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Review: Why Newk’s in Baton Rouge should be on your list of new places to try

Advocate photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- Newk's Mediterranean pizza toppings include grilled chicken breast slices, sliced Roma tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, feta and mozzarella cheese and diced red onions.

A chain restaurant that specializes in sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza sets my expectation level at “meh.” Newk’s Eatery, however, turns it up a few notches, to “hmm.” The Mississippi-based chain spread mostly throughout the Southeast recently arrived in Baton Rouge’s Towne Center (another is planned near LSU) and proves the adage that if you limit yourself… Continue reading →

Maidens meal: Bridesmaids’ luncheon includes history lesson

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Well-Dressed Crab Meat

My niece Claire is getting married soon, and, to honor her attendants, I recently hosted a girls-only luncheon at my home in Baton Rouge. While the hors d’oeuvres were making their way around the room, I started mixing a Champagne cocktail for the only unmarried attendant. A petite thing, she was wearing the high, spiky heels… Continue reading →

Dine Out helps support HIV/AIDs service groups

Grab a bite out and support HIV/AIDS service organizations. Dine Out for Life will be held Thursday, April 30, in 60 cities across North America — including Baton Rouge and New Orleans — and raises an estimated $4 million annually. Last year, Dining Out for Life organizations assisted more than 350,000 clients, delivered more than… Continue reading →

10 fresh ideas for turning toast into something exciting

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Tarragon Beet Toast

We’re not entirely sure what the difference is between a classic open-faced sandwich and the suddenly hip world of toast with toppings. Then again, maybe it doesn’t much matter. A thick slab of lightly toasted good quality bread topped with delicious ingredients is an almost unbeatable comfort food no matter what you call it. Maybe it’s… Continue reading →

Gourmet Gallery: The Berry Best: Nothing beats fresh Louisiana strawberries as the perfect finish to a great meal

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Pineapple Strawberry Cake

We can get strawberries year around, but there’s nothing like this time of year when our Louisiana strawberries are so delicious. Honestly, there’s nothing better and prettier than a bowl of freshly sliced strawberries. We can’t seem to ever stop there; we have to add the cake or the cream or the pudding. I absolutely loved… Continue reading →

‘Hot Honey’ tops Louisiana Sisters Cocktail Competition

Photo provided by Tréo  --  The cocktail Hot Honey in the City by Tyler Chauvin of Tréo in New Orleans wins first place in the Louisiana Sisters Cocktail Competition on March 4 at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

Tréo bartender Tyler Chauvin took the top prize in the recent Louisiana Sisters Cocktail Competition with her original craft cocktail, Hot Honey in the City. She was one of nine New Orleans bartenders challenged to create cocktails inspired by Louisiana Sisters spiced gourmet foods at the event at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. In addition… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Food lover’s favorite companion and handy reference

“The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion, 2nd Edition” by Ron Herbst and Sharon Tyler Herbst Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., $29.99 854-page hardcover It seems fitting that I write about the latest — and “deluxe” — edition of Barron’s authoritative “The New Food Lover’s Companion” today. The reference volume, which first appeared in print… Continue reading →

Eat Your Vegetables: Fancy-cut, Hasselback potatoes not as tricky as they look

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Hasselback Baked Potato

Serve up a skillet of fancy-cut potatoes for dinner tonight. Potatoes cut this way were made famous at the Hasselbacken restaurant in Stockholm. It was their way of preparing them for baking that resulted in a crispy outside and creamy center. Today, there are many versions of buttery herb toppings but they all begin with cutting… Continue reading →

Thumbprint Cellars sets wine dinners in Baton Rouge, New Orleans

Winemaker Scott Lindstrom-Dake, owner of Thumbprint Cellars in Healdsburg, California, will be pouring his wines at wine dinners this week in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Baton Rouge event will be held at Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant, 18811 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, on Thursday, April 23. The reception will begin at 6 p.m. and dinner at… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Perfecting puff pastry: Top with Parmesan, Swiss chard

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING  --  Puff Pastry and Swiss Chard makes a fun bread course or appetizer.

Food Editor Cheramie Sonnier and I watched several food demonstrations when we attended the AmericasMart Atlanta market a while back. One idea in particular that I liked was topping packaged puff pastry with Swiss chard and a sprinkling of Parmesan. The chef baked the bread until it was dark brown and puffy, then roughly cut it… Continue reading →

The Farmers Market: Arrival of green onions a sure sign of spring

Photo by Lacey Dupre  --  Green onions await customers at Red Stick Farmers Market.

It’s truly springtime when the immature onions commonly called green onions begin showing up at local farmers market. The term “green onion” is applied to several members of the onion family with the long green stems, including a distinct variety called “scallions.” The names are used interchangeably, but a true scallion has a base with straight sides… Continue reading →

Off The Menu: Paragon Casino names Steven Melock new assistant director of food, beverage

Steven Melock is the new assistant director of food and beverage at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville. His appointment is the third in Paragon’s food and beverage department in recent weeks, following the hiring of Executive Chef James A. Shields and Director of Food and Beverage Scott W. Clark. Melock most recently was a restaurant and bar… Continue reading →

What’s Happening, April 16. 2015

The Red Stick Farmers Market will celebrate Louisiana’s strawberry harvest with its annual Strawberry Jam Saturday morning in downtown Baton Rouge. Shoppers will find flats of berries as well as strawberry jam, wine, pastries, pies, salad dressings and strawberry plants. Chef Troy Deano… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Make breakfast easy with Strata

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Prepare Ham and Egg Breakfast Strata for weekend guests.

