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Monday, Aug. 28, 2017

Glitz & Grits 2017 Preview

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When it comes to enjoying the Cajun tastes of Louisiana, you will be hard-pressed to eat anything better than a meal prepared by Chef John Folse.

Sept. 16, you will have a chance to not only enjoy some of his culinary creations, but learn a few of his “secrets.”

Chef Folse – perhaps the state’s most acclaimed chef – will be cooking the food – and hosting a cooking demonstration – for guests at Glitz and Grits, the everyother-year fund-raiser for and at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum.

Individual tickets ($175 per person) and tables of eight (various price levels) are available by calling the museum at 632- 2020. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., with the event from 7-11 p.m.

Menu

The Grist Mill

Guest's choice of Chef John Folse's white, yellow or blue stone-ground grits accompanied by sautéed bay shrimp, Spanishstyle beef grillades or crawfi sh cardinale seafood gumbo.

White OaK SALAD

Selected seasonal lettuces tossed to order with guest's choice of roasted, marinated red and gold beets, heirloom tomatoes, English cucumbers, Bunoise carrots, soft goat cheese, candied pecans and marinated strawberries. Dressings: Cane syrup vinaigrette, extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and balsamic glaze.

OLD SMOKEY: CHARUTERIE & BOUCHERIE

Chef's selection of local and housesmoked sausages, smoked and cured salmon, trout and squaw candy.

Assorted plantation pickles and chutneys, hot sauces and Creole mustard.

Baked, sliced breads, cut house rolls and corn bread.

PETITE PATISSERIE

Chef's selection of mini-portions of classic New Orleans and Louisiana desserts including mini-pecan pies, lemon and chocolate doberge and Creole cream cheese cheesecakes.

“I don’t get up to Shreveport as often as I should,” Folse said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to interact with my North Louisiana audience, which has always been so supportive of my work. I also look forward to answering their questions about cooking!” “He is Louisiana’s culinary ambassador to the world,” said Margaret Green, chairperson for this year’s event. "Many people have experienced John Folse’s restaurants or his cooking at events in South Louisiana – not as much in Shreveport. We feel it’s going to be a wonderful occasion for people to meet and interact with him and enjoy his food preparation and visit with him.”

In addition to quality food, quality artists will also be on hand. They include Bruce Odell, three-time U.S. Pottery Olympics Champion, and Tanya Dischler,

an artist from South Louisiana.

Music will be provided by Joey V and the Vindicators, a band playing '70s and '80s rock.

“We view it as the first social event of the fall for people to reconnect and visit with their friends and enjoy the arts,” Green said. “It’s just a fun event for people to meet and greet their friends and visit and experience various forms of art at the same time.”

The museum’s largest fund-raiser, Glitz and Grits began in the 1980s as a yearly event. In 1992, it became a biennial event.

“The name initially was applied to the dress, to come Glitzy or Gritzy,” Green explained. “Anyone is welcome. We are really here for the entire community, depending on what you enjoy."

However, as time passed, the name stayed the same, but the dress code changed.

“It started as black-tie, but it’s become a more casual world,” Green said. “We’ve noticed a progression toward more casual, and we encourage that. The weather is warm, and many of the events are outside, so we encourage a more dressy-casual atmosphere.”

Green hopes this year’s event, billed as “What’s Cookin’ at the Museum,” will bring in close to $100,000.

“The state maintains our staff and building maintenance,” Green said. “However, the State of Louisiana does not provide funds for any exhibits."

Therefore, the money raised from Glitz and Grits will help pay for exhibits that, Green hopes, will educate and enlighten museum visitors throughout the year.

“It brings the community together,” Green said of the museum. “It allows for an exchange of ideas and opinions in a very gentlemanly-like way. It’s very beneficial for our community to come together at various events and learn about each other, and perhaps we can grow and express our appreciation for other ideas and cultures.”

Louisiana’s culture – especially that of South Louisiana – is one that Chef Folse has turned into worldwide notoriety. In 1978, he opened Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant in Donaldsonville. Folse used its success to introduce the state’s unique tastes to people in countries from Russia to China to Italy.

For Folse, his visit to Shreveport will be a homecoming.

“Most people don’t know that I actually lived in Shreveport in the early 1980s,” Folse said. “I came to love the restaurant industry in Shreveport while I was working at Howard Johnson’s on Monkhouse Drive by the airport. Because I am somewhat a native, I feel a certain kinship with my North Louisiana audience.”

And with him, Chef Folse will bring a caravan of equipment, allowing him to prepare a menu featuring grits, a white oak salad, a selection of house-smoked sausages and fish, and classic New Orleans and Louisiana desserts.

“His preparation and how they do that is just phenomenal,” Green said. “They have semi trucks equipped as kitchens. They will drive those up here and do the food prep on site in these big, especiallydesigned commercial kitchens that they use.” “When feeding the masses, I always remember there are thousands of different taste preferences in my audience,” Folse said. “I always make sure I have a varied menu so that each guest will find something they love.”

During his cooking demonstration, Chef Folse will show and tell how to prepare shrimp and grits, a Louisiana favorite. He will also be available to sign his cookbooks and take pictures.

“I always make it fun,” Folse said. “I share interesting and little-known tips with my audience, and I always try to emphasize seasonal and regional cuisine in my presentations.”

“He is very much a people person, a very outgoing person,” Green said. “He likes to interact with the party attendees.”

No matter if you’re dressed for Glitz or Grits.

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