Chef John Folse and Tank Jackson, a South Carolina hog farmer, are keeping the boucherie tradition alive and well with the third annual Fête des Bouchers. It’s Feb. 24 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge.
The event features approximately 70 butchers and chefs, along with special lectures by charcuterie expert Mark DeNittis and local history enthusiasts Stephen Estopinal and Jim Hunter.
Special guests include Ed Bell and members of the Garden & Gun magazine team from Charleston, South Carolina; farmer Lee Jones, founder of The Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio; and Jean-Paul Bourgeois, a graduate of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute and executive chef of New York City-based Blue Smoke. Bourgeois will shoot a pilot show, “Rated Red,” during the boucherie.
“The first year, my purpose for having the boucherie was to preserve this dying food tradition of South Louisiana for broadcast on PBS,” Folse said. “Like last year, we are dedicated to keeping our food heritage alive by focusing on the educational aspect of the boucherie by teaching others how to make these delicacies such as hogs head cheese, andouille, boudin, smoked sausage, cracklin and other spoils of the boucherie.”
Boucherie, or hog killing, has a long history in Louisiana. The word is French and means butcher shop, but boucherie also has come to mean a social event bringing together communities and lovers of Cajun culture.
Traditionally, neighbors would work together during the fall and winter seasons to slaughter hogs and cook and preserve the food. Everything was planned weeks in advance, and all were guaranteed a supply of fresh meat regardless of the hog’s owner. Nothing went to waste.
Fête des Bouchers is open to 200 spectators. Tickets are $75 in advance and include a “Spoils of the Boucherie” lunch, lectures, charcuterie-making demonstrations and access to all boucherie cooking stations. To purchase tickets, visit http://bit.ly/2sixTU0 or call White Oak Plantation at (225) 751-1882.