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The biggest trends inside Baton Rouge restaurants and kitchens in a world that keeps changing


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UPFRONT //

Food’s new rules

WE’RE DINING IN a different restaurant world today. Think about how much has changed at local watering holes since the pandemic began. That’s what we’re diving into in this month’s 225 cover story. Outdoor dining is available nearly everywhere, and in any kind of weather. “People definitely prefer to sit on the patio,” says Angie Crochet, marketing director of The Oasis on Burbank Drive, a restaurant, patio and beach volleyball complex. Digital and QR code menus are more common, as are online reservation services. We’re ordering meals on our phones and eating food out of to-go boxes more than ever. “Before the pandemic, about 20% of our business at JED’s was takeout, and now it’s about 50% takeout, 50% dine-in,” says JED’s BY JULIO MELARA Local Poboys co-owner Sally Davis. In fact, thanks to a Metro Council vote this year approving curbside and delivery sales of alcohol, you can even pick up jugs of pre-made cocktails from a bar or restaurant—an amenity we didn’t have access to just a few years ago. Food trucks are thriving, with more inventive, creative menus, serving everything from birria tacos to savory hand pies to organic snoballs. Plant-based dishes are becoming more commonplace, in part a response to meat price surges and shortages that have strained restaurant budgets. “A lot of our customers are not even vegan … There’s definitely more curiosity about plant-based foods,” says Plant Based Foods By Lotus co-owner Maria Howard. The chefs running kitchens are changing, too—women-owned food businesses, for one, are growing at triple the rate of the overall industry. These changes come after an absolutely brutal year for the food Issue Date: NOV 2021 Ad proof #1 and beverage industry, when the • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor global revisions.health crisis led to months of • 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 shutdowns tight deadlines. and capacity restrictions— • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. a depleted labor not to mention

market. As of this summer, 75% of restaurant operators nationwide agreed that recruiting and retaining employees was their biggest challenge. It’s been a tough year, but the silver lining has been some cool upgrades that are moving the local industry into a hopefully brighter future. Personally, I love that I can use my phone to reserve a table for dinner at my favorite restaurant, and that I can pick up lunch from a food truck serving meals in a parking lot. Read all about it in our cover story, starting on page 36. And keep doing whatever you can to support our restaurant industry. Because in spite of it all, local eateries are still breathing life into Baton Rouge—making our city a more exciting, better place to live!

Holiday meals Speaking of food, we’re officially in the best season for it! We’re all already dreaming about our holiday tables, so we asked Chef Don Bergeron of Bergeron’s City Market for some insight on what to serve this year. In fact, holiday flavors are so popular among his customers that Bergeron serves monthly Thanksgiving-inspired lunch specials all year long. It’s all about the casseroles and the sides, according to Bergeron. Think spinach madeleine, carrot soufflé, and shrimp and mirliton casserole—each of which have their own special ties to Baton Rouge’s food culture. We break it all down on page 14.

Bookmark this I love reading books, and one thing I have learned over the years is that the magic of an independent bookshop is how well it can cater exactly to what the community wants. And that’s just what The Conundrum bookstore does in St. Francisville. The store sources its inventory based on shopper feedback. It makes

Southern garden. Cozy sofas create a living-roomlounge feel, where shoppers can sit for a moment to sample a new read that has piqued their curiosity—or play with the store’s collection of jigsaw puzzles. The store also hosts local book clubs and groups, as well as a social media series of book recommendations. Take a tour of the shop starting on page 75.

Advocating for kids I think the Capital Area CASA Association is one of the best and most effective nonprofits in our community. As one of nearly 1,000 CASA programs across the country, the Baton Rouge organization recruits and trains volunteer court-appointed special advocates to stand up for the rights of local children who have been placed in foster care due to abuse and neglect. But CASA has been hit hard by the pandemic. It’s been more challenging to find volunteers, says Executive Director Liz Betz. The organization was still able to keep up with its caseloads at the beginning of the pandemic. But this year, case counts have returned to pre-pandemic levels, and CASA doesn’t have enough volunteers to keep up with demand. “It started last year with COVID19. People were juggling a lot, and sometimes that’s not the best time to volunteer,” Betz says. “We are in such dire need of volunteers right now.” To read more about the organization’s work and how you can get involved, turn to page 23. It’s just one of the many local efforts our community can be grateful for this season. From all of us at 225, we hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

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CONTENTS //

Features 29 What we spotted from above Baton Rouge

55 The historic finds inside one Spanish Town home

70 How to put wild game on the menu this Thanksgiving

75 A bookstore that lets you chill

out with your favorite read And much more …

Departments 14 What’s Up 23 Our City 35 I am 225 36 Cover story 55 Style 63 Taste 75 Culture 82 Calendar

COLLIN RICHIE

35

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[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

ON THE COVER

Food’s future IN A YEAR that kept throwing out new challenges, Baton Rouge food businesses have met them head on. They’ve adjusted their operations, expanded the way they reach diners and customers, and innovated in how they create the dishes we know and love. The pandemic also brought a renewed interest in food trucks as an easier way for burgeoning ideas to enter the local scene, such as the popular Chicky Sandos. Staff photographer Collin Richie shot its crispy, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches for our cover story. Read all about the food truck and more about local food trends starting on page 36.



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A S K T H E S TA FF

Local brand you love to put under the tree Publisher: Julio Melara

EDITORIAL

“My friend makes the most luxurious handmade blankets and pillows. She puts so much love into every single Sweet Tea Blankets piece. She’s originally from Louisiana and now lives in Tennessee, but she ships anywhere.” —Jamie Hernandez

Editorial director: Penny Font Editor: Jennifer Tormo Managing editor: Benjamin Leger Features writer: Maggie Heyn Richardson Staff photographer: Collin Richie Contributing writers: Cynthea Corfah, Olivia Deffes, Elle Marie, Tracey Koch, Zane Piontek, Stephanie Riegel, Brooke Smith Contributing photographers: Ariana Allison, Wesley Faust, Amy Shutt

ADVERTISING

Sales director: Erin Palmintier-Pou Account executives: Manny Fajardo, André Hellickson Savoie, Jamie Hernandez, Kaitlyn Maranto, Olivia Robb 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

MARKETING

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

ADMINISTR ATION

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

“The Royal Standard always has something for everyone on my list.” —Kirsten Milano

PRODUCTION/DESIGN

“Last year, I gave out a few samplers of Season To Taste’s oils because I know so many good cooks. They all loved them!” —Emily Witt

follow us on social media for updates on Black Friday specials! HERRINGSTONE’S BATON ROUGE Call Haley Herrington to schedule your own personal shopping experience 7474 Corporate Blvd Ste C | 225.239.5239 | www.herringstonesboutique.com

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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 A publication of Louisiana Business Inc. Chairman: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. Executive assistant: Tara Broussard President and CEO: Julio Melara Executive assistant: Brooke Motto

“When we leave chocolate chip cookies out for Santa, we must have a glass of Kleinpeter’s milk. Been a favorite of mine for over 60 years.” —Rolfe McCollister

9029 Jefferson Highway, Suite 300 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-214-5225  •  FAX 225-926-1329 225batonrouge.com ©Copyright 2021 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.


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Sound off

Caffeine fix

What readers have been saying on social media about some of our recent stories

Our October cover story all about Baton Rouge’s booming coffee culture got a lot of positive responses from readers.

“Enjoyed this issue!” —@dennydayhome

“Great issue! —@sassafrasbien

KeKe Morgan

“Even though I didn’t figure it out until I was 29 … I LOVE COFFEE!!

COLLIN RICHIE

13th Gate Escape’s Dwayne Sanburn inside the “Cutthroat Cavern” escape room

—@jbroha

About the September issue’s story on KeKe Morgan and her Ke Care Yoga & Wellness studio:

About the October issue’s story on the 13th Gate Escape:

“‘Cutthroat Cavern’ was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. Rivals Disney World in terms of creativity and visuals!”

“What a cute place!!!

About our story on the new Myla Boutique from an October edition of 225 Daily:

—@paigejeansonne_makeup

“Love those disco balls!” —@goodgranoly

“This place looks so beautiful and peaceful! Love the decor.” —@emramey

—@laurenleonard_

CONNECT US Issue Date: WITH NOV 2021

“Great cover!

ARIANA ALLISON

COLLIN RICHIE

—@fieldsofluxury

309

Number of likes on Instagram for our October cover

“This is so cute! Can’t wait to shop there!”

Inside the new Myla Boutique shop on Perkins Road

—@heydavidthepack

Ad2 proof #3

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ech T N io -B r e z fi P s e iv G A FD l a v o r p p A ll u F e in c c a V Covid-19 THE WALL STREET JOURNA

L | AUGUST 23, 2021

“SAFE AND EFFECTIVE”

FDA Approved Vaccines for Safe Use MMR – Mumps, Measles and Rubella Polio Smallpox COVID-19

The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer joins a list of approved vaccines Americans have been safely using – like measles and chicken pox – to eradicate disease over the past decades. Billions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide.

“This vaccine is now fully FDA approved because it has been tested and re-tested and found to be safe and effective.”

To find out where you can get your COVID-19 Vaccine, go to covidvaccine.la.gov or call the Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774.

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November

Side hustle

Yam Crunch from Bergeron’s City Market’s Thanksgiving catering menu

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[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

COLLIN RICHIE

Baton Rouge has its own brand of holiday fare A COMMON ADMISSION around the Thanksgiving table is that it’s the side dishes—not the turkey—that bait our taste buds with anticipation. Nostalgia fare at its finest, regional Thanksgiving sides like cornbread dressing, spinach Madeleine, carrot soufflé, candied sweet potatoes, and shrimp and mirliton casserole are dishes that fortify bonds between generations, while propping up what is arguably one of the world’s blandest proteins. This month, home cooks take on the task of preparing for the country’s favorite culinary holiday. But in keeping with a current trend, many will supplement their own dishes with those prepared by their favorite restaurant or caterer. “The cornerstone of our success is doing a lot of these old-fashioned dishes that your grandmother used to make,” says Chef Don Bergeron of Bergeron’s City Market, which has seen Thanksgiving catering orders grow every year since the business opened in 2003. Thanksgiving flavors are so popular among his customers that Bergeron serves monthly Thanksgiving-inspired lunch specials year-round. Casseroles are an essential component of his menu, he says. “We have a lot of older customers who say the flavors bring them back to growing up in south Louisiana,” Bergeron says. “And that they taste just the way they remember.” The popularity of casseroles endures over generations because of the dishes’ simplicity and straightforwardness. “They’re not overly complicated,” Bergeron says. “They don’t usually have that many ingredients—maybe five to eight, or so.” Generally speaking, south Louisiana holiday casseroles start with melted butter or a light roux, followed by the holy trinity of chopped onion, celery and green bell pepper. Especially in vegetable casseroles, a binder of some kind is required to hold the main ingredients together; Bergeron uses house-made béchamel sauce to replace that backbone of home casserole cooking, the can of cream-of-something soup. Finally, the dish is usually finished with some kind of topping—marshmallows or toasted pecans in the case of yams, and toasted breadcrumbs for vegetable casseroles. No surprise, Spinach Madeleine is one of Bergeron’s best-sellers this time of year. The spicy creamed spinach recipe was developed at the spur of the moment in 1956 by the late Madeline Wright for a bridge gathering, and was included in the original 1959 River Road Recipes, where she spelled her name with an extra “e” for added flourish. Its distinct flavor profile is defined by the presence of celery salt and, in the original version, a roll of Kraft jalapeno cheese, a product discontinued in the ’90s. The Junior League’s official substitution calls for 4 ounces of Velveeta cheese and 2 teaspoons of minced fresh jalapeño. Sweet potatoes are a mainstay of Louisiana Thanksgiving tables, but in Baton Rouge, carrot soufflé also has special resonance. The dish was made popular across the region by Piccadilly Restaurants, whose first lunch cafeteria was founded in downtown Baton Rouge in 1932. Bergeron makes a version on his menu. Other timeless, albeit less common, regional one-dish wonders include shrimp and mirliton casserole, a seafoodmeets-squash combo bound by buttery breadcrumbs and dried herbs; and crab and eggplant casserole, in which peeled cubed eggplant is cooked down and combined with fresh crabmeat, aromatics, butter and breadcrumbs or crushed crackers. These two classics, along with oyster dressing, may be on fewer tables this year, due to a spike in seafood prices that has only worsened since Hurricane Ida. But no matter their ingredients, casseroles remain the ultimate expression of comfort food. And feeling comfortable, especially lately, is what the holidays are all about. chefdonb.com/catering —MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON


