Featured Speaker: Poppy Tooker

poppy tooker

We're thrilled that Poppy Tooker will lead the Sustainable Eating session at IFBC New Orleans!

Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table. Poppy brings all of these elements to the table in her weekly radio show, “Louisiana Eats” which airs on WWNO-FM, the New Orleans NPR affiliate.

Poppy’s on-camera flair has made her a sought after guest on the Food Network and the History Channel. She provides weekly restaurant commentary on the PBS show, “Steppin’ Out” seen on WYES TV. Her book, “The Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook” received a Tabasco cookbook award and as named “Cookbook of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine.

With her motto, “Eat It To Save It”, Poppy has been instrumental in reviving many endangered foods and food traditions. She was recognized by the Times Picayune as a “Hero of the Storm” for her work reviving New Orleans restaurants and food providers following Hurricane Katrina. The International Association of Cooking Professionals recognized Poppy’s rebuilding efforts at their annual conference in April 2008, with their first ever, Community Service Award.

For over 25 years Poppy’s classes have centered on history and tradition as well as the food science reasons of why and how while remaining eminently entertaining. Food and Wine magazine described Poppy’s teaching techniques by saying "She may wear ceramic red beans in her ears and make finger puppets out of crawfish, but her class is certainly no joke. Rather, it compels you to take reams of notes so as not to forget a single nugget of her fascinating culinary wisdom."

Check out Poppy's blog: http://poppytooker.com/Home.html
Follow her on Twitter @PoppyT
Find her on Facebook!

Featured Chef and Speaker: John Folse

chef john folse

Chef John Folse will speak and show his famed cooking skills in an hour-long demonstration on Saturday afternoon at IFBC New Orleans!

Chef John Folse, born in St. James Parish in 1946, learned early that the secrets of Cajun cooking lay in the unique ingredients of Louisiana’s swamp floor pantry. Folse seasoned these raw ingredients with his passion for Louisiana culture and cuisine, and from his cast iron pots emerged Chef John Folse & Company.

When Folse opened Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant in 1978 in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, he set out to market his restaurant by taking “a taste of Louisiana” worldwide. He introduced Louisiana’s indigenous cuisine to Japan in 1985, Beijing in 1986 and Hong Kong and Paris in 1987. In 1988, Folse made international headlines with the opening of “Lafitte’s Landing East” in Moscow during the Presidential Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1989, Folse was the first non-Italian chef to create the Vatican State Dinner in Rome. Promotional restaurants also included London in 1991 and 1993, Bogota in 1991, Taipei in 1992 and 1994 and Seoul in 1994. In 1988, the Sales and Marketing Executives of Greater Baton Rouge named Folse “Marketer of the Year” and the Louisiana Legislature gave him the title of “Louisiana’s Culinary Ambassador to the World.”

The international success of Folse’s cornerstone property, Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant, spawned the incorporation of several other Chef John Folse & Company properties. White Oak Plantation in 1986 established Folse’s catering and events management division. Chef John Folse & Company Publishing, since 1989, has produced nine cookbooks in his Cajun and Creole series, plus a novel, two children’s books and a religious memoir by other authors. “A Taste of Louisiana” is Folse’s international television series produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting since 1990. Chef John Folse & Company Manufacturing, since 1991, is one of the few chef-owned food manufacturing companies in America producing custom-manufactured foods for restaurants as well as the retail and food service industries. In January 2005 a new USDA manufacturing plant opened in Donaldsonville, and in 2007 growing demands pushed the plant to expand. In 2008, Folse cut the ribbon of his expanded 68,000 square-foot manufacturing plant.

The John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, opened in October 1994 and is dedicated to the preservation of Louisiana's rich culinary and cultural heritage. In August 1996, Folse began broadcasting his radio cooking talk show, “Stirrin’ It Up.” In 2001, “Stirrin’ It Up” expanded to a television cooking segment during the 5 p.m. newscast on WAFB-TV Channel 9 in Baton Rouge.

