelet. Dudley Smith and Smithfield Fair perform delightful pieces representative of the British influence in Louisiana.

1119 England 19: Rosedown Plantation One of the most extravagant houses in the Old South was Rosedown Plantation in West Feliciana Parish. Mary Thompson, the great-, great-granddaughter of the builders of this home, gives us a glimpse of a lifestyle that is now “gone with the wind.” The English are notorious for mixing their liquor with sweets. Anne Butler, a seventh generation owner of Butler-Greenwood Plantation, and her cousin Bob, indulge Chef Folse’s taste buds with Whiskey Cake. Dudley Smith and Smithfield Fair perform delightful pieces representative of the British influence in Louisiana

1120 England 20: The Battle of New Orleans Although the American colonies declared themselves independent of Great Britain in 1776, true liberty was not achieved until 1783. But war raged again and Great Britain hoped to capture the mouth of the Mississippi River. Aly Baltrus visits with us about the Battle of New Orleans, and the victory that changed the course of American history. Chef Folse joins John Seago of Pontchartrain Vineyards in Covington, La. as they poach pears in his famous “Port of New Orleans.” Rosemary John entertains with the bagpipe, an instrument played by the British during the Battle of New Orleans.

1121 Italy 21: Italian Immigration to America Oppression, religious freedom, heavy taxes and deplorable working conditions brought many immigrants to the New World. The Italians were no different. Disappointed and betrayed by their government, many Sicilians emigrated from the harbor of Palermo to the port of New Orleans. Joe Maselli enlightens audiences with the story of Louisiana’s Italian immigrants and their culinary contributions. One of the great food contributions of the Italians was the muffaletto. Chef Folse visits with Norma Jean Webb, of Nor-Joe Import Co. in New Orleans, as they prepare this world-famous sandwich. Bobby Lonero and the New Orleans Express entertain the audience with traditional Italian favorites.

1122 Italy 22: Italian Entrepreneurs The Italians came to America with very few possessions, but it was not long before they were “making good” in Louisiana. Joe Maselli introduces us to these Italian truck farmers, citrus importers, grocers, restaurateurs and ultimately, entrepreneurs of Louisiana’s food industry. Chef Folse joins Phyllis Fresina, of Fresina’s Pasta Company, as she demonstrates how to make a simple, authentic Italian dish. Bobby Lonero and the New Orleans Express entertain the audience with traditional Italian favorites.

1123 Italy 23: St. Joseph’s Day Altars Not only did the Italians bring a tremendous work ethic to Louisiana, they came with a love of family and an incredible faith. The St. Joseph Day altars are a true testament to their strong beliefs. Margo Battaglia Clement and Margaret Teeter introduce audiences to this continuing Sicilian and South Louisiana tradition. Chef Folse visits with Sandra Scalise Juneau as she prepares a fresh batch of her fabulous cuccidatta, or fig-filled cookies. Bobby Lonero and the New Orleans Express entertain the audience with traditional Italian favorites. 

1124 Creoles 24: New Orleans’ Creoles “Creole” is a word in evolution. Chef Folse considers all of our native people Creole, a mixture of the fabulous cultures that make up the Bayou State. The New Orleans Creoles were the aristocracy, the society folks of the early city. Jan Bradford of the Hermann-Grima House introduces us to these fascinating people. Because Louisianians are known both for their love of food and love of drinking, it is fitting that Kerri McCaffety, author of The Obituary Cocktail, helps Chef Folse make a batch of ratifia. Members of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra play pieces representing the Creole period of early Louisiana. 

1125 Creoles 25: The Creoles of Cane River Once a forgotten people, the Creoles of Cane River, have preserved their culture through faith, tradition and an incredible family unit. The family unit is as strong today as it was when their ancestors, Marie Therese Coincoin and Claude Thomas Metoyer, were alive. Terrell Delphin and his daughter Daphne enlighten us with the story of their unique heritage just outside of Natchitoches, La. Chef Folse joins Lillie Delphin as she prepares baked cushaw, a favorite Creole dish. Willis Prudhomme entertains the Creoles of Cane River with traditional Zydeco music.

1126 German Christmas  Chef Folse celebrates a traditional German Christmas with Glenn Falgoust, Frieda Arwe and Josie Thevis as they share stories of German contributions to the cultural fabric of Louisiana. Even St. Nicholas joins in the kitchen fun. Frieda Arwe of the German-American Cultural Center in Gretna teaches Chef Folse to make a traditional German drink, Gluehwein. Julie Council and band members perform traditional German Christmas music.

(The Complete Set of 26 episodes is available. Click here!)

NOTE: Please Specify Episode Number in the notes field below.

$25.00

Back to all products.

Copies of LPB programs are available only in return for your donations (in the listed amounts) to Louisiana Public Broadcasting. (Plus $5.00 added for shipping and handling per item). Thank you for supporting LPB!