Nicholls State University launches Empowered Women Chefs series April 18_lowres

Jacqueline Blanchard, chef and owner of Coutelier NOLA, will be leading a knife skills and sashimi demonstration on April 18 at Nicholls State University. The event is part of seven-week series aimed at encouraging women in the culinary industry.

To encourage aspiring women in the restaurant industry, the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University (906 East 1st St., Thibodeaux) is launching a seven-week Empowered Women Chefs series this month.

The series kicks off April 18 and features discussions and demonstrations from seven female professional chefs who will talk about their career paths and the state of the industry.

While the culinary field is diversifying and the number of women chefs is growing, the profession is still largely a male-dominated field. According to a statement from the school, where 65 percent of the students are female, only 21 percent of positions in the restaurant world are held by women.


The April 18 event features knife skills, knife sharpening and sashimi demonstration from chef Jacqueline Blanchard, who owns the cutlery shop Coutelier NOLA (8239 Oak St., 504-475-5606) on Oak Street. Blanchard will also discuss her career path, which includes stints at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and Bouchon, Benu in San Francisco, and Restaurant August in New Orleans, among others.

Future events in the series will include demonstrations by chefs Susan Spicer and Compere Lapin’s Nina Compton.

The April 18 event is at 2 p.m. in the Ledet Culinary Arts Building on the Nicholls campus. Reservations are required. Call (985) 493-2700 to claim a spot.