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Chefs John Folse and Calvin Coleman pour alligator sausage into Coleman's gumbo on July 17. The two chefs are among a group selected by BP to cook for Olympic athletes, families and visitors at the London Olympics. The food was cooked in Folse's Donaldsonville manufacturing plant before being frozen and flown to London.
Chef John Folse and a group of eight other Gulf Coast chefs are traveling to London as part of BP’s Spirit of the Gulf program. They’ll be serving their dishes, like Coleman’s seafood gumbo, to athletes, families and visitors to show off Gulf Coast culture and Gulf seafood.
“As far as the quality of the seafood, questions continue to be asked, naturally,” Folse said, and the recipes selected use only fresh Gulf species. “We wanted to make the statement on the greatest world stage we have available.”
For Folse and the other chefs, this meant navigating a range of hurdles involving USDA inspections, logistics and U.K. import laws. Coleman’s gumbo originally included oysters, which you can’t bring into Britain. The alligator sausage also had to be specially ordered to omit any processed pork.
“There’s a huge amount of security, of food safety issues with so much product going into London,” Folse said. “The Olympics added a whole new dimension of security to the food.”
Learn more about the Spirit of the Gulf and get all the chefs’ recipes in next Thursday’s Food section.