225 Magazine [January 2022]

Page 1

JANUARY 2022 • FREE PLANT THERAPY 12 HUMANITIES AMPED 19 RAMEN RECIPES 77 225BATONROUGE .COM

People 2022

TO WATCH IN THE CAPITAL REGION


Thank You

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2021

WHAT A YEAR , E G U O R N O T A B Dear

pport of su d e u in t on c r ou y or THANK YOU f rant & bar. u a st re d e n ow ily m a f our t us, we’ll e a s ow hr t 2 02 2 t ha w No matter serve you great food with prid be here to ile. and a big sm eat new gr e m so e k a m d n a Come by s family. n’ so a M r ou y h it w s ie memor ppy, healthy ha ry ve a rs ou y d n a Wishing you us new year. and prospero With Gratitud,e and Thanks e S𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁𝗁& Mik

­

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CONTENTS //

Features 22 How a community fridge is helping families in Mid City

64 The famous former cartel leader getting suits made in BR

69 Where to grab some

Mediterranean cuisine favorites

83 The encyclopedic mind behind a retro music shop And much more …

Departments 12 What’s Up 19 Our City 25 I am 225 28 Cover story 61 Style 69 Taste 79 Culture 84 Calendar

ON THE COVER

The 2022 People to Watch in the Capital Region

74 AMY SHUTT

IT’S NOT OFTEN a coach like Kim Mulkey—a six-time national champion with a ton of other accolades to her name—makes a big move to a new school. But she is a Tickfaw native, and Louisiana was calling her. Now, Mulkey has big things in store for the LSU women’s basketball team. And she already showed her passion on the court this fall, photographed here by Rebecca Warren of LSU Athletics. Turn to page 28 to meet Mulkey—and all of 225’s 2022 People to Watch in the Capital Region.

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Meet

Larissa Sweeny, MD For Larissa Sweeny, MD, otolaryngology specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Head & Neck Center, enhancing her patients’ quality of life is the most rewarding aspect of practicing medicine. “I was motivated to become a doctor because of my desire to help others,” Dr. Sweeny says. “Medicine offers a unique opportunity to form relationships with the people you serve and become part of their lives in a personal and intimate way. It is a career that fosters truly special bonds.”

Specialized Training

Before venturing into the practice of medicine, Dr. Sweeny attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she graduated summa cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in English. Following her undergraduate studies, Dr. Sweeny attended Georgetown University School of Medicine, receiving her medical degree in 2010. Dr. Sweeny then went on to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she completed her residency in otolaryngology. After her residency, Dr. Sweeny completed a Fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where she received advanced training in head and neck oncologic surgery and reconstruction.

Sophisticated Surgical Solutions

As an otolaryngology specialist, Dr. Sweeny is practiced in a spectrum of surgical options to manage conditions affecting the ear, nose and throat. She is particularly interested in performing procedures to address cancers affecting the head and neck. One of these procedures is microvascular reconstruction, which involves transferring tissue from one part of the body to the head and/or the neck. This tissue can be bone, fat, muscle or skin and is typically taken from the arms, back or legs. Surgeons like Dr. Sweeny perform microvascular reconstruction to rebuild important structures, including the jaw and throat. Dr. Sweeny is trained to perform a variety of operations using robot-assisted surgery, a minimally-invasive option that can result in less bleeding, less pain, faster recovery and decreased morbidity. Learn more about our surgeons and the Our Lady of the Lake Robotic Surgery Institute at ololrmc.com/robotics


EDITOR'S NOTE //

People watching ON THE NINTH day of January last year, I took a day trip to Mississippi. My husband and I were going to pick up a vintage mirror I’d thrifted on eBay. We crammed the mirror into the hatchback of his Kia Soul, and on the way home we stopped at Red Bluff, a hiking trail near the town of Foxworth. The site is often called “Mississippi’s Grand Canyon,” and it’s so much more stunning in person than Googling pictures of it can prepare you for. The path runs along a 150-foot-deep gorge created by millions of years of erosion. We arrived right at sunset, and the steep, sprawling cliffs were the same rainbow of colors as the sky that evening. The clay-dusted ridges glowed in shades of terracotta red, buttery gold and mauve pink. It felt like a desert vista that somehow got displaced in the South. We walked along the rocks, getting the canyon’s colorful soil all over our shoes—it reminded me of the orange clay dirt of the baseball fields from elementary school. With the sun setting behind us in the pink and blue sky, we took our first selfie of the year. Looking back on that photo now, I can see the awe in both of our eyes from that day. Red Bluff is only about two hours from Baton Rouge, and I couldn’t believe it was the first time I’d been. It was our first just-for-fun trip since the beginning of the you-know-what. And though we were on the road by 8 a.m. that morning and back home by 8 p.m. that night, taking that road trip was good for my soul. It was a beautiful start to the year, and looking back now, I think it was my single favorite day of 2021. To say last year was a strange one is, of course, an understatement. With such momentous change happening daily—and all of it being livestreamed on social media—I think it can be harder than ever to savor the small moments in our own lives. From my camera roll: Red Bluff, know To appreciate what we do have, or n as the "Grand Canyon of Mississippi." where we’ve been. But when you flip back through your camera roll from last year, remember those moments that you felt in enough awe to stop and take a picture. And when you think of what you want for yourself in 2022, come up with your own definition of what it means to be a “person to watch.” Don’t be afraid to chase a dream—or just a fun weekend adventure. It might be closer than you think, and it might make your whole year. To a great 2022,

Issue Date: January 2022 Ad proof #1

Jennifer Tormo

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. 225 Editor • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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New Year, Same Expert Advice

CALL FOR ALL OF YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS. BUYING • SELLING • PROFESSIONAL ADVICE 225.218.0888 • DELRIOREALESTATEBR.COM

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Congrats to this year’s People to Watch

From a local doctor working on COVID-19 preventatives to the school superintendent pushing education into the future, Baton Rouge’s future is in good hands. Turn to page 28 to meet them all.

… and 225’s own “Person to Watch”

While he was busy last fall helping pick this year’s class of People to Watch, 225 Publisher Julio Melara had another project in the works: building his media empire. Melara, who joined Louisiana Business Inc. as a partner 25 years ago and was named CEO in 2016, has acquired the company and its award-winning media products, including 225; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report; inRegister; Daily Report; 10/12 Industry Report; the full-service marketing firm Studio E; and more. While he won’t continue to write an introductory column for 225’s print issue, he remains 225’s publisher along with his new duties overseeing LBI. The acquisition follows the retirement of Rolfe McCollister Jr., who founded the multimedia company 40 years ago. The 225 team wishes a heartfelt congrats to them both!


We expanded our hospital wings to give

them wings to soar.

At Children’s Hospital New Orleans, our transformed hospital was designed with kids at the center - with 50 percent more space, 40 pediatric specialties, and more than 600 pediatric providers. Today, as the Gulf South’s largest children’s hospital, there are so many big reasons to choose Children’s Hospital New Orleans. But we like to focus on the little ones. We’ve built extraordinary, because they are.

Explore our campus at chnola.org

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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January 2022 MUSICAL ENCORE SERIES

I’M EVERY WOMAN

JAN 7 & 8 | 7:30 PM

Publisher: Julio Melara

EDITORIAL

Editorial director: Penny Font Editor: Jennifer Tormo Managing editor: Benjamin Leger Features writer: Maggie Heyn Richardson Digital content editor: Dillon Lowe Staff photographer: Collin Richie Contributing writers: Mark Clements, Cynthea Corfah, Olivia Deffes, Lee Feinswog, Tracey Koch Contributing photographers: Ariana Allison, Sean Gasser, Amy Shutt

ADVERTISING

Sales director: Erin Pou Account executives: Manny Fajardo, André Hellickson Savoie, Jamie Hernandez, Kaitlyn Maranto, Audrey Taunton Advertising coordinator: Devyn MacDonald

CORPOR ATE MEDIA

Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia strategy manager: Tim Coles Client experience coordinator, Studio E: Nicole Prunty

CORNELL GUNTER’S

THE COASTERS JAN 21 | 7:30 PM

MARKETING

Chief marketing officer: Elizabeth McCollister Hebert Marketing & events assistant: Taylor Falgout Events: Abby Hamilton Community liaison: Jeanne McCollister McNeil

ADMINISTR ATION

MAD RIVER THEATER WORKS

FREEDOM RIDERS

JAN 23 | 2:00 PM

Assistant business manager: Tiffany Durocher Business associate: Kirsten Milano Office coordinator: Tara Lane Receptionist: Cathy Brown

PRODUCTION/DESIGN

Production manager: Jo Glenny Art director: Hoa Vu Graphic designers: Melinda Gonzalez, Emily Witt

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

Audience development director and digital manager: James Hume Audience development coordinator: Ivana Oubre Audience development associate: Jordan Kozar

LIGHTWIRE THEATER

ADVENTURES OF TORTOISE AND HARE

A publication of Louisiana Business Inc. Chairman: Julio Melara Executive assistant: Brooke Motto Vice president: Penny Font Chief operating officer: Guy Barone Chairman Emeritus: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. 9029 Jefferson Highway, Suite 300 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-214-5225  •  FAX 225-926-1329 225batonrouge.com

JAN 30 | 2:00 PM

M A N S H I P T H E AT R E . O R G • 2 2 5 - 3 4 4 - 0 3 3 4 Supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency. This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, funded by the East Baton Rouge

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©Copyright 2022 by Louisiana Business Incorporated. All rights reserved by LBI. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Business address: 9029 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Telephone (225) 214-5225. 225 Magazine cannot be responsible for the return of unsolicited material—manuscripts or photographs—with or without the inclusion of a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed.


F E E D B AC K / / W H AT ’ S O N L I N E / / 66 Turn to page ok for a closer lo ! op at the new sh

Speak up

DECEM BER 2021 • FREE

2021'S NEW RESTAU RANTS 14 TACEAU X TUESD AY 69 HOLIDAY EVENT S 74 225BATONRO

UGE .COM

ARIANA ALLISON

What readers are saying on social media about some of our recent stories Sweet Society’s Karen Vong, Go Eat Concepts’ Cara Peterson and Cupcake Junkie’s Robyn Selders talked the food industry for our November cover story.

Some of the locally made finds at BRASS

About our inside look at the new Baton Rouge Antiques and Souvenirs Shop downtown:

“Finally! Downtown has been lacking shopping for the past 20 years. This is a perfect fit.”

Best of

COLLIN RICHIE

—@bridgettealane

JULY 2021 • FREE PICNIC ESSENTIALS 16 GOV’T ST. GROWTH 27 THEATER RETURNS 113

225BATONROUG E .COM

16th An

About our November story on women in the food industry:

“Thank you for including Cupcake Junkie in your ‘Cooking queens’ article! It was good to connect with other ” women in the industry! —@cupcakejunkiebr

68

nual

Awards

CATEGORIE S

VOTED ON BY

‘ 225 ’ REA DERS!

On our December issue, all about planning for a year’s worth of fun and activities:

Day trips and local activities for every month of 2022

Inside ZIP LINING! HOLIDAY LIGHTS! DINOSAURS! + so much more

“Another great issue! The ideas of things to do in Baton Rouge never stops! ” —@wheretogeaux225

Make your voice heard WANT TO SEE your favorites in the 2022 Best of 225 issue? First you’ve got to nominate them! Every year, the process starts the same way: We ask readers to head to our website and enter their nominations in categories from Best Food Truck to Best Place for a Date Night. This is the part where anything goes! From Jan. 5 to Feb. 9, you get to write in your favorites in every category. Those businesses and people with the most nominations will then make it to the final voting round that begins in early March. If you’ve ever wondered why your favorites didn’t make it on the final list of candidates, it’s the nomination round where they have the best chance to get on the ballot. Write in your choices this month, and tell your friends to do the same. Head to 225batonrouge.com/bestof225 for more information.

CONNECT WITH US

Issue Date: January2021 Ad proof #2

twitter.com/225batonrouge facebook.com/225magazine • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

instagram.com/225batonrouge

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FOR OUR MENU, VISIT ELSIESPIES.COM 3145 GOVERNMENT ST 225.636.5157 ONLINE ORDERING MON: 11AM-9PM TUES-THURS: 11AM-10PM FRI: 11AM-11PM SAT: 10AM-11PM SUN: 10AM-9PM EQ 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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January 1. Bromeliad

Add a touch of the tropics with this lowmaintenance stunner. Make sure the plant is exposed to medium to bright light, and to water it, simply fill the small natural “cup” formed at the base of the leaves.

2. Aglaonema

Also known as Chinese evergreen, the aglaonema has showy leaves and makes a great addition to any room. This low-maintenance

3. Sansevieria

Bring height to your indoor plant collection with the sansevieria, which will forgive you even if you forget to water it.

4. Calathea

As this plant grows, its cigar-shaped leaves unfurl romantically. This is a great option for lower-light rooms.

Plant therapy

5. Swiss Cheese Philodendron

plant tolerates both moist and dry conditions.

Bright, but indirect sun is the way to go with this dreamy, tendrilled beauty, which looks great anywhere, from bookshelves to bathrooms.

House plants to incorporate in your space this year THE NEW YEAR is a time to hit the reset button on life, but sometimes, it’s easy to set the bar too high with lofty, hard-tosustain goals. Making small, simple changes is a better strategy, since it can make a big difference with minimal effort. For example: Try sprucing up your living or work space with a few house plants. This affordable decorative element also creates a sense of calm and even helps purify the air. We checked in with Clegg’s Nursery about which house plants to try, and how to display and care for them. cleggsnursery.com

6. Flapjack

A succulent with paddle-shaped leaves, the flapjack likes to be placed in a window. Water it only after its soil is slightly dry to the touch.

3

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

4

6

1 5

COLLIN RICHIE

2 12

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com


W H AT ’ S U P / /

Routine reveal

STOCK PHOTO

DIGITS

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, the back-to-back deaths of Elena Keegan’s father and brother due to cardiac arrest inspired her to dedicate her life to wellness. As it turned out, that meant both personally and professionally. Once a Spanish teacher, Keegan adopted the practice of yoga, becoming an instructor and founding Baton Rouge Yoga Company, which specializes in bringing onsite instruction to local businesses. She also works as the Region II coordinator for the state’s Well Ahead program, and she recently invented a new fitness product that encourages quick and easy stretching. Her Spiro stretching tool, a lightweight and portable board, can help both athletes as well as less active people successfully stretch lots of different muscle groups, she says. “Stretching just 10 minutes a day, especially when combined with deep breathing, is such a great way of increasing flexibility, reducing stress and improving mobility,” says Keegan, mother of three adult daughters. “It’s so easy, and it makes such a big difference.” Keegan says she relishes teaching others about healthy living, and she walks the walk herself. Here’s a window into Keegan’s personal routine. spirostretch.com

Sleep eight hours.

poline, dancing in place to the Black Eyed Peas.

Begin the day with meditation …

Keegan is a big believer in protein for breakfast, but that doesn’t mean eggs and bacon. With a diet that’s about 90% plant-based, Keegan opts for sautéed tofu in the morning with a few roasted veggies she cooks on sheet pans the night before.

“I go to bed at 10 p.m. and get up at 6 a.m.,” Keegan says. “Sleep is huge. It not only hydrates the brain, but it resets your attitude.”

After she gets up, Keegan spends a few minutes meditating, concentrating on her breathing in order to bring her mind and body into focus.

… followed by exercise.

After meditating, Keegan hops on her Rebounder mini-tram-

JEANNIE FREY RHODES / COURTESY ELENA KEEGAN

Elena Keegan, veteran yoga instructor and Spiro inventor

Eat protein for breakfast.

#2

The homegrown DASH Diet’s ranking in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 annual ranking of Best Diets Overall, tying for second with the Flexitarian Diet. Developed at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in the early ’90s, DASH, short for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, prioritizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat proteins and dairy. The diet consistently ranks high in the U.S. News ranking.

Hydrate.

“I drink tons of water,” Keegan says. “I have alcohol every now and then, but I don’t overdo it. If I’m in a social situation, I might have a spritzer with some LaCroix and a little wine.”

