In Isaac’s wake, it’s parties which flood scene
When the party scene cranked back up, it really cranked up. I felt like I spent the entire day at the River Center Sept. 6 — first with those wild and crazy Bengal Belles (ya, just gotta love ’em!) for lunch and then back at dinner time for the 30th anniversary of Capital Chefs’ Showcase. I ran into River Center Director of Sales Rhonda Ruffino on my second trip; she was looking a wee bit weary but was fortunately headed home.
Hurricane Isaac delayed the Belles kickoff luncheon by a week, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of this group of die-hard Tiger fans. If anything, with a win already posted, they were more excited — if that’s possible. Coach Les Miles really kicked things up a notch when he busted a move onstage with Mike the Tiger, who apparently has a crush on wife Kathy Miles. When requested to repeat the move, coach laughingly replied, “I’ve got three or four more moves left in this knee and I don’t want to waste them here today.”
The Belles, which have raised almost $1 million for the Athletic Academic Center, and a few brave Beaus, also heard from Tiger quarterback Zach Mettenberger, safety Eric Reid Jr. and placekicker/punter Drew Alleman. As is tradition, Gordy Rush, who was anxiously awaiting the birth of his first baby girl, posed some telling questions to the players.
On coach Miles referring to running backs Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard as “Shake and Bake,” Mettenberger said, “Who cares as long as they keep rushing like they’re doing!”
On growing up with former LSU track star Eric Reid Sr. as your dad, Eric Jr. confessed it was tough. “He used to take my brother and me to the track and make us run until we threw up.”
On being the only non-Australian kicker on the team, Alleman quipped, “It’s just a bunch of kangaroos everywhere. I just try and take over.”
Capital Chefs’ Showcase
Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge’s annual “good food for a good cause” brought out a huge crowd, as usual. Among the gang were Showcase founders Mary Jane Howell and Mary Delle Gerald. This year’s honorary co-chairmen were Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and wife Cathy, and LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri and wife Karen. Tinsley Boé was the winner of the $4,000 Shopping Spree at Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry Champagne & Diamonds Shopping Extravaganza Raffle.
As we all sampled the delicacies served up by some of the area’s best restaurants and caterers, and scoped out the silent auction, several folks took to the dance floor to trip the light fantastic to the sounds of the V-Tones.
Showcasing their best culinary offerings were Mary R. Aycock, BD Kitchens, Beausoleil, Baton Rouge General Bluebonnet, Café Americain, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chef Celeste at Southside, Chef Don Bergeron Enterprises, Chef KD Louisiana Legends, Culinary Productions Catering & Event Planning, Drusilla Seafood Restaurant & Catering, Fleming’s Steakhouse, French Market Bistro, Heirloom Cuisine, Holiday Inn South, Jasmines on the Bayou, Juban’s Restaurant & Catering, Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, Little Village, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, Mansurs on the Boulevard, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Portico, Portobello’s Italian Grill & Café, Roberto’s, Serop’s Café, Stroubes, Tsunami, Unique Cuisine and Zea Rotisserie & Grill.
Wine & Food Experience
Food and wine were again in the spotlight the following night for the Baton Rouge Irish Club’s Wine & Food Experience at the Celtic Media Centre. Featured chef for the evening was Matt Murphy of New Orleans’ Irish House and a winner this past July of Food Network’s “CHOPPED.”
Joining him in the food category were Bacchus Bistro, Bonefish Grill, Desserts First, French Market Bistro and Mansurs on the Boulevard. Wines were provided by Concannon Vineyards and Trinchero Family Estates; a selection of beers was provided by Crescent Crown.
Entertaining guests were Pete Dawson and the McTaggert Irish Dancers. Proceeds from the evening benefit the club’s fifth annual Irish Film Festival, set for next July at the Manship Theatre.
‘Battle Against Autism’
A cocktail party and silent auction at Ruffino’s Restaurant the evening of Sept. 9 helped kick off the third annual “Battle Against Autism” golf tournament benefiting the Emerge Center for Communication, Behavior & Development (formerly the Baton Rouge Speech & Hearing Foundation).
Because of its impressive program for autistic children, the foundation has been suffering growing pains and increased demands for its services. That not only led to a capital campaign to build a new center but a name change to more accurately reflect the services it now provides.
So, plans at the moment are to break ground on the new facility at LSU’s Innovation Park early next year and open the doors in 2014.
In the middle of all the party hopping, we here at The Advocate took a couple of hours to bid farewell to retiring advertising sales executive Janice Herbert. Janice began her career 37 years ago as a “dispatch girl” and there were photos to prove it at the party. What a treat!
We’ll miss you, Janice, but know you’re going to enjoy living life a little slower.
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