W H AT ’ S U P / /

Baton Rouge native, ‘Great American Baking Show’ winner releases cookbook

DIGITS

25 PHOTOS COURTESY VALLERY LOMAS

Years the Red Stick Farmers Market has been in operation. The market opened in November 1996 on the surface parking lot where the 19th Judicial District Courthouse now stands on North Boulevard, later moving to its current spot at Fifth and Main streets. It’s been a game changer for the local foods movement in Baton Rouge. breada.org

“After I won the Great American Baking Show, I knew I had an opportunity to write a cookbook. I had a story to tell,” Lomas says. “It’s the culmination of my love for baking, and it honors my family traditions.” Lomas grew up in Prairieville around a family of cooks and bakers and among citrus trees and blackberry brambles. The recipes reflect her Southern roots, as well as her appreciation of French technique. The “En France” chapter, inspired by a year of culinary study in France after law school, includes recipes for macarons, galettes, canelés, quiche and soufflés. There are a lot of recipes to enjoy here, including crawfish hand pies, passion fruit tart and candied sweet potato pie. Lomas advises starting with the accordion biscuits, a family favorite, or trying your hand at her tiger doughnuts, one of several varieties. QR codes in the book link to technique videos on Lomas’ website. foodieinnewyork.com

Turkey Trot turns 35

PHOTO COURTESY FRESHJUNKIE RACING

VALLERY LOMAS WAS in her third year at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law when she turned to baking to relieve stress. That simple act triggered a series of events that led the Baton Rouge native and future Manhattan privacy attorney to trade in her law career for one as a culinary personality and cookbook author. Here’s how it happened. While baking in law school, Lomas created a blog to document her recipes. Years later, the blog led to an Instagram account called “Foodie in New York,” in which Lomas chronicled her passion for baking homey, beautiful and sometimes complex recipes. Her Instagram following attracted talent scouts, who offered Lomas a chance to compete on 2017’s The Great American Baking Show. Off she went to Los Angeles for auditions, and once cast, she and other contestants flew to England for the show’s taping. It was a wild, satisfying ride with a fairytale ending. Well, sort of. Lomas came out on top, and returned home to wait patiently for the show to air that fall, at which time the world would know of her victory. But after one episode, Lomas and the other contestants got the news that the show was being canceled. Sexual harassment allegations had surfaced against one of its judges, celebrity pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, and this was the height of the #MeToo movement. Her support of the cause notwithstanding, the cancellation was devastating. Lomas had baked her heart out and looked forward to the fanfare and career boost that comes with winning a high-profile competition. The announcement that she had won the show’s 2017 season was ultimately released by ABC via Facebook, and Lomas was interviewed by several media outlets about the show’s unusual turn and her future plans. Lomas used the occasion to start work on a cookbook, which was just released this fall. Life is What You Bake It, published by cookbook publishing powerhouse Clarkson Potter, is a fitting reflection of Lomas’ never-quit attitude.

STOCK PHOTO

Great bakes

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, Thanksgiving is the country’s biggest day for running, as communities nationwide organize races and fun runs that help us feel better about the forthcoming gorge. The 35th annual Turkey Trot, which takes place on Thanksgiving morning in downtown Baton Rouge, is just such a race. Organized by Freshjunkie Racing, the event benefits the March of Dimes, and features a 5K and 1-mile fun run you can run, walk or jog. “It’s a great opportunity to come out and run and kick off Thanksgiving with your family,” Freshjunkie Racing director and restaurateur Patrick Fellows says, “and as we like to say, ‘earn your turkey.’” turkeytrotbr.com

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“That’s quite a block of people, and if they all got behind this movement, it’s kind of like ‘Jab me now so I can ride on my float later.’ That’s the plan, and I think it’s a good one.” —Mardi Gras Guide publisher Arthur Hardy about New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell encouraging New Orleans Mardi Gras krewes to be fully vaccinated before the 2022 carnival season begins in January. When asked to comment on Cantrell’s request here in Baton Rouge, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s chief communications officer Mark Armstrong responded by saying, “We are asking everyone to get vaccinated. It’s the quickest and safest way to end the pandemic, which threatens our health, economy and public events.” 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

T HE B ATO N R OU GE B AL L E T T H E AT R E P R E S E N TS

THE

A Tale From The Bayou

DECEMBER 18&19 • 2&6PM

Baton Rouge River Center Featuring the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra Issue Date: Month Ad proofbatonrougeballet.org #1 225 766-8379

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W H AT ’ S N E W

Buzz feed By 225 Staff // Photos by Ariana Allison

Shop small Mimosa Handcrafted is the latest local brand to join the shopon-wheels movement. The new Mimosa Shopette is housed in a 20-by-7-foot trailer at 541 S. Eugene St. And while the space may be tiny, it houses the entire Mimosa Handcrafted collection of necklaces, rings, earrings, cuffs and other accessories. Find it on Instagram at @mimosa_shopette

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HOMEMADE TREATS DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR The perfect holiday gift!

All about pairings

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At Proverbial Wine Bistro, the focus is on food and drink pairings—and not just with wine, but craft beer and cocktails, too. The new City Group Hospitality concept opened last month in Long Farm Village in the former Wildwood Pizza space. “How many places are going to make pairing their main thing? Even in other cities, you don’t see it enough,” says Alan Walter, who is leading a redesign of CGH’s bar programs. Find it on Instagram at @proverbialbistro


Issue Date: Nov 2021 Ad proof #2 W H AT ’ S U P / /

• 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

G I V I N G D AY

Mark your calendar for 225 GIVES, an annual online fundraiser encouraging support of the Capital Region’s nonprofit community. All local nonprofits are invited to participate in the 24-hour event presented by Capital Area United Way—and as of press time nearly 200 groups had signed up. Find out more or donate at 225gives.org.

STOCK PHOTO

Nov. 30

Fall restaurant openings to watch DIGIT

8,167

The number of wines stocked at Total Wine & More. The national brand’s first Baton Rouge location arrived in late September—just in time for planning those holiday parties and gifts. Find it on Instagram at @totalwinebatonrouge

COVID-19 + family matters A new LSU study finds most Americans exhibit “stunning” compliance with COVID-19 precautions— except at home. Avoiding close contact with household members is the most difficult precaution for most to take, according to the survey of 10,000 U.S. adults. “This stands in sharp contrast with the finding that most people were infected by someone they lived with,” say the researchers at LSU and the University of WisconsinRiver Falls. While coronavirus cases began falling in Louisiana this autumn, health care workers fear another winter surge as cold weather and holiday gatherings push people indoors, the Associated Press reports. lsu.edu/research

Gail’s Fine Ice Cream Artisan ice creamery by Hufft Marchand Hospitality (the group behind The Overpass Merchant and Curbside). Expect fun flavors like fresh mint; dark chocolate; and lemon berry icebox pie ribboned with blueberry mint puree, lemon curd and almond streusel. 3025 Perkins Road; gailsfineicecream.com The Iron Fork Kjun Eatery and Market Southern restaurantmeets-market, with lunch specials, a full bar, and a shop full of prepared meals, Cajun meats, and pork and chicken cracklins. 7520 Perkins Road, Suite 100; Find it on Facebook Spoke ‘N’ Hub Southern American grub in the former Bistro Byronz space, complete with an attached speakeasy that will have its own entrance. It’s the latest in the City Group Hospitality collection. 5412 Government St.; Find it on Facebook Bistro Byronz Bistro Byronz’s original Mid City location moves into the former White Star Market, serving lunch, brunch and dinner with spacious outdoor seating. 4624 Government St.; bistrobyronz.com

Think PINK Jamie Jones transformed a former Subway on Perkins Road into a pink-painted, disco ball-adorned boutique. Myla Boutique stocks women’s and girls’ clothing and accessories from more than 200 brands. As for the building color choice? “I love pink because it’s girly, but I really did it because my mom had breast cancer,” says Jones, who opened the store during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Find it on Instagram at @shopmylaboutique

Lotus Lounge Tiki cocktails and small plates tucked into the former bar and entrance at Soji: Modern Asian. Though Soji remains open next door, owner Chase Lyons promises they will function as two separate concepts. 5050 Government St.; Find it on Instagram at @drink.lotus

FALL GOALS INCLUDE SMOOTH SKIN Let us help you reach your goals! ASK ABOUT OUR NEW EWC REWARDS PROGRAM!

3 locations to serve you: HIGHLAND PARK 225-228-1383

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PERKINS ROWE 225-800-3636

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

Rolling OUT Wheelchair-accessible date activities around Baton Rouge

By Brooke Smith // Photos by Collin Richie

SO, WHERE ARE we going for date night? It’s a common refrain as the weekend approaches, but for interabled couples or those with disabilities, nothing is more discouraging than heading somewhere that makes being physically challenged into an obstacle. No couple should deal with that type of stress. Luckily, there are some “wheely” great inclusive date spots in the Capital City. Here are four fun ones to check out.

The Baton Rouge Zoo has paved, wheelchair-accessible pathways.

TAKE THE HOLIDAYS HOME!

PRE-ORDER THANKSGIVING DINNER! Now - Tuesday, November 23

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

For creative souls:

For nature lovers:

For exploring the wild side:

For the competitive spirits:

MUSEUMS AND ART galleries allow couples to bounce ideas off one another, discovering a new layer of their partner’s personality as they interpret artwork, artifacts and eras. Plus, most museums’ and art galleries’ accessibility standards tend to be higher than other public buildings. Admission is affordable, too. Capitol Park Museum downtown has cool exhibits such as Louis Armstrong’s childhood bugle, a Mardi Gras float and a life-size shrimp boat. The current traveling exhibit, “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” runs through Nov. 14. Head to the other side of downtown to see the LSU Museum of Art on the fifth floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts, where you can explore American and European paintings and interesting sculptures and photography. Afterward, take the elevator up to Tsunami Sushi for an incredible rooftop view of the Mississippi River. If your partner likes historic artifacts, the Ancient Egypt Gallery at Louisiana Art & Science Museum has a mummy from 300 BC resting inside a reconstructed Ptolemaic era tomb. Or, you can make a move like Ross Geller and visit the museum’s Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, which always has a variety of shows playing. Find the museums on Facebook

AN AFTERNOON OR evening stroll around the Mississippi River Levee Pathway or LSU Lakes is an easy romantic activity. There are accessible ramps at major trail heads such as the River Road intersections at Skip Bertman Drive and Florida Street that will lead you to the top of the levee. A wide asphalt path meanders along the river throughout Baton Rouge. The paths at LSU Lakes are curvy but wide enough. You can always pack a picnic while you are enjoying the scenery. Make sure to bring a lap tray if there are no accessible picnic tables available or if you don’t have a personal tray on your wheelchair. If your significant other adores gardens, they would love the meadows at LSU’s Hilltop Arboretum off Highland Road or the rooftop garden of the Main Library off Goodwood Boulevard. Both places are wheelchair accessible and free. After you enjoy some quality time checking out the luscious flowers, head down the street to Mid City Beer Garden for cocktails and apps. There are plenty of low-top tables at this popular watering hole.

