Inside Chef John Folse’s empire

Ever wondered how frozen gumbo-in-a-tub got into that tub?  Tour Chef John Folse’s maufacturing facility in Donaldsonville on Fridays between 11 am and 2 pm, with an advance appointment.  His USDA-inspected production plant is enormous, turning out everything from dry mixes to heat-n-eat entrees.  Props to the chef for building his business at home in Louisiana, even though his operation developed menu items for T.G.I. Fridays.

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6 thoughts on “Inside Chef John Folse’s empire

  1. I’ve never had any of Folse’s prepared food but I don’t understand all the fuss surrounding him. I bought that mammoth cookbook of his because everyone was raving about it but it doesn’t do much for me. It’s unnecessarily long (and heavy) and a lot of the recipes look way off. Too much garlic and too much roux. For example there’s a recipe for crab cakes that calls for 1/4 cup of garlic to one pound of crabmeat. No thanks.

    • I have the cookbook, too–there are a few nuggets in it, but it’s ridiculously unwieldy. And I really wish he’d hired an historian to write the intro section of the book, which is long, rambling, and not terribly precise in more than a few spots.

  2. I suspect that history section is more padding, like the repeated recipes and unnecessary pictures. Any recipes you can think of offhand that are worth doing?

    • What I meant by nuggets weren’t really recipes I’d use, but rather very traditional, home-cooking recipes that don’t make it to cookbooks—yet they represent bedrock cajun home cooking. Like recipes for potato stew and smothered potatoes: two recipes familiar to so many, but they’re not represented in many published accounts of cajun/creole cooking. Stuff I don’t need a recipe for!

    • I certainly DO eat some of his products: the bulgarian style yogurts are good, his Bittersweet brand creole cream cheese is a quality product, and the aged cheeses are uniformly good. No, I don’t buy his heat & eat foods, but I don’t buy anyone’s heat and eat foods. He’s an excellent businessman, by anyone’s measure. I’m all for value-added products manufactured in rural Louisiana; homegrown entrepreneurs make our economy grow.

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