When Jon Luther became president of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in 1997, he sought out Louisiana chef and restaurateur John Folse to learn more about Cajun and Creole cuisine and understand the chicken chain’s New Orleans roots. Folse, who had just been named Louisiana’s culinary ambassador by the state legislature, wasn’t sure what to make of the fast-food executive. So he rattled on to Luther about 300 years of cuisine history and culture. “He grasped every bit ...

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