Chef John Folse On TV And On The Book Shelf

Chef John Folse Conquers TV And Books.  It was a long and interesting road.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Hello everyone and welcome back to the food show this is 105 point three Debbie Debbie LF MHD two my name is Ron implement waiter I'm sitting and for Tom Fitzmorris. I've got across from me leading authority on cajun and creole cuisine and culture he was the 1987 Louisiana restaurant tour of the year. Also the 99 the American culinary federation. National chef of the air shaft John false all right Gerri great to be here thank you so much. You're welcome. We. I grew up watching you want PBS TV on Saturday mornings with. Tell me how that got started. While that's a that's a great that's a great story who one Sunday afternoon. Back in nineteen in our our member 1987. I walked in DeMar restaurant walk and that'll lounge at the feet landing at the sunshine bridge. And sitting at a ball arm was Justin Wilson. The great rock or two or you know to great Kook in TV personality. Justin Wilson got a start and PDF in Mississippi I Mississippi Public Broadcasting. And he had come to new he had come to Louisiana. I think he had worked in public broadcasting here. But he ended up at LPB and back rouge Louisiana public broadcasting. And out. And he and Julia Child had just about opened PBS and cooking too good to America. What many cooks. On TV before Julia John Justin Wilson. Well. I walked into a barn on nude Johnson from just passed a vibrant. When I walked right when I walked up and you said I've been waiting for you don't want to talk to you about something. He's I just decided I'm not gonna do anymore. PBS shows. In Louisiana. I'm not gonna do any of these. Shows how many I begin this person off my telephone here. But anyway it. Just unfair and you know. I'm gonna give you name to PBS. And hopefully. They might ally made it might let you take my show on PBS Jonathan Kaye. That's a well why don't we. A while we think about that little bit I'll never done television. Until it pretty easy so if I can do that anybody can Africa and also what why you leave any farewell. I'm just on the armed gun and I just need to. To do something else in recent -- given me your name so hopefully they'll they'll that you do it so PBS I ask me. If I would do a special farm called a taste of Louisiana. Thanksgiving what would the key agencies have eaten on that first Thanksgiving weekend at 1760. A Sonoma and you have to be kidding I knew nothing about research at that time and I'd never done doubt they'd rather than a morning show. But. Lo and behold PBS. Called fair and let us walk you through we think he'd be good. So in 1988. I didn't offer special for PB aftertaste to Louisiana. And get a one hour special. The cajun Thanksgiving. And luckily I don't know how it happened but luckily diffuse light can PBS decide to give him thirteen part series. And he gave it to me and then. Ended up being in do in a 26 part series since 1988 you know I've been on national PBS and you know I get. I get. Calls and emails from our troops in war zones and people around the world whose eases the amount shall start television in Europe and Asia are. While armed forces television. It's wonderful ability to message of Louisiana cooking and so far out there but it's always thought Justin Wilson. Recommended reading help PB. To take his place and I've been on it have a sense. When did you decide director first cookbook. Well to be good to be honest that was a product of a public broadcaster and as well. Because in order to have a PBS show you really be done on offering. And I'd always been Hollywood writing a cookbook but you know I had no distribution ability. You know oddly enough the monitor printed no publisher was Luke and John Paul's club book. And at that but when I got that went and when I received the gift of a PBS show from Justin Wilson. And the first thing on me it was a book so I'd already started doing and managed appears before. And it ended up being my little yellow book that so many people have evolution of cajun and creole cuisine and I went to new yard. Ask a moral publishing if they would do my book for PBS. And they gave me a big run around a really big rock. Paula did Paul Prudhomme had been duped publishing with moral. And when I sat in the chair with smaller Otis said. That I needed an agent and comfortable what I need an agent part is that well. To do represented here so I'm here. And we but he's still the image out toward the gonna do fog. Anyway make a long story sharp. The kind of kicked me out instead. If you if you don't have an agent we can represent you and whip out an agent and went out of book. You know I'm a book deal you know you just don't have hawk came home miserable about it but took a chance to go to my local bank and give they would. Allow me a little small loans to print cookbooks. And I printed my cookbook. Evolution which became popular it sold out it was on PBS's first show and from my hair. Down eleven major books after that all in my own publishing companies so the fact that moral wouldn't let me comment about an agent. I've got involved publishing company how long did it take you put the rest pieced together for your first yellow book as I've got that book. Well it was kind of a calculation of recipes I don't drop life and and again comet one and one girl work in an office who type them on and we know how to format a recipe it was a challenge. But we kind of dated the way people do things. And it became bare successful. And so it took probably about two years to do it. Unlike my latest books which takes about five years to do their thousand pages of but you know I doubt it got me into my own publishing company. It got me into the business of books which is don't that we can