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Turn zucchini abundance into delicious dish

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Cutting a zucchini into frylike sticks then cooking them delivers a signature crunch without the deep-frying.

Those darn zucchini! There’s an army of them occupying your garden right now and each one is as big as a blimp. What if I told you there’s a way to transform the whole lot of them into a delicious dish resembling french fries, but without all the calories? The secret involves cutting your zucchini… Continue reading →

Better meals keep your kids healthier, more alert

Your child’s lunch box should be filled with the fuel he or she needs to pay attention and play hard. But some traditional lunches might not meet the nutrition a young scholar requires, says Angelina LeBlanc, a registered dietitian with Ochsner Health System. Every lunch should contain fiber, protein and dairy, LeBlanc says, offering these… Continue reading →

Volunteers honor the pros about to cook at upcoming CapitalChefs' Showcase

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Rickie and Debbie Heroman stand in their dining room, which is ready for guests attending a reception honoring chefs, caterers and sponsors of the 32nd annual Capital Chefs' Showcase. The upcoming event benefits Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge.

You know you’ve whipped up some mighty tasty dishes when professional chefs return for seconds. That’s just what happened when volunteers prepared food for an Aug. 18 party at the Baton Rouge home of Rickey and Debbie Heroman to honor chefs, caterers, restaurateurs and sponsors participating in the upcoming Capital Chefs’ Showcase that benefits Cancer Services… Continue reading →

Showcase benefits Cancer Services

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Rickie and Debbie Heroman stand in their dining room, which is ready for guests attending a reception honoring chefs, caterers and sponsors of the 32nd annual Capital Chefs' Showcase. The upcoming event benefits Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge.

Some 40 restaurants and caterers will be participating in the 32nd annual Capital Chefs’ Showcase, a major fundraising event to benefit Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge. New this year will be an optional Bite & Booze Cooking Competition, and about 20 chefs have agreed to participate in the “Top Chef” style contest. Local culinary enthusiast and… Continue reading →

What's Happening

The Herb Society of America Baton Rouge Unit and the Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane, will break ground at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, on the first “room” of the Burden Center’s new teaching and demonstration Historic Herb Garden. The new garden, being created and sponsored by… Continue reading →

Off the Menu: Reed wins Best in Show at Fete Rouge

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  Chef Scott McCue of Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton took first place in the meat category at the 2014 Fête Rouge Chef Competition on Aug. 22 with his dish, Wild Mushroom Stuffed Beef Tenderloin en Croute. It was served with Turned Baby Vegetables and Honey Rosemary New Potatoes.

Chef Matthew Reed with Reed’s Catering captured the Best in Show Award at the 2014 Fête Rouge Chefs Competition with his “Twins Duet” entry. For the event, held Aug. 22 at L’Auberge Hotel & Casino, Reed prepared a “Girls’ Plate” featuring Holden Strawberry Shortbread and a Chambord and Mayhaw Milkshake and a “Boys’ Plate” consisting… Continue reading →

Drunken Fish: Economical, enjoyable pan-Asian hit

Advocate staff photo by Beth Colvin -- The combination Vietnamese vermicelli ($9) pairs shrimp, pork and crisp eggroll bites with soft noodles and a crisp side salad.

If you’re dining out near LSU, you have an array of options from which to choose. Burgers at the Chimes, breakfast at Louie’s, sandwiches at Inga’s, Raising Cane’s, Raising Cane’s and Raising Cane’s. The Drunken Fish is a pan-Asian restaurant tucked into a strip mall on the south side of campus. The brick exterior gives way to… Continue reading →

Cool and simple, a great sandwich can fit the bill

National Sandwich Month is being celebrated this month, which seems like an appropriate time to honor the humble sandwich. Still too hot to want to turn on the oven, August calls for cool, easy-to-make weeknight meals. But, the start of after-school activities also requires a need for filling supper choices. Sandwiches — and salads, too —… Continue reading →

Mango recipe easy on hot summer day

Photo by Helana Brigman  --  Cool off with Mango Salsa.