LIKE ART GALLERIES and museums, zoos are held to a higher standard of accessibility. BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo has paved paths connecting you to animals from around the world. Even though zoos are more for families, they can still be fun for couples. You won’t run out of topics to talk about. The cool creatures are everywhere you look, including tigers, rhinos, Chilean flamingos, Aldabra tortoises and alligators. You can share silly animal jokes with each other. There are also wheelchair rentals on site for $7 if you ever need a backup. brzoo.org

KNOCK DOWN YOUR sweetheart like a bowling pin at Red Stick Social off Government Street. Bowling is one of the most accessible sports for wheelchair users, and at this Mid City spot it costs $25 per hour, Wednesday through Sunday. Call ahead to check if there’s a bowling ball ramp available. If you are quadriplegic, you can use a mouth stick to push the ball down the ramp. Red Stick Social also has a full menu of food and drinks. Bands or DJs are usually playing on the stage downstairs. Find the schedule at redsticksocial.com.

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Bowling night

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

YOUR FLAVOR

Spike Graham Procurement, Apache Industrial Services 58

You’d love to take a helicopter ride over ...

Holiday dish you always eat seconds of

For restaurant menus, do you prefer digital or paper?

Fave phone app

New York City at night

Turkey

Old-style

Facebook

Chill out on the couch and watch a movie

The Calm app for meditation and yoga

Relax at home with a holiday special and hot chocolate

Voxer, a walkie-talkie messenger app

Playing guitar with my family around our backyard fire pit

Shika Crayton

Certified fashion stylist, Onyx Leaf Co. 33

New Orleans. I would love to see the city at night.

Jonathan Welch

Fundraising consultant, Big Time Fundraising 30

Latasha RamseyCyprian CEO, Optimum Life Enterprises LLC 41

20

[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

Gumbo

Louisiana marshland

Macaroni and cheese or green bean casserole

The Las Vegas Strip at night

My mother’s amazing Thanksgiving cornbread dressing

I actually like the digital menus.

Old-fashioned paper menu

Even though I’m tech savvy, I like the traditional paper menus.

I check Credit Karma every day because I like the updates it provides.

Your holiday mood described in emojis

How you unwind during the holidays

I like to read a good book.


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NICOLE CHAUVIN, MD

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STEVEN FEIGLEY, MD

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CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY, One Woman At A Time.

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JAY PARENTON III, MD

AMANDA PEARSON, MD

MICHAEL PERNICIARO, MD

SAMANTHA PRATS, MD

KIRK ROUSSET, MD

LAUREN SANDERS, MD

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LAURIE WHITAKER, MD

SUNSHINE WILLETT, MD

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I N S I D E : Smart Growth Summit / BR from above / Hospital drama

Voice to the voiceless CASA volunteers speak for children in foster care, and their services are needed more than ever during the pandemic BY MAG G IE H E YN R ICH A R DSO N / / P H OTO S BY CO L L I N R I C HI E

From left, CASA Advocate Supervisor Susan Murrell and volunteers Jordimar RodriguezVazquez and Keshala B. Jackson


OUR CITY //

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T H E B AT O N R O U G E B A L L E T T H E AT R E P R E S E N T S

“Giving (the children) the help that’s needed for them to transition and really flourish as best as possible is important.” —Keshala B. Jackson, a CASA volunteer since 2003

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MORE THAN 20 years ago, Keshala Jackson was going through her late mother’s things when she found a brochure for the volunteer training program at the Capital Area CASA Association in Baton Rouge. CASA, short for court-appointed special advocates, trains adults to advocate for the rights of children who have been placed in foster care due to abuse and neglect. A national program, CASA’s volunteers act as the eyes and ears of kids and teens who find themselves in an intimidating bureaucratic system at a very vulnerable point in their lives. “My mom had actually taken the CASA training, but she was never an active volunteer because she had a stroke,” Jackson recalls. “I was a sophomore in college (at the time), and I wasn’t ready to commit. But I kept it and said, ‘You know, that’s something I could do to honor her.’ Once I graduated, I decided to go forward with it, and I used the same brochure that I found in her belongings.”

Thus began a nearly two-decadelong commitment that Jackson, an avid community volunteer and the director of the city-parish’s Charles R. Kelly Community Center, says is “the best volunteer experience I’ve had.” She and other Capital Area CASA Association volunteers usually work one case at a time, spending time with children at least once a month to understand their social, educational and emotional needs. As they get to know the children and their family situation, they can advocate for services that improve a child’s current situation, and ultimately, help the court system make the best decision for the child’s permanent living situation. The Capital Area CASA Association is one of nearly 1,000 CASA programs across the United States. The movement began in 1976. It spread quickly, but Baton Rouge would not have its own program until the early ’90s, when community leaders realized the Capital City was the only one of its size nationwide without a


Issue Date: May 2021 Ad proof #2 OUR CITY //

• 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

YOUR LOVED ONES DESERVE SERENITY “Although it has been less than 30 days; I love what the Serenity Treatment Center has done for my son, Jemone. They have taught him some discipline and how to refuse to use. I am excited to see him sober and attentive when I speak to him. He is an awesome, friendly, trustworthy person and I will stand by him all the way. The Serenity Treatment Center staff is friendly, competent, and helpful. I thank you all for encouraging our young sons and daughters in Louisiana.” —A grateful Mother in Louisiana

“For that child to feel that they can trust me, count on me, and see me as an ally and not another person they have to be afraid of, that means a lot.” —Jordimar Rodriguez-Vazquez, a CASA volunteer since 2019

CASA program, says executive director Liz Betz. The Capital Area CASA Association officially opened in 1992, and Betz was hired as its first executive director in 1993. “The board of directors that hired me said, ‘Your goal is to have a (volunteer) advocate for every child who needs one,’” Betz recalls. “It took from ’93 to 2000 (to make that happen), but we eventually got there.” The pandemic, however, has changed that balance. It’s been harder to recruit and train volunteers, Betz says. “It started last year with COVID-19,” Betz says. “People were juggling a lot, and sometimes that’s not the best time to volunteer.” The organization was initially able to keep up with its caseloads, because,

for reasons unknown, fewer children came into care last year, Betz says. But this year, case counts have returned to normal, and CASA doesn’t have enough volunteers to keep up with demand. “We are in such dire need of volunteers right now,” Betz says. Abuse and neglect are the main reasons why children end up being removed from their families and placed in care, and each situation varies widely. Parents might be abusive. A mother could have mental health challenges, or be the victim of domestic violence. A parent or family member could have sexually abused a child. Parents might struggle with substance abuse. A single parent could have been arrested, wrongfully or otherwise, and not have the funds to make bail.

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By spending time with the child and attending meetings with family members and social workers from the Department of Children and Family Services, the CASA volunteer gains a broader picture of what the child needs now, and what the safest and best possible long-term or permanent solution is for the child. Jackson has worked with a number of teenage girls over the years. She might help them with their homework, take them to the mall or to the movies or to get a bite to eat. CASA also holds events and activities for children in care. All of those occasions give volunteers a chance to develop a relationship with a child, and understand what could help them get through a difficult period. “Some of them have educational needs, and they might need to be tested or get a tutor,” Jackson says. “They’ve suffered when they were separated from their families. They have social needs. They may have been taken away from their friend group, or taken away from people they know. Giving them the help that’s needed for them to transition and really flourish as best as possible is important.”

26

CASA volunteers can also help resolve issues that might be occurring in the foster or group home, Jackson says. Perhaps a foster child isn’t getting along with another sibling in the house, or maybe the child misses their siblings, who may have been placed with another family. Volunteers attend a 32-hour training and are expected to see their kids at least once a month. While the work might seem daunting and complex, each volunteer is supported by an advocate supervisor on staff at CASA. “They’re not out there by themselves,” advocate supervisor Susan Murrell says. “They have a support system every step of the way.” Volunteer Jordimar RodriguezVazquez, a CASA volunteer and veterinarian, has worked with a handful of children since becoming involved with CASA four years ago. He says he’s gained more confidence with each case, and the experience of volunteering has been gratifying. “For that child to feel that they can trust me, count on me, and see me as an ally and not another person they have to be afraid of, that means a lot,” he says. “That makes me put my fears aside.” casabr.org

[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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OUR CITY //

How CASA began with one judge’s frustration IN 1976, a Seattle juvenile court judge named David W. Soukup became frustrated by the lack of information he had on a case involving a 3-yearold girl who ended up in the hospital with injuries that seemed consistent with child abuse. In court, the child’s mother had claimed the child had fallen, but also commented that her boyfriend had moved out. Soukup faced an excruciating decision. He could return the child home, or remove her from the only home she’d known to live with strangers. Soukup imagined how much more effective the situation would be if trained, objective volunteers could have spent time better understanding the family’s circumstances, and spoken for the child’s best interest in court. Soukup invited would-be volunteers to the courthouse for a brown bag lunch meeting to gauge interest. Dozens of volunteers turned out, and by 1977, the first CASA program in the country launched in Seattle. By 1987, the concept had spread to 271 programs in 44 states. After he retired, Soukup himself would become a CASA volunteer, calling it the most difficult and gratifying experience he’d ever known.

SOURCE: NATIONAL CASA/GAL ASSOCIATION FOR CHILDREN


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OUR CITY //

Future focus

Smart Growth Summit returns Nov. 16-18, with virtual lineup centered on pandemic recovery and climate change parks and pedestrian infrastructure ONE OF THE silver linings of “going following a season of people eager to virtual” during the pandemic, at least for walk or bike outdoors. Or how distance local organizations, was being able to learning has kept more people at reach a broader digital audience. And in home and made them rethink what an turn, gathering ideas from experts who attractive neighborhood means to them. might not have been able to visit Baton And how that personal “bubble” made Rouge otherwise. us prone to patronize restaurants and Such was the case with Center for businesses within a mile radius rather Planning Excellence when it turned than drive across town. its annual Smart Growth Summit— “There’s been a growing awareness focused on planning, urban design about these things for the past two and community resiliency—into a virtual decades, but the pandemic really was conference last year. the tipping point,” Manning-Broome The event attracted 1,500 participants says. “It’s shown us that the ways in from six continents, according to Presiwhich we need to recover (from the dent and CEO Camille Manning-Broome. pandemic) and think about the future And perhaps the biggest draw was that are one in the same.” Louisiana is primed to be at the forefront The pandemic, she says, provided of plenty of smart growth discussions. almost a trial run of how our “We’re having some of the most relecommunities will deal with infectious vant conversations right now here in Loudiseases, which are predicted to isiana,” she says. “We’re on the frontline increase with climate change and of climate change. We’re dealing with a extreme weather events. It also showed variety of economic disparities. We’re rehow far we have to go to diversify our ally at the nexus of all these things.” economy to fit a world where supply Going into 2021 and this month’s chains might get disrupted and travel iteration, the CPEX team knew it would restrictions may affect access to services. have to continue the summit in a virtual If anything, this year’s harsh freeze format again. And with this year’s theme and summer floods proved the state’s of “Shaping Our Future,” there are plenty Issue Date: NOV 2021 Ad proof #1 infrastructure still isn’t up to snuff. of new ideas to explore. • Please respond by e-mail how or fax with your approval “We’ve got these cascading crises Up for discussion: mayors and or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final to revisions are received withinon 24 hours stacking top of each other,” Manningcivic leaders are rethinking access 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.

Stormwater management is one of the topic areas for this year’s Smart Growth Summit.