TO

O

Try the Y

PH

O

ST

“Ladies and gentlemen, although I respect you all and I am saddened that it has come to this, I hope you understand that I cannot participate in, nor can the Redemption PAC host, an event which mandates medical protocols that are directly opposed to my deepest core principles as a Constitutionalist.” CALLIE LIPKIN / COURTESY YMCA BATON ROUGE

OPEN IN BATON Rouge for more than a century, the YMCA is part-fitness center, part-service organization, so joining it to fulfill your own wellness goals means you’re also doing something good for your fellow Baton Rougeans, says YMCA of the Capital Area President and CEO Christian Engle. “When you’re on the treadmill working out,” says Engle, “you’re not only supporting your health, but also things like food distribution, water safety, affordable childcare and affordable programs for families.” There are seven YMCA locations in greater Baton Rouge, and members have access to all of them. They offer fitness classes and the latest in gym equipment, and some have seen recent renovations, Engle says. The AC Lewis branch on South Foster Drive and the Paula G. Manship location on Perkins Road saw glam-ups during the COVID-19 shutdown, and renovations are planned for both the downtown and Addis branches. The Paula G. Manship branch also now includes EGYM smart equipment that allows users to electronically set preferences through an app. Engle says one of the things he and his staff have heard throughout the pandemic is how much members have missed the social aspect of working out at the Y. “We really saw how eager people were to return and reconnect with the people they’d say ‘hi’ to in the gym,” Engle says. “Social interaction is one of the biggest determinants of healthy living.” ymcabr.org

CK

—Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Lafayette), in a letter to the Louisiana Congressional Delegation about his decision not to attend the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians’ annual Washington Mardi Gras this year because of its COVID-19 protocols. The event, to be held Jan. 27-29 in Washington, D.C., will require participants to show their vaccination status upon entry.

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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Issue Date: January 2022 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

W H AT ’ S U P / /

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

W H AT ’ S N E W

Buzz feed

Oversized red velvet cookies with cream cheese

Part cafe, part gift shop and part cake-decorating destination, Eloise Market and Cakery does it all. M.J. Schmidt opened the shop on Lee Drive in the space formerly occupied by ThaiHey Thai Food. Come for the menu of pizza, salads, macarons, cookies and cakes; stay for the colorful interior decked out with work by local artists like Cora Barhorst. Find it on Facebook

The return of The Varsity Its concerts have been greatly limited since 2020, but local music venue The Varsity Theatre plans to start regularly hosting performances on Friday and Saturday nights this month. The historic space held some private events and public shows last year, but has had a hard time regaining normalcy due to staffing shortages, says general manager Brent McLellan. varsitytheatre.com

LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST IN 2022 HERRINGSTONE’S BATON ROUGE 7474 Corporate Blvd Ste C | 225.239.5239 | www.herringstonesboutique.com

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[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com

PHOTOS BY ARIANA ALLISON

Desserts and art


W H AT ’ S U P / /

JOIN OUR HUDDLE!

Hello, goodbye Arrivals, departures and moves

$219,778

The average salary that LSU fans think college athletes should earn, according to a poll of 3,000 fans by sportsbook FanDuel. The college sports fans surveyed believed the average salary for an NCAA football player should be $170,815. While student athletes can’t currently make salaries, new NCAA rules do allow them to earn money off their names, images and likenesses. fanduel. com/college-football-salaries-fan-survey

adult athletic leagues winter LEAGUES

Batch 13

After being temporarily shuttered for a year, the downtown breakfast and lunch restaurant has no plans to reopen. Catering orders from the menu can still be placed through Mirepoix Event Catering. eatbatch13.com

Columbia Sportswear

The sportswear brand opened last month inside the Mall of Louisiana, selling outdoor apparel, footwear and gear. ​​ columbia.com

SOFTBALL + BASKETBALL + Volleyball + flag FOOTBALL + kickball

Baton Rouge Music Studios

Massive restaurant growth

Register jan. 1-31

Issue Date: October 2021 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. S AS1IS8unless + approval or final revisions are received withinBREC.ORG/AthLETICS • ADAGE WILL RUN 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

The Sportsbook at L’Auberge

Thanks to a 2020 Louisiana law that legalized sports betting, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge opened The Sportsbook at L’Auberge in November, boasting 25 sports betting kiosks and ticket writer stations. lbatonrouge.com/ casino/the-sportsbook

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

PHOTOS BY ARIANA ALLISON

Over the last decades, Capital Region restaurants have offered more choices for dinner than ever. The region’s restaurant industry has seen 60% growth since 2000. The increase has been even more pronounced in suburban and rural areas, which have seen 109% growth. The numbers were reported last month in the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s 2022 Economic Outlook. View the full report at brac.org/brac-research.

On Jan. 1, the company is relocating its operations (which include lessons, band programs and camps) from Burbank Drive to a centuryold building at Government Street and Steele Boulevard. brmusicstudios.com

Soul food (with a Cajun twist) That’s how co-owners Tory Cummings and Hershall Bergeron describe the menu at The Iron Fork Kjun Eatery & Market, a fast-casual and fresh market concept that opened last fall. Along with their wives, Jackie Cummings and Kaci Bergeron, they introduced the restaurant in the Beau de Chene shopping center on Perkins Road near Essen Lane. The location has seen a flurry of restaurants open and close over the last decade, but they say they aren’t worried about that. They’re letting their smoked meats, burgers, po-boys and prepared meals do the talking. Find it on Facebook

LMP 5430

225-925-8710

|

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

ORDER THIS

BR Guilty Pleasures’

Birria Ramen ON CERTAIN MORNINGS, a robust aroma wafts from Valencia Labostrie’s BR Guilty Pleasures kitchen, signaling she’s preparing the kind of savory, umami-fied flavors that make your mouth water. What’s that spice combination, Labostrie’s fans might wonder, as they queue up in front of a simple folding table under a white tent for a taste of her signature birria ramen. Served in a Styrofoam cup, the thick tangle of noodles is bathed in slow-cooked, deeply flavored beef consommé and drizzled with a little chili oil. A tender cooked baby carrot or two might make an appearance, or a stray morsel of braised sirloin, but really, this dish is about the straightforward relationship between the noodles and the deep brown au jus they rest in. The broth is extracted from Labostrie’s braised birria beef, used in her other wildly popular menu item, birria tacos. “The tacos and the noodles are my biggest sellers,” says Labostrie, who launched BR Guilty Pleasures first as a mobile bartending service about two years ago. The operation now mostly focuses on food. “I sell them until we run out.” That usually doesn’t take long. Fans track Labostrie’s movements on social media for a fix of birria, the traditional Mexican style of braising beef. Over the last few years, more diners across the United States have embraced the ritual of dunking seared braised beef tacos into an accompanying side of consommé. To make her birria, Labostrie cooks down chuck or sirloin roast for several hours with loads of spices and aromatic veggies until the meat is falling apart. Bits of the forktender, shredded beef are folded into soft corn tortillas, which are then seared in oil, giving their sides a sinful crunch. Like birria tacos, birria ramen has picked up steam among Instagrammers and food bloggers. Labostrie, a self-taught cottage culinary entrepreneur who likes riffing on global street foods, was quick to add it to her menu. Her followers might pick up a steaming cupful for the road, or combine it with a couple birria tacos. BR Guilty Pleasures also sells birria burritos and quesadillas, Mexican street corn and Spanish rice.

Cold weather calls for more ramen This month, 225 put together a recipe for your own homemade ramen bowls. Turn to page 74 for instructions, plus a little ramen history.

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

Valencia Labostrie, the owner of BR Guilty Pleasures

BR Guilty Pleasures is a mobile bartending service and food tent open at varying times on Byron Street, at Millennial Park and at the LSU Health North Clinic. Find it on Instagram or Facebook at @brguiltypleasuresllc

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[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com

PHOTOS BY COLLIN RICHIE

WHERE TO TRY IT



GRAND REOPENING

FEBRUARY 2022 Celebrate the Grand Reopening of the River Center Theater for Performing Arts! Tickets for events are on sale now at www.raisingcanesrivercenter.com/events.

300 St. Louis Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 | (225) 389-3030 | www.RaisingCanesRiverCenter.com

BROADWAY

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IN

BATON ROUGE


I N S I D E : Community fridges / News around Baton Rouge

Generation Amped A successful enrichment program for high school students prepares for an upcoming expansion in Mid City

BY M AGGI E H EY N R I C H AR DS ON P HOTO S B Y CO LLIN RICHIE

Students in the Humanities Amped program at Broadmoor High School participate in an after-school visual art program.

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OUR CITY // Humanities Amped staff include, from left, Anna West, Zach Williams, Leslie Grover and Tareil George.

WALK INTO THE “The Galley” at Broadmoor High School, and it’s easy to see that this is a different sort of classroom. The cinder block walls are painted canary yellow. Forget rows of desks—colorful hexagonal ottomans, the kind that can be arranged quickly into a circle, are the seat of choice. There’s a snack area, and plenty of spots to lounge and talk. A white board in one corner lists neither homework assignments nor the names of problem students. Instead, it holds nine neatly written reflection questions. One asks, “What went well today?” Others pose, “What am I grateful for?” and “What do I want to let go of?” Imagine being asked such questions in high school. It’s a time of stress for any student, much less young people who live in poverty, have negligible adult support and might have experienced other forms of trauma. But for the Baton Rouge nonprofit Humanities Amped, addressing the social and emotional needs of students and creating a safe space for them is fundamental to their academic success and their growth as human beings. The program, which includes after-school tutoring and enrichment classes, career counseling and other activities, uses educational

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“We’re constantly asking them, ‘What does the world say about you, and what do you want to say back to the world?’ And that, overwhelmingly, is that they don’t feel they have a voice. We want to change that.” —Humanities Amped Executive Director Anna West

methods that help kids who live with high levels of personal stress begin to heal. Known as restorative educational practices, these methods allow young people to talk through personal difficulties with the support of a team of caring adults and peers, so that they can perform better in school. Humanities Amped’s goal is to help high school students become critical readers, writers and thinkers who are equipped with problem-solving skills that can change their lives, and may even change the world. “It’s not just about the humanities in the traditional sense as subjects,” says Executive Director Anna West. “It’s also about being human.” Student Tristan Verrett, who wants to be an actor, says participating in the reflection questions during Humanities Amped’s after-school programs helps bring his day into focus. “When you reflect, you’re like, taking in everything that you’ve experienced during the day,” Verrett

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says. “They’re really helpful.” Along with English teacher Destiny Cooper, West founded Humanities Amped in 2014 at McKinley High School as a way to test using restorative educational practices in an academic setting. Students were encouraged to share life experiences in a seated circle, which helped build a classroom culture that valued caring for each other’s wellbeing. The students also conducted research projects about community issues that moved them personally, such as gun violence or blight. These projects helped them begin to develop a sense of agency, West says. After three years, data showed students in Humanities Amped classes were 29% more likely than their peers to graduate from high school on time. And since the average dropout rate in Baton Rouge is 30%, that meant the program could close the gap on kids leaving school, West says. McKinley graduate and Humanities

Amped staff member Tareil George says today she would have dropped out of high school had it not been for the program she began participating in as a sophomore. “I didn’t really have support in my family for school, and coming to Humanities Amped, the staff kept telling me, ‘I believe in you,’ and ‘You need to believe in yourself,’” says George, who became an intern with the program before joining the staff. “The love, the healing and the determination made me believe.”

Amped up for the future Humanities Amped made local news in late 2020 as one of four nonprofits that will take over the former Sarkis Rug Store on Government Street to create the new Youth City Lab facility. Along with Front Yard Bikes, Big Buddy and Line 4 Line, Humanities Amped will transform the iconic Mid City building into a one-stop-shop for youth to build their confidence and skills. Over its seven-year history, Humanities Amped expanded from McKinley to work in five schools, but West says after the coronavirus pandemic interrupted operations, it gave her team a chance to reevaluate


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how the nonprofit functions best. “We like being in one place, where we can really build a community,” West says. In fall 2021, Humanities Amped reopened in Broadmoor High, a school with a high poverty rate as well as a large population of English language learners. “It’s a tremendous asset to have a partner who is focused on the social and emotional needs of our students,” Broadmoor High principal Robert Wells says. “A lot of students are facing the long-term trauma associated with poverty, so it makes a big difference to be able to offer this.” West says the program is building out several components that will help the site become a “community lab” for social and emotional learning. This includes tutoring and enrichment programs delivered in a way that allows students to have a say in how they’re run. “It’s really important to us that there is democratic participation,” West says. “It’s one of our core practices.” Currently at Broadmoor High, Humanities Amped offers an afterschool program that features visual and dramatic arts and leadership development on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Poetry and performance have long been a subset of Humanities Amped—it absorbed the spoken word program Forward Arts in 2019. (West founded Forward Arts’ predecessor, Wordplay, which was first situated in Big Buddy.) At Broadmoor, Humanities Amped also provides academic tutoring on Mondays and Wednesdays, and college and career counseling during two different class periods each day. Called

the Dreamkeeper College and Career Program, this service helps students think about what they want to do in life, and develop a plan to get there.

Looking out for students West says plans are also underway to turn The Galley into a wellness center of sorts, where students are welcome to stop by during lunch, or during the day if they simply need to cool down and de-stress. “Oftentimes, a student just finds it’s hard to be present at school for whatever reason,” West says. “So we see this as a place where we can provide what we call ‘community care conferences,’ where you can have some quiet time to get settled and have a conference with one of our staff.” Students facing more serious issues can be referred to traditional school counseling, but others who just need a listening ear will be able to return to class with improved focus and confidence, West says. Student Quynn Lewis says dropping by The Galley has been a gamechanger. “Honestly, this is the most social I have ever been in my entire life,” Lewis says. “When school makes me lose my mind, I come in here.” One of Humanities Amped’s biggest objectives is to empower vulnerable young people to feel that they can enact change, both in their personal lives and in their communities. “We’re constantly asking them, ‘What does the world say about you, and what do you want to say back to the world?’” West says. “And that, overwhelmingly, is that they don’t feel they have a voice. We want to change that.” humanitiesamped.org

The students are encouraged to get creative and express themselves in everything from art to poetry to research projects on community issues.

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OUR CITY //

An open door Community fridges have popped up in Mid City, and good neighbors are stocking it for those in need

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“To me, mutual aid is the non-transactional care for other people where you get nothing out of it,” he says. “It’s about caring for the survival of other people.” Not long after the fridge debuted outside Yes We Cannibal at 1600 Government St. in September, another fridge popped up at The Red Shoes, 2303 Government St., in late October. “We were on board from the beginning,” says Wendy Herschman, executive director at The Red Shoes. “I loved the idea from the start.” Though all donations are welcome, Keel and Herschman say that some are more helpful than others. Items in high demand at both fridges are readyto-eat meals, drinks, frozen meals and meal kits. Keel says people who use the fridges might not have the proper kitchen tools to prepare foods that require a lot of prep work.

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Baton Rouge Community Fridge at Yes We Cannibal

ARIANA ALLISON

IF YOU’VE DRIVEN along Government Street lately, you may have noticed some brightly colored sheds in front of the Yes We Cannibal art space and The Red Shoes nonprofit center. Though they seem small, these sheds house community fridges and pantries stocked with items like dairy products, frozen dinners, canned vegetables, soups and boxed pasta. Known as the Baton Rouge Community Fridges, they are meant for anyone to take what they need and give what they can. It’s all in an effort to support those struggling with food insecurity. Mat Keel, a community fridge volunteer and co-founder of Yes We Cannibal, says the project came about after seeing similar fridges pop up in other big cities. Keel, who co-founded the fridge alongside a group of volunteers, says its purpose is all about mutual aid.

When donating to the community fridge, Keel hopes people will keep certain things in mind. “Surrender your expectations about what you think poverty is or the reasons why you think people use this fridge,” he says. “Put stuff that you would eat. Treat other people like human beings; don’t treat these fridges like you wouldn’t treat your own kitchen. And above all, be empathetic.”

Herschman says she hopes more people hear about the fridges and help to spread the word. “These fridges tell people who often feel invisible that people out there care,” she says. “You don’t have to jump through any hoops to get something you need. You just have to come open the shed door.” brcommunityfridge.com

—OLIVIA DEFFES


OUR CITY //

T H E L AT E S T

Passenger rail

The St. George battle

STOCK IMAGE

What’s happening now: Both sides in the legal fight over incorporation of the City of St. George were trying to figure out what to do when Judge William Morvant announced his retirement from the 19th Judicial Court at the end of 2021. The first option was splitting the cost to appoint a commissioner to fill in for Morvant, though neither side could come to agreement. The second option is for the Louisiana Supreme Court to appoint an ad hoc judge—otherwise the ongoing lawsuit would have to wait for an election to refill Morvant’s seat.

Construction on the interstate through the city could take decades.

What’s next: The appointment of an ad hoc judge was still up in the air, as of press time in early December. The election for Morvant’s successor is set for March with a runoff in April. The trial was tentatively scheduled for April or May.

