For chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto of New Orleans Restaurant R’evolution, it’s not enough to simply buy local produce; they started their own farm. In Gonzales, Louisiana, not far from Folse’s White Oak Plantation, a stately Baton Rouge property that hosts catering and special events, he turned land into farmland, raising pigs, chickens, and cows; setting up beehives; and building a smokehouse to cure meats for the restaurant’s charcuterie program. The Farm at White Oak was born.
Folse puts his 25-acre farm to work, pampering his heritage-breed animals, including Ossabaw Island, Berkshire, and Large Black hogs; Buff Orpington, Black Australorp, and Buckeye hens; and Wagyu beef cattle. He refurbished an old outbuilding to create “Ole Smokey,” to hot- and cold-smoke meats and sausages; and enlisted retired Louisiana State University entomology professor Dr. Dale Pollet to help launch the beehives (which produce White Oak Plantation honey). Now, the R’evolution menu is about as farm-to-table as a chef can get.