Louisiana Chef John Folse will be the featured chef at this year’s Natchez Food and Wine Festival. He will host a luncheon and meal presentation on July 26 at Rolling River Bistro. (Submitted photo)
Louisiana Chef John Folse will be the featured chef at this year’s Natchez Food and Wine Festival. He will host a luncheon and meal presentation on July 26 at Rolling River Bistro. (Submitted photo)

Star chef John Folse will reign at annual food festival

Published 12:03am Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One of the kings of Cajun cuisine will reign supreme in Natchez later this month as he joins chefs from Memphis to New Orleans for the 14th annual Natchez Food and Wine Festival.

Louisiana chef and restaurant owner John Folse will showcase this year’s event, which aims to pair the region’s most prominent chefs with culinary enthusiasts from across the area, committee chair René Adams said.

“We’ve always been about trying to take this event to the next level, and having John Folse come really puts us as one of the top culinary events in the southeastern tourism society,” Adams said. “This is what we’ve been waiting for, and I think it’s going to benefit Natchez so much.”

Adams said she was able to persuade Folse, who has been a major influence for her as a local chef and restaurant owner, to attend this year’s festival after a chance meeting with him on Lake St. John.

Adams got wind that Folse was hunting on Giles Island in April and asked the hunting club manager for an introduction to the famed Louisiana chef.

“It was like something out of a dream, because for me it was like meeting one of the Beetles,” she said. “He comes up riding on this little boat with a small motor and then all of a sudden here’s this guy that I’ve longed to meet for 15 years, and it was the most exciting thing in the world for me.”

Adams said she began discussing the Food and Wine Festival with Folse, and he agreed to be a part of this year’s event.

Apart from being the emcee of the festival’s first event, Tastings Along the River, July 25 at the Natchez Convention Center, Folse will also host a luncheon and meal presentation July 26 at Rolling River Bistro.

Folse and his culinary team will present a four-course meal showcasing meals from the Port of New Orleans to the Port of Natchez.

Folse will interact with the group and speak about the menu, as well as his new cookbook.

The luncheon will feature special wine and cocktail pairings that Adams said will accompany the ingredients Folse will pick from each port area, which will also include the Port of Baton Rouge and the Port of Donaldsonville.

The remainder of the events throughout the weekend will feature a variety of chefs from restaurants across the South.

Tickets can be purchased online at natchezfoodandwinefest.com.