United Houma Nation

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29 Jun

John Folse Raises Tribal Awareness Through Food

Posted by United Houma Nation on Sunday, June 29, 2014

World-Renowned and Louisiana born Chef John Folse was found filming along the bayous of Terrebonne this week as part of his "A Taste of Louisiana" cooking show that broadcasts on PBS.  Chef Folse intends to feature the food of the United Houma Nation as part of his program in the coming months.  The exact broadcast date is expected to be August 14, 2014 and will be a three part feature.

 Photo of UHN representatives Lora Ann Chaisson and Janie Luster with Chef John Folse at the gathering of the seven nations (center).

Filming took place at Annie's Restaurant in Dulac and the Isle de Jean Charles Marina.  The restaurant has been in the Dion family for over 50 years and 2 generations and will be the feature site of 2 shows.  Ms. Lois Dion Salinas has maintained the restaurant a fixture in Dulac after her mom Annie retired and passed the family restaurant on to her.  The final filming was at the Isle de Jean Charles Marina owned and operated by Theo Chaisson.  Tribal cooks that will be highlighted are Janie Luster, Zoe Verret and Curtis Hendon.

Although not the first time John Folse has worked with our Houma people, this will be the first time he is focusing exclusively on the food and culture of our people.  Several years ago he featured and highlighted the foods of Tribes throughout the state.  What many people outside of Lousiana do not realize is that gumbo has its origins with the Native people in the state.  Additionally based upon your culture and where you live, will determine what type of gumbo you cook and the seasonings you use.  For the UHN, the traditional gumbo is onion based and earns it's flavor primarily from file consisting of a pure sassafras blend.  Ms. Zoe Verret will be sharing that story.

Tribal leaders and cooks are excited to tell our story through food.  Although many of our foods share similar names with the general Louisiana community, there is a definite Houma palate that is observable.  Additionally, Chef Folse has given an opportunity to explore the more traditional methods and dishes that made up the Houma Indian diet.