Gator at the Games
Beverly Stephen / July 27th, 2012
As far as we know, there won’t be any wrestling matches with alligators at the summer Olympics but there will be gator sausage in a Gulf seafood gumbo served to as many as 1,000 American athletes and thier families a day over a four day period. “Spirit of the Gulf” events sponsored by BP will also showcase Gulf Coast bands.
John Folse, often called the ambassador of Louisiana cuisine, is leading a team of eight Gulf Coast chefs recruited by BP to showcase the seafood of the region during the 2012 Olympic games. Other participating chefs come from Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Mississippi’s Calvin Coleman (Naomi’s Catering, Gulfport) is making the seafood and gator sausage gumbo while his compatriot Chris Poplin (IP Casino, Biloxi) serves up Southern BBQ shrimp with smoked sausage, green onion and goat cheese grits. Florida chefs will chime in with grouper Jubilee (Chris Sherrill, Staycations Catering & EAT restaurant, Orange Beach), crispy pan-seared swordfish (Justin Timmer, executive chef, Florida Department of Agriculture), and grouper with onion-corn relish and creamy crab sauce (Paul Stellato, Firefly, Panama City Beach). From Galatoire’s in New Orleans Michael Sichel brings crabmeat maison. Folse himself will be offering the ultimate Louisiana crab cakes with roasted red pepper cream sauce.
Recipes will be prepared at the Chef John Folse & Company manufacturing plant in Donaldsonville, Louisiana which has an estimated capacity of 100,000 million pounds a year (see One Hundred Million Pound Man, Food Arts, June 2008) and shipped frozen to Heathrow. “We are shipping three pallets of product via UPS to London with a total weight of 2,481 pounds, “ Folse reports.
In addition to manufacturing, Folse has been busy on the restaurant front this year. He just opened Restaurant R’evolution with Rick Tramonto in New Orleans. Read all about their new take on traditional cuisine in the September issue of Food Arts in “Creole Kings.”