Exceptional Endings, the pastry division of Chef John Folse & Company, was launched in 1996 to create specialty desserts, pastries and savories. In October 1998, a fire destroyed the 200-year-old Viala Plantation, which housed Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant, and in May 1999 Folse opened his former Donaldsonville home as Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant at Bittersweet Plantation, offering fine dining and bed and breakfast accommodations. In the year 2000, Folse incorporated Digi-Tek Productions, a full service digital recording studio. In 2002, Bittersweet Plantation Dairy opened, and offers a full line of fresh and aged cheeses, butters, yogurts and ice cream.

In 2010, Folse announced his business partnership with Chef Rick Tramonto and the formation of the new restaurant development company Home on the Range: Folse Tramonto Restaurant Development, LLC. The partners will launch their first joint restaurant, Restaurant R’evolution, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans in the city’s renowned French Quarter in fall 2011. Restaurant R’evolution will offer modern, imaginative reinterpretations of classic Cajun and Creole cuisine.

Folse has received numerous national and international accolades over the course of his 30-plus year career. In 1990, the American Culinary Federation named Folse the “National Chef of the Year,” and in 1999, the Research Chefs Association (RCA) named Chef John Folse & Company "Pioneers in Culinology" due to the efforts of Folse's culinary research team. He is the only chef ever to serve as chairman or president of the American Culinary Federation (1994), DiRōNA (2000-2001), and the Research Chefs Association (2005-2007). In 2006, Folse was inducted into the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s College of Diplomates. In October 2008, Folse was awarded the Louisiana Governor’s Cultural Economic Development Arts Award. He holds honorary Doctorates of Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, and Baltimore International Culinary College.

Thirty years of culinary excellence later, Folse is still adding ingredients to the corporate gumbo he calls Chef John Folse & Company, which is as diverse as the Louisiana landscape, and he would not want it any other way.

Check out the Restaurant R'Evolution blog: http://www.revolutionnola.blogspot.com/
Follow Restaurant R'Evolution on Twitter @RevolutionNOLA
Find them on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Merry-Jennifer Markham

merry-jennifer markham

We happily announce a fantastic speaker for our Time Management session: Merry-Jennifer Markham!

Merry-Jennifer Markham is a self-described "multitasker of the grandest sort." She works full time as a physician (an oncologist) by day and is the author of the home cooking food blog, the Merry Gourmet, by night. Through her blog, she shares her adventures in the kitchen, both good and bad, along with family-friendly original and adapted recipes - including an occasional cocktail recipe, for balance.

Her blog, food writing, and recipes have been featured in the Food News Journal, CNN's Eatocracy, Gourmet Live, and the Los Angeles Times. Her work has also been published in the Florida Times-Union.

She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband, two children, and two cats.

Follow Merry-Jennifer on Twitter @MerryGourmet
Find her on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Kate McDermott!

kate mcdermott

It's a pleasure to announce the lovely Kate McDermott as a speaker for the Recipe Writing & Development session at IFBC NOLA!

Kate McDermott is the creator and founder of Art of the Pie. Since 2006 she has taught the time-honored craft of pie making to thousands. One of the most highly sought-after culinary instructors in the Northwest, Kate is widely acknowledged as one of the best makers of pie ever. Named “Food Rock Star 2010” by Seattle Magazine, Kate has given her Art of the Pie workshop to food luminaries and has received high praise from Ruth Reichl, former editor of Gourmet, Dorie Greenspan, Gluten Free Girl (Shauna Ahern) and many others.

In 2008 her pie was featured in Saveur magazine’s Top 100 Issue and appeared on the cover. She has been written about in numerous books, magazines, and blogs by award-winning authors. Always friendly, fun, and down-to-earth, Kate, a practitioner of kindness, aspires to pass on the craft of pie-making to as many as she can.