I had leftover ham from Easter, so I froze it in smaller packages. The ham bone I’ll use for red beans next week, and the ham pieces I used in this Ham and Egg Breakfast Strata. These breakfast casseroles are always good for weekend company. If I’m doing this for company, I’ll often measure out and have all… Continue reading →

The ‘Art’ of the Meal: Food, art come to life in Louisiana doctor’s new cookbook

Advocate photo by Elizabeth Perrin  --  Dr. Nia K. Terezakis adds herbs to her Green Rice buffet dish.

Once Dr. Nia Terezakis’ patients get answers about their dermatology issues, they are likely to follow up with a question about a recipe or art. That’s because the dermatologist, who has offices in Gonzales and Metairie, recently produced a beautiful 248-page cookbook, “Artful Feast: An Elegant Lifestyle for Dining” (Browncroft Publishing Co., $80)… Continue reading →

Bayou Cook-off event scheduled in Thibodaux

Students with Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute will be showcasing their best dishes in the annual six-week Bayou Cook-Off Competition which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at Dansereau House Bed and Breakfast in downtown Thibodaux. The public is invited to attend the competition sponsored by Rouses and hosted by the Dansereau House. The contest… Continue reading →

What’s Happening, April 9, 2015

More than 25 local restaurants and caterers will participate in The Taste, a culinary event benefitting Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. April 23 at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. The event… Continue reading →

Review: At Pat’s Cajun Seafood and Steaks' new Baton Rouge location, you can't go wrong with this dish

Advocate photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- The interior of Pat's Cajun Seafood and Steaks has many rustic touches and, on some nights, a Cajun band.

Order the shrimp. That’s the one solid takeaway we have from our recent visit to Pat’s Cajun Seafood and Steaks, the relatively new local seafood restaurant that has a well-known regional pedigree. The original location, just across the Atchafalaya Basin off Interstate 10, developed quite a following despite its lightly populated surroundings, and the restaurant’s second generation… Continue reading →

The Stuff of Easter: Crawfish bisque is work, but army of volunteers keeps seasonal delicacy alive as KC fundraiser

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Knights of Columbus Council 2875  volunteers, from left, Yvonne Bourgoyne, JoAnne Dodd and Myrt Provost stuff crawfish shells for the annual KC crawfish bisque fundraiser in Port Allen Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

Gourmet Galley: Marshmallow cake is an Easter delight

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Serve Heavenly Hash Cake for an Easter treat..

When I was a child, my favorite candies in my Easter basket were the marshmallow eggs and the Heavenly Hash Eggs. I liked marshmallow, especially if it was coated in chocolate. It’s no wonder then that my aunt’s Heavenly Hash Cake became one of my favorite Easter desserts. Halved marshmallows are placed on the cake… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Bam! Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse celebrates big anniversary: 'It’s been a great 25 years'

Photo provided by Emeril's New Orleans  --  Emerils New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp has been a favorite at Emeril Lagasse's flagship restaurant since it opened 25 years ago.

I spent last week tasting lots of great food for good causes. As the saying goes, “It’s a tough job …” During the month of March, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse celebrated the 25th anniversary of his original restaurant, Emeril’s New Orleans, 800 Tchoupitoulas St., with special menus and events. He capped off the month with… Continue reading →

Off the Menu: Antoine’s marks 175 years with New York trip, TV spots

Michael Regua, executive chef of Antoine’s Restaurant, of New Orleans, will prepare the restaurant’s classic Pompano Pontchartrain entrée with sides of roasted corn and potatoes au gratin on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program at 7:46 a.m. Thursday, April 2. On Saturday, Regua will be on “FOX & Friends” with New York City’s Delmonico’s chef Billy Oliva.… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Turkey Time?: Serve with vegetables for an easy anytime meal

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- It doesn't have to be a holiday to serve turkey. Try slow-cooked Turkey Breast and Veggies for an easy weeknight meal.

There doesn’t need to be an occasion to serve turkey. Turkey breast is an easy meal with a lot of possibilities. Add some pretty color by way of fresh vegetables. Here’s a quick tip for slow cooking and making colors pop. Don’t add some veggies until halfway through the cooking process. Potatoes and onion should be added… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Options for Easter

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Add flavor to your Easter ham by brushing it with Spicy Fruit Glaze. Serve wtih Creole Mustard Sauce.

Trying to decide on what to serve for your Easter Sunday dinner? Ham will be center stage on many Easter tables. We have lots of choices as to what kind to buy. There’s the big whole ham that many of you will be having; the tasty, hickory-smoked Virginia hams with the dark red meat; the popular… Continue reading →