Chef John Folse collaborates with TJ Ribs

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Donaldsonville native Chef John Folse collaborated with TJ Ribs to create this cochon de lait pit at the South Acadian Thruway location.

For BBQ fans in Baton Rouge and more recently in Ascension Parish, TJ Ribs is a go-to destination. It’s been a favorite for locals and visitors to enjoy some of the best baby back ribs in Louisiana. After 30 years in business, TJ Ribs on South Acadian Thruway in Baton Rouge has completed a major transformation. Much more than just a fresh coat of paint, the recent remodel has brought new life to the building.

TJ Ribs has always been the community restaurant, and after 30 years we knew it was time for an update, not only for our customers, but for our staff," TJ Ribs general manager, Rachel Gautreau said. "We totally renovated the building from floor to ceiling.”

As you walk into the new TJ Ribs it feels like a brand new restaurant, but it still feels familiar and it hasn’t lost the comfort of a favorite neighborhood hang out. They’ve added some fun new features to the place, like more large screen TVs, expanded beer taps and Baton Rouge’s only cochon de lait.

We wanted to take what we do best and add to the customer experience," Gautreau said. "Our Legendary Louisiana BBQ menu is exactly the same, we still have a ton of LSU memorabilia (including Billy Canon’s Heisman trophy) and we hope it’s an even better atmosphere for our guests.”

At the center of the new restaurant is the cochon de lait pit. TJ Ribs collaborated with Donaldsonville’s very own Chef John Folse on the design and construction of the structure. Chef Folse even shared his signature recipe and roasting process. Cochon de lait is a daily ritual — every morning the chefs prepare a suckling pig to be fire-roasted for 6-8 hours before being served to guests for dinner.

It was important for us to do the cochon de lait the right way, the traditional way," Gautreau said. "We wanted to share a part of our Louisiana heritage with our guests and we knew John Folse was the man for the job. Thanks to him, we can offer our guests a true Louisiana dining experience.”

For Gautreau and her staff, the months of hard work updating the restaurant have been well worth it.

To see people walk in and smile from ear to ear at the cochon de lait, or to hear our regulars say it still feels like home, only better — those reactions from customers are what it’s all about.”

For more information about the John Folse inspired cochon de lait at TJ Ribs, visit our blog: Visit the new Prairieville location at 37436 Ultima Plaza Boulevard. Call 225-402-4311.