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateMcDermott
Find her on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Marissa Brassfield!

marissa brassfield


Thrilled to have Marissa Brassfield at IFBC NOLA to share her knowledge of SEO & Building an Audience and her tips for Time Management!

Marissa Brassfield is an internationally published freelance writer and editor with over 4,500 published online articles and well over 25 million views since mid-2008. This University of Pennsylvania graduate describes herself as "ridiculously efficient"; inspired by vanguards of lifestyle design like Tim Ferriss, Marissa regularly experiments with lifestyle hacks that enable her to remain productive without spending all day cooped up in her home office.

When Marissa isn't blogging, tweeting, or writing and editing for clients, she's usually out gallivanting in her adopted hometown of San Diego.

Featured Speaker: Dianne Jacob

dianne jacob

We are so happy to welcome renowned food writer, Dianne Jacob, to IFBC NOLA! Dianne will speak on the topic of Recipe Writing and Development.

Dianne Jacob is the author of Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More. The first edition won the Cordon D’Or International award for Best Literary Food Reference Book in 2005. The second edition won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award in 2010 for best book in its category in the US.

Her blog, Will Write for Food: Pithy Snippets about Food Writing, covers food writing trends and technique. Her posts have been picked up by Publishers’ Weekly, Chow, Eater, BlogHer and the Food News Journal. She started the blog in 2009 as a way to update her book, which features an extensive chapter on food blogging.

Dianne is also co-author of the cookbook Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas, with chef Craig Priebe, and regularly edits cookbooks for national publishers.

Previously a newspaper, magazine, and publishing company editor-in-chief, Dianne became a full-time writing coach, author, and freelance editor in 1996. She coaches writers across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia on writing and publishing books, freelance articles, and blogs.

Dianne judges books for the James Beard Foundation and for the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual cookbook awards. She has also been a judge for the Bert Greene Award for Food Journalism. A feature she wrote about food blogs was a finalist for a Bert Greene award in 2007.

She has taught classes on food writing for 10 years, including at the Smithsonian Institute and UCLA’s Journalism Department. See her website, www.diannej.com, for more information.

Follow Dianne on Twitter @DianneJ
Find her on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Jamie Schler


jamie schler

Jamie Schler will speak passionately in the session, 'Writing about Food and Culture.'

Jamie is a freelance writer specializing in food and culture. An American living in Europe for over 25 years, her multi-cultural family and kitchen are the source of inspiration for both her cooking and her writing. After working as a culinary guide and interpreter in Paris, an assistant editor/recipe editor for the professional cooking magazine Master Chef and editorial assistant on both a small cookbook and a large coffee table art book, she combined her passions for food and writing to create and author her blog Life's a Feast in 2008. She also writes for the prestigious Huffington Post as a regular contributor to their Food page since April 2010.

Jamie has been published in the Foodista food blog community’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs and Voices. She has been featured in CRUSH, South Africa’s on-line food & wine magazine, Joan Nathan’s Notebook & Recipes, Saveur.com and The Kitchn. She writes the column Destination Dessert for The Rambling Epicure and her recipes appear regularly in the Dutch on-line magazine De Glazen Vork.

Jamie has spoken on the topic food writing, voice & style at Food Blogger Connect in London in 2009 and 2010, The South African Food & Wine Blogger’s Indaba in Cape Town in 2011. She is co-founder of From Plate to Page, an intensive, hands-on workshop dedicated to food writing, styling and photographing where she is writing instructor.

Follow Jamie on Twitter @lifesafeast

Find her on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Chef John Mitzewich of Food Wishes

John Mitzewich


Chef John will share all he knows about creating fantastic video content during the Video session! We're thrilled to have him!

John Mitzewich received his culinary degree from Paul Smith's College, NY, in 1983, and was honored as the school's "Outstanding Chef Training Student." After 15 plus years in the food industry, John was hired as a Chef Instructor at the prestigious California Culinary Academy. After five successful years of teaching, he left to follow his dream of teaching a larger audience online.