Broome says. “But within that exists a lot of opportunity.” So the summit aims to shed light on some positive solutions and new ideas. Local and national speakers from as far as Boston and Wyoming will discuss best practices in everything from solar farming to stormwater management to public green spaces. Over three days of free virtual programming, participants can hear from the deputy assistant secretary of the

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, fellows with the Brookings Institution and Kresge Foundation, and even the mayors of Opelousas and Ville Platte about how communities are transforming and investing in planning solutions to prepare for an uncertain future. The Smart Growth Summit is set for Nov. 16-18. Find out more information about the lineup and schedule, and register for free at summit.cpex.org.

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E S E

E V R

—BENJAMIN LEGER

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Meet

Emily Cassidy, MD When Dr. Cassidy finished her degree at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, she headed north for her residency in general surgery at Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, followed by a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. But the New Orleans native—who had even stayed in town for college at the University of New Orleans—always knew she’d be back in Louisiana before too long. Now, Dr. Cassidy practices at Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group Thoracic Surgery in Baton Rouge. “In addition to the reward of coming home to Louisiana, the hospital has been extremely supportive of my surgical practice,” Dr. Cassidy says. “I was the first dedicated general thoracic surgeon at Our Lady of the Lake, and I came with a lot of big ideas to build a destination thoracic oncology program. With the hospital’s support, that’s exactly what we’ve done!”

From Chemistry to Medicine

Originally, Dr. Cassidy planned to pursue a career in chemistry, which was her undergraduate major. But after a summer job in a lab, she realized it wasn’t the best fit. “I was fascinated by the scientific developments happening in the lab, but I really had a desire to be on the implementation side of the process,” Dr. Cassidy says. “I wanted to be the person who brought that science to people who needed it, so I decided to become a physician. And as a thoracic surgeon, I use science and technology every day to biopsy, treat and remove cancers in the chest.”

Why Thoracic Surgery? It’s Personal.

Dr. Cassidy grew up in a family of cigarette smokers, so she knows firsthand how hard it can be for people to quit smoking. “Lung cancer is my passion,” Dr. Cassidy says. “I worked as a bartender during college and medical school, so I am not judgmental when it comes to my patients’ tobacco history. I sympathize with patients who suffer from nicotine addiction and strive to help them quit.” Dr. Cassidy feels strongly about increasing awareness and availability of lung cancer screenings, which the CDC recommends for people age 50-80 with a significant smoking history who are currently smoking or have quit within the past 15 years. “Lung cancer is curable when caught at an early stage but, unlike other cancers, our country does not screen nearly enough patients for lung cancer,” Dr. Cassidy says. “I believe this to be partially due to the stigma associated with smokers and lung cancer. But nobody deserves lung cancer.”

Advanced Surgical Options

Dr. Cassidy specializes in robotic thoracic surgery, which

results in smaller incisions, enhanced precision, and improved visualization for surgeons. “Large thoracic incisions are painful for the patient and increase the risk for complications such as pneumonia and blood clots,” Dr. Cassidy says. “Robotic surgery provides me with the tools that I need to offer a superior surgical procedure to my patients, giving them the best outcome with the lowest risk for complications.” All lung cancer patients at Our Lady of the Lake receive multidisciplinary care, where providers collaborate in weekly meetings to discuss treatment options. “I’m so blessed to work with an excellent team to provide exceptional care,” Dr. Cassidy says.

From NOLA to Baton Rouge

Although it’s not her hometown, Dr. Cassidy says she loves raising her three children in Baton Rouge. “Doing anything with them melts away the stress of my work,” Dr. Cassidy says. “And raising my children close to family and friends has been so wonderful.” In her downtime, Dr. Cassidy would rather spend her time listening to her favorite artists such as Lake Street Dive, Black Pumas and Lizzo than watching LSU football (although her husband is a fan). “I love going to Jazz Fest. I haven’t missed one since I was a kid!” Dr. Cassidy says. You can also find her practicing yoga, reading and traveling when she gets a chance. Learn more about our surgeons and the Our Lady of the Lake Robotic Surgery Institute at ololrmc.com/robotics


OUR CITY //

Spotted above BR

B Y B E N JA M I N LE G E R

G

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IMAGES TAKEN FROM GOOGLE EARTH

HERE AT 225, we spend a lot of time on Google Maps. Whether it’s fact-checking the address of a new restaurant, getting directions to an upcoming development we got a news tip about, or scouting Street View for a photo-worthy location for a fashion shoot, we’ve become geographic mavericks. And just like scrolling through an Instagram feed might lead you down an hour-long rabbit hole of images, zooming around Google Maps can send you on a virtual road trip around the city. Over time, we’ve come across peculiar things as seen from above. And as journalists do, we start asking questions. Here are a few interesting sights and sites we’ve been investigating. Do you have a spot around town you’ve always wondered about? Send us an email at editor@225batonrouge.com, and we’ll look into it!

STOCK IMAGE

We look into the local places that may have baffled you on your last Google Maps search

K OC ST

A IM

You might find one of these guys (a great egret) roosting at the refuge year-round.

There’s one property on the lakes that hasn’t been scooped up for a luxury home.

Bar on the bayou

Prime real estate on the lake WITH ALL THE attention to revitalizing the LSU and City Park lakes— and the enviable rows of expensive lake-facing homes—it’s crazy to think there’d be any space left untouched. But for years there’s been a small peninsula of land off limits to development. Overgrown with trees and invasive plant species, a rundown sign on East Lakeshore Drive marks it as the LSU Bird Refuge. There’s scant information available online about the site, but LSU Lab School environmental science instructor Steven Babcock shed some light on it. For years, he’s brought students out to the refuge, paddling across the lake on kayaks so they can study and document its plant species and water quality. Recently, they’ve upgraded to drone flyovers to count and spot its live oaks and invasive plant species like the Chinese Tallow, whose leaves turn bright red in the fall. The refuge provides nesting grounds for migratory birds such as egrets, herons, pelicans and ibis. Early renderings of the revitalization of the lakes show the refuge mostly undisturbed by the planned dredging, new pedestrian paths and boardwalks—which indicate this pristine spot will likely stay in its natural state for years to come.

Search “bars” near Lake Maurepas, and this comes up.

IT’S A LITTLE jarring to see one of those cocktail icons—indicating a bar or nightclub—smack in the middle of a swamp with no visible roads nearby. While not necessarily a swim-up bar, the Prop Stop on the Tickfaw River is only accessible by water. A long dock stretches along the south bank of the river for boaters to tie off and stop in for a Swamp Burger, the “Worm Bucket” cocktail, live music, and what its website refers to as a back deck “notorious for the ladies getting wild and crazy.” So if you want to party like MTV’s Spring Break circa 1998 and have your own mode of nautical transportation, you’ll find the Prop Stop not far from where the Tickfaw spills into Lake Maurepas.

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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OUR CITY //

Abandoned bridges of Dawson’s Creek THERE’S A STRETCH of Perkins Road between Essen Lane and Bluebonnet Boulevard that criss-crosses Dawson’s Creek. At four or five spots along the creek are narrow bridges obscured by trees and overgrowth that appear just wide enough to fit a car across. One is hidden behind Bluebonnet Village Shopping Center; two others are behind the strip center next to LA Boilers Seafood. Were they meant as pedestrian bridges for the neighborhoods across the creek? Melissa Glasscock at the city Department of Transportation and Drainage looked into this for us and suspects they date back to the 1950s and ’60s, when much of the land was utilized as rural farms and cattle pastures. Drainage and construction of new roads may have cut off landowners from portions of their property, so the city built these small bridges and gave them over to the property owners to privately maintain. They aren’t meant for public access, Glasscock notes.

There are a handful of small, hidden bridges over Dawson’s Creek.

Neighborhood simulation OFF SCENIC HIGHWAY near the city landfill sits what at first looks like a standard race track. Closer inspection shows a grid of streets, stoplights and even a cul-de-sac in the center of the track. Yet there are no homes or businesses around—almost like a residential development that never took off. It’s actually part of a facility run by the Louisiana State Police known as the Joint Emergency Services Training Center. The complex provides law enforcement and other agencies with emergency and first-response training so they can expertly navigate the twists and turns of true-to-life neighborhood streets. If you’ve ever wondered how police officers prepare for a highIssue Date: 2021 Adthey proof #3 expert skills. jestc.org speed chase,NOV this is likely where got those • 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.

This is more than just your average race track.

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OUR CITY //

These 250 acres of pastures are home to some of the most coveted purebred horses around.

About 60 horses call the Live Oak Arabians grounds home.

An urban horse farm oasis WHAT WAS ONCE 1,800 acres of farmland and cattle pastures has slowly transformed over the years as Baton Rouge grew around it. Now relegated to 250 acres and nestled between shopping centers and apartment complexes, the home of Live Oak Arabians still feels sprawling if you drive past its dark wood fence and manicured oak trees along Jefferson Highway. The property has been in the same family for generations, but it was current owner Phil Witter who started breeding championship show horses and cattle here in 1972. The ranch has raised more than a thousand winning purebred Arabians in national and international competitions. In recent years, Witter has renovated the historic main house, built a small chapel and added otherNovember amenities to host weddings and events Issue Date: 2021 Ad proof #1and make the pastoral setting more accessible to public. “We something sorevisions. out of the ordinary here,” he told inRegister in November • Please respondthe by e-mail or fax withhave your approval or minor “A farm inside the city—that’s special, we want to share it.” liveoakarabians.com • AD WILL RUN 2020. AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received withinand 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.

VEN BIEN RILEY

IS EO RG OU B U

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

Celebrations are essential! HOLIDAY DESSERTS FROM SCRATCH ORDER ONLINE FOR YOUR HOLIDAY CELEBRATION 3753 PERKINS ROAD, SUITE D | BATON ROUGE, LA 70808 225-456-5002 | COUNTERSPACEBR.COM |

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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OUR CITY //

EXPLAINER

Partners no more

A look at the recent drama among Baton Rouge’s biggest health care systems The basics

FILE PHOTO

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center

Mary Bird Perkins marked its 50th anniversary by announcing a split with OLOL in August. The cancer center has long shared a campus with OLOL, and many of its chemotherapy services use equipment owned by OLOL and nursing staff employed by the hospital. But, Mary Bird Perkins is still considered independent of OLOL. The two facilities were in the midst of negotiations that would have put the cancer center further under OLOL’s wing, but it instead opted to partner with a Nashville-based network of independent oncology practices, OneOncology, that would provide management and access to a nationwide network of resources.

YOU PROBABLY SAW the news about Why so mad? Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and The split was not amicable. In a statement, Mary Bird Perkins Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical CEO Todd Stevens remarked that “Louisiana can sometimes amidst fall, this earlier ways Center parting be a little inwardly focused” and ending the affiliation lots of fireworks and strongly worded allows the facility to “be a part of something bigger” while statements. You’d also be forgiven for not maintaining its independence. An OLOL spokesperson said the hospital system was “stunned” by the news and that the understanding the complexities of the end result would only serve out-of-state businesses. issue—most of us aren’t keeping tabs on who gets the payout for our care or who The next blow It just so happened that Louisiana Hematology and ultimately owns the services and facilities Oncology Associates, one of the largest oncology practices we use. in Baton Rouge, was also nearing the end of its physician But behind the layers of partnerships services agreement with OLOL. In September, LHOA and and affiliations, the Capital Region is Mary Bird Perkins revealed they would be joining forces to witnessing an increasingly competitive expand their services at Baton Rouge General’s Pennington Cancer Issue Date: November #2 Center and Bluebonnet campus. This also gave BRG systems. 2021 Ad proof of health landscape a competitive edge, allowing it to reopen its infusion therapy • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. news. recent the at look a We take program for cancer patients—shuttered in 2019—and gain • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final BY revisions areLEGER received within 24 hours BENJAMIN —COMPILED from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. access to a hematology/oncology practice. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

OLOL makes a bold move

The hospital system responded to this series of gut punches by teasing its own big announcement. That came Oct. 4 with the news of a $100 million regional cancer center, the Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Institute, with a new 80,000-square-foot building on the OLOL campus. It was ​​seen initially as a jab at Mary Bird Perkins—two unaffiliated cancer centers side by side?—but OLOL says this was in the works for months, with the goal of being competitive on the regional scale with places like MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

A dramatic resignation

Two days later, Tom Adamek, who had been serving as board chair of Mary Bird Perkins and also Our Lady of the Lake Foundation, resigned. His scathing letter described OLOL as “morally bankrupt,” and its planned cancer center as “spiteful, wasteful and morally indefensible.” OLOL fired back that the letter “misrepresents” its failed negotiations with Mary Bird Perkins.