What’s happening now: Canadian Pacific Railway in December committed to establishing passenger service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Gov. John Bel Edwards and Amtrak had already signaled they were ready to move forward, so the announcement in December means the project isn’t so much a pipe dream anymore. With the passage of federal infrastructure spending in fall 2021, the funding source is mostly lined up as well. What’s next: Canadian Pacific Railway is in the midst of a merger with Kansas City Southern, which is expected to be finalized by the end of 2022. After that, it plans to work with Amtrak to initially develop one round trip per day for the service. Early proposals included the establishment of several train stations along the route.

Interstate widening What’s happening now: Construction of the westbound College Drive flyover ramp is already underway—and you’ve probably noticed the activity at the I-10/I-12 split—but the state is still finalizing construction plans for the larger interstate widening project through Baton Rouge. The agenda includes adding a lane in both directions from Port Allen to the split near Essen Lane, replacing the bridge over City Park Lake and completing the College Drive flyover. What’s next: Early 2023 is the tentative groundbreaking date for the first phase of widening, which is anticipated to take about five years. That section starts at the base of the Mississippi River bridge at Washington Street and extends to the on/off ramps at Perkins Road.

S AY W HAT?

“They’re going to take care of, as much as they can, their colleagues.” —Alfred “Butch” Speer, former clerk of the state House of Representatives, speaking at a Council for a Better Louisiana luncheon in December, according to the Associated Press. State leaders were discussing the yearlong redistricting “road show” in 2021 to gather public input before a massive redrawing of state district maps begins early this year. Speer commented that lawmakers would likely ignore most of the public’s ideas in favor of protecting their jobs, which was quickly followed by pushback from chairs of the House & Governmental Affairs Committee. They countered that Speer’s unfiltered remarks in retirement didn’t reflect the goals of the public hearings. Still, residents get one more chance Jan. 20 to speak up during a final hearing at 11 a.m. inside the state capitol before the special redistricting session begins.

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Brittany Lawrence

COLLIN RICHIE

THE HEALTHY FOOD and drink community in Baton Rouge is on the rise. From juice shops to veganfriendly restaurants, conscious consumers now have lots of options to purchase nutritious food and lifestyle products. While the state capital has made significant progress, the same can’t always be said for the greater Baton Rouge region. Brittany Lawrence is a Zachary native who struggled to find healthy food in her neighborhood. Until she opened Zen-Jus on Main Street in Zachary in 2020, the mother of three had to drive up to 30 minutes to get organic groceries and plant-based meals. Since opening, Zen-Jus has become a convenient shop for people to pick up cold-pressed juices, coffee drinks, plant-based milks, and alkaline meals and vegan plant-based meals. The holistic shop also sells locally made chemicalfree body products, incense, sage, essential oils,

natural vitamins and alternative medicines. Lawrence makes all of the fresh-pressed juices in-house. Zen-Jus has eight juices on the menu, including the customer favorites Open Heart Beets, which is made with beets, carrots, apples, lime and ginger; Let it Flow, made from kale, spinach and celery; and Energize, made from apples, carrots, lemons and ginger. Customers can order juices in sizes ranging from 16 to 32 ounces. Those who want to do a three-day juice cleanse can order 18 bottles of juice, drinking roughly six bottles a day. Lawrence wanted to create a one-stop-shop for people seeking plant-based foods, natural household items and locally made gifts. The 34-year-old didn’t want to do it alone and wanted to give other local businesses without a storefront a space to share their products. Before Lawrence opened her shop doors, she sold fresh cold-pressed juices at the Zachary farm-

ers market alongside many of the businesses who are now her store vendors. “About 75% of the products we carry are from other local businesses, and 90% of the businesses are Blackowned,” Lawrence says. Local goods include elderberry syrup by Ellie Mae’s Elderberry; herbal tea by Adornleaf Tea Co.; CBD oil from Mountain Pure CBD; sea moss gel and drinks by Lyfestyle Naturals; essential oil blends by Beluga Bliss; and vegan meals by The Golden Vegan. She describes the community of small healthfocused businesses as a family, and says their network is more like a brother- and sisterhood. Lawrence strives to continue sharing her space with other local businesses, inspire other Black and women business owners to follow their dreams, and promote a healthy and mindful lifestyle. zen-jus.square.site

—CYNTHEA CORFAH

“It’s not about what specific diet you’re on; it’s about making conscious decisions about what you consume.” 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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SITO NARCISSE, ED.D. Superintendent of Schools

What is your favorite inspirational quote? "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." — Nelson Mandela

Why are you proud to be in the EBR Public School System? This is an exciting time in public education! EBR has taken on the challenge of providing each scholar a pathway to their bright future. The business, higher education and governmental systems of the parish are coalescing around the goal of making our city and parish an exciting place to live and learn. My role in supporting leaders is key, and we have begun a journey to ensure a high-quality leader in each of our schools.

SHARON D. WILLIAMS, ED.D. Chief of Schools

What is your favorite inspirational quote? "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MICHAEL ROBINSON, ED.D. Chief Academic Officer


What is your hope for the students of EBR? It is my hope that every student in East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, Pre-K to 12, will become strategic independent readers and writers, building a strong knowledge of the world around them.

BARBARA PATRICK-LASHLEY, ED.D. Chief of Literacy

Why are you proud to be in the EBR Public School System? As a lifelong resident of Louisiana, I realize how important education is and how great an impact an educator has on the life of a child. So to have the opportunity to be part of a community dedicated to the education and betterment of the lives of our children allows me to fulfill my educational and professional goals.

STACEY H. DUPRE

Chief Officer of Student Support and Special Projects

What is your hope for the students of EBR? It is my hope that we are providing the opportunity for every child, in every classroom, every day to meet his or her potential. My biggest hope for our children is that they are able to realize their dreams through the work we are doing through our schools.

ALEXANDRA DEIRO STUBBS Chief of Communications and Community Engagement


C OV E R S T ORY

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BRANDON GALLEGO / COURTESY LSU ATHLETICS

BRANDON GALLEGO / COURTESY LSU ATHLETICS

Millions of eyes are on LSU gymnast and bigtime social media influencer Olivia Dunne—and she is putting the spotlight back on her school.


People to C OV E R S T ORY

2022

WATCH IN THE CAPITAL REGION

A SIGN OF THE TIMES

As the calendar turns to January, we’re breaking out another calendar: the zodiac. We’ve researched the astrological signs for each of our People to Watch to uncover the leadership traits that help them succeed. Say what you will about astrology, but after the past two years, we could all use a little celestial guidance—or at the very least, a little fun. ASTROLOGICAL PERSONALITY TRAITS SOURCED VIA NADINE JANE ASTROLOGY

WHAT WILL 2022 look like? The people featured in these pages have a lot to say about it. This year’s class of People to Watch are changing the game inside our local classrooms, sports stadiums, bike lanes and art galleries. A cryptocurrency company has already managed to donate more than $2 million-plus to charity—and it’s based right here in Baton Rouge. The founder of an education alliance is holding public schools accountable—and empowering parents and everyday citizens to do the same. One local physician’s work on COVID-19 preventatives could save lives. And a young social media guru’s posts reach as many followers as the entire population of the state of Louisiana. If the past year taught us anything, it’s that we can’t predict the future. But we can at least look toward those who are shaping it and know they all have the same goal in mind: making this city a better place to live in—and be proud of.

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C OV E R S T ORY

People to Watch - MEDICAL

SEAN GASSER

DR. HENRY BARHAM considers himself a nerd. As a board-certified ear, nose and throat physician who works as a dedicated rhinologist at Sinus and Nasal Specialists of Louisiana, he loves diving into the science behind the human body and unraveling why certain things behave the way they do. So when the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head in 2020, it was Barham’s time to shine. He began research on a group of taste receptors that hadn’t been extensively studied in response to viruses before—and found a connection between a person’s ability to perceive certain bitter stimulants and the symptoms and severity of their COVID-19 infection. Researchers used his findings to then design an accurate, inexpensive taste test that can be administered at home with instant, detailed results. Consumers can now order the test online at phenomune.com. “I love the science of it,” Barham says. “And from a scientific point, I think the beauty of this whole thing is you have a safe, inexpensive, easily scalable test that could be available to anyone in the world during a time of pandemic. The test itself is not a treatment—it’s information. Right or wrong, we’re at a time where people distrust health care; they distrust pharmaceutical companies. You have one group who loves the vaccine, and you have one group who thinks that it’s some ultimate scheme. Regardless, it’s split. And so the beauty of this thing in my mind is that it’s not pushing a medication. It’s literally giving people information about their health status that allows them to make better decisions on their own without pressure.” After months of clinical trials—some of which are still ongoing and others which are being planned for the future—Barham’s work has also led to the development of a nasal spray that is being studied as a separate COVID-19 preventative. There are more variations of the spray that will be studied and tested soon. With the omicron variant and the possibility of future mutations keeping fears about the virus alive, Barham’s studies are more important now than ever before. sinusandnasalspecialists.com

—MARK CLEMENTS

MORE TO WATCH Pennington Diabetes Clinic director Tiffany M. Stewart is leading Pennington’s first model treatment clinic, which targets obesity and type 2 diabetes in the state’s Medicaid patients. She is also working with Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s Healthy BR on a program to improve nutrition, fitness, sleep and body image in kids.

Dr. Henry Barham THE LOCAL PHYSICIAN IS WORKING TO SAVE LIVES WITH NEW COVID-19 PREVENTATIVES

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LIBRA

Perceptive Kind Harmonizin g


People to Watch - COMMUNITY

Lynley Farris

C OV E R S T ORY

GEMIN I Dyn amic Quick Social

AS BIKE BATON ROUGE’S FIRST WOMAN

PRESIDENT, LYNLEY FARRIS IS PUSHING THE CITY TOWARD A SHARE-THE-ROAD CULTURE BIKING RUNS IN Lynley Farris’ blood. The Missouri native has been surrounded by cyclists since she can remember. Her aunt competed in triathlons, and her sister worked at a bike shop and rode mountain bikes. For Farris, cycling has always been a favorite form of exercise and commuting. When the 38-year-old moved to Baton Rouge in 2015 for a job with AmeriCorps, she was worried about local bike safety. “The first month I moved to Baton Rouge, 10 people were hit on bikes. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I moved to a city where I’m never getting on a bike again,” Farris says. In 2015, Baton Rouge was named a “focus city” by the Federal Highway Administration due to its high rate of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries. As a result, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development secured funding to create the East Baton Rouge Parish Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan in 2020 to create safer conditions for those who walk and bike in town. While many steps have been taken to make Baton Rouge a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly city, bicyclist deaths are still a major issue. In November 2021, two local bicyclists died after being hit by drivers on the road. Since 2015, Louisiana has topped the charts in being one of the deadliest states for cyclists. And in 2021, Louisiana was named the fourth riskiest bicycling state in a report by Street Light Data. After getting involved in the Baton Rouge cycling community through Capitol Heights Social Rides and joining the board of Bike Baton Rouge, Farris was determined to make the Capital City more bike-friendly, educate those interested in riding, and help locals feel safe cycling. Founded in 2006, Bike Baton Rouge is a nonprofit that works to make bicycling and walking in the city and its surrounding areas safer, easier and more enjoyable through advocacy, education and action. Much could change in Baton “I joined the board because I really wanted to help Rouge leadership in 2022. Baton Rouge capture the moment of people wanting Following the retirements and to ride bikes again during 2020,” Farris says. departures of several longtime In November 2021, Bike Baton Rouge named leaders, searches are currently Farris the organization’s first woman president. With underway to fill some of the her newly appointed role, she plans to keep the top positions at organizations organization’s wheels turning by working alongside like Baton Rouge Area city and parish officials to implement the Pedestrian Foundation, Baton Rouge Zoo, and Bicycle Master Plan, curating monthly rides for Louisiana Public Broadcasting, different neighborhoods around town and building a Visit Baton Rouge and solid leadership team. Downtown Development Before this year, the organization functioned more District. as a club, she says. In 2022, she wants it to be a fully functioning and thriving nonprofit. “Changing our culture from a car culture to a sharethe-road culture is the main goal,” Farris says. “There’s more than one mode of transportation, and if we could be more understanding of that, it would feel safer for cyclists. Bicyclist deaths are still happening, we still have so much work to do.” bikebr.org

COLLIN RICHIE

MORE TO WATCH

—CYNTHEA CORFAH

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People to Watch - ARTS

Jason

COLLIN RICHIE

C OV E R S T ORY

TAUR U

S Grou nd Reliab ed le Loyal

Andreasen BATON ROUGE GALLERY IS PUTTING LOCAL ART ON DISPLAY FAR BEYOND THE

GALLERY’S WALLS—THROUGH SHOWCASES AT THE AIRPORT, ON FACE MASKS AND MORE FLY THROUGH THE Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport these days, and take in the work of Louisiana artists, thanks to a new program spearheaded by Baton Rouge Gallery. It’s one of the many ways BRG president and CEO Jason Andreasen has aimed to demystify the sometimes stuffy reputation of art galleries and make the works of local artists and creatives more accessible. “One of the things we’ve been hoping to do is to start meeting people where they are, as opposed to always asking them to come and meet us,” Andreasen says. “More and more, we’re hoping to go out and meet Baton Rouge where Baton Rouge is.” The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport project, called BRG@BTR, provided an opportunity to breathe new life into a defunct space, Andreasen says. The former B Concourse smokers’ lounge was retooled as an art gallery, while the A and B Concourses now also include original art installations. The program was in the works before the COVID-19 shutdown, but just opened officially in November 2021. It currently features the works of about two dozen Louisiana artists, which will rotate with others from BRG’s roster of 70 member artists. It reflects a nationwide trend in which more airports are housing pieces by local artists to showcase regional character and identity, while improving the visual experience for travelers. Andreasen isn’t a stranger to pushing for innovative and attention-grabbing programming. Throughout his 14-year tenure with

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the gallery, he has helped it become a lively, interactive space where art appreciators can opt in to all sorts of experiences, from listening to an artist talk or attending a free monthly opening, to wearing a zany costume at the annual Surreal Salon or watching a silent film set to live music on the gallery’s lawn. Situated in BREC’s City-Brooks Community Park, Baton Rouge Gallery has become an inviting hub that makes people feel comfortable while coaxing the local art scene in exciting new directions. While COVID put a damper on BRG’s events, the gallery found new ways to connect with the community, including launching a collection of cloth masks printed with the works of more than 60 of its artist members. Andreasen says he’s encouraged about the community’s longterm commitment to the arts. “I think when the pandemic took a lot of these kinds of experiences away from us, people recognized the value that art adds to the city, and to their lives personally,” Andreasen says. “I see people making sure that places like this, which are special to them, will thrive.” Look for regular in-person programming to resume full-throttle in 2022, including the return of the costumed Surreal Salon this month. batonrougegallery.org

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

MORE TO WATCH Dave Remmetter is part of the team bringing back the famous Chelsea’s Cafe, now reimagined as Chelsea’s Live. The music venue at 1010 Nicholson Drive may be open by the time this magazine hits stands. It already has shows booked into the summertime—including several national acts.