Like most fans of fresh salads and salsa, I’ve come to love that there are as many ways to make salsa as there are vegetables to imagine it — traditional tomato salsa, fruity salsas with cantaloupes, tomatillo salsa or veggie salsa with crisp cucumbers and tangy limes, to name just a few. It’s beyond hot in Baton… Continue reading →

Corn adds sunny side to dinner omelet with salmon

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Open-faced Corn and Zucchini Omelet With Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream

For the first couple weeks of corn season, my family is content to eat plain old corn on the cob day after day. But even perfection gets boring after a while, which is why I tend to fancy up our corncentric preparations as we get deeper into the season. So here’s a large, family-style, open-faced… Continue reading →

Bites of History: In savory, sweet dishes, vanilla bean’s flavor anything but boring

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  A dash of vanilla adds a sweet note to Seared Scallops With Lemon Vanilla Sauce.

When it comes to flavoring desserts, nothing is used more than that little brown bottle of vanilla extract almost all of us have in our cupboards. But did you realize that, next to saffron, vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world? The reason for its high cost is the vanilla bean’s complicated growing process. And… Continue reading →

What’s Happening for Aug. 14, 2014

 Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Graham Nichols, far right, helps Rachael Flores with her selection at the grand opening of the Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market at Star Hill Baptist Church Wednesday. The mobile market was established to bring locally grown produce to areas of North Baton Rouge currently designated as food deserts.

Students from Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute will fire up the grill for the next five weeks as part of a cooking competition sponsored by the Dansereau House Bed and Breakfast. The public is invited to attend the Grill-Off Challenge, which will… Continue reading →

Schools’ demand for locally sourced food increases

When Anupama Joshi spoke in New Orleans recently at the International Farm to Table Symposium, she had great news for local farmers and growers. The cofounder and executive director of the National Farm to School Network said demand for locally sourced food products for school cafeterias has grown dramatically in the past 10 years and will continue to… Continue reading →

Ruffino’s hosting ‘Lobster Festival’

Ruffino’s Restaurant, 18811 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, is hosting a farewell fling to summer — with its own “Lobster Festival.” The award-winning restaurant is offering a special three-course menu through Aug. 31. For $30, guests can choose one of Ruffino’s lobster-inspired appetizers, from creamy bisque to spring rolls to crispy Maine lobster dumplings, as well as one… Continue reading →

Celebrate the season with a triple-tomato salad

Associated press photo by MATTHEW MEAD -- Tomato and Avocado Salad with Gingered Tomato Vinaigrette and Toasted Peanuts

At the peak of ripeness, an in-season tomato is one of those things that makes life worth living. This recipe is my ode to the summer tomato. At the base of this salad are sliced beefsteak tomatoes, which are topped with chopped small tomatoes and drizzled with a tomato-based vinaigrette. Given that this is… Continue reading →

Grand Asian Buffet a disappointing mix

Photo by LESLIE D. ROSE -- The sushi rolls at the Grand Asian Buffet were quite fresh and flavorful.

When Nagoya Japanese Buffet opened its doors on Sherwood Forest Boulevard in Baton Rouge, many Asian buffet-style restaurants rushed to change their formats in competition. It’s that competition that finds so many of the area’s Asian eateries looking like clones of Nagoya. The Grand Asian Buffet is a prime example of that. Except … the Grand… Continue reading →

What’s Happening for Aug. 7, 2014

The Red Stick Farmers Market will celebrate National Farmers Market Week on Saturday in downtown Baton Rouge. As part of the activities a basket of farm-fresh ingredients will be given away during the morning market. In addition, Galatoire’s Bistro chef Kelly McCann will join host chef Celeste… Continue reading →

Wine, food fest Fête Rouge kicks off with lifetime award for J.H. ‘Jay’ Campbell

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON  --- With one batch done, Jay Campbell starts on another batch of his famous Buttermilk Biscuits.

Following in the footsteps of well-respected, community-minded individuals is nothing new to J.H. “Jay” Campbell. He did it when he assumed the title of president/CEO of Associated Grocers Inc. in 1995, and he’ll do it again Aug. 21 when he receives the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society’s eighth annual Grace “Mama”… Continue reading →