An Open Mind Opens Many Doors For Joseph Pearley

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By Pam Folse

Some high school graduates have definite goals in mind, like where they will continue their education and what profession they will pursue. Joseph Pearley of St. James started out to do that, but was open to where life might lead him.

The journey all began when he went to New Orleans Cooking School after graduating from St. James High School in 1980.

Ironically, it was there that he met Chef John Folse, then affiliated with his Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant, which was located less than five miles from Pearley’s home in the Welcome area of St. James. Pearley was a cooking school student for less than six months when, at only 18-years-old, he was offered a job as short order cook at the Fairmont Hotel on Canal Street. A short time later, he was assistant to the sous chef.


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