People to Watch - EDUCATION

C OV E R S T ORY

Sito Narcisse THE SUPERINTENDENT IS PUSHING BATON ROUGE SCHOOLS FORWARD FROM THE PANDEMIC—

S TTAAGI Ad RIU

S ven Opti turous mist Seek ic er

AND INTO A FUTURE WITH A NEW ARTS ACADEMY AND IMPROVED ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

ON THE JOB for a year now, East Baton Rouge Parish School System Superintendent Sito Narcisse hasn’t been afraid to make bold decisions, joking that “when you’re flying a jet, you take off fast, not slow.” Narcisse has also had time to form an opinion about his adopted city. “People who live here don’t always see Baton Rouge’s potential,” he says. “We have a lot going on, but we don’t always show confidence. You meet someone from New Orleans, and they have a swagger. Baton Rouge isn’t really that way, but we should be.” Indeed, Narcisse sees his role as constantly reminding the public what’s possible for the state’s second largest school system, which still struggles with large numbers of D- and F-rated schools. Narcisse’s career interest is urban school districts like East Baton Rouge Parish’s, and he’s no stranger to their challenges. Last summer, he started with a new, detailed strategic plan that included target benchmarks in four areas: student achievement, customer service, operational excellence and employee development. “The biggest difference with this plan is that it’s measurable and includes key performance indicators,” Narcisse says. “I think it’s important for families to hold us accountable.” Narcisse’s vision includes opening “new types of schools that give students more options,” he says. After leading a group of educational insiders on a trip to Miami to learn how the Miami-Dade School District has innovated arts education, Narcisse sold the idea of creating a dedicated arts academy for grades six through 12. Broadmoor Middle School, which closed in 2019, will be converted into the new academy. It is tentatively scheduled to open in fall 2024. That’s not the only new offering families will be able to take advantage of, Narcisse says. “We’re looking at creating partnership schools that work with colleges and universities to offer special programs,” Narcisse says. “We want to build on the resources we have here in the city. For example, you might see a partnership that trains students to work in the field of water management and resiliency.” Elsewhere, Narcisse says expanding dual enrollment classes, which allow students to earn college credit for select classes they take for free in high school, is a big priority. He will also push for industrybased certifications to be available to students in public high schools, preparing them for work in high-need sectors like construction manufacturing, business management, technology and others. This year, Narcisse faces a unique opportunity—an infusion of $144 million in federal relief funds to curtail educational setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s going to help us to catch kids up and to accelerate children to the next level,” Narcisse says. “We are going to be very aggressive in moving kids forward.” ebrschools.org

SEAN GASSER

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

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People to Watch - EDUCATION

Adonica Duggan

C OV E R S T ORY

VIRGO

Sharp Precise Inventiv e

THROUGH HER BATON ROUGE ALLIANCE FOR STUDENTS, DUGGAN IS SPEAKING UP FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS—AND TEACHING THE REST OF US TO DO THE SAME

MORE TO WATCH This month, William F. Tate marks six months as president of LSU. Tate made history last summer when he became the first Black person to lead LSU as well as the first Black head of a Southeastern Conference university. In addition to his presidential duties, Tate has also been tasked with navigating the school’s COVID-19 policies (including a vaccine mandate for students and staff) and changing how the university handles Title IX complaints. COLLIN RICHIE

IT’S NOT UNUSUAL for public education advocates to get lost in the policy weeds when arguing for school improvements. But Adonica Duggan makes her case with something more fundamental: children. “I believe kids are born amazing,” says Duggan, a mother of four and founder of the Baton Rouge Alliance for Students. “But it’s up to the adults in their lives to unlock that potential. And right now, we’re robbing our city of what our kids could potentially offer it.” The need for Baton Rouge to get serious, really serious, about improving its poorly performing public school system is central to the mission of the Alliance, the education nonprofit Duggan launched in spring 2021. The Alliance’s mission is to empower families and everyday citizens to expect more from public schools through a variety of programs. It aims to educate families about how to find a school that fits their child’s needs; to train new leaders to push for student-centered change; and to speak up for underserved communities. Duggan’s background is in communications with the Zachary Community School District and the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, where she says she got an earful from families frustrated that their children’s needs weren’t being met. A subsequent stint at New Schools for Baton Rouge gave her a chance to craft a program called Change Makers, a leadership class that educates community members about how to improve the school system. With encouragement from New Schools, Duggan created the Alliance, which now independently operates the Change Makers program. Its first cohort of participants will complete training in the spring, after touring a variety of local schools and meeting with education leaders. A new class will be onboarded later this year. “We have a moment of opportunity right now that we’ve never had before,” Duggan says. “We have a new superintendent, a new strategic plan, and we have an influx of COVID relief funding that can set us up for success and allow us to do something transformational. Or, we can continue to be left behind.” Over the last few decades, families have defected from the parish’s public schools in large numbers; the system has one of the highest rates of private and parochial school enrollment in the country. But when she speaks, Duggan is talking to everyone, regardless of their personal participation in public schools. Because that, argues Duggan, shouldn’t stop the community from “stacking hands,” and caring about how all children are educated. “As a community, we have to come together with a vision for what it means to be well educated in Baton Rouge,” Duggan says. “No matter what kind of situation you’re born into, you should have access to a high-quality education.” bralliance.org

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

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C OV E R S T ORY

People to Watch - FOOD PETER SCLAFANI HAS spent decades thinking about what makes Baton Rouge diners tick. The 20-year former executive chef and co-owner of Ruffino’s Restaurant helped expand the city’s fine dining scene with a reliably robust menu that made people feel relaxed, while gently pushing their culinary sensibilities. But being a one-concept man wasn’t Sclafani’s lifelong goal, and in 2019, he left Ruffino’s, transitioning from chef to operating partner in what soon became a cadre of concepts. He bought into Phil’s Oyster Bar and helped the beloved seafood house tighten its internal systems. He also teamed with Kiva Guidroz, founder of Portobello’s, to launch Making Raving Fans Hospitality Group, which now owns and operates two locations of Portobello’s, P-Beau’s in Denham Springs and SoLou, a trendy concept the two opened in March 2021 with Juban’s partner Michael Boudreaux. The contemporary Louisianathemed eatery, a whimsical spot with Instagrammable fare, has consistently surpassed sales expectations since it opened, Sclafani says. Now operating a restaurant group with just under 400 employees, Sclafani says he aims to create excellence across diverse concepts. SoLou, a departure from the steak-and-cab ethos of Ruffino’s, attracts a majority female audience with its ingredient-intense, shareable dishes. Meanwhile, Phil’s and Portobello’s are projects that have allowed Sclafani to drive improvements in stable brands that he says needed tweaking. “Somebody pointed out that it’s one of the things our company is kind of becoming known for: reimagining iconic brands,” Sclafani says. Nowhere is that more accurate than in Sclafani’s latest project—the reopening of Juban’s. The Acadian Village restaurant, arguably Baton Rouge’s most indelible fine dining establishment, closed during the pandemic because of its heavy reliance on private events. Sclafani, Guidroz and Boudreaux are working to reenergize the restaurant while still guarding its core identity. The team hired Xdesign and DNA Workshop to redesign and renovate the space, and installed Chris Motto to create a new menu and serve as executive chef. Never fear, the Hallelujah Crab and Fish Adrian will return, but they’ll be joined by the kinds of dishes you’d want to eat while marking a special occasion—even if that’s just a Tuesday night, Sclafani says. The restaurant could open by Valentine’s Day. “Our big goal with this company is to ‘make someone’s day, every day,’” Sclafani says. “We want people to be happier when they leave one of our restaurants than when they got here.” Sclafani isn’t going public yet with details, but he says plans are afoot for two more concepts in greater Baton Rouge. One of those could open as soon as 2022. makingravingfans.com —MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

MORE TO WATCH Horatio Isadore’s Southern Cofe is about more than caffeinated beverages—it brought a much-needed space for coffee and healthy food in a safe, creative environment to Scotlandville when it opened in 2017. Now, the brand is growing, with a new stand that opened in downtown’s Main Street Market last year and a full renovation of the Scotlandville flagship on the way. Chase Lyons has been the visionary behind some of the Capital City’s biggest restaurants, first as an original co-founder of City Pork and now as owner of Soji: Modern Asian. Coming soon: Lotus Lounge, a tiki concept inside Soji; and Capri: Coastal Italian + Rooftop Lounge, a new restaurant in the former Bumsteers building.

COLLIN RICHIE

Peter Sclafani RI CAPRN CO ted

Devo ined pl Disci rising Surp

THE LONGTIME RESTAURATEUR BEHIND BRANDS LIKE SOLOU EXPANDS HIS EMPIRE THIS YEAR WITH THE NEW JUBAN’S—AND MORE CONCEPTS TO COME

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People to Watch - SPORTS

Olivia Dunne

C OV E R S T ORY

LIBRA

Percepti ve Kind Harmon izing

THE LSU GYMNAST HAS LANDED SOME OF THE BIGGEST NIL DEALS IN THE COUNTRY—THROUGH IT ALL, SHE’S BRINGING NEW EYES TO THE SPORT

BRANDON GALLEGO / COURTESY LSU ATHLETICS

ON A GLOOMY day in December, Olivia Dunne is recovering from the flu. Livvy, as her friends call her, isn’t up for making a TikTok post today. That is OK, of course, but her 4.6 million—yes, you read that right, 4.6 million—TikTok followers will be expecting something soon. “I’m just doing what I love to do,” Dunne says. “Nothing really feels like a job, but I definitely have responsibilities.” Such is the life of the LSU sophomore gymnast who, through endorsements, is assumedly the highest-paid undergraduate on campus. And that was kind of the goal when she came here from Paramus, New Jersey. “We had no clue where LSU even was,” Dunne admits with a smile. I was really young when I first started getting recruited by LSU … Honestly, I didn’t really know what LSU was. At first I was immediately interested because my coach told me their colors were purple, and I was like, ‘This is amazing.’ I visited my freshman year and they had the best facilities and the best coaching staff, and the school spirit is the best I have ever seen. It was kind of like a no-brainer that I wanted to come here.” All she did as a freshman in the 2020-21 school year was become an All-American on the uneven bars, make the SEC academic honor roll, and position herself to become an even greater social media sensation. Dunne has 1.4 million followers on Instagram, and more than 19,000 on Twitter (although she’s not keen on Twitter, she says). “Yes, sometimes the gymnasts can get overlooked because a lot of people know me through social media and TikTok, really,” she says. “When people started finding out that I was an LSU gymnast they were amazed and wanted to tune into the meets and stuff, and I thought that was really cool, to bring attention to gymnastics.” Dunne, who was home-schooled in high school, has as her biggest sponsors Vuori Clothing, American Eagle, Plant Fuel (a plant-based supplement) and Bartleby (a study helper). When she gets gifted clothing, Dunne tries to make sure her teammates get some, too. Her older sister, Julz, is also an LSU student and handles much of her business affairs. “I honestly didn’t think the NIL rule was going to change while I was in college,” Dunne says. “But the fact that it did is pretty historical and very cool.” For Dunne, the new policy has meant endorsement money of more than $1 million just this past year. “A lot of people support what I’m doing and like to see what I’m doing, which is crazy,” she says. “Sometimes it’s hard to come up with content. People sometimes think it’s easy to always have ideas and stuff because it’s just social media. I have schoolwork and gymnastics, but I take out time every day to do social media.” She tries to post on TikTok once a day and aims for a couple of times a week on Instagram. Dunne is majoring in interdisciKEY TERM plinary studies, but will likely turn her attention to “growing my own brand and being an entrepreneur.” And, lest we forget, gymnastics season is almost here. She The new name, image says she still loves the sport. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it,” and likeness policy she says. went into effect July 1, She does, of course, have options. 2021, allowing NCAA Find her on TikTok at @livvy athletes to accept —LEE FEINSWOG endorsements.

NIL

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People to Watch - SPORTS

Kim Mulkey

REBECCA WARREN / COURTESY LSU ATHLETICS

C OV E R S T ORY

TAUR U

S Grou nd Reliab ed le Loyal

LSU FANS—AND OPPONENTS—ARE UNDOUBTEDLY GOING TO BE WATCHING COACH MULKEY FOR A LONG TIME TO COME KIM MULKEY IS used to having all eyes focused on her. She’s a six-time national champion, an eight-time National Coach of the Year and has been inducted into nearly a dozen Hall of Fames in her coaching career. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she was unfazed by both the attention and the challenges that came with the LSU women’s basketball job. It’s not often a coach of Mulkey’s caliber makes a move to another school, but the allure of coming home was enough to convince the Tickfaw native to leave the prestigious program she had built at Baylor to try and do the same in Baton Rouge. And it hasn’t taken long to get her footing back in her home state. At press time, Mulkey’s Tigers had won seven of their first eight games, headlined by a marquee upset over No. 14 Iowa State— LSU’s first non-conference win over a ranked team since 2014. It’s been one of the Tigers’ best starts to a season in recent history, but Mulkey knows there is plenty more work to be done. “Winning solves a lot, and it isn’t just the ranked teams,”

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Mulkey tells 225. “It just makes athletes realize that one, your hard work will pay off, and two, we’re good. Don’t walk around thinking you’re a loser because you had a losing season last year. Walk around and carry yourself with confidence. We’re not going to win all the games, but this is a new start. It’s a new beginning, so let’s have a different approach and mindset.” Mulkey isn’t just a name to watch in 2022. She’ll be one to keep an eye on for the next five, eight, 10 years and beyond. And if her vision for LSU’s basketball program comes to fruition, it’ll be quite an entertaining ride. “I don’t view a 6-1 record as success,” Mulkey says of the team’s record in early December. “What I’m looking for is down the road when you’re a perennial top team, and you’re able to compete for championships. This is rewarding to see the excitement in the community, and it’s rewarding to have players who play hard for you. And that will take you a long way. But … you’ve got to keep perspective. We have a long way to go.” lsusports.net/sports/wbball

—MARK CLEMENTS


MORE

ATCH W O T

C OV E R S T ORY

Eric Dooley SOUTHERN LOOKS TO BRING BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH ITS NEW HEAD COACHING HIRE

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ERIC DOOLEY RETURNED home last month to reenergize the Jaguars’ football program as its new head coach. Dooley is a Southern University alum and former assistant coach for the team. His daughter is currently a student at Southern, as well. He was introduced as head coach shortly before 225 went to press in a Dec. 7 celebration. At Prairie View A&M University, where he had been head coach since 2018, Dooley led the team to its first division title since 2009 and to its first appearance in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship. At Southern, he was part of Coach Pete Richardson’s staff from 1997-2009—and a part of the 1997 and 2003 national title teams. “This hiring speaks to who we are and who we are going to be,” Southern athletic director Roman Banks said during Dooley’s introductory news conference. “He’s a champion of a man, and so our expectations are to have a champion of a program.” Dooley’s four-year contract has a base salary of $310,000. The Jaguars went 4-7 this past season and haven’t won a SWAC title in nearly a decade. Dooley is determined to turn things around. At press time, he had already dove into recruiting and building his coaching staff. “Come to the field and come to the games, and you’re going to get just what you came for. … We’re gonna get the job done,” Dooley promised during his intro speech. “I have no doubt in my mind—because I know the abilities of the young men that are here in this state and around the state.” gojagsports.com —NEWS REPORTS

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225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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People to Watch - SPORTS

C OV E R S T ORY

Brian Kelly

LSU FOOTBALL’S NEW COACH IS THE PROGRAM’S BIGGEST HIRE YET

CHRIS PARENT / COURTESY LSU ATHLETICS

AFTER TWO LACKLUSTER years with a coach who had lost his luster, LSU lured Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly away from South Bend to try to bring the Tigers back to the promised land of college football. He was introduced Dec. 1 and immediately, as they say, won the press conference. He then kept it going by attending that night’s LSU basketball game and addressing the wildly cheering crowd at halftime. “I will tell you this: The greatest fans deserve an incredible football team,” Kelly told fans in the PMAC. “We will begin right this minute to put together the next national championship football team at Louisiana State University!” His record is the best of any football coach ever hired at LSU, and for it he got a 10-year, $95 million contract. LSU has won national championships in 1958, 2003, 2007 and 2019. But in the truncated 2020 season, the Tigers finished 5-5, the worst ever for a team after winning it all. At this writing, they’d finished 2021 at 6-6 and were pondering bowl opportunities. Kelly is not going to win the Miss Congeniality award. He has a blunt, matter-offact style that is reminiscent of other top-level coaches (think Nick Saban and Bill Belichick) and gets right to the point. He has his share of off-the-field detractors, too. Do a Google search for “Brian Kelly jerk,” and 23 million hits come up. When he was introduced to the LSU faithful, The Advocate did a story with the headline “As Brian Kelly comes to LSU, here’s a look back at off-the-field Notre Dame controversies.” Among them: A student videographer died when the lift on which he was shooting flipped over in a Notre Dame practice. A student from another school reported that a Notre Dame football player raped her and she later committed suicide. And Notre Dame had to vacate wins in 2012 and 2013 when the NCAA ruled that football players got improper academic help. None of that will matter to LSU fans if Kelly does what his three predecessors—Nick Saban, Les Miles and Ed Orgeron—all did: Win the national championship.