make money it will create you cannot. Make money and cookbook on laughs yep publishing and distribution yourself and it's it's difficult to do in their fortunes of the news. It's nice to be here and agencies. Yeah it is but again. I guess some borrowed and realized you talk and cajun didn't quite understand why I need an age its peak and that. But I but it is still is the world of business. Well thought out I think you have borrowed big books where it's called after the hunt. That that I'll have the hugged. The history of hunting. Has become. My most popular book. And and that was really kind of disturbing to me because. The encyclopedia of cajun creole cuisine is right yes that's the book that we really put our heart and soul into not that we didn't hear. But I really wanted to scale. The story of Louisiana cooking from its all orchard a really wanted to go all we have to all origin are cooking. And we did we spent 56 years putting netbook together. It was an immediate hit we sold out of first printing of that book in the first three days. It was a major hit national. And from that book. We were the sole property of the encyclopedia of cajun creole cuisine it's a number ones out. But after the hunt today ten years later. Has become our most popular book because every body. Every household is hot. Every state has harbors. Potter is from Louisiana hot internationally and has more hunting camps a year. And in my antigen a Mars than anywhere else in the country. That book. Is on just about every. Hunters bookshelves that book just about on every hunting camp kitchen table. So it's become a very very popular book on their product bout of I have to. When did you decide to do this book. Well again it followed PBS series all of my books follow PBS fox in fact if it's not for PBS on all think out of the courage to right. But knowing that I have to have a book. If you do a PBS series. Are we decide on the C re is we choose to recipes for that Siri which is 26 point everyone as five issues. So we're already know we need a hundred recipes to do the theory is and then from there that's the base of the book so after the heart when I did have that a hard. PBS theory is. We produce that both cried dire and it became. Again like a C one of our top sellers. How about blue sugary I know you've you've just started this teaching people how to. Just take an animal and just go from. From the very beginning. Straight to the table out how to boost her re get started. Well you know around one of my and ranks highest in question because. One of my great commitments. Not own them student technical statement the mob style for John Paulson company and to my public whoever great public. That supports everything we do and I can never thank them enough. What do you do for our Bryant. But are realized at some point that writing a book we wrote we were the PBS series my radio show for so many years. That we really had an obligation to preserve tradition and we will be called upon. To be a voice to preserve traditions of Louisiana. And with seven great nations beginning with the native Americans the French. You know the Spanish they're Germans Italians the English Africans who came into slavery. I just knew that we had to tell that story so. The bush freedom we do it white oak on that third weekend. Of February every year. Brings an end. I this year which 212100. Butchers. And a hundred champs who flew into Baton Rouge. On the third Saturday of February and already is my own animals. Hillary is heritage hall of charity for its heritage and tradition Dirk is on the on the plant and is this wide up farmland white oak on. And I realized that there was such I'd be it. For the us last year and I'll both free Mexico was dire Canada was how why it was there. 200 butchers in chip short opinion only way to come in be a part of that. And go to bush tree is about preserving traditions everything we do. At white oak is to preserve the traditions of the seven nations that founded Louisiana. So white oak plantation and farm. In Baton Rouge sits on 25 acres. And it's open that a public anybody can come anytime they want it's also be catering facilities on what we encourage people to stop body is no. Feed a common walked ground we have our treatments. We have lakes that stocked with fish with heritage animals. We have. I you've entered my antique tractor collector and I guess I have right error John Deere tractors from the 1930s. And nineteen Paula it is. Everything that we're building a new steel that we do but urban and we do and wrong. We re doing sugar grinding buyer so it's all about everything I wanna do for the rest of my life is to make sure. That did great gifts that we given to us. Other nations who founded Louisiana. A preserve. And authentic fashion mark culinary school is all about. My books are about that might televisions about that and of course my. My ventures that white oak plantation farming is about preserving. Traditions and dude I accurately. Radically. And freak at a public I mean we want people to experience. Its like pass and down black iron to the family and no it absolutely is and and I think our obligation as the new generation. Is that not forget. That these people who came to Louisiana and seventeen well would be in building seven in 699. And then the first settlers in a city found that 1720. It is our obligation to respect what he did the lives they gave. The food ingredients they gave us that culinary technique the philosophy of the kitchen. It's our obligation is cooks and chefs to keep these traditions alive for future generation that's what do. That's my main goal. That sounds great I'll never forget the black iron that I soft my family through the years. This is run of a minute later with the food show one of five point three Debbie Debbie LF MHD two.