More to the story

Daily Report obtained negotiation documents that showed OLOL and Mary Bird Perkins had been working toward a 5050 ownership deal, and OLOL was aware of the OneOncology backup plan. But there were disputes over governance, regulatory compliance and how each side would contribute to ongoing funding for this new joint operating company. Was OLOL stalling? Was Mary Bird Perkins asking for too much control? Depends on who you talk to. But as of press time, Mary Bird Perkins was set to finalize its deal with OneOncology before the end of October. By mid-October, both sides were cooling off and exploring the potential to work together again in the future. But the long-term effects of all this drama remain to be seen.

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

Healthy Living

starts at the ROOT

Your hair tells a story about your health. Sadairea August is trained in trichology & functional nutrition to understand the power of our diet to impact hair growth. Your hair growth journey is unique, and you don’t have to go through it alone.

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SPONSORED CONTENT

THE LOWDOWN

SPONSORED BY:

WEST FELICIANA TOURIST COMMISSION

THE BEST PLACES TO TAKE A FALL DAY TRIP: EXPLORE AUDUBON COUNTRY

T

he weather is finally cooling down and it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy fall. Some of the most perfect day trips lie just outside the city. Visit the places that inspired over a third of the birds featured in John James Audubon’s series, “Birds of America”. Audubon’s work has been treasured for generations and is currently in the top 5 of the most valuable books in the World. Audubon and his wife Lucy lived with their sons in West Feliciana Parish until 1830. Audubon’s stories are entwined within the fabric of the parish’s topography, characters, and history. The Audubon family loved it there, and many of their favorite places make the perfect fall getaway. Explore Audubon’s inspiration and his legacy. Here are a few places to begin:

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Audubon’s sons, Victor Gifford and John Woodhouse loved exploring West Feliciana and St. Francisville’s rolling hills, stately live oaks, bayous, waterfalls and more. Discover Audubon’s birds, enjoy varying levels of hiking, and delight in the flora and fauna. Plan your outdoor adventure at explorewestfeliciana.com/outdoor-activities. • Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area • Cat Island Wildlife Refuge • Mary Ann Brown Nature Preserve • Afton Villa Gardens • West Feliciana Sports Park’s 6+ miles of biking/hiking trails

“The rich magnolias covered with fragrant blossoms, the holly, the beech, the tall yellow poplar, the hilly ground and even the red clay, all excited my admiration. Such an entire change in the fall of nature in so short a time seems almost supernatural, and surrounded once more by numberless warblers and thrushes, I enjoyed the scene.”

– JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, UPON HIS ARRIVAL IN 1821

HISTORY RESTORED

Ever since Audubon shared his paintings of the of birds in West Feliciana in 1821, artists, writers, and other visitors have found inspiration in this scenic, unspoiled place. Relax and take in St. Francisville’s mossdraped live oaks shading the restored downtown district, listed in its entirety on the National Register of Historic Places. Connect with West Feliciana’s history, art, photography, and more at explorewestfeliciana.com/ historical-sites. • Audubon State Historic Site • The West Feliciana Historical Society Museum • Numerous plantations and gardens • Historic churches and cemeteries The John James Audubon Bicentennial will be going on until 2030, and there is no better place to celebrate the bicentennial of John James Audubon’s life and endeavors. Visit explorewestfeliciana.com to learn more and plan your day trips. 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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Dedicated Kids Floor at The Grove Ochsner Medical Complex – The Grove is opening a one-stop pediatric super-clinic. The top floor will be dedicated to kids - with 30+ pediatricians and pediatric specialists separated by feet, not traffic.

Excellence meets convenience at The Grove. Learn more about our pediatric services at ochsner.org/forkids


I AM 225 //

Jovin Webb JOVIN WEBB BROUGHT Louisiana soul to American Idol. In 2020, the Gonzales native made it to the top 10 during the show’s 18th season. Fans and judges alike were introduced to Webb through his soulful rendition of the song “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers Band, which he performed for his audition. “You officially brought the barbecue sauce to American Idol,” judge Lionel Richie remarked after hearing the audition. “It’s something only Louisiana could create,” judge Luke Bryan added. Webb then soared through the ranks of the contestants, garnering adoration from viewers across the country for his powerful performances of songs like “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne and Joe Cocker’s rendition of “With a Little Help from My Friends.” But the show had to adapt when COVID-19 struck. After the competition reached the top 20, contestants were sent home and provided with the equipment to set up livestream performance spaces in their homes, and the remainder of the season was conducted virtually. Webb’s run at the prize was cut short, just before he made it to the top seven. “Devastated” was the word he used. The fans castigated the judges on social media, saying Webb’s talent and stage charisma were betrayed by his having to deliver virtual performances. But Webb learned a lot from his time on the show—most importantly, he says, how to respect his own individuality. “It brought me out,” he says. “It showed me more to put the gas on, to get more focused, to believe in myself.” Webb walked away with a lot of attention and love, and now, he hopes the spotlight cast on him by the show will continue to illuminate his work. The 26-year-old is focusing his energy on his first solo blues album. He hopes to honor the rich tradition of blues and soul music that has inspired him ever since he was a young boy playing drums in the gospel band of a local Baptist church. He’s also performing three to six nights a week with various ensembles. He sings regularly with local funk powerhouse Captain Green, from which a few members occasionally join him for his own group, the Jovin Webb Experience. He sings ’70s-era rock ’n’ roll with a group called Bayou Bullets and has recently begun foraying into rap and R&B with collaborator and longtime friend Matt Chenevert. But Webb says it won’t be until after the pandemic has subsided that he’ll really start to see the dividends of his time on American Idol, where he gained an international audience—he recently learned he even has a sizable following in Vancouver. He yearns to go on tour and bring his sound to fans who came to love it on Idol. Before that happens, Baton Rougeans have the chance to experience his powerful vocals and stage presence live—as long he’s still hanging around the boot. Find Jovin Webb on Instagram at @jovinwebb

—ZANE PIONTEK

COLLIN RICHIE

“You can’t fake that feeling when you’re singing it. You either got it, or you don’t.”

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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How We BY SON

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RD

Dine NOW

RICH

This is what food truck fare looks like in 2021: Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches served in parking lots, prepared by new food truck Chicky Sandos.

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GIE H YN

SOURCES: NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION, FORBES, MCKINSEY, EATER, FAST COMPANY, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU.

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P h o t o s b y Co l l i n R i c h i e / S i d e b a r s b y B e n j a m i n Le g e r

C OV E R S T ORY


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Baton Rouge’s top culinary trends in a year that keeps changing

The state of the industry

90,000 Estimated number of U.S. restaurants that closed permanently or long-term across the country since the pandemic started.

GASTRONOMIC TRENDS CHANGE seasonally and annually, but lately, the culinary scene is evolving across the country and in Baton Rouge in ways that keep surprising us. It’s not just individual ingredients and preparation methods that are shifting. It’s the dining scene writ large, thanks to the long wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants have made countless operational adjustments over the last year and a half, from significantly expanding their to-go businesses, to managing dramatic labor shortages and supply chain delays on new equipment. To combat these new challenges, many have responded by digitizing their ordering and reservation systems to save time and prevent errors. This year also brought about a steep rise in protein prices, coaxing more restaurants and consumers to explore plant-based options. There have been big changes in the routines of home cooks, who are cooking and eating more adventurously after experimenting in the kitchen more throughout the pandemic. But as their routines normalize, they’re also taking advantage of a much bigger variety of prepared meals sold by supermarkets, caterers and restaurants. The pandemic hasn’t kept the development of new concepts down. We’ve seen a flurry of new or planned openings, not all of them within the traditional brickand-mortar context. More mobile carts and food trucks are hitting the scene, and new concepts are being born within existing concepts. Even in the midst of continuing social and economic challenges, there’s been no shortage of culinary innovation in Baton Rouge. Home cooks, chefs, caterers and food artisans are influencing how we eat and drink in exciting new ways.

+19.7% Projected increase in restaurant sales over 2020 levels based on trends showing more Americans venturing out to restaurants due to increased vaccinations and lifted capacity restrictions.

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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“We want it to feel separate from Soji, with its own hours and menu, but the two concepts are complementary.” —Chase Lyons, owner of the new Lotus Lounge attached to Soji: Modern Asian

Lotus Lounge’s Missionary's Downfall and Painkiller cocktails

ThiS Concept iS poppin’ 38

[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

17 States that have made cocktailsto-go a permanent part of their offerings. Baton Rouge can offer to-go drinks indefinitely, thanks to a 2021 Metro Council vote.

FOOD TRUCKS. FOOD halls. Pop-ups. Concepts within concepts. Some of the most interesting new food and drink businesses are sidestepping independent brick-andmortar locations and opening in mobile or co-located spots. It’s a trend that had been brewing before the pandemic, and has continued since then. Take Lotus Lounge, a new concept opening soon inside Soji: Modern Asian. Soji’s current entrance and bar is being renovated to accommodate the Polynesian-inspired tiki bar. “We want it to feel separate from Soji, with its own hours and menu,” owner Chase Lyons says. “But the two concepts are complementary. You’ll see influences of both places on each menu.” Elsewhere, we saw City Taco, a concept developed by City Group Hospitality, open within City Slice. Social Coffee took residence inside Chow Yum Phat. Moreover, numerous food entrepreneurs launched cottage baking and catering businesses and introduced new ideas through food trucks, proof that concepts can get into the game with minimal initial investment. And while the city’s second food hall, White Star Market, closed last spring, its influence remains palpable. Former tenants Gov’t Taco, Rêve Coffee, Chow Yum Phat and ThaiHey Thai Food all used their exposure in the space to springboard to permanent locations.


C OV E R S T ORY

TaK e me

Take-home family meals have increased at spots like Izzo's.