—LEE FEINSWOG

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SCORP

IO

Honest Reflectiv Mysterio e us


C OV E R S T ORY

People to Watch - BUSINESS + TECH

DAVID MAHLER HAS a story that is almost not to be believed. “It’s pretty wild. There’s definitely been a lot of detours. But since 2005, 2006, it’s been a pretty amazing ride,” Mahler says. “I’ve been very, very blessed ever since I went out on my own.” Mahler, 41, has two businesses. One is H&O Grounds, a lawn maintenance company that’s one of the biggest in the Southeast. It’s so big that it enabled him to start his other one, Game Coin, with his friend Frankie Badeaux. Game Coin, a cryptocurrency company launched this past June, has changed his life and many others. Since then, Mahler says, “more than probably $50 million” has flowed through the venture, which has put him in a position he’s never imagined. “Anybody who’s anybody, they have reached out since Game Coin was launched,” Mahler says. His family moved to Baton Rouge from New Orleans when he was in the eighth grade. Mahler started high school at Christian Life and finished at Broadmoor, where he played football and baseball. College? No desire. “I didn’t do college, which ties into my story, for sure,” he says. Mahler sold vacuum cleaners door to door and was “making a ton of money.” At 20, he took a job at DSM Copolymer, but at the same time, he and his wife owned a couple of 18-wheelers. When Katrina hit, those trucks got busy hauling FEMA trailers. The opportunity to install them was so lucrative, he quit his real job. And that led to some incredibly large contracts to mow lawns in New Orleans. Along the way, in December 2005, he bought H&O from his uncle with help from his grandparents and parents. Now, “I employ a bunch of people, and we cut a whole lot of grass,” Mahler says, noting that H&O cuts about 400,000 acres a year. Yes, he’s heard the Forrest Gump references. Badeaux, already into crypto, had the idea to start Game Coin. They founded it together with the idea to obviously capitalize on the market, but also to have a philanthropic angle. “With every buy, sell or trade, there’s tokenomics in our crypto, and there’s a 7% transaction fee and 5% of that goes back to charity,” Mahler explains. “Our foundation is providing for the less fortunate around the country in order to help kids who don’t have the same opportunities as my kids have.” Already Game Coin has donated $2 million-plus to various causes. “We’ll be able to impact the entire world and level the playing field for any kid that is less fortunate financially if we can find that kid. That’s where my portion of Game Coin comes in.” As it grows and more big-time athletes come on board and he meets with venture capitalists and sports agents, it’s not lost on Mahler “that I became very popular overnight. Before that, man, well, I tell people all the time when they ask what I do for a living: I tell them I’m a grass-cutter.” handollc.com and thegamecoin.net —LEE FEINSWOG

David Mahler S ARIitEious

COLLIN RICHIE

MORE TO WATCH In April 2020, Claire Aillet launched her app Shop the Area. Often compared to Waitr, Aillet says, the app allows customers to order items from their favorite local shops for same-day delivery. The app and website were recently relaunched and integrated with e-commerce platform Shopify. At press time, eight boutiques were listed on its site. Up next in 2022: a launch in New Orleans.

Amb lsive Impu rful Powe

BATON ROUGE IS OFFICIALLY IN THE CRYPTOCURRENCY GAME, THANKS TO FAST-GROWING GAME COIN

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

FOLLOW THE LEADERS in H E A LT H & WELLNESS on social media, on their websites, and in this special section—as they share their passions, discuss what’s trending, and offer advice for living a happy and healthy life.

SPONSORED BY:

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

Childhood comes and goes in a blink. We’re here through the stages of your life, with the strength of the cross, the protection of the shield. The Right Card. The Right Care.

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

THE SPINE CENTER OF BATON ROUGE @spinecenterbr

S P I N E S U R G E RY

Kevin P. McCarthy, MD

ASK THE EXPERT Dr. Kevin McCarthy founded The Spine Center of Baton Rouge in 2011, with a special emphasis on minimally invasive spine surgery. He received awards for best orthopedic resident at Tulane Medical Center, graduated with high honors from Michigan State University and earned his medical degree from Wayne State University.

GOOD ADVICE Maintain a healthy body weight and follow a nutritious diet—being overweight can play a big role in musculoskeletal pain. Also, maintaining good posture and a strong core can be important. Finally, we recommend quitting smoking as this has been tied to neck and back pain.

We take pride in our advanced training, our focus on technology, and the comprehensive care we provide.

Our patients are often suffering from terrible pain and loss of function. It is extremely rewarding to treat those patients and improve their overall quality of life.

WHAT’S TRENDING? Over the past decade, spine surgery has trended toward more minimally invasive procedures. We currently use endoscopic, robotic and laser technologies to achieve treatment goals through less invasive techniques.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 7301 HENNESSY BLVD., SUITE 300, BATON ROUGE, LA 70808 | 1.833.SPINEBR | 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

SUGAR AND BRONZE

AESTHETICS

@sugarandbronzebr

Jarratt Haviland, owner

ASK THE EXPERT As International Director of Education at Ke Ko Botanicals, Jarratt Haviland has a long list of successful students (including her own aestheticians), and has been asked to teach a handful of master classes on sugar hair removal at conferences across the country.

GOOD ADVICE You can’t pour from an empty cup! Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is fundamental to functioning at the highest level.

You never know how a positive interaction with someone can alter the course of their day—or even their life. Our goal is for every person to walk out feeling better than when they came in. Flawless tans and meticulous hair removal give us the opportunity to do just that. It is my personal mission to serve others, and that extends into my professional life as well.

WHAT’S TRENDING? We are currently loving our newest tanning products—proprietary blends perfected and approved by us. Our newest express solution and our two tanning mousses have been flying off the shelves.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 10859 PERKINS ROAD, SUITE D, BATON ROUGE, LA 70810 | 225.362.0404 | 46

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com


S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

EAGLE EYE CARE

EYE CARE

@eagleeyecarela

Dr. Katherine Dronka conducts an eye exam.

Learning is critical to understanding your own wellness.

ASK THE EXPERT We have new technology that lets us manage a wide range of ocular conditions. We offer affordable, accessible care to all ages through our bilingual, late, early, and weekend appointments, and are on call 24/7. We cut lenses in-house, and have a large selection of glasses and contacts.

GOOD ADVICE Be sure to have a yearly eye exam, eat a heart-healthy diet, don’t smoke, and wear sunglasses and safety glasses to protect your eyes from injury and help prevent diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

I believe that every patient deserves accessible and exceptional care. I also believe in being fair and kind to all people. I started Eagle Eye Care with this passion in mind.

WHAT’S TRENDING? As the use of electronics has grown, we see more and more patients who suffer from dry eye disease. Eagle Eye Care has extensive technology to help diagnose, evaluate, and tailor a specific dry eye regimen for those suffering from this uncomfortable lifelong condition.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 112 S. RANGE AVE., BATON ROUGE, LA 70726 | 225.243.1950 | 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

AESTHETIC MEDICINE & ANTI-AGING CLINICS

ANTI-AGING

@theantiagingclinics

Dr. Todd Howell, owner and medical director

Every single day I get to make someone’s life better!

ASK THE EXPERT At The Aesthetic Medicine & Anti-Aging Clinics, we use the absolute best equipment and treatments available, ensuring that every patient gets the “game-changing” results they are looking for.

GOOD ADVICE Maintaining a healthy functional environment within the body is key to a long healthy life. Diet, exercise, and balanced hormones are all critical to improving an individual’s overall wellbeing.

I love seeing the reactions of my patients when they notice the improvement in the way they look through cosmetic procedures, or the way they feel with hormone replacement.

WHAT’S TRENDING? The field of Aesthetic Medicine is always evolving and has shown a big push for non-surgical treatments. This year, we were one of the first clinics to perform a unique procedure—the non-surgical butt augmentation using filler.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 8485 BLUEBONNET BLVD., BATON ROUGE, LA 70810 | 225.753.1234 | 48

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com


S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

GRACE THERAPY CENTER

THERAPY

@gracetherapycenter

Katie Jenkins, MEd, BCBA, LBA, executive director

ASK THE EXPERT At Grace Therapy Center, we provide 1:1 Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy for children with Autism and other developmental delays. We also offer social skills groups throughout the year and a developmental Pre-K option partnered with Grace Life Preschool.

GOOD ADVICE Child behavior and development can be tricky to navigate, especially across different environments. It is important to set clear, ageappropriate expectations and boundaries for each child in all settings.

The definition of success may look different for each child, but by setting systematic goals as a collaborative team, every child can achieve great things! My passion is for all children to learn and succeed in the way that works for them and for their families.

WHAT’S TRENDING? We have seen an increase in young children being diagnosed with Autism, but this could be related to COVID-19 and increased time at home. If your child is not meeting developmental milestones or if you have concerns, reach out to your pediatrician to discuss the possibility of receiving ABA services.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 10210 BARRINGER FOREMAN ROAD, BATON ROUGE, LA 70809 | 225.620.8332 | 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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SP EC IA L A DV ERT ISIN G SEC T IO N

HEALTHY RESOLUTIONS

MAKE THEM, DON’T BREAK THEM TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH IN THE NEW YEAR!

Having a yearly physical is an important part of staying healthy. Annual physical exams and preventive health screenings detect early signs of chronic disease and allow us the opportunity to discuss the latest recommendations for your continued good health.

We’ve all done it before … make a long list of New Year’s resolutions, only to break them at incredible speed. A study conducted last year by OnePoll revealed that the average American abandons their resolutions in just 32 days. That’s not good! The most common resolutions are health-related and those are perhaps the hardest to keep because they require physical effort and discipline. So let’s try it one more time. Let’s make 2022 the happiest, healthiest year ever! Here are some common resolutions along with a few tips for staying on track.

LOSE WEIGHT You know the drill. Eat a healthy diet and stay active. It really is as simple as that. Choose fruits and vegetables, leans meats, whole grains, and healthy fats. Talk to a dietitian for a customized meal plan, and make sure you’re eating an appropriate diet if you have underlying health issues.

EXERCISE MORE

MAIN CLINIC: 7373 PERKINS ROAD BATON ROUGE, LA 70808 (225) 769-4044 BATONROUGECLINIC.COM 50

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com

Don’t aim too high. Instead of running five miles a day, start with a more realistic goal, such as walking one mile a day. Busy schedules usually sabotage this resolution, so be disciplined and set aside a time of day that works best for you–then stick to it. Have a friend or family member exercise with you to increase your chance of success. It makes you accountable and adds a social element to your activity.


S P E C I A L ADVERT ISING SECT IO N

MAKE THIS NEW YEAR

GET ENOUGH SLEEP Poor sleep habits don’t just cause irritability and fatigue. They can also lead to health problems like high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. To get a restful night’s sleep, set a regular bedtime every night, don’t eat late in the evening, cut out caffeine, keep your bed room dark and cool, put away your electronic devices and turn off the TV.

STRESS LESS Stress can definitely make you sick, so find ways to relieve it. The key is to find ways to relax—hot tea, long baths, aromatherapy, or spending time with family and friends, for example. You might also take up a new hobby—cooking, gardening, painting, playing an instrument.

QUIT SMOKING If you smoke, it’s never too late to stop. You’ll notice the benefits of quitting almost immediately— from lower blood pressure to better lung function to renewed sense of taste and smell. Quitting immediately lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke. Talk to your doctor for the best way to quit.

Routine check-ups are vital to your child’s overall health and development. In addition to preforming a complete physical examination, your pediatricians will be able to provide preventative health screenings, vaccinations, psychological and behavioral assessments.

SCHEDULE YOUR ANNUAL VISIT AND VACCINES TODAY! CALL (225) 246-9290.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH Especially in the last two years, mental health has become a concern for people of all ages. If stress levels have led to anxiety or depression, talk with your physician, who will refer you to a counselor or therapist who can help.

STAY SAFE And of course, stay informed on COVID-19 … and get your vaccine!

PEDIATRICS AT PERKINS 7373 PERKINS RD PEDIATRICS AT INDUSTRIPLEX 12351 INDUSTRIPLEX BLVD

BATONROUGECLINIC.COM 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

FUTURE FITNESS

FITNESS

@futurefitnessbr

Fitness sessions are tailored to the unique needs of clients at Future Fitness, owned by Chris Gendusa.

ASK THE EXPERT Future Fitness Wellness Center goes beyond just fitness, offering personal training, Pilates, yoga, integrative health, and physical therapy— all provided by a dedicated staff.

GOOD ADVICE What you do outside the gym matters as much as what you do inside. That’s why we have an integrative health practitioner and nutrition counselor on staff to provide personalized recommendations. Each client begins with a one-on-one fitness evaluation followed by a personalized training plan that fits their unique needs.

We are passionate about seeing our clients make great strides in their fitness and wellness, and we enjoy being there to support them every step of the way.

We love working privately with clients and being able to tailor every session to their needs whether it is a workout, Pilates, or yoga.

WHAT’S TRENDING? Integrative health. We are seeing a boom in private training and clients working toward overall health. Wellness is about physical fitness, but it also includes the mindfulness of yoga, balanced strength from Pilates, and addressing imbalances and toxicities to prevent illness and optimize health.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 1650 LOBDELL AVE., BATON ROUGE, LA 70806 | 225.928.0486 | 52

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com


S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

WILLIAMSON COSMETIC CENTER & PERENACK AESTHETIC SURGERY @willliamsoncosmetic

C O S M E T I C S U R G E RY

Shelly Esnard, PA-C, performs a cosmetic procedure.

ASK THE EXPERT At Williamson Cosmetic Center, we offer the most innovative surgical cosmetic procedures for the face and body. Our team of highly skilled providers has created a comprehensive menu of services for the most in-demand procedures.

GOOD ADVICE Protect your natural beauty early! Applying a good SPF, medical grade skin care, and Botox® help to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a great start to help your skin look better now and in the future.

Creating lifelong relationships with our clients is important to us. We are committed to giving them the time and education to create a customized treatment plan making them feel beautiful. We challenge ourselves to exceed clients’ expectations and love seeing their smiles as we review before and after photos.

WHAT’S TRENDING? Morpheus/Facetite for skin tightening and contouring is the latest trend in medical aesthetic treatments for face and body. Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty is an innovative technique Dr. Perenack has pioneered to help sculpt the shape of the nose. Unlike traditional techniques, it results in faster recovery and less bruising and swelling.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 8150 JEFFERSON HWY., BATON ROUGE, LA 70809 | 225.927.7546 | 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

ASPEN CLINIC @theaspenclinic Steve Dupuis, owner • Barbie Dupuis, VP

W E I G H T LO S S

Our reward is knowing that our clients will live a longer life from what they have learned at our clinic.

ASK THE EXPERT With more than 30 years of experience, the Aspen Clinic—a weight loss and wellness company—has grown from one to nine Louisiana clinics. The program offers medical and holistic solutions, including nutritional guidance, vitamin injections, and our own natural supplement line.

GOOD ADVICE The key to health and wellness is living an all-around healthy lifestyle—eat real food, drink enough water, prioritize your sleep, get active, and reduce stress. Diets will never be the answer because they only promote temporary change … true lasting health comes from a permanent lifestyle change.

We take joy in teaching people how to live a healthier lifestyle. It completely transforms them into happier, healthier versions of themselves.

WHAT’S TRENDING? We have re-branded to add Wellness to our name because we also treat those who want to learn to eat healthier or use our all-natural supplements or injections. We offer medical and non-medical options to help patients achieve optimal health.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 1020 BLUEBONNET BLVD., SUITE L, BATON ROUGE, LA 70816 | 225.273.8988 | 54

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com


S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

CULTIVATED ROOTS WELLNESS SALON @cultivated.salon

HAIR LOSS

Sadairea August, owner

ASK THE EXPERT I am a trichologist, a specialist who focuses on hair loss and scalp disorders. I recognize that hair loss is a symptom that can be triggered by one of many underlying causes. My goal is to find the root cause and achieve a positive outcome.

GOOD ADVICE Gut health is the starting point in helping my clients on their hair growth journey. There is a shift from “we are what we eat” to “we are what we can process and absorb.” Optimal digestion is the first step to good health and overall wellness.

Hair plays a pivotal role in our self-perception. Losing it can be stressful, and my passion is to help my clients relieve stress through education.

I love helping people regain more of their confidence and become good stewards of their health.

WHAT’S TRENDING? I pay close attention to the research involving natural products. Research into the effectiveness of plant products like CBD oil in treating hair loss is being reviewed. I rely heavily on the power of plants for long-term results with minimal side effects.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 10319 OLD HAMMOND HWY., BATON ROUGE, LA 70816 | 225.441.5381 | 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

BLACK & BLANC AESTHETICS

SKIN CARE

@blackandblancla

Amber Pearson, owner/operator

ASK THE EXPERT I provide aesthetic skin services such as facials, chemical peels, and dermaplaning. My passion for aesthetics and education makes me a leader in my industry. I keep up with current trends and I plan to never stop learning.

GOOD ADVICE I always preach, “Drink water.” Our bodies are roughly 60% water, so we need it. And remember to make time for yourself doing something you enjoy, something that doesn’t cause stress.

My purpose is to help people achieve great skin health, but also to speak life into people. Aestheticians are ‘faux’ therapists to our clients.

I want people to feel comfortable when they lay on my treatment table so they can release stress and tension.

WHAT’S TRENDING? Medical aesthetics. We are planning to convert to a medical spa soon to offer aesthetic treatments such as microneedling and laser hair removal.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 11939 BRICKSOME AVE., BATON ROUGE, LA 70816 | 225.610.0028 | 56

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com


S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N

SYNC WELLNESS

WELLNESS

@syncwellness

Angie Huff, Doctor of Pharmacy

ASK THE EXPERT Being in the health and wellness field for nearly 20 years has given me a deep understanding of maintaining wellness in the areas of life that matter most. Every client receives a detailed, customized plan for their goals with insight into hormone imbalance, overall health, nutritional deficiencies, and genetic blueprint.

