While their Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans’ French Quarter offers the chefs’ reinterpretations of classic Creole and Cajun cuisines, Seafood R’evolution will pay homage to Mississippi’s food heritage while offering a modern interpretation, Folse told Mississippi and Louisiana food writers last week in New Orleans.

“It’s hard as hell to open a restaurant” especially when “you care about (its menu) being authentic,” he said. “It’s important for the comfort of the guests.”

He and Restaurant R’evolution Chef de Cuisine Chris Lusk demonstrated the differences between a New Orleans seafood gumbo and a Mississippi gumbo. That was “the most important study we did” to prepare for the opening of each restaurant, Folse said. “We will be measured by our gumbo.”

They found the major difference was in the roux-to-stock ratio, with New Orleans gumbo requiring 8 cups stock to one cup roux while in Jackson, Mississippi, it’s 9 cups stock. Also the Mississippi gumbo has a lighter colored roux, uses more garlic, and half its seafood is cooked with the roux.

As the chefs worked, the onlookers sipped Belle Epoque cocktails, which Wine Director Molly Wismeier said pairs well with nuts or fall soups like butternut squash, creamed cauliflower, and Restaurant R’evolution’s Death by Gumbo.

Wismeier said she and Folse created the cocktail using single-barrel Evan Williams bourbon as the base. “It’s our play on the French 75.”

The deceptively potent drink also included Folse’s ratafia (another word for cordial or liqueur). Right now, the seasonal fruit-based brandy is flavored with loquat. Wismeier said. “We finished it with a splash of Champagne and a twist of lemon.”

Cookbook signings

A reception, lecture and book signing for “Southeast Louisiana Food — A Seasonal Tradition” by Addie K. Martin and Jeremy Martin will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, 100 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge.

Author Perre Coleman Magness will sign copies of her cookbook, “Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, 1504 Oretha C. Haley Boulevard, New Orleans.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor. Her email address is csonnier@theadvocate.com. Belle Epoque

Serves 1. Recipe is courtesy of Restaurant R’evolution, New Orleans.

1 oz. Evan Williams Single-Barrel Bourbon

1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 oz. seasonal ratafia (fruit liqueur)

1 oz. simple syrup


2 ozs. sparkling wine

Lemon peel

1. Combine bourbon, lemon juice, ratafia and simple syrup in dry shaker.

2. Add ice, shake and pour in chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with lemon peel.