Home

Dinner—and drinks—to-go is the new normal

IT’S FAIR TO say the relationship between diners and the restaurants they love has evolved a lot since the spring of 2020. Eating out remains an unwavering pastime in Baton Rouge, where patrons are known both for their loyalty to favorite spots and their enthusiasm for new openings. But when public health restrictions limited on-premises dining, restaurants here and around the country got creative with their to-go strategies. By September 2020, seven in 10 restaurant operators nationwide reported that off-premises sales represented a higher proportion of their total business compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, according to the National Restaurant Association. That trend has only continued, as consumers embrace a to-go infrastructure that is more convenient and varied than ever. “It’s a big part of the business,” says operator Ozzie Fernandez, who has seen a substantial increase in to-go sales across his concepts, which include Izzo’s Illegal Burrito, LIT Pizza, Rocca Pizzeria and Modesto Tacos Tequila Whiskey. “It was already growing before the pandemic, but it’s grown even more since then.” Number of Americans One of the big changes is in who placed an online menu offerings. Diners are not just order at a restaurant picking up individual appetizers this year. and entrees, but also bundled meals intended to feed a family or small group. Fernandez’s concepts Izzo’s, Rocca and Modesto each offer such options. Spots like Mestizo, Café Petra, City Pork, Monjunis and many other restaurants in greater Baton Rouge are offering their own packages as well. “Demand for family packs and bundles has definitely increased,” Fernandez says. “Fajita packs at Izzo’s, for example, have been up in the neighborhood of 30%, and they’re very popular at Rocca and Modesto, as well.” Local consumers also now have the option to order alcohol along with meals to-go. In April, the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council voted to allow restaurants to continue selling alcohol curbside or through thirdparty delivery services indefinitely. Nowadays, diners order a gallon of margaritas from spots like Modesto and Gov’t Taco, or bottles of wine or premade cocktails from Mestizo. Restrictions had been relaxed during the pandemic as a way to increase revenue for restaurants facing shuttered dining rooms. Onsite alcohol sales are a key money-maker for eateries. By allowing customers the option to order alcohol to-go, restaurants can recapture some of that lost revenue, Fernandez says.

44%

“Demand for family packs and bundles has definitely increased.” —Ozzie Fernandez, operator of Izzo’s Illegal Burrito (the restaurant pictured at right)

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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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.

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

A BACKYARD MEANT FOR GATHERING

FOUNDATIONS • DRIVEWAYS • FRAMING

PRO TIP

A TEMP OF 55° IS IDEAL FOR POURING CONCRETE

CALL OR VISIT OUR SITE FOR A FREE ESTIMATE! 17534 Old Jefferson Hwy, Ste A | Prairieville, LA | 225.363.0020 | jrconstructionsolutions.com | E Q 40

[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com


C OV E R S T ORY

Chicky Sandos co-founder Daniel Vu

NoW You See me

Food and drink as a mobile expression

WHEN FOUR FRIENDS wanted to open a Nashville-style hot chicken concept in Baton Rouge, they say it made sense to do it in the form of a food truck. “It was pretty clear that it was going to be kind of hard to find a reasonably priced location,” says Daniel Vu, who along with Sameer Abudyak, Henry Nguyen and Jordan Duong, opened the Chicky Sandos food truck last November. Real estate prices may have driven their decision, but it was fortified by something else: uncertainty with on-premises dining and entertaining thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Diners have been willing to explore more mobile options, the young entrepreneurs say. The current mood has sparked more grassroots food entrepreneurs to try their ideas in a format that can be adjusted on the fly. Chicky Sandos keeps its menu simple: Just three dishes comprise the lineup. The golden fried chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and specialty fries can all be customized, though, according to different heat levels and with a signature sweet-tangy sauce. The partners see the food truck as their entrance into the local restaurant market, and they’re hopeful a brick-and-mortar location will follow soon. In the meantime, they’ll expand brand awareness through their traveling operation.

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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PHOTO COURTESY ABU OMAR HALAL

C OV E R S T ORY

Abu Omar Halal, a Mediterraneanstyle chain from Texas, opened a food truck in Baton Rouge in April.

Donate at ololchildrens.org or Text LAKIDS to 51555

SPONSORED BY:

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[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

Other food trucks have emerged in the last year, including taco-centric Taco Tuesday; Tre’s Street Kitchen, the brainchild of Louisiana Culinary Institute graduate and restaurant chef Tremaine Devine; and BR Guilty Pleasures, which started as a grassroots bartending mobile operation and has expanded to serve Mexican food on weekends, namely birria tacos. The Houston food truck chain Abu Omar Halal also recently opened a Baton Rouge-based food truck serving shawarma, rice bowls and combo plates. The newcomers strengthen a modern food truck scene that had already been growing steadily for about a decade. Mobile food businesses are posting their routes on social media, or are finding new semipermanent spaces to set up, with 2020’s arrival of the Millennial Park shipping container attraction and the forthcoming Urban Traders, a park with leasable shopping and food trailers slated to open soon on Government Street. Food trucks are joined by other mobile culinary businesses intended to enliven the growing number of outdoor gatherings. Traveling cocktail

November 11-12

BENEFITING:


C OV E R S T ORY

New trucks on the block

A few recent additions rolling around town Pie Eyed Food Truck Handcrafted handpies both savory and sweet, regularly parked outside Le Chien Brewing Company near the Denham Springs Antique Village. Find it on Instagram at @pieeyedhandpies

N

ARIANA ALLISO

carts like SIP, A Traveling Tap; and Sweetbay Botanical Company are now rented out for parties, their taps customized with wine, beer, cocktails and alcohol-free beverages for parties, enabling guests to serve themselves. “It’s a really fun concept because the cart makes a great focal point for the party,” says SIP founder Shauna Allison, who saw the trend a couple of years ago in Austin and Nashville and wanted to bring it to Baton Rouge.

Chicky Sandos food truck

Other mobile experiences include Le Doodle Cotton Candy cart, which is redefining the traditional carnival sweet with gourmet flavors delicately spun and designed. Meanwhile, Red Stick Picnic Company, a luxury picnic organizer, and Baton Bougie House Party, which designs glamping experiences, are reimagining the backdrops against which people of all ages socialize. They create tailored spaces with elements like boho tents, tables, tapestries and pillows.

Chicky Sandos A taste of Nashville hot chicken in sandwiches, tenders and fries. Find it on Instagram at @chickysandos Taco Tuesday Taco Tuesday can be every day—or at least every day this truck is parked downtown with its piled-high nachos and beef and chicken taco combos. Find it on Facebook Sno Juice These might just be the most Instagrammable snoballs you ever did see, piled high in scalloped pink cups. Catch its all-organic flavors around Baton Rouge and Denham Springs on hot days. Find it on Instagram at @snojuice

Abu Omar Halal The Houston-born halal food truck chain serves everything from kabobs and falafel to authentic shawarma from its Coursey Boulevard outpost. Find it on Facebook Capitol Seafood Southern-style fried fish, fried softshell crab po-boys and steak and cheese po-boys, served at events and locations all over town. Find it on Instagram at @capitolseafood Tre’s Street Kitchen Street eats—think steak fries, crawfish nachos, a gyro plate and burgers— served from a sunny yellow truck by chef Tremaine Devine. Find it on Instagram at @tresstreetkitchen BR Guilty Pleasures Elote, birria tacos, birria ramen, agua fresca and other Mexican food popping up around Baton Rouge throughout the week. Find it on Instagram at @brguiltypleasuresllc

—225 STAFF

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C OV E R S T ORY

Home

12

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10

9

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The GR oceRY bill Have you noticed an increase in food prices while shopping? Restaurants have felt it too. Prices for most food commodities restaurants use have risen in the last year.

7

4

+42.2% Fats and oils

5

plate

3

+41.4% Beef

+27.4% Poultry

+18.8% Seafood

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1 2


Issue Date: November Ad proof #1 C OV E R S T ORY

• 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. 2019. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Slowing down helped pique our culinary curiosity, starting in our own kitchens FOR MORE THAN a year-and-a-half, our comfort level for time spent beyond our own driveways has been in flux. We’ve been told to stay home completely; to socialize in small, then larger, groups; to take our masks off and to put them back on. Just when normalcy seems to return, the rules change again. That social whiplash has resulted in our homes becoming ground zero for culinary consistency. With more time on our hands last year, we adopted new food-centric hobbies. We canned more—so much so that a national shortage of jars and canning supplies impacted the retail market a few months into the pandemic and has continued well into 2021. We made bread. Lots of it. And when commercial yeast was emptied from supermarket shelves, we learned to make wild yeast-based sourdough. We planted herbs and vegetables in backyard gardens. And we got creative with spices and condiments. That spirit of creativity and culinary self-reliance continues, says Red Stick Spice Co. manager Tessa Kölb. “I think a lot of people are just really wanting to expand their horizons,” Kölb says. “When it comes to how they’re cooking their meals, people aren’t doing your basic garlic, onion, black pepper and salt. They’re wanting to venture out and try curries and molé, and all of these spices that they had no idea even existed before. They’re getting to a point where they’re being more adventurous and

broadening their pantry.” Red Stick Spice Co. owner Anne Milneck says when the pandemic first started and the stay-at-home order was in place, regular customers were calling and asking questions like, “How do I break down whole fish,” and “How do I cook a standing rib roast?” “People were bucket-list cooking,” Milneck says. “They were digging into things that they were curious about that they hadn’t done before, and they wanted our advice.” In-person culinary classes, once shuttered, are now back in full swing, say organizers. And their themes reflect the kinds of ingredients and dishes Baton Rougeans are interested in learning more about. “We’ve run everything from sushi making to homemade pasta; date nights to macarons,” says Louisiana Culinary Institute’s Alex Dunaway, who organizes the culinary school’s leisure classes for the public. “People are wanting to get out of their comfort zone and try something different that they may not have made before.” In March, Milneck added a class that takes a deep dive on chiles, an ingredient she says has been trending. “Customers have been asking for a variety of dried chiles and chile flakes. We’re seeing people asking for heat sources that aren’t a bottle or Tabasco,” Milneck says. “I think there’s a better understanding of what heat does in a dish.”

More than 2 Million Middle School, High School & College Students Vape CDC 2017 E-Cigarette use and Juuling are NOT a safe alternative to other forms of Tobacco

#BeTobaccoFree #NoVapeNovember CONTACT I CARE TO LEARN ABOUT OUR PREVENTION EFFORTS:

ICARE.EBRSCHOOLS.ORG (225) 226-2273 | @icareebr NOVEMBER IS TOBACCO AWARENESS MONTH

HAVE A BALL AT BREC’S

Holiday Tennis Camps !

Spice cabinets step out More time at home has expanded awareness about how to use global flavors, especially dried chiles, which are reconstituted and added to sauces, salsas and stews and other dishes, Red Stick Spice Co. owner Anne Milneck says. Here’s a peek at some top-selling picks at the shop. —M.H.R.

1

Guajillo chile: A mild to medium pepper used in molés and salsas

2

Star anise: Warm spice used in spiced chai, pho and in Chinese five-spice powder

3

Cinnamon sticks: Great for savory marinades and sauces

4

Juniper berries: Popular among hunters for cooking venison

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7 blend peppercorns: Black, white, pink, green, Tellicherry and Szechuan peppercorns, along with allspice, will animate Asianinspired dishes. Gochugaru chile flakes: Korean red chiles that add fruity smokiness along with heat Chile de arbol: Fiery “bird’s beak chile” that’s great for making your own chile powder or adobo

5

Lapsang souchong black tea: Makes a great rub for duck

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New Mexico whole chile: Earthy and sweet, great for dry rubs, chutneys and Tex Mex

Green cardamom pods: Crush the shell slightly, and add to curries or Scandinavian stews

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Ancho chiles: Dried poblanos are mild and slightly fruity

7

Scotch bonnet chile: Add a touch of this intense chile to pepper jelly and seafood marinades

BREC Tennis camps range for ages 4-16 and are sure to have something for all skill levels!

REGISTRATION DEADLINES:

Fall Camp

NOV. 19 Winter Camp

dec. 17

Camps during the Fall + Winter Holidays at these Tennis Centers:

» City-Brooks Community park » Highland Road Community park » Independence Community park

To register + MORE INFO BREC.ORG/TENNIS 225-923-2792 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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An app for that

60+ Amount of Baton Rouge restaurants that currently use OpenTable or Resy to book dine-in reservations.

75% Number of restaurant operators nationally who say recruiting and retaining employees was still their biggest challenge as of summer 2021.

55+ Number of Baton Rouge restaurant locations that now utilize the Toast app and website for online takeout orders. While that volume doesn’t yet compare to the 300+ local restaurants on Waitr, it’s one of several takeout apps gaining traction here. And in contrast to competitors like Uber Eats, Toast charges restaurants a monthly flat fee rather than taking a percentage of sales.

