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Review: Fare flavorful, fresh, no-frills at The Stockyard

Advocate photo by Kyle Peveto -- The smothered chicken at The Stockyard Cafe is flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender. The sides and cornbread are excellent as well.

On the way to lunch at The Stockyard Cafe in north Baton Rouge, I received a text message from a friend who got there early. “Welcome to 1950,” it said. If food in 1950 was fresh and flavorful, with no concern given to nutritional or culinary fads, then the cafe is a welcome throwback to… Continue reading →

I Eat La.: A beautiful cut of meat demands the perfect pairing

Advocate photo by Teresa B. Day -- Glazed Roast Pork Belly

Whenever I can, I buy a nice locally raised slab of protein at the farmers market. While we know it is pretty easy to find a variety of locally grown produce, it hasn’t always been easy to get fresh meat. Thankfully, times have changed. Now we can find fresh poultry, beef, pork and more —… Continue reading →

What A Crock!: Mango Ginger Wings

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Mango Ginger Wings

We have a wide variety of food to tempt us here in Louisiana and many more cultural opportunities. Check out our grocery shelves to find how many more international ingredients are among the rows of sauces and seasonings. Experiment with some of the more unfamiliar ingredients and you might just be surprised at their fresh new appeal.… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Sharing chicken meal with friends

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Gourmet Galley, Chicken Spaghetti

Jean Kay Brown, originally from Church Point, and I were talking about family recipes and her dad’s chicken spaghetti recipe came up. Her dad, the late Stanley Bodin, loved to cook and share a good meal with friends. This Chicken Spaghetti he cooked was basically a cacciatore, meaning the meat was braised then cooked with tomatoes… Continue reading →

Cooking demo, nutrition talk for diabetics on tap

Dietitians from Pennington Biomedical Research Center will join with Alexander’s Highland Market to offer an interactive educational experience entitled “Eating Well with Diabetes: It’s all about balance.” The hands-on cooking demo and tour of the store, located at 18111 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, is scheduled for 10-11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14. It’s free, but advanced registration is… Continue reading →

Chefs to challenge farm-to-table skills in N.O.

The inaugural “Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The competition is aimed at broadening awareness for the use of fresh, healthy and sustainable ingredients in preparing food. This event also will provide a platform to highlight… Continue reading →

Event to spotlight Gulf, Pacific Northwest fare

Compère Lapin, one of New Orleans’ hottest new restaurants, will host a special one-night-only collaborative dinner on Sunday, Aug. 9. For the restaurant’s first such dining experience since it opened earlier this year, chef/owner Nina Compton will welcome chef/owner Vitaly Paley and executive chef Doug Adams, of Imperial and Portland Penny Diner in Portland, Oregon, into the… Continue reading →

Young Chefs’ open house cancelled

The Aug. 9 “Back to School” open house at Young Chefs Academy Baton Rouge has been cancelled. The event, where children and their parents are invited to explore their creative culinary sides and participate in unique cooking experiences, will be rescheduled at a later date, said spokeswoman Callie Forkenbrock.… Continue reading →

Chef to represent La. in Great American Seafood Cook-off

Chef Michael Brewer

Chef Michael Brewer, of The Sammich restaurant in New Orleans, will represent Louisiana in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off on Saturday, Aug. 8. Brewer, who was crowned King of Louisiana Seafood in the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off on May 24 in New Orleans, is one of 12 chefs from throughout the country competing for the highly coveted title… Continue reading →

Post-Civil War cooking: Exhibit recalls how substitutions were the key to survival

Advocate photo by CHERAMIE SONNIER --  Linda Collins, education program associate at the West Baton Rouge Parish Museum, explains how to cook  early dock weed, a staple of the southern diet after the Civil War when food was scarce.

