Sold Out: World-renowed Louisiana TV chef, inspired by Diocesan priest’s cancer journey, to cook for Queen of Angels Fundraiser

GREENSBURG – Chef John Folse is known as “Louisiana’s Culinary Ambassador to the World” after appearing on international television and radio, writing 10 books and helping to found a culinary institute, as well as opening restaurants and serving dinners worldwide. In fact, he was the first non-Italian chef to create a Vatican State Dinner in Rome and opened a Cajun-style restaurant in Moscow’s World Trade Center during the Presidential Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Folse is coming to Westmoreland County to cook up a fundraiser at Westmoreland Country Club, with club chef Mark Henry, for Queen of Angels Catholic School, North Huntingdon, June 28. The event, which is sold out, will celebrate Father John A. Moineau’s recovery from pancreatic cancer. Folse has been following his cancer journey on social media from the very beginning.

Father Moineau is pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Irwin, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, North Huntingdon, and serves on the board of pastors for Queen of Angels Catholic School. In 2021, he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer that spread to his liver. Father Moineau stayed connected with parishioners during the COVID-19 lockdown with weekly YouTube videos and inspired many to return to Mass as the pandemic subsided.

“Your individual prayers and community prayers outside of Mass are awesome, but there is nothing that gives me more solace than to know that you are filling the churches and going to sacred Mass, especially when, during my treatments, I may not be able celebrate Mass,” he said in one YouTube video, which had more than 10,000 views.

In July 2022, Father Moineau posted a jaw-dropping message on social media: “I wanted to share with you the good news regarding my PET scan on July 14. The scan came back completely CLEAN!!! No indication of any cancer!!! This is truly a miracle, and all of your prayers and support have brought us to this point!”

Of Father Moineau’s many thousands of social media followers who saw that post, one is Folse. He was elated by the news. He connected with fellow restaurateur Barbara Braun, who co-owned Chesterfield’s in North Huntingdon with her late husband, chef Jack Braun. She arranged for the two to meet.

“I think Chef Folse was really touched by Father John’s passion for forming disciples and his commitment to Queen of Angels Catholic School. So he wanted to do something to help the cause,” Braun said. “The goal is to raise $100,000 for the school that night.”


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