GOOD ADVICE The cornerstones to good health are optimal cellular nutrition, hormone balance, and an understanding of your genetic code.

17 years ago, I opened my own independent pharmacy, and as time passed, I noticed that many of my patients’ medication lists were growing longer, yet they continued to feel ill. This led me to explore a more holistic approach to health.

My passion for wellness comes from wanting the best life possible for my patients.

WHAT’S TRENDING? SYNC is bringing new modalities to our clients like red light therapy, infrared sauna, guided meditation, new additions to our IV hydrations (including NAD+) and much more. We are continually learning about enhancements that can help our clients gain more energy, improve sleep, relieve pain, enhance their mood, and increase longevity.

#FOLLOWTHELEADER 18303 PERKINS ROAD EAST, SUITE 403 | BATON ROUGE, LA 70810 | 225.425.7962 | 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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SPONSORED CONTENT

THE LOWDOWN

SPONSORED BY:

4 WAYS TO REACH YOUR HEALTHY WEIGHT & STAY THERE:

1

4 WAYS TO ACHIEVE A HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT, & KEEP IT PERMANENTLY

M

any people have had success losing weight, but few can keep it off longterm. Overall, the best way to maintain is to make achievable changes to your diet and physical activity habits. Maintaining weight may be a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle, but fortunately, there is help here in Baton Rouge. LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia. Registered Dietitian and Human Nutrition Researcher Dr. Jake Mey has dedicated himself to dietetics and exercise physiology with a focus on skeletal muscle metabolism in health and disease. Dr. Mey shares a few ways to maintain a healthy body weight for the long haul. Why it matters: “If your body weight is too high or too low,” Dr. Mey says, “it increases your risk for developing other diseases. These diseases may make your life more difficult (harder to do normal daily tasks), more expensive (medications), or may even increase your risk of death.” Your lifestyle, your history and your current medical priorities all impact your health and your body’s responsiveness. Dr. Mey recommends working with a registered dietitian on this matter specifically. Pennington Biomedical Research Center has a Bariatric & Metabolic Institute that offers a variety of treatment approaches, including lifestyle interventions, drug and combination therapies, and surgical procedures performed in its state-of-the-art facilities at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. Visit pbrcbmi.org to learn more. Stay informed on the latest nutrition findings from Dr. Mey and other world-renowned researchers from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Dr. jacob Mey Center at pbrc.edu.

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[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com

2

3

4

ADJUST YOUR MINDSET. Learn to think of nutrition and body weight with a realistic timeline and in the right context. Don’t focus only on the weight you are losing. Dr. Mey suggests modifying your mindset towards long-term health and wellness goals versus short-term body weight goals—a core component to breaking the yo-yo dieting cycle, developing a sustainable lifestyle, and feeling and looking the way you want. “Look for month-to-month patterns,” Dr. Mey says. “If your weight is going up month by month, then it’s a good indicator you need to revisit your current lifestyle and see how it has changed from when your weight was lower.” BE CALORIE CONSCIOUS. You don’t have to count your calories precisely, but you should have a general understanding of your intake. Build habits that allow you to have a good estimate of the total calories you are consuming. Dr. Mey calls this process “constructing calorie consciousness.” By doing so, you are better able to make simple decisions at any point in your day. As an example, a single meal should average 500–750 calories. Keep this in mind, especially as you are browsing restaurant or fast-food menus. AVOID IMPULSE FOODS. Checkout lanes aren’t stocked for your health. Their only function is to increase sales. A safe motto is “no calories from the checkout lane.” If you find yourself reaching for a checkout lane snack, stop and think about why you are reaching for it. If you truly wanted to enjoy a candy bar, you would have bought it when you were shopping through the store. Don’t let the targeted marketing of the checkout lane dictate what you eat. For quick video examples of the impact of food advertisements, watch what’s happening to Ezra & Charlie at visitobecity.org. PARTNER WITH AN EXPERT. Having an actionable plan to address and monitor these factors is far easier with some support. Find a registered dietitian to work with or reach out to Dr. Mey at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.


S P E C I A L A DV E RTI S I N G S E C TI O N


Capital Oaks NURSING & REHABILITATION CENTER,

LLC

Earns National Quality Award

Capital Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has been recognized as a 2021 Silver – Achievement in Quality Award recipient earning national honors for their dedication to improving the quality of care for their residents. This distinction is the second of three progressive award levels through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program. The National Quality Award Program by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recognizes providers across the country that have demonstrated their commitment to delivering quality care for seniors and persons with disabilities.

“We are honored to receive this national award for providing the highest quality of care and superior services to our residents,” said Todd Ford, administrator of Capital Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. “The team at Capital Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has worked tirelessly to continuously improve the care we provide and the services we offer. We will remain committed to providing our residents with the very best quality of care and quality of life!” Implemented by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is the foundation of the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. “I applaud Capital Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for their dedication to their quality improvement journey during one of the most challenging years in our profession,” said Mark Berger, executive director of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association. “The Capital Oaks team is well-deserving of this national recognition.” Capital Oaks and sister Central Management facilities have earned 21 Bronze Quality Awards and 20 Silver Quality Awards in the past six years. Of those, one Silver was earned in 2019 and two were earned in 2021. This places them among approximately 1% of all facilities nationwide earning silver recognition. Created by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is a rigorous three-level process that is reviewed and judged by trained experts against a set of nationally recognized standards for organizational excellence. The standards of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program help organizations achieve superior performance to improve quality of life and care of long-term care residents and staff. At the Silver level, members develop and demonstrate effective approaches that help improve organizational performance and health care outcomes.

IMPROVING Q UALITY OF LIFE Safety Teamwork Appearance Respect Service

Award recipients will be honored during AHCA/NCAL’s 72nd Convention & Expo in National Harbor, Maryland on October

10-13, 2021. Issue Date: January 2022 Ad proof #2

LLC

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Say good-bye to DRY EYE CAN RESULT IN A WIDE RANGE OF READILY NOTICEABLE SYMPTOMS, INCLUDING: • Blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night or sensitivity to light • Scratchy / gritty feeling when you blink • Red or burning eyes • Sudden intolerance to wearing contact lenses

Experiencing any of these symptoms? Call Trio Eyecare for a custom treatment plan today

Dr. Reshma Amin

7673 Perkins Rd #B-3 Baton Rouge, LA 70810 225-757-0505 • trioeyecare.com EYE EXAMS | PEDIATRICS | EYEGLASSES | CONTACT LENSES | EYE DISEASE MANAGEMENT | OCULAR EMERGENCIES 60

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com


I N S I D E : Martinez Custom Clothiers / BRASS gift store

What will

we wear in 2022? The pandemic may have forever changed how we dress—and local boutiques are watching, using new tools to figure out what we’ll want to buy next B Y JU LI A - C LA I R E E VA N S

STOCK IMAGE


LOCATION

SPONSORED CONTENT

@TallulahCraftedFood&WineBar

What You See:

The Experience:

Hot Topic:

Tallulah Crafted Food & Wine Bar is a great choice for visitors and locals alike. Conveniently located inside the Renaissance Hotel, the setting screams Baton Rouge: local entertainment, local beer and fresh ingredients sourced locally.

From date night to grabbing a cocktail on the way home, Tallulah checks all the boxes. Indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy, southern menus presented with fresh twists.

Live music returns in January 2022. Be on the lookout for wine dinners and other special events with its Evenings at Renaissance programming, showcasing all that makes our city so unique.

7000 Bluebonnet Boulevard | 225.388.5710 | tallulahrestaurant.com


STYLE //

A little bit of everything A snapshot of what was trending on Instagram at local boutiques this winter—a mix of loungewear, Mardi Gras- and holiday-ready sequins, and dressed-up neutrals. IMAGES COURTESY THE BOUTIQUES ON INSTAGRAM

LAST YEAR, NK Boutique basically turned into a loungewear store. Across town, Rodeo Boutique’s shelves were also stocked with more comfy leisure wear. NK, typically known for its racks of upscale, fashion-forward clothing from designers like Cinq à Sept and Milly, had stocked up on event dresses going into spring 2020. But suddenly, customers weren’t doing much—and when they were, they wanted styles way more casual than what NK usually carries, says NK’s Mary Virginia Guice. For Rodeo, which is located near LSU and tries to keep its pulse on trends, stocking what was in style meant shifting to jogging pants and sweatshirts, says owner Shanna Boudreaux. The COVID-19 pandemic was a learning curve for many retailers as they had to pivot to entirely different inventory. But as life continues its slow return to some sort of normalcy in 2022, what have retailers learned about adapting to trends? For one thing, businesses now know how to pivot quicker and are being more conservative with inventory. Sales were lost in the move to loungewear, says Hemline owner Muffy Leblanc, and now, she’s playing it safer when it comes to her budget. Wanderlust by Abby had just gotten a shipment of LSU baseball gear at the beginning of the pandemic, recalls owner Abby Bullock, and she ended up having to sell it for significantly cheaper. Her St. Patrick’s Day items also would have usually flown off the shelves, but she was left with a lot of that merchandise after the parade was canceled in both 2020 and 2021. So shop owners began thinking less about seasonal events and more about TikTok. Boudreaux noticed the video app driving trends for items like crop tops. While Bullock used to find inspiration in street trends and people watching around town, she also says she spent more time thinking about items that people could wear at home. For 2022, event-centered clothing is back, the boutique owners say. Venues have largely reopened their doors, weddings are rescheduled, and high school and college customers are able to have homecomings, proms and semi-formals again. “In 2020, they all wanted leisure wear,” Boudreaux says, “and in 2021, they (wanted) the opposite.” Customers are now buying what they didn’t get to wear all these months, she says. People are excited to dress up.

@wanderlustbyabby

@rodeoboutique

@hemlinetownecenter

@nkboutique

2020 was more basic, with people buying for comfort, even down to their shoes, Bullock says, but in 2021, they began to want more colorful and fun items adorned with glitter, sequins and pleather. So, what will we wear going into 2022? Boudreaux says she’s seen lots of neutrals for summer 2022, which she considers shocking for a usually

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colorful season. Designers are probably trying to play it safe, she thinks, nervous about where they will be in the coming months and still recovering from the ripple effects of COVID-19. She cut back on buying during the pandemic, too, and believes designers may be trying to avoid similar risks. However, Leblanc says she sees 2022 bringing in more fun and

Decline of national sales for “dress footwear” in 2020, according to the NPD Group. In March 2021, the group predicted dress shoes would bounce back slightly but overall be “less relevant” moving forward, with consumers gravitating toward “sandals, boots, fashion sneakers and hybrid items.”

colorful styles. Bows are popular accessories, according to Boudreaux, perhaps because they are youthful and timeless. Bullock predicts this year will be bigger and better for fashion. “People are even more ready and confident that we won’t have a shutdown,” Leblanc adds. “That confidence will show in outfits.” Through all the changes, retailers have had to be flexible. No matter how long you’ve been in business, Bullock says, this time was a learning process. “With buying, you have to be able to turn tables and spin on a dime,” Boudreaux says. “Don’t get too stuck in your ways, and move with whatever’s happening.”

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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STYLE //

Dressing the part

By Jennifer Tormo // Photos by Sean Gasser

A new Netflix documentary star is using his clothing to tell his story— and he’s traveling to Baton Rouge to tailor his wardrobe

Netflix star Jorge Valdés stopped in Baton Rouge this past fall for fittings with Manuel Martinez (pictured in blue) of Martinez Custom Clothier.

WHEN MANUEL MARTINEZ tailors an outfit, he wants it to represent the person wearing it. But the story of his client Jorge Valdés is one of the most complicated, extraordinary tales he’s woven yet. In the ’70s, Valdés was the U.S.based leader of a Colombian drug cartel. Suddenly bringing in millions of dollars a month was quite a change for the then-20-something Valdés, a Cuban immigrant who’d been raised in poverty. But he was also living, as he says, “through hell and back.” He experienced unthinkable torture and ran in the same circles as killers and kidnappers. Valdés was eventually imprisoned for 10 years. By the time he was released in the mid-’90s, he says he was a changed man. He’d found God and decided to earn a master’s and a Ph.D. studying theology. He wrote a book detailing how he’d turned his life around. And this past fall, he told his story on an even larger stage: Netflix. Valdés starred in the documentary Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami. After the show aired, it wasn’t

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just Valdés’ story that stunned social media. Valdés was fielding DMs about his navy suits and pink ties, too. One podcast called him “a sharp, sharp dresser.” Viewers wanted to know where he got his clothes. So Valdés made an Instagram post introducing his followers to his longtime tailor: “It is easy to look good when your tailor, Manuel Martinez of Martinez Custom Clothier … dresses you,” he wrote. A few weeks after the first episode aired, Valdés is back in Baton Rouge at Martinez’s flagship shop for more fittings with the tailor. Martinez smiles as he recalls the Instagram post. “The thing about Jorge,” he says, “is that he’s such a sharing man. He told the world who made his clothes. That was an incredible thing for us.” Martinez met Valdés more than a decade ago at the Mardi Gras Ball in Washington, D.C. The two got to talking and discovered a shared love of clothing—and a mutual connection to Baton Rouge. Valdés did outreach for Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, where he’d later build the Our Lady

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com

of Guadalupe Chapel, giving Catholic prisoners a place for prayer. Valdés visited Martinez on his next trip to Louisiana. Over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard, Valdés told Martinez everything—first about the cartel and prison, and then about the life he made for himself after prison as a husband and a father. “He shocked me with his story,” Martinez recalls. “But he seemed like a very genuine person. We became friends.” Martinez has been making clothes for Valdés ever since. Today, Valdés says he doesn’t make an appearance anywhere in the world without first asking Martinez what he should wear. In the wake of the Netflix premiere, that has included sport coats and trousers in shades of salmon pink, ocean blue and sage green with windowpane and plaid patterns. Each piece was custom crafted in materials like wool, silk and linen. Valdés, who now lives in Florida, wore the outfits to various events in Miami. “Jorge is very outgoing; he’s not timid. He’s got some flair; he’s not

afraid of color or to be artsy with his clothes. So I put in all these ingredients when I’m making clothes for him,” Martinez says. “I’ve always told him: We need to make clothes that represent the man you are today. We need to send a message.” It’s the same approach Martinez has taken for every client he’s had over the past 40 years. He’s dressed prime ministers, sons of presidents, governors and senators. But whether he’s styling a health care CEO for a Zoom meeting or helping Valdés dress for Art Basel, Martinez tailors each look to the personality and lifestyle of the client. “That’s the beauty of what I do: I create something that represents that individual,” he says. And for Valdés, his wardrobe has been a crucial component of his new life. “We’re not defined by our pasts. We can become different; we can reinvent ourselves,” Valdés says. “Manuel has helped me create my image. He knows that I am who I am. He’s not dressing me to be someone else.” martinezcustom.com


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STYLE //

Brass act

A new downtown gift shop hopes visitors and residents alike will bring a piece of Baton Rouge home with them By Maggie Heyn Richardson // Photos by Ariana Allison

Issue Date: Feb 2021 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

HIGHEST QUALITY WITH COMPETITIVE PRICING!

BATON ROUGE ATTRACTS 11.3 million business and leisure travelers a year, but there are few spots downtown to shop for Capital City keepsakes to bring home. Expanding those souvenir shopping opportunities is the mission of the new North Boulevard store, BRASS, shorthand for Baton Rouge Area Souvenir Shop. “We saw a need … and we said, ‘Let’s just try it,’” says Luke Lognion, who opened the store with husband and business partner Garrett Kemp. The two also own Circa 1857. “We think that there’s enough of a market of tourists coming in who want to shop and buy local Baton Rouge mementos Issue Date: January 2021 Ad proof #1 to take home,” Kemp says. as much, we believe that in • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or“Equally minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within every one24ofhours. these office buildings, • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

VIOLENCE IT TAKES TWO TO FIGHT, BUT ONLY ONE TO TURN IT AROUND.

At Ducote’s Restaurant & Bar Equipment, we specialize in supplying the foodservice industry with a broad selection of the top-quality equipment and supplies you need to successfully run your operations and efficiently serve your customers.