The new ways to use social media

ScReen tiMe THE PHONE WOULDN’T stop ringing. As takeout orders surged and staffing levels shrunk during the pandemic, JED’s Local Poboys co-owner Sally Davis says managing the phone calls became a huge hurdle. Even now, business at JED’s is about 50% takeout, 50% dine-in, as compared to 20% takeout pre-pandemic. “It was a really dramatic change,” Davis says. “We welcomed that influx of business, but it's so challenging simultaneously trying to take care of your dine-in guests while callers are having trouble getting through.” It’s what prompted JED’s to implement online ordering three months ago via Toast. Through the Toast app and site, diners can now order take-out from a slew of local restaurants, including The Chimes, Elsie’s Plate & Pie and Hannah Q Smokehouse. Toast and similar services integrate seamlessly with Google and Google Maps, so when a customer searches for a restaurant, they will be prompted to “Order Online.” QR code menus for dine-in customers have also been a game-changer for restaurants. UMAMI Japanese Bistro has done away with paper menus entirely, now relying solely on the contactless menus that dine-in customers can scan with their phones. “Digital menus make it easier to update the menu and switch out our specialty fishes, which we swap biweekly,” says UMAMI manager Izzy Grisoli. If an item sells out, the team can also quickly remove it from the menu. Grisoli says it has improved communication between the kitchen, servers and customers all around. It’s also made for a seamless transition for the restaurant’s new ownership. Tien Lee, Jimmy Nguyen

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It’s the dawn of a digital era at Baton Rouge restaurants, but staff and diners are still adjusting to the changes

and Mike Tran took over the restaurant in February, bringing experience from their other brand, Geisha, Sushi with a Flair. They’ve added a few new specialty dishes alongside UMAMI’s signature fare. Online reservations are also changing the dine-in experience, becoming increasingly common as restaurants and diners alike crave structure. Eliza, the sister restaurant to JED’s, uses OpenTable's app and website to organize and plan its reservations. “For years, we didn’t take reservations, but since the pandemic it’s clear that people need a firm plan for dining out. Mingling at the bar is not always appealing anymore,” Davis says. “Now, we’re really utilizing that tool in ways we didn’t expect. You can manage the flow of your night by the way you set up the pace of reservations. And diners can add notes about dietary restrictions or the occasions they are celebrating. We’re able to serve them better.” But results may vary depending on the restaurant. With the exception of special events, Bin 77 Bistro & Sidebar is moving away from reservations. It favors a firstcome, first-served system. “It’s more sustainable to not reserve tables at say, 7 o’clock, because even if I have an open table at 6 p.m., I can’t seat anyone there for a whole hour,” says Mitch Rodgers, Bin 77’s general manager and wine director. Because of Bin 77’s location in Perkins Rowe, there is plenty for customers to do while they wait for a table. Diners can wander the shopping center, order a drink at the Sidebar or even listen to live music on some nights. “Perkins Rowe is a draw for us, but I understand why not allowing reservations maybe wouldn’t work for everyone,” Rodgers says.

Pre-pandemic, restaurants saw social media as a tool to show off their most Instagrammable dishes or spread the word about events and specials. Now, Facebook’s Jobs platform has become a crucial resource for posting hiring opportunities in a crushed labor market, says Sally Davis, co-owner of JED’s Local Poboys and Eliza Restaurant & Bar. It’s also become a way to inform customers of last-minute closures due to COVID-19 exposures, as many local restaurants have done since March 2020.

Using Resy has worked well for Bin 77’s sister restaurant, Solera. Having reservations helps predict needs for both kitchen ingredients and staff, Rodgers says, especially when the pandemic has led to shortages of labor and supplies alike. If nothing else, digital upgrades help already stretched-thin restaurant staff manage their workloads. “Most restaurateurs would agree that the staffing issue is very much still ongoing. You see it everywhere even as a consumer—there’s just not as many people there to help you,” Davis says. “And those workers who stuck it out with you are carrying an extra load, sometimes working the job of two people. We want to not only make the guests’ lives easier but to help our staff.” While the National Restaurant Association predicted in 2020 that the pandemic would increase self-order kiosks and automated systems, the local market seems to prefer to use technology in a different, more personal way. “I think consumer behaviors were changing before the pandemic, and maybe the hospitality industry was a little behind. Now, the pandemic has sort of fast forwarded that,” Davis says. “More restaurateurs will embrace technology for its efficiency, but I think people will still look for one-on-one hospitality ... What we want to be is a soft place to land for people after a long day. That personal element? I think it always stays.” —JENNIFER TORMO


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C OV E R S T ORY

Meet these leading ladies Pictured, from left:

KAREN VONG Co-owner of Sweet Society

CARA PETERSON

Culinary director at Go Eat Concepts (behind local brands like Modesto and Rocca)

CooKINg

ROBYN SELDERS Owner of Cupcake Junkie Photo shot at Cupcake Junkie

queens

3x Rate at which women-owned restaurant businesses are growing as compared to the industry’s overall restaurant growth.

Local women food professionals share their thoughts on working in the industry

60% American women who have worked in restaurants at some point in their lives. Women currently make up 71% of serving staff.

Women in business

While women are training for culinary jobs in large numbers, their representation at the top of leadership nationally is still woefully behind.

48

50%

20%

7%

Women make up more than half of culinary school graduates.

But they make up less than a quarter of all working chefs in restaurant kitchens.

And when it comes to leadership, women are barely represented among head chefs and restaurateurs.

[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

Most experts attribute this problem to the restaurant industry’s “persistent institutional structures that have historically benefited men,” according to Forbes, and the only recent reckoning with sexual harassment that was commonplace prior to the #MeToo movement.


Issue Date: NOV 2021 Ad proof #1 C OV E R S T ORY

• 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 BEYONCE WAS ONTO something when she said “girls run the world.” Women are attaining higher roles and making names for themselves in male-dominated professions from careers in STEM to positions in politics—and the local food scene is beginning to reflect that, too. As the number of women in higher ranks at local food businesses increases, so does female representation in the industry at large. Baton Rouge has women-owned coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, dessert shops, bars and tea shops. 225 wanted to hear from the women themselves, so we sat down with three local leaders in the industry to learn more. Here’s what they shared.

—CYNTHEA CORFAH

What women role models in the industry did you look up to?

What's challenging about being a woman in the industry?

Robyn Selders: I didn’t know anyone personally that was already (running their own concept) or have anyone to talk to for mentorship. I did see that it was possible to be done through (former food truck-turned-cupcake shop) Cupcake Allie. I also remember seeing Jay Ducote on Food Network Star—through seeing him I knew it was possible to be a local person and grow something in food.

Cara Peterson: The delineation of being targeted as “a woman in the industry.” There’s a lot more to us than just being a female. It’s about just being the best.

Karen Vong: My mom. She had a hard time when she came to the U.S. as a Vietnam refugee. My dad was a chef, and my mom would cook Asian foods sometimes. My mom introduced me to street foods that she ate as a child.

What’s your relationship like with other women in the food industry? Selders: I have my cake sisters. My best cake sister is Chrissy Jackson from Sugar Alley Pastries. We’re there for each other personally and business-wise. If she needs something, she knows she can come to the store to pick it up. If I have a question, I will ask her. We support each other and give each other kudos. Vong: I have found a tightknit group of women entrepreneurs, bakers and chefs. They are supportive, they share information and knowledge, and they are not afraid to try something different.

Diversity in restaurants

3% Chief executive roles nationally at restaurants filled by women of color. Meanwhile, they made up only 14% of entry-level positions.

47% Restaurant employees who are people of color. That’s in contrast to 36% who make up the overall labor force.

4 in 10 Restaurant managers and supervisors are people of color, and 6 in 10 restaurant chefs are people of color.

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

new season,

NEW STYLES

Selders: It's a hard industry, period. It’s in addition to everything that we deal with emotionally as women. You’re not only worried about yourself and your family, but also your business. And that business happens to be how you’re able to live personally. My best coping mechanism is to live moment by moment. Vong: A lot of people underestimate our ability as women. They assume we don’t have what it takes. We’re often painted as being catty or stepping on each other to get to the top, but that’s not true. I want everyone to make it to the top together.

What are the advantages? Selders: Maybe there are some emotional advantages. I feel like I’m really in tune with my clientele. I really listen and know what they want. I’m really personable. Being able to naturally exude a welcoming spirit that my customers need, enjoy, look forward to and like.

Where do you see the future of the local food industry going? Peterson: I absolutely hope to see more women in the food industry. Selders: I think we’re going to have a reemergence of food trucks having more prominence in the city. I pray to be joining the ranks of them (soon).

What advice would you give other women or girls in food? Vong: Don’t worry about the stigmas. Do your research, work in different fields so you can get the experience. Be open minded. Learn about everything. My mother says always know a little of everything, even if you don’t know everything. Peterson: The world is your oyster. If you have strong morals, the food industry is just as easy as any other industry to punch into and make your way to the top. Selders: You were made to live out your destiny. Don’t be afraid if it’s a super physical job or male-dominated industry. People will be grateful for you to become what it is that you’re supposed to be. Don’t be intimidated. Let your gift work for you.

Corporate Blvd at Jefferson • 225.925.2344 townecenteratcedarlodge.com • 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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C OV E R S T ORY

BRQ added a covered patio in its backyard earlier this year that doubled the restaurant’s seating capacity.

The Oasis on Burbank Drive offers diners a restaurant with a patio/entertainment space overlooking a beach volleyball complex.

all tHe Time

ARIANA ALLISON

Al freSCo,

Some downtown restaurants are adding patio seating, including Rio Tacos & Tequila, which opened this past January.

Rain or shine, summer or winter—diners have more options than ever for dining outside

T

HERE’S NO QUESTION that COVID-19 accelerated the Capital Region’s enthusiasm for eating outside. Before the pandemic, a modest number of area restaurants offered al fresco seating, but since then, more have expanded or added patio dining. Diners have embraced it. If you’ve tried to grab an outdoor table on a balmy weekend night, you’ve probably found one hard to come by. “People definitely prefer to sit on the patio,” says Angie Crochet, marketing director of The Oasis on Burbank Drive, a restaurant, patio and beach volleyball complex. As it’s become clearer that outdoor dining is here to stay, many restaurants invested in additional patio seating over the last year. When SoLou opened in the former Rum House in March, its owners called for the elimination of an existing outdoor bar to make room for more outdoor tables. In May, DiGiulio Bros. Italian Cafe purchased and razed its shuttered next door neighbor, the Thai restaurant Rama, where it will soon build an adjacent covered patio. BRQ added a covered patio in its backyard earlier this year that doubled the restaurant’s seating capacity. Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine expanded patio seating last fall to complement its refreshed interior. And when planning the new Bistro Byronz location in the former White Star Market, Byronz Family Restaurant CEO Emelie Alton says planning for a larger number of outdoor tables was a big priority. “We knew we wanted to expand that offering because it’s become so popular and is so important right now,”

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[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

Alton says. “We’ll have enough space for outdoor entertainment, too.” Crochet says The Oasis’s existing 5,000-square-foot patio has given the business a leg up throughout the pandemic. “People have been very comfortable booking private events with us, especially if they’re trying to follow their own restrictions,” Crochet says. “We have huge ceiling fans that make it really pleasant. And in the winter, we’ll have heat lamps.” While many restaurants have added outdoor seating fairly easily, restaurants in areas like downtown have had a harder time. Most are landlocked and lack parking lots. Café-style sidewalk seating must be permitted by the city-parish to ensure it doesn’t disrupt pedestrian flow or run afoul of ADA requirements. Recognizing how important outdoor dining is for restaurants, the Downtown Development District announced in August a grants program to help downtown eateries add this option, says development project director Ryan Benton. “People like dining outdoors, and as COVID-19 restrictions have come and gone, having outdoor seating gives restaurants more flexibility,” Benton says. The DDD program helps restaurants apply for permits, and it awards each grantee up to $1,500 in related expenses, including the purchase of outdoor tables and chairs. Benton says by early October two restaurants had applied for the grants, and others had made inquiries about doing so.

