John LaFleur II is the author of several hundred articles published on Facebook, some Louisiana newspapers, and in Kreol, an international cultural magazine. He is a Louisiana French-speaking Creole-métis, gourmet, a prolific writer and author of now fifteen books pertaining to Louisiana food, culture and identity. He continues to deliver public lectures, and has appeared on television and radio show interviews.
Their Words, Their Hands & Their Gifts: Louisiana’s Creole Food & Culture: A Menu of Diversity was generated from a chapter he was invited to write for an international scholars group of academics interested in exposing the long-neglected background of Louisiana’s oldest culture-Créole-métis which remains foundational to understanding the genesis and evolution of contemporary and historical Creole and Cajun culture. His paternal ancestor, Jacques Andre’ Barza dit LaFleur (Tapske was his Choctaw name) was Governor Bienville’s high interpreter for the Choctaw and Creek nations of Fort Toulouse at what is now the present-day state of Alabama before the founding of New Orleans in 1718, when Mobile was the first capitol of the lower Louisiana Purchase territory. Mr. LaFleur was born and reared in the upper, northwest center of Louisiana’s French-speaking triangle where the Alabama Creoles settled along with their Choctaw-Creek cousins who joined them in forsaking Alabama after the Seven Years War. These prairielands, or “vâchéries,” were ideal in supporting cattle-raising, a lucrative Creole-métis tradition.