USEWORDS WORDS LIKE LIKE WE, USE WE,TOGETHER TOGETHER A DEEPBYBREATH CALL TAKE THE PERSON THEIR NAME BEBEOPEN POINTOFOF VIEW OPENTO TOANOTHER ANOTHER POINT VIEW SHOW RESPECT SHOW RESPECT STAY CALM

4433 Florida Blvd • 225-344-4240 ducotesrestaurantsupply.com OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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COMMUNICATION IS KEY #WHATWILLYOUDO

#PREVENTIONWORKS An alcohol, drug abuse and violence prevention program #38003 #AM-50-BAJ

Learn about I CARE’s drug and alcohol prevention efforts online at:

CONTACT I CARE TO LEARN ABOUT OUR PREVENTION EFFORTS:

ICARE.EBRSCHOOLS.ORG icareebr icareparents (225) 226-2273 | @icareebr

icare.ebrschools.org 66

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com

(225) 226-2273


STYLE //

a coffee bar at the rear of the store serves there’s always a birthday.” coffee and tea. A conventional tourist shop might The momentum to launch the downsignal kiosks stuffed with cheap town tourist shop was fueled by the coutchotchkes. But BRASS, which opened ple’s association with Circa 1857, which last month, has a different vibe. Kemp sees its fair share of tourists since the and Lognion carry Baton Rouge-branded Mid City shop is the closest retail outpost keepsakes, but they also source locally of its kind to downtown. made items, many of which are made by Kemp started working at Circa in 2012, vendors you might also find at the Mid while still in high school. When the City Makers Market. business came up for sale in The store, once occupied 2016, he bought it with help by The Big Squeezy and “We think that from family. overlooking Rhorer Plaza, there’s enough Since then, he’s morphed holds original art, jewelry, of a market of the store from being a pottery, tea towels, pillows, tourists coming consigners’ venue to one ornaments, books, cards, in who want to with a central theme: French wooden bowls and cutting shop and buy and English antiques. It’s boards, housewares and local Baton been a successful move, with others goods. Rouge mementos sales steadily growing each Culinary offerings are availto take home.” year, Kemp says. able, too, including spices and —Garrett Kemp “We tried to go from spice blends from Red Stick ‘garage sale’ and sort of flea Spice Company, and products market-style to more of a curated-style from restaurateur and food personality with constantly changing displays and Jay Ducote. BRASS also sells vintage LPs exhibits,” Kemp says. “There are still six featuring Louisiana musicians. or seven vendors left, but as they leave, Kemp and Lognion have made sure to it is our intention to keep taking over the include lots of small, easy-to-pack items space.” that will appeal to convention-goers Kemp and Lognion have branded and Mississippi riverboat cruisers, but their new store BRASS by Circa 1857 shipping is also available. to encourage shoppers to try both Although hours could change, BRASS experiences. brassbr.com is currently open seven days a week, and

Husbands and business partners Garrett Kemp and Luke Lognion opened BRASS together. They are also the owners of Circa 1857 in Mid City.

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WHAT YOUR PET’S MOUTH IS ACTUALLY TELLING YOU

O

ral diseases are very common in pets’ mouths. In fact, periodontal disease is the most common disease in cats and dogs over the age of two. Unfortunately, these are also one of the most under-diagnosed problems in veterinary medicine. Dental care is vital to the overall health of any animal. The Perkins Road Veterinary Hospital is home to the only board certified Veterinary Dentist and Oral Surgeon in the state of Louisiana, Dr. Curt Ritchie. Dr.Ritchie has been teaching veterinary dentistry at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for nearly a decade. He and his staff help patients everyday with basic dental and preventative care to very advanced, complex oral surgeries. Veterinary hospitals all over the state of Louisiana, and surrounding states, refer their dental and oral surgery patients to him for their care.

TOOTH TRUTHS

Dr. Ritchie shares some common myths about your pet’s oral health and tips to improve their overall health. Myth: While his breath smells terrible, my dog’s appetite seems fine—so there’s nothing to worry about, right? Reality: Don’t expect your pet to show you that they have oral pain. Pets are very good at masking signs of pain, and when they are faced with a decision to continue to eat or starve, they almost always chose to

TREAT THEM BETTER SNACKS AND DIETS MATTER. NEVER allow your pet to chew on ice, cow hooves, bones, deer antlers, or very hard plastic chews—these are the #1 causes of broken teeth. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) authorizes the use of its registered seal on products intended to help retard plaque and tartar on the teeth of animals. When choosing treats for your furry friend, just look for the VOHC seal on the packaging. Dr Ritchie recommends Greenies, Tartar Shield, CET Veggiedent, Oravet Chews, and Hill’s T/d diet.

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keep eating. What you smell in his breath is tissue and bone destruction. It’s important to schedule a checkup and get ahead of more serious issues. Myth: It’s okay to just monitor a broken tooth. And, if it’s broken, it must be extracted. Reality: If the tooth’s fracture has reached the pulp chamber there is 100% chance the tooth will die. This can lead to abscess formation, draining tracts, and cause disease of adjacent teeth. If caught early enough the tooth may not require significant oral surgery to extract and may be saved with root canal therapy. Myth: My vet does a visual inspection of my pet’s teeth when we’re there—surely, they will notice any problems going on. Reality: Imagine if your dentist just looked at your teeth—no x-rays—just a visual inspection. For humans and their pets, plaque is the culprit of all periodontal disease. Hidden plaque (under the gum line/in the gingival sulcus) is what causes disease and destruction of oral soft tissue and bone. Just like their humans, pets need a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment. “You cannot properly fully diagnose oral diseases without dental x-rays or CT,” Dr. Ritchie warns. “Ask your veterinarian if they take full mouth x-rays for all of the dental procedures they perform—unfortunately, proper imaging is not as common as you may

think—this often leads to serious yet treatable conditions going undiagnosed and costing your pet their health.”

WHAT MAKES A VETERINARY DENTIST DIFFERENT?

• Veterinary dentists have gone through a rigorous residency program and board certification examinations • All of Dr. Ritchie’s patients receive a complete and thorough oral examination and imaging. All abnormal issues are detected and treated correctly. • Veterinary dentists have in-depth knowledge, advanced skills, and specialized tools and equipment not common in general practices

Dr. Ritchie also routinely performs root canals, crowns, jaw fracture repair, oral cancer surgery/ treatments, orthodontics, and many other advanced procedures. Visit prvh.net or call 225.766.0550 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ritchie and his team.


I N S I D E : Homemade ramen recipes

Mediterranean

marvel Dining on Greek and Lebanese favorites at Café Phoenicia

COLLIN RICHIE

Anita Marie Villasavo brings out Beef Shish Kebab at Café Phoenicia in Zachary.

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• AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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TA ST E / /

R E S TA U R A N T R E V I E W

Café Phoenicia BY D.J. BE AUTICI A PHOTOS B Y COLLI N R IC H IE

Our food critic’s name may be false, but the credentials are not. This gastronome has studied the history, cultivation, preparation, science and technology of food for more than 30 years. cafephoenicia.com Zachary: 5647 Main St., Suite A Denham Springs: 240 Range 12 Blvd., Suite 111 Central: 14319 Wax Road

For our secret reviewer, Beef Shish Kebab from the Phoenicia Sampler platter was a standout.

THE BASICS: John Makeri and Menam Abdalla started their Mediterranean restaurant business in Zachary, serving up Greek and Lebanese classics, and immediately developed a following that now includes locations in Central and Denham Springs. WHAT’S A MUST: Start with some hearty appetizers like Falafel or the Fried Halloum Cheese. If you’re in need of a warming starter, the Lentil Soup hits the spot. For entrees, aim for the Veggie Phoenicia platter if you want to get a sample of popular items like Mujadara and Moussaka, and finish the meal off with a sweet dessert of Ashta and its layers of custard and phyllo dough.

CAFÉ PHOENICIA CAN be found in two parishes and three cities in our area: the original in Zachary, plus locations in Central and Denham Springs. Given its close proximity to our house and traffic being, well, terrible, we decided to visit the Livingston Parish outpost. Located just off I-12 in a strip of businesses next to the Bass Pro Shop, this Mediterranean restaurant serves up familiar Greek and Lebanese cuisine in a dining room painted with murals of the coastal European region. It was a good call to start with Falafel from the appetizer section and a cup of Lentil Soup. Flavorful falafel balls had copious garlic and parsley throughout with a crisp exterior. A snappy tahini sauce for dipping boosted the chickpea and fava bean filling. The real jewel of our starters was the yellow lentil soup. It had a lightly puréed texture and was peppery without overpowering my palate. It was a phenomenally flavored, hearty and comforting cup. A sampler platter entree gives diners a wide swath of tastes and a morsel of several menu items. To allow for the biggest options of both appetizer and entree items, the Phoenicia Sampler seemed a no brainer. With chicken shawarma, gyros, kabobs, kibbi, hummus, grape leaves and cabbage rolls, this plate literally had it all. Its chicken was rather dry with crisp edges and a soft lemony piquancy. Gyros was tender with an easy tang, though it was not particularly unique from others I’ve tried. The kibbi had a crisp cracked wheat exterior, but it was rather greasy, and the ground meat inside could have used a touch 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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TA ST E / /

robust spinach and onion center more seasoning. The true standout, that caused both my partner and I to though, was the tender, juicy, perfectly greedily gobble it up. Moussaka had cooked marinated beef kabob, which a wonderful richness with succulent had us wishing it was the singular eggplant and tangy tomato sauce. The meat on the plate. smokey baba ghannouj had a lingering Both the hummus and rice pilaf garlic flavor that made us grateful we were classic versions, but when mixed had substituted this option over the together, each elevated the other. hummus we’d already sampled. Cabbage rolls were incredibly juicy Next was the dessert course. Though with a perfect slow-cooked cabbage Café Phoenicia does offer baklava and flavor that enhanced the filling of mild, tiramisu, we stuck with ashta, a more tasty meat and rice. The brininess of traditional Mediterranean dessert but the grape leaves had the same engaging perhaps less familiar to American effect on the filling. tastes. Served hot, this flakey pastry’s A rarity on any cuisine’s menu exterior was painted with a light honey is Lamb Shank, likely due to its rose syrup and sprinkled with chopped long cooking time. On our visit, the pistachios. Inside, a lightly sweetened restaurant had unfortunately just run custard oozed out of the layers of out, so we chose the Veggie Phoenicia phyllo. Airy and lithe, this dessert is platter instead. thankfully far less sugary and rich than With mujadara, moussaka, spinach the ubiquitous baklava. It provided a pie and hummus—which they happily perfect ending to a heavy meal. swapped for baba ghannouj—we For us, the vegetable options far were able to try just about every outpaced the meat options at this traditional vegetarian dish offered restaurant in both zest and zing. on the menu. Mujadara includes two These ample servings of highly of my favorite comfort foods: lentils seasoned options would satisfy even and rice. A beautifully seasoned dish, the most ardent meat and potatoes this classic combo of beans and rice eater. My advice: Go vegetarian at was quite pleasing with its earthy Issueand Date: 2022 #2 Café Phoenicia. After this, the hardest flavors zing January of heat. I could haveAd2 proof • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. decision will be which of the tasty eaten a bowl full. With the spinach • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours locations pie, phyllo encapsulated a will apply for tight fromflakey receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe deadlines.to visit first.

A creamy bowl of Lentil Soup is topped with crunchy pita chips.

The Veggie Phoenicia platter lets you try filling portions of mujadara, moussaka, spinach pie and hummus.

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Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #1 TA ST E / /

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

DINING IN

Slurp up Comforting bowls of homemade ramen are just the thing for January’s cold days

YOUR LOVED ONES DESERVE SERENITY

BY TRACE Y KOCH // P H OTOS B Y A M Y S H UT T

A FUN PART of writing this monthly recipe feature is keeping up with food trends. They are so diverse and can stem from anywhere in the world. A dish that seems to be popping up everywhere in America—even here in Baton Rouge—is the ramen bowl. This Asian street food is the ultimate in flavor and comfort. It’s perfect any time of year, but especially nice to warm you up in winter. There’s a history to this now-global dish that’s as rich as its warming broth. It is believed Chinese immigrants brought ramen to Japan during the country’s industrial revolution in the late 19th century. As this new working-class population moved into major Japanese port cities, street vendors and food carts began selling noodles to feed hungry factory workers. During World War II, Japan experienced a food shortage and famine. The Japanese government placed heavy restrictions on food, including prohibiting establishments from making a profit on food. In the 1950s, once the food restrictions were lifted, ramen regained its popularity— but as a more upscale dish for Japanese

families. By the late 1980s ramen had become as ubiquitous in Japanese cuisine as sushi. In fact, ramen is such a part of the country and its history, there are now two museums in Japan dedicated to the noodle dish: one highlights traditional ramen over the past 150 years, while the second focuses on instant ramen and its popularity. For this month’s menu, we’re doing a homemade take on ramen with from-scratch broth, flavorful chicken thighs and all the toppings. As a refreshing counterbalance to those savory flavors, we crafted a green tea and vodka cocktail that marries antioxidant-rich ingredients with a kick of liquor. Enjoy!

On the menu

Servings: 6 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce ¼ cup mirin or sherry 3 cloves minced garlic 1 ⁄3 cup chopped scallions 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 2 tablespoons Sriracha or hot sauce 3 tablespoons sesame oil

—Parent Testimonial

• Asian-style Chicken Thighs • Homemade Ramen Broth • Ramen Bowls • Green Tea and Vodka Cocktail with Honey and Lemon Recipes by Tracey Koch

Asian-style Chicken Thighs This recipe is a favorite for my family. The marinade is sweet and tangy with a hint of spice. I like using chicken thighs in a ramen bowl because the richness and tenderness of the meat balances the flavors perfectly. The thighs are easy to throw together on any night, and can also be served with steamed rice and a little chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

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1. Place the chicken thighs into a large plastic storage bag.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together

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the remaining ingredients. Pour over the chicken thighs.

3. Make sure the bag is securely closed, and massage the marinade into the chicken thighs. Place the chicken into the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours or overnight. 4. Remove the chicken thighs from the

fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to come up to room temperature.

5. Heat a grill or oven to 375 degrees.

If grilling, cook the chicken thighs 8 to 9 minutes per side, or until the juices run clear. If roasting, place the chicken in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

6. Once the chicken is cooked, place it

on a platter and cover. Allow the chicken to rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

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TA ST E / /

Homemade Ramen Broth

Ramen Bowls

The broth is a key component when making a ramen bowl. It is a rich and flavorful base that can take hours to make. While I appreciate the painstaking efforts in making a traditional broth from scratch, some shortcuts can be taken when creating a homemade ramen bowl. I started with a superior quality store-bought bone broth and added fresh ginger, scallions, soy sauce and mirin to create a quick, delicious broth in under an hour. I then set the rest of the ingredients out for everyone to add in and customize their own version of a ramen bowl. This makes for a fun, easy dinner for friends and family on a cold January night.

Servings: Yields 6

Servings: 6 4 tablespoons sesame oil 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger 3 cloves garlic, chopped ¼ cup chopped scallion bottoms ½ cup mirin or sherry 2 quarts store-bought chicken bone broth ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce ½ teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms

1. Heat the sesame oil in a large pot. Add in the

ginger, garlic and scallions. Sauté for 30 seconds.

2. Carefully pour in the mirin or sherry. Continue

1 pound cooked ramen noodles 2 pounds cooked chicken, pork or beef 1 cup shredded carrots 1 cup shredded cabbage 1 cup sliced baby Bella mushrooms ½ cup bean sprouts ½ cup chopped green onions ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves Toasted sesame seeds 3 soft-boiled eggs (optional) Sesame oil to drizzle

1. Cook the ramen noodles

according to the package directions. Divide the cooked noodles between 6 bowls.

2. Pour hot homemade ramen broth into each bowl.

3. Fill each ramen bowl with the

meat, vegetables and bean sprouts. Top with chopped green onions, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.

4. Cut the soft-boiled eggs in half and place a half in each bowl. Drizzle with a little sesame oil and serve.

stirring for a couple of seconds.

3. Pour in the bone broth and soy sauce. Bring the mixture up to a boil.

4. Add the kosher salt and dried mushrooms and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 5. Keep the ramen broth hot while you assemble the ramen bowls.

Green Tea and Vodka Cocktail with Honey and Lemon Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. It is full of antioxidants and bioactive compounds that can help fight cancer, lower cholesterol, maintain a healthy metabolism and many other health benefits. In truth, green tea is not a cure for everything, but incorporating a cup or two into your daily diet can be beneficial. I like to drink it hot in the morning with a little lemon-infused honey syrup. I make the honey syrup ahead of time and keep it on hand in the fridge. In the evening when friends stop by, I turn the green tea and lemon-infused honey into a refreshing cocktail spiked with a splash of vodka. It is a light and refreshing cocktail that is also a fun way to kick off any meal.

4 cups fresh brewed green tea (as strong as you like) ½ cup water ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 cup local honey ¼ cup fresh lemon peel Vodka (2 ounces per serving) Lemon slices for garnish

FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP: 1. In a small sauce pot, heat the water to a simmer and add the lemon juice, honey and lemon peel. Continue simmering the mixture until the honey is completely dissolved.