57%

U.S. restaurants that offered outdoor dining as of spring 2021.

90%

Restaurant operators who expanded outdoor dining to sidewalks and parking lots and say they plan to continue offering such services as long as their respective city jurisdictions allow them.


• 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

ADVERTISEMENT

TIPS FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR AT A THEATRE OR CONCERT HALL

W

hether you’re completely new to orchestra or have been a patron for years, an evening at the symphony is for everyone. In the hands of a great composer, orchestral music is the equivalent of a piece of architecture or a painting—an apex of human creativity. For 75 years, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra has been enriching the Greater Baton Rouge community. BRSO brings astonishing guest artists and incredible local talent to the stage. Founded in 1947, BRSO is the oldest performing arts institution in the region and the oldest professional orchestra in the state. The Baton Rouge Symphony reaches more than 7,000 community members per year through outreach programs and is committed to quality orchestral performance in our city and region. Its partner programs include the Symphony League, Symphony Chorus, and Louisiana Youth Orchestras.

ENJOY THE SHOW: BRUSH UP ON YOUR ETIQUETTE Dress for the occasion but be comfortable. There is no official dress code. Some people enjoy dressing up and making a special night of it, while others prefer to dress more laid back. Nowadays,

requirements have loosened to encourage “creative black tie,” which seems to invite colorful dinner jackets and more festive garb. At most events, you’ll see people wearing everything from jeans and T-shirts to suits. Generally speaking, the only tuxes you’ll see are on stage. Anything that makes you feel comfortable is appropriate. If you’re tardy to the party, arrive gracefully. While the best approach is to treat the show as an important appointment, arrive suitably in advance since things do happen; dinner runs long, traffic and other obstacles can arise. Latecomers will be

seated between works so as not to disturb other listeners. Your usher will alert you as soon as it is possible to be seated. Put away your devices. Notifications, ringtones and the glow from screens are extremely disruptive. Don’t count on turning down the volume or putting it on vibrate. Play it safe and turn off your phone entirely. Allow yourself to be present to concentrate fully on what is happening on the stage without technological distractions. BRSO encourages you to share your experiences on social media, just please wait until after the show or during intermission.

TAKE A MUSICAL JOURNEY BRSO’s 2021-2022 season will be one of celebration and joy. Tickets can be purchased online at brso. org, where seating maps and a wealth of concert information is available. Patrons can also subscribe to the Symphony by calling the box office at 225.383.0500.

• The season kicks off with The Lamar Family Chamber Series, featuring returning favorites Bachtoberfest and Holiday Brass, as well as guest artists Willis Delony and Houston Symphony Principal Clarinetist Mark Nuccio. • November brings a celebration of BRSO’s 75th anniversary with a special concert under the direction of Timothy Muffit, a delicious dinner, special VIP tours of the nearly completed River Center Theatre. • In January, the Orchestral Series returns to the River Center Theatre with outstanding guest conductors Andrew Grams, Julian Kuerti and Kazem Abdullah. The season culminates with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony featuring Maestro Muffitt.

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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C OV E R S T ORY

GR eeN neW meaL Plant-based dining continues to grow

A shifting market

9% National increase in the plant-based milk market (such as oat, almond and soy milk) in the last five years. Meanwhile, growth in the dairy industry was down by 6%.

1,320% Increase in plant-based meat substitutes on foodservice menus from before the pandemic began. Researchers say the combination of COVID-19 health concerns and climate change have led more people to opt for plant-based diets.

$20 billion

YES, this cannoli is vegan! Plant Based Foods By Lotus creates vegan alternatives to Dutch apple pie, pop-tarts and other baked goods.

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[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

FILE PHOTO BY KRISTIN SELLE

The projected global market value of plantbased meat products by 2023. That number is expected to grow to $35.5 billion by 2027.

Maria and Allen Howard are the owners of Plant Based Foods By Lotus, a vegan dessert company.

IT WASN’T THAT long ago that vegan businesses were unheard of in Baton Rouge. While they’re still modest in number, vegan and vegetarian offerings continue to gain traction. It’s not that more people are opting fully into these lifestyles. Some certainly are. But no matter their culinary proclivities, a larger number of local diners are incorporating at least some plant-based eating. “There’s definitely more curiosity about plant-based foods,” says Maria Howard, who founded Plant Based Foods By Lotus, a vegan dessert company, with her husband, Allen Howard. “A lot of our customers are not even vegan.” A few years ago, the Howards decided to go vegan to take better care of themselves. Allen was the first to change his diet, and Maria soon followed. They mastered making their favorite savory dishes in vegan form, and then spent a lot of time developing vegan alternatives to Dutch apple pie, pop-tarts and other favorite baked goods. What started as a lifestyle choice turned into a business venture. The couple began selling sweets at community pop-up events and food truck round-ups near Southern University. They started an Instagram account and participated in the Mid City Makers Market. They began catering and placed their items in Vegan Friendly Foods and Southern Cofe. “People were really excited about it, and they started placing orders for birthday cakes, cookies, all kinds of things,” Maria Howard says. “There was also a lot of crossover with people who wanted gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free baked goods.” Nationally, incorporating at least some plant-based eating is more popular than ever. The No. 2 Best Overall Diet of 2021 in U.S. News and World Report’s annual round-up was the Flexitarian Diet, which balances plant-based and traditional protein consumption. And worldwide sales of plant-based dairy and meat alternatives reached $29.4 billion in 2020, a number that could increase to $162 billion by 2030, Fortune reported in August. The trend is apparent in local coffee shops, where customers want soy, oat and almond milk alternatives to traditional dairy, even if they’re not vegetarian. The mantle of Baton Rouge restaurants serving only vegetarian or vegan still falls to a handful of spots like MJ’s Cafe and Vegan Friendly Foods, but it’s a lot easier for diners to find vegetarian and vegan options on menus. BLDG 5, Cocha, Chow Yum Phat, Duang Tawan Thai, Mestizo, the Bay Leaf and Swagat Indian are all awash with plant-based options, and even upscale spots aren’t an afterthought. Plant-based eating’s health benefits have made it appeal to a broad audience—who may also now see it as a way to save money. This year, protein prices shot up, due to supply chain and labor issues. With chicken, beef, pork and seafood priced between 20-40% higher than normal, consumers have had extra incentive to eat flexibly.


Strong. Stable. Always On.

David Thompson Market President 225-928-8209

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Henry Schexnayder Commercial Banker 225-928-8263

Laura Marshall Commercial Banker 225-928-8203

Jordan Hultberg Commercial Banker 225-928-8202

Brian Wilkinson Commercial Banker 225-928-8237

Edwin Lagarde Treasury Management 225-928-8252

To reach your long-term goals, you need a bank you can count on. Our Baton Rouge team is experienced, committed and here to make it all happen—today and tomorrow.

redriverbank.net • 225-923-0232 Alexandria • Baton Rouge • Lake Charles • Northshore • Shreveport


INVITING ENTERTAINMENT. SUPPORTING LOCAL. PROMOTING OUR CITY. Everything we do is to make Baton Rouge a more lively place for you. From new businesses for the foodies and shopping fanatics to more robust attractions for the history buffs and even elevated experiences for the outdoorsmen, we’re in the business of making our home—and yours—special.

Let’s make the Capital City exceptional and #

together.


I N S I D E : Sparkle City / Men’s holiday style

Rare bird M Y S PA C E

Louisiana antiques and a curated collection of ducks fit right in at a historic Spanish Town home B Y JENNI F ER TOR M O P HOTO S B Y CO LLIN RICHIE

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

55


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.

STYLE //

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

Ethan Melancon, right, shares a Spanish Town rental with his partner, Joshua Wartelle, left.

HIGHEST QUALITY WITH COMPETITIVE PRICING! 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.

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#38003 #AM-50-BAJ

ETHAN MELANCON DOESN’T want his home to feel like a museum. He repeats this over and over as he explains his strategy for outfitting a 1913 rental house in Spanish Town. This has become Melancon’s mantra because, well, he has a lot of antiques. Stepping into his home is like walking into a time capsule. He’s always trying to imagine how his ancestors might have decorated. “I grew up deep in the bayou, and I have always had a love for history. I come from a Creole-Acadian family that has been in this area since the 1600s,” he says. “It sparked an appreciation for our culture at a young age. So I’m always looking for Creole items, and I try to tie everything in my house back to Louisiana.” But. He has one caveat. “I don’t live in a museum,” he says. “I use all of my items. Shopping antiques is more environmentally responsible ... These things are built to last.” When Melancon brews coffee in the mornings, he pours his favorite French Truck Coffee beans from an old tin can he uses as a kitchen canister. He sips drinks out of vintage mugs and glassware. And when Hurricane Ida hit in August, Melancon was ready the moment the power went out. He owns so many vintage candle holders, the house almost looked like it had electricity.

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[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

“Oh, you were just waiting for this,” his partner Joshua Wartelle joked at the time. “Maybe a little bit,” Melancon says today with a laugh. “It made for a fun memory for like an hour, and then it got hot.” Melancon is the director of government affairs for the Louisiana Department of Education, as well as the president-elect of Forum 225. He and Wartelle, a social worker, moved into their Spanish Town home in February 2020, and it became an instant refuge from their busy lives and the chaos of the last year. While some turned to crafting or Netflix to relieve pandemic anxiety, Melancon— who now works mostly from home— poured his energy into thrifting and estate sale digging. He loves to shop at Renaissance Interiors in Metairie and Showroom Antiques right across the border in Mississippi. At The Pink Elephant Antiques, he scooped up a webbed chair that once sat in Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. He collects antique girandole candelabras and hurricane globes. In another nod to Louisiana culture, he has a self-described “obsession” with ducks. You name it: duck glasses, duck paintings, duck decoys with beautiful green feathers. He loves to update the house’s mantle for the seasons, which he’ll be “decking out for Christmas in a really


Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #1 STYLE //

• 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

57 YEARS OF DOING WHAT WE DO BEST! Restaurant

Ducks are a common theme in Melancon’s house, seen everywhere from his Gatsby-inspired bar room to his living room.

Instead of recovering a 1950s chair, Melancon and his mom dyed the velvet a rich, lime-y green.

subtle, tasteful way.” No animatronic Santa Clauses here; instead, he’ll mix holiday garland with magnolia leaves and old statues of saints. But Melancon doesn’t just look to family history to decorate—his home is a modern family project, too. When he’s not trading ideas with Wartelle (who loves folk art), he’s repurposing furniture with his mom (who helped him dye a velvet chair a rich chartreuse

green) or his uncle (who helped him convert an old armoire into a bar). He’s taking pieces that were already built to last and giving them new life, a fresh history. “In my brain, I remember the details about every item I own. I remember the exact price I spent, where I got it, what the weather was like that day,” he says. “This is what I do to relieve stress.”

ORDER YOUR HOLIDAY TURKEYS OR HAMS NOW!

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STYLE //

Game-day Spotted on Louisiana celebrities and sports stars alike, Sparkle City brings glitz and glamour to tailgating fashion

glam

COLLIN RICHIE

By Olivia Deffes

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[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

DURING LSU’S CHAMPIONSHIP season, Joe Burrow’s and Coach O’s moms could be spotted sporting bedazzled shirts and sweaters