His multiple award-winning blog, Food Wishes, has become one of the most visited video recipe sites online, and is home to over 550 original recipe videos. Chef John is also the most-watched cooking teacher on YouTube, with over 100,000 subscribers and 30 million views. Food Wishes has won Saveur Magazine's Best Food Blog Award two years in a row.

Follow Chef John on Twitter @FoodWishes

Find him on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Andrew Scrivani

Andrew Scrivani

Foodista and Zephyr Adventures are very happy to welcome NYTimes photographer, Andrew Scrivani, to IFBC NOLA! Andrew will be leading the Food Styling and Photography session and sharing his essential tips to taking beautiful pictures of food- at any skill level.

About Andrew Scrivani:

Andrew Scrivani is a New York based freelance commercial and editorial photographer, food stylist, writer and blogger. He has been photographing for the New York Times Dining Section since 2002 as well as the Recipes for Health column by Martha Rose Shulman on The New York Times on the Web Fitness and Nutrition section since 2008.

Andrew has most recently completed the photography for Melissa Clark’s new book “Eat This Now” and is one of the featured photographers for the recently launched GILT Taste website. You can read his columns on Food & Photography at The New York Times Diner’s Journal blog and his own personal blog makingSundaySauce

Andrew also teaches workshops and speaks nationally on Food Photography and Styling, which is a natural extension of his life before photography, as a high school teacher and coach.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewScrivani
Find him on Facebook!

Announcing Featured Chef and Speaker: John Besh

john besh

We are thrilled to welcome acclaimed chef, author, and restaurateur, John Besh, to IFBC New Orleans! Chef Besh will not only prepare a special Saturday evening dinner, but will also speak about his career and passion for food.

About Chef Besh:

John Besh is a chef dedicated to the culinary riches of his native southern Louisiana. In his restaurants, entrepreneurial pursuits, and public activities, he preserves and promotes ingredients, techniques, and heritage one mouth-watering dish at a time.

Besh has set the benchmark for fine dining in New Orleans – a town whose identity is bound to its food. Each of his six acclaimed restaurants (August, Besh Steak, Lüke, La Provence, American Sector, and Domenica) celebrates the bounty and traditions of the region.

From the outset of his career, Besh’s talent and drive have earned him continuous kudos: Food & Wine named him one of the “Top 10 Best New Chefs in America” and his flagship restaurant August has featured on the late great Gourmet magazine’s “Guide to America’s Best Restaurants,” and “America’s Top 50 Restaurants.”  Local publications keeping close tabs on the dining scene, like The Times-Picayune and New Orleans City Business, have applauded all his other restaurants as they’ve appeared and won the hearts and palates of discriminating diners.   He won the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast in 2006, and was awarded Food Arts’ Silver Spoon Award in 2009 for revitalizing the culinary legacy of New Orleans.  John Besh is a frequent guest chef on the NBC Today Show, and has appeared on top programs on The Food Network and the Sundance Channel, as well.

Besh’s devotion to local ingredients and local cuisine also extends to his entrepreneurial projects, including the creation of Besh Restaurant Group Catering; the launch of a line of gourmet products; and the publication of his first cookbook, My New Orleans (Andrews McMeel Publishing, October 2009.) A former U.S. Marine, Besh is proud to have partnered with Baton Rouge-based emergency reconstruction specialists Arkel International, for which he creates high quality ready-to-eat meals for distribution to thousands of emergency response teams and sustained strategic operations in the U.S. and around the world; the novel initiative promotes the Gulf Coast’s food culture as it elevates the Louisiana economy. In recognition of such far-reaching contributions, the Louisiana Restaurant Association named him Restaurateur of the Year in 2008.

Follow Chef Besh on Twitter @ChefJohnBesh
Find him on Facebook!
Get a copy of Chef Besh's cookbook, My New Orleans, here!


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