2. Remove from the heat and

allow the mixture to come to room temperature.

3. Remove the lemon peel from the simple syrup and place the mixture in an airtight container. Chill until you are ready to use. This honey syrup will last for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. FOR THE COCKTAIL: 1. Combine 2 ounces of vodka, 2 ounces of honey lemon syrup and 4 ounces of green tea in a cocktail shaker and stir.

2. Pour the green tea cocktail over a glass with ice. Top with a lemon slice and serve.

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CULTURE I N S I D E : Arts and music events / Old-school finds at The Exchange

Coming

home Baton Rouge Symphony finally returns to the River Center Theatre with a packed season this spring

COURTESY BRSO

B Y B E N JA MIN L E G E R

CONSIDER IT LIKE couch surfing. Except at each new place, you’re unpacking 18 violins, 23 wood instruments, a harp, a piano and all manner of drums and percussion instruments. The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra has been hopping from various venues and churches for its performances over the last three years. The nearly 50 musicians have played everywhere but the orchestra’s home venue at the River Center Performing Arts Theatre, which closed for a massive renovation in 2018. “We’re over being a vagabond orchestra,” says the symphony’s executive director, Eric Marshall.

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C U LT U R E / /

BRSO’s spring season FEB. 12: The Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation Great Performers in Concert Series presents pianist Emanuel Ax with conductor Timothy Muffitt and a program of American composers, including Gershwin and Bernstein. MARCH 10: Julian Kuerti conducts the orchestra with guest cellist Zuill Bailey. APRIL 7: Kazem Abdullah conducts the orchestra with guest violinist Matthew Hakkarainen. MAY 20: The season finale features the farewell performance of Timothy Muffitt leading the orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

COURTESY POST ARCHITECTS

All performances are scheduled for the River Center Performing Arts Theatre. brso.org

had these churches that have kind of taken us in. And we were fortunate that we had a resilient crew of musicians that were willing to work with us and figure out a path forward,” Marshall says. The River Center Theatre’s $16.2 million renovation includes a shiny new exterior; a larger lobby; central aisles to break up the 1,800-seat theater; and new box seats. But Marshall explains the space’s already excellent acoustics won’t be altered, though new wiring and fabric panels will accommodate a variety of other shows. And while the symphony will still get out into the public for some performances, Marshall says the downtown venue provides an unrivaled experience for the musicians and attendees alike. “Now it can be more of a social experience, besides just the music,” he says. “You can go downtown, have dinner

ARTS BEST BETS JOHANNA WARWICK / COURTESY CAPITOL PARK MUSEUM

ALL MONTH Explore how interstate construction in Baton Rouge in the 1960s displaced Black residents and businesses From “The Yellow Book” at in Old South the Capitol Park Museum Baton Rouge through “The Yellow Book” exhibition and the photography of Johanna Warwick at the Capitol Park Museum. The exhibition continues until Feb. 26. louisianastatemuseum.org

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JAN. 27: Andrew Grams conducts the orchestra with guest violinist Richard Lin.

A rendering of the exterior of the River Center Theatre

[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com

ALL MONTH East Baton Rouge Parish students can join the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge for a weekly art class with Try Arts Tuesday. Each Tuesday will focus on a different form of art, from painting to dancing, held in the Cary Saurage Community Arts Center. artsbr.org ALL MONTH The Louisiana Art & Science Museum showcases dollhouses, models and more from its permanent

and get a drink before the concerts. There’s more mingling, especially with that big lobby. I think that will be really exciting for everyone.” And with a slate of five performances in the River Center Theatre this spring, there are plenty of chances to see the symphony in action. The season includes visits from three guest conductors while the symphony continues its search for a new music director. Its big gala in February features Grammy-winning pianist Emanuel Ax, who has performed and recorded with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma. Closing out the season? That muchanticipated and much-delayed farewell to former music director and current music director laureate Timothy Muffitt, who will conduct the orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. It’s a fitting choice, as Beethoven’s final complete symphony.

collection in “Playing House.” lasm.org

UNTIL JAN. 9 West Baton Rouge Museum features photos from Johnny Cash’s infamous visit to Folsom Prison in an exhibition titled ”1968: A Folsom Redemption.” westbatonrougemuseum.org JAN. 12-16 The 16th annual Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival returns to the Manship Theatre. Edu-

cational documentaries and dramas will showcase Jewish experiences through movies and film. brjff.com

JAN. 29 Local contemporary dance studio Of Moving Colors, presents its January production “Kick it Out…Around the World” at the Manship Theatre. The event gives young dancers the chance to learn and perform alongside professional dancers. ofmovingcolors.org

MUSIC BEST BETS JAN. 7-9 Manship’s Musical Encore Series presents “I’m Every Woman,” a fun production at the Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre showcasing the music of influential women from the 1960s through the 1980s. If you’re a fan of Carole King, Diana Ross or Donna Summer, you won’t want to miss this show. manshiptheatre.org JAN. 14 Want to experience genuine Louisiana swamp funk? Then you’ll want to check out The Iceman Special at the newly opened Chelsea’s Live. Formed in New Orleans, The Iceman Special psychedelic funk four-piece group brings whimsical shows of “organized chaos” and creative visuals. chelseaslive.com

MARIAH GRAY / COURTESY L’AUBERGE

There were talks of a return to the theater at the beginning of 2021, then fall 2021, but supply chain issues and Hurricane Ida delayed construction and a reopening until this year. Now, BRSO takes the stage Jan. 27 with its first performance back inside the updated space. While the phrase “return to normalcy” might be overused at this point, it’s especially true for the 75-year-old symphony, which had already been going through years of changes before the pandemic began. Marshall took the helm as executive director in fall 2019, just as the organization was righting itself from financial struggles that had put it “on the edge of extinction,” he later told 225. Earlier in 2019, its longtime music director and conductor Timothy Muffitt announced his retirement. While the board began the search for a new conductor, the orchestra was set to finish its season in spring 2020 with a gala sendoff honoring Muffitt’s contributions. Then, well, we all know what happened. The symphony was forced to cancel much of its spring season and delay Muffitt’s farewell concert multiple times. Its musicians took to social media for mini virtual concerts since they couldn’t perform together in person. As soon as it was able to, the symphony gathered for performances in area religious institutions like First Baptist Church and St. Joseph Cathedral. “It helps that we are incredibly low tech,” Marshall says. “We don’t need to turn on a full sound system for you to hear the orchestra. As long as there are lights and a stage, we’re ready.” At these shows, patrons constantly approached Marshall and the symphony staff with questions about the status of the River Center Theatre. “We’ve been fortunate that we’ve

JAN. 15 L’Auberge Hotel & Casino is bringing the iconic sounds of The Marshall Tucker Band to Baton Rouge, playing all of its classic hits like “Can’t You See” and “Heard It in a Love Song.” lbatonrouge.com JAN. 28 Get ready to rock with Indiana’s own Mock Orange at Chelsea’s Live. The emo-rock band is bringing its “The World is a Mess” tour to Baton Rouge. chelseaslive.com


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17425 Airline Highway • Prairieville 225-673-8876 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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C U LT U R E / /

Inside The Exchange on Government Street, every inch of space seems to be filled with stacks of music, DVDs, video games and audio equipment.

“The sound quality of tangible music is different. It’s all about having the right equipment. I feel that we live in a society that’s all about how much I can have instead of how much I can enjoy, when it comes to media.” —The Exchange owner Victor Holiday

A collector’s

dream

By Olivia Deffes // Photos by Ariana Allison

Sifting through the records, CDs, video games and more at The Exchange WALKING INTO THE Exchange on Government Street is like walking into a treasure trove of tangible media of the past. No matter what you’re looking for—vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, video games— you’re sure to find some hidden gems in this store. It’s hard not to, considering they are stacked everywhere as high as the ceilings. Owner Victor Holiday says he’s been collecting merchandise for the store since he first opened the doors in 2005. He has acquired quite the spread by picking up other people’s old collections and hunting at different “buy, sell and trade” shops. The result is a music and media lover’s dream in a space no bigger than your average convenience store. “Being a small store, people assume you won’t have a variety, so I try to touch on a little of everything,” Holiday says. “I have all the big genres of music and

movies, and I even carry those little niche subgenres, too.” Holiday opened the shop after being a hairstylist for more than 20 years. Though he started selling mainly video games, his collection quickly grew to include vinyl records, posters, movies, VHS tapes, audio equipment, T-shirts and a whole lot more. He moved the shop from Florida Boulevard to Mid City about six years ago, seeing it as a prime location in Baton Rouge’s funkiest neighborhood. Born in the 1960s, Holiday grew up in record stores around the Capital City. He remembers Baton Rouge then as a “rock ‘n’ roll city,” which is probably why it’s the best-selling genre in the store. Holiday has lived all over the country, from New York to California, but sees Baton Rouge as home. The booming interest in vinyl in recent years has led to many new record shops, but The Exchange seems to stand

out locally. It could be because of the wide-spanning collection, or maybe it’s because Holiday knows so much about each and every item in his store. “In the past, you had to know someone who had the record you wanted or go into a record store and talk to a knowledgeable person so you had an idea of what kind of music you were buying,” Holiday recalls. “If you didn’t, you’d have to buy a record or a CD and take a chance.” Here, you don’t have to take that gamble. If you’re curious about a record, odds are Holiday will have some answers. His girlfriend calls it his “encyclopedic knowledge of music.” If you want to listen before you buy, Holiday will spin it while you browse. In the days of digital music and streaming services, Holiday says the internet has become a “kiss and a curse.” It allows up-and-coming artists to put

themselves out there, but having so many songs in the palm of your hand might make you less appreciative. Physical media, he says, is timeless—it will be there even if the wifi or electricity goes out. “If you’ve got a boombox and some batteries, then you can always listen to your tunes,” Holiday says. “I feel that we live in a society that’s all about how much I can have instead of how much I can enjoy, when it comes to media.” Running a store as specialized as this in the digital age isn’t easy. Holiday says he’s operating in a very niche market, but he enjoys what he does and loves serving music lovers and video game junkies alike. “To have a small business in the digital age, you have to have some kind of passion for it,” Holiday says. “No matter what, you’ve got to have a passion for it.” theexchangebr.weebly.com

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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Issue Date: January 2022 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

Happy New Year

This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

CALENDAR //

January

Where play aro to Baton R und o this monuge th C ompiled b y Olivia Deff es

4-27

FROM THE

Submerge in surreal art

SOUTHERN AIR FAMILY!

Join the Baton Rouge Gallery as it welcomes back an annual art exhibit, Surreal Salon. The exhibit celebrates its 14th year of spotlighting works from global pop surrealist and lowbrow movement artists. And on Jan. 22, the gallery will host the in-person Surreal Salon Soiree with visual art and live musical performances. Guests and artists are encouraged to channel their own pop surrealist visions with fun costumes. batonrougegallery.org

FILE PHOTO BY GABRIELLE FELD

START 2022 OFF RIGHT WITH A $72 A/C TUNE-UP FROM SOUTHERN AIR OF BATON ROUGE

13-15 Celebrate a rock ‘n’ roll legend

Calling all fans of the King. The King Creole Elvis Festival is bringing three days of fun and entertainment to the Embassy Suites Baton Rouge. Elvis fans of all ages can enjoy a variety of shows that will feature the world’s best Elvis impersonators. ETAfestivals.com

Certified Technicians serving Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes

(225) 219-8925 | southernairbr.com |

You might not see a dog dressed like Elvis at the event, but you’ll see plenty of Elvis impersonators! STOCK PHOTO

ON THE ROAD NEW ORLEANS

504

JAN. 1: Baylor vs. Ole Miss at The Allstate Sugar Bowl, allstatesugarbowl.org JAN. 6: Twelfth Night Celebrations, neworleans.com JAN. 25: Still Woozy performs at Joy Theatre, thejoytheater.com

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[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com


Issue Date: January 2022 Ad proof #1 CALENDAR //

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

15-16

FILE PHOTO BY KRISTIN SELLE

ALSO THIS MONTH

ALL MONTH Get crafty with the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Grab-andGeaux crafts series. Set up at different libraries throughout the week, the events bring different types of craft opportunities for children of all ages, complete with kits of supplies and instructions. From coffee sugar scrubs to magnetic moon mirrors, there’s always something new to make. Find the full schedule at ebrpl.com

Get your run on

Dust off your running shoes, and get ready for the Louisiana Marathon. Starting in downtown Baton Rouge, the marathon’s routes will take runners across the city. Race lovers of all skill levels are encouraged to sign up and participate in any of the five races over the weekend, ranging from 1-mile to a full marathon of 26.2 miles. thelouisianamarathon.com

Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s new Cary Saurage Community Arts Center

JAN. 2 Start your year off with a new adventure downtown during First Free Sunday. Participating museums like LSU Museum of Art, Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol and Magnolia Mound Plantation just outside downtown all provide free admission. visitbatonrouge.com JAN. 4 Don’t miss out on the last time to cheer on the LSU Tigers in their 2021 season. The Tigers are headed to Houston to battle against Kansas State in the Texas Bowl. Take a trip to Texas to see the Bayou Bengals’ last game, or find a local sports bar to catch the game on a big screen. lsusports.net

20

COLLIN RICHIE

MPAC is back Celebrate the grand opening of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s new Cary Saurage Community Arts Center building in downtown Baton Rouge with the Music-Performance-Art-Community event. Experience and enjoy all forms of art in one place on one night, from music to visual art to local dance, not to mention food and beverages from Baton Rouge restaurants ad caterers. The event, originally started by 225 and inRegister in 2014 and later taken over by the Arts Council, was rescheduled from last fall due to the pandemic. artsbr.org

ALL MONTH Bring the whole family down to the Blue Zoo Baton Rouge inside the Mall of Louisiana for weekly special aquarium shows. The aquatic zoo offers a variety of shows that teach children about underwater animals and provide whimsical storytimes, from mermaid and pirate shows to snake shows and diving shows. batonrouge.bluezoo.us/ attractions

JAN. 22 Kick off the new year with some local shopping at Mid City Makers Market. Enjoy food and music as you browse the talent of Baton Rouge’s talented crafters, makers and creators. midcitymakersmarket.com

D ress to

impress this year

MORE EVENTS Subscribe to our newsletter 225 Daily for our twice-weekly roundups of events. 225batonrouge.com/225daily

LAFAYETTE

JAN. 8: Second Saturday Art Walk, downtownlafayette.org JAN. 29: Opelousas Gumbo Cookoff, find it on Facebook

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Corporate Blvd at Jefferson • 225.925.2344 townecenteratcedarlodge.com • 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] January 2022

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FRAMED //

In every issue of 225, you’ll find a free print on this page. FRAMED celebrates life and art in Baton Rouge, each one featuring a local photographer, place or graphic designer. Cut it out to hang in your cubicle, or frame it for your home gallery wall. Show us where you hang them by tagging them on social media with #225prints.

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[225] January 2022  |  225batonrouge.com

PHOTO by Jay Lamm / jaylammphoto.com GET FEATURED We love spotlighting local photographers, artists and designers on this page! Shoot us an email at editor@225batonrouge.com to chat about being featured.


This Month [ J A N U A R Y ]

@ BREC FIRST FREE SUNDAYS Magnolia Mound

Jan. 2 | 1 p.m. + 2 p.m. + 3 p.m.

CAMP-IN’

Zachary Community Park Jan. 3

CRAFT CORNER AT THE SWAMP Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Jan. 7 + 8 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

TEEN POP-UP & UNPLUG

Greenwood Community Park Jan. 8 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

SWAMP ART SOIRÉE

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

SATURDAY MORNING STUDIO: FISH AND CHIPS Milton J. Womack Park

NOW HIRING FOR SUMMER JOBS! brec.org/careers

Jan. 15 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

MLK YOUTH PICKLEBALL CLINIC

Greenwood Community Park Tennis Center Jan. 17 | 8:30-11:30 a.m.

CAMP-IN’

SUNSHINE SOCIAL: IT’S ALL ABOUT HATS

Jefferson Highway Park Ballroom Jan. 21 | 6-9 p.m.

Lovett Road Park + Zachary Community Park

COMITE RIVER RUN

ARCHERY 101

ADULT ATHLETIC LEAGUES

Jan. 17

Milton J. Womack Park Jan. 19 | 6-7:30 p.m

Comite River Park

Jan. 22 | 8 a.m.- - 1 p.m. Registration open Jan. 1-31

Jan. 13 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.

BREC.ORg/thismonth BREC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, veteran status or sexual orientation in its programs and activities.