Nicholls State University is opening its state-of-the-art Lanny D. Ledet Culinary Arts Building, the new home of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, Aug. 20.

The new 33,000-square-foot culinary facility is the culmination of a three-year, $12.6 million project designed to double enrollment at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute and provide Nicholls culinary students with advanced equipment and cutting-edge technology that will simulate culinary and hospitality industry working environments.

The Ledet Building is equipped with six kitchens, three classrooms and a dedicated student study area. It is also the home of student-operated Bistro Ruth, a 96-seat restaurant named in honor of New Orleans restaurateur Ruth Fertel.

The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute opened in 1995 as the only four-year culinary arts degree program in Louisiana. The institute enrolls about 300 students from across the nation and globe.