Imagine being so hungry, you’d rummage in a field or ditch for prickly thistle, dock or dandelions to cook down like greens. By the end of the Civil War in 1865, that’s what the majority of Confederates, including those on the home front, were doing. Farmland had become battlefields, laborers were gone, and people fled… Continue reading →

Roasted olives make for an easy appetizer

Advocate photo by JILL ARNOLD -- Provencal Roasted Olives

Real olive lovers can’t leave this alone! If you’re looking for a great appetizer that will wow friends and family, it can’t get any easier — or more delicious — than this. It’s as simple as emptying the bottles of olives onto a baking sheet along with cherry tomatoes and garlic, swishing them around in spiced olive oil… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: This trio of chocolate pies is hard to beat

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- From left: German Chocolate Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie and Chocolate Angel Pie

All of them good and all of them CHOCOLATE! If your favorite pie is a chocolate pie, you’re in luck because these three are hard to beat. The delicious fillings, while all made from scratch, require only a few ingredients and are easy to make. The Chocolate Angel Pie gets its flavor from the nutty, crispy… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Preserving the bounty of spring

?Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving? edited by Judy Harrold

HHH “Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving” edited by Judy Harrold Jarden Home Brands, $11.95 200-page paperback HHH “Better Homes and Gardens Complete Canning Guide: Freezing, Preserving, Drying” edited by Jan Miller Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co., $29.99 482-page hardcover… Continue reading →

Galatoire’s sets Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars dinner

Galatoire’s Bistro, 3535 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, will host a Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars dinner, starting with hors d’oeuvres at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The five-course meal, prepared by executive chef Kelley McCann, will be accompanied by Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars wines. During the dinner, Stag’s Leap regional representative Jennifer Correa will share… Continue reading →

Melvin Rodrigue named restaurateur of the year

Melvin Rodrigue, president and CEO of Galatoire’s Restaurant and Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak in New Orleans and Galatoire’s Bistro in Baton Rouge, is the Louisiana Restaurant Association 2015 Restaurateur of the Year. Other LRA honorees include chef John Folse, 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee; Brian Girardot, brand support manager of Community Coffee, 2015 Associate Member… Continue reading →

Tin Roof hosting tailgate to kick off new brew

Tin Roof Brewing Co. is ready to kick off football season with a new brew made just for tailgating. Tin Roof’s Gameday Session IPA will be introduced at, what else, a tailgate party on Aug. 15. The brewers, along with WNXX-FM 104.5/104.9 ESPN Baton Rouge and, are inviting the community to gather at Tin… Continue reading →

Review: Exotic Indian - Lafayette’s Masala’s aromatic spices addicting

Advocate photo by PATRICIA GANNON -- The tandoori mixed grill at Masala consists of five different meats: three kinds of chicken, lamb, and shrimp

Masala Indian Kitchen, located on Kaliste Saloom Road in Lafayette, is an exotic concept on what’s come to be known as “restaurant alley.” The subtle smell of incense was pleasantly pervasive and a faraway female voice sang, while bare brick and warm spice-colored walls completed the look. The exposed industrial ceiling was festooned with small white lights.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge chef helps cooks get the most from leftovers

Photo provided by Susanne Duplantis -- MeMaw's Maque Choux

When it comes to leftovers, Baton Rouge’s Susanne Duplantis wants you to think outside the Tupperware. Her blog,, “where leftovers come to renew themselves,” offers tips for reusing leftovers in new meals. Duplantis is a self-taught chef. “My culinary background began on a step stool in my MeMaw’s kitchen,” she… Continue reading →

I Eat La.: Can't lose with hot, cool treats at farmers market

Advocate photo by Teresa B. Day -- Crawfish Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Nearly every Saturday, I like to make a trip downtown to the Red Stick Farmers Market. (Ideally, I like to go early when it’s fairly cool and just beginning to buzz.) On this week’s trip to the market, I found some spicy, locally grown poblano peppers and a big, freshly picked cantaloupe. I realized that I’d… Continue reading →

Peas in guacamole? Wait until you try brocamole

Associated Press photo -- A recent New York Times article urged readers to pair peas with guacamole, causing an outrage on Twitter. Even President Barack Obama joined the online cacophony, tweeting out: 'respect the nyt, but not buying peas in guac.'

Thank goodness for Twitter-powered outrage. How else would we know just how horribly offensive the combination of peas and avocados is? The apparently misguided pairing was exposed for all its perversity recently, when The New York Times urged the world to add peas — peas, I tell you! — to guacamole. Take a moment with that.… Continue reading →

Restaurant group to award scholarships

The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Federation will award $70,000 in scholarships to 33 students at the 2015 LRAEF Five Star Futures Gala on Aug. 8 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Receiving the LRAEF/NRAEF ProStart Scholarship, presented to students who have or will have the National ProStart Certificate of Achievement, are:

Gourmet Galley: Stuffed mini peppers make great party appetizers

Advocate photo by Corinne Cook -- Sausage and Cream Cheese Stuffed Sweet Mini Peppers

My friend Sylvia Spaht mentioned having delicious cheese-stuffed mini pepper appetizers while she was visiting in Washington, D.C. It so happened I had a bag of the small colorful peppers in my refrigerator. I started out thinking I would jazz up some cream cheese and just pipe that into the pepper halves; and then… Continue reading →

What A Crock!: Popular kale can be slow-cooker dish

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Kale Chicken

Kale is everywhere, so how about pairing it with chicken? And while we are pairing ingredients, how about feta cheese? Pairing ingredients is all about balance. Flavors must balance, or you have one ingredieWith slow cooking, it’s also about timing. The sauce and the chicken can slow-cook for much longer than kale, so add it… Continue reading →

Review: Greek, Lebanese cafe transports you to another place with visuals, selections

Advocate photo by ELLYN COUVILLION --Athenos Greek and Lebanese Cafe

It was a mini Monday escape when we stepped inside Athenos Greek and Lebanese Cafe. Large, appealing murals of a pretty countryside and majestic mountains took us to another place. Textured walls in ivory, gold and orange-red, arched doorways and interesting-looking hookahs displayed on sconces completed the decor. The eatery was practically filled but adequate space… Continue reading →

What A Crock!: Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Squash and Spinach Lasagna.

When vegetarian dishes were first making their way into the mainstream, some of them were, for lack of a better explanation, dull. Then, as cooks do, dreams took shape and ingredients took flight. Why can’t one make lasagna without meat? Why can’t squash be stuffed? The questions had answers, and in the years since, so many imaginative… Continue reading →

Dining by Design event to feature national, La. chefs

Six national and four Louisiana chefs will show off their talents for a good cause at the Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center’s annual Dining by Design benefit Sunday, Aug. 23, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge. National chefs Pierre Sauvaget, Los Angeles Tennis Club, Los Angeles; Seth Shipley, Gasparilla Inn & Club, Boca Grande,… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Mixed Berry Pie

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  -- Mixed Berry Cream Pie

“Baking Step by Step: Everything You Need to Know to Start Baking Now!” by Better Homes and Gardens Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co., $24.99 376-page paperback During the summer, I keep my fridge packed with blueberries from the local farmers market, plus… Continue reading →

Red beans and rice: A take on the classic Louisiana dish from Food Network’s Melissa D’Arabian

This Jan. 12, 2015 photo shows red beans and rice in Concord, N.H. This is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

When I was growing up, beans and rice were an end-of-month staple. As money got tight, my mom would whip up a beans and rice casserole, a healthy, budget-friendly choice that stretched our pantry a bit longer. Not that we necessarily appreciated it. “It’s a complete protein!” Mom would proudly announce as my sister and I groaned.… Continue reading →

Review: Smashburger adds tasty options to BR’s gourmet burger list

Advocate photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- The regular size of the buffalo and blue cheese burger at Smashburger was surprisingly light but filling.

This may be the ultimate First World problem: Which gourmet hamburger restaurant shall we patronize tonight? Smashburger recently complicated that question for Baton Rouge diners, who already have specialty burger chains and an abundance of creative burger offerings in the city’s bars and grills. Smashburger’s particular take on this American classic is the use of a special… Continue reading →

Crank your lemonade cred with 5 easy sweet-tart infusions

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Lemons used in infused lemonade.

We’re going to come at this one a little backward, and you’re going to love us for it. Straight up fresh lemonade is, of course, delicious. It’s the classic summer refreshment. And we’re going to walk you through making a truly wonderful basic lemonade, as well as some terrific infused lemonades that doctor up that… Continue reading →

I Eat La.: Lightening the menu after the grill-heavy July 4th weekend

Advocate photo by Teresa B. Day -- Sauteed Mahi Mahi

I am really looking forward to consuming large amounts of meat on the Fourth of July. Some years, we load up the smoker with all manners of beef, pork and poultry; others, we grill hamburgers and hotdogs, complete with potato salad and baked beans. No matter what we cook, by the time all those good old… Continue reading →