April 14, 2024


The Food community

Top Chef: Frederick Terluin has cooked in lots of kitchens; now he’s in charge of four restaurants | Food/Restaurants

3 min read

Frederick Terluin is well known in Baton Rouge’s restaurant circles.

He has worked as sous chef for Galatoire’s Bistro, a chef at Ruffino’s and chef de cuisine at both Juban’s and Portobello’s Bocage.

His latest gig has taken him to SoLou on Perkins Road as the corporate chef for four (soon to be five) of Peter Sclafani’s restaurants.

In the SoLou kitchen with Chef Frederick Terluin. Staff photo by Robin Miller

No matter what kitchen he’s in, Terluin always dresses the part — chef’s coat and checkered pants. It’s served him well for the past 20 years, and he sees no reason to change it up.

When it comes to food, however, Terluin knows you always need a back-up plan.

And, while he’s climbing the corporate ladder, this chef has no intentions of leaving the kitchen behind.

“I’ll never forget what got me where I am today, so I stay behind my stove and love doing it,” Terluin said.

We caught up with him in the mad rush after Hurricane Ida just as SoLou was reopening. Terluin said if he wasn’t a chef, he would be a … Read on to find out and to discover what he thinks is the best recipe he’s ever come up with.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I grew up in New Orleans, and it was watching shows like “Great Chefs Can Cook” and “Emeril” that really made me want to cook. 

You are stationed at SoLou, but you also are corporate chef for Peter Sclafani’s restaurants. What are some of your duties as a corporate chef?

To maintain the standards chef Peter has set for us. I have weekly meetings with the kitchen managers to discuss kitchen issues, products, special ideas or even new menu ideas.

What is your morning routine before going to work?

I drink my coffee, write my plan for the day and then think about how to best accomplish it. And I make contingency plans just in case.

Jeremy Langlois has been working in the kitchen since high school, when he started off washing dishes for chef John Folse. 

Tell us about your prep routine in the kitchen.

Every day is different and requires a new approach. I don’t forget what’s worked in the past but don’t necessarily expect it to work every time.

What’s your most relied upon kitchen tool?

My brain.

What do you splurge on?

Books. Knowledge and information are the must valuable commodities I know of.

Are you a movie fan? What is your opinion of Hollywood’s portrayal of chefs?

I like movies, just not about my job. A chef biography, maybe, but not so much about restaurant work.

Jennifer Brown came up with the concept of plant-based cookie dough, but her 5-year-old daughter Leah gets credit for the sprinkles.

Do you listen to music while in the kitchen?

No music has been allowed in most kitchens I’ve been in. Maybe when closing, and then it’s mostly oldies, all genres from Motown to Alice in Chains.

What’s your description of the perfect meal?

Simple, not fussy and well displayed.

What dish that you created are you most proud of?

The bread at Portobello’s Bocage. I love making bread.

Tell us about your biggest disaster in the kitchen.

Honestly, I don’t know that I’d say I’ve experienced a kitchen disaster per se. The chefs I learned from ran well-oiled machines. And we learned to seamlessly tackle issues before they became problems.

And finally, we know that you love being a chef, but if you weren’t, what would your second choice of “dream job” be?

A writer. I love books, love reading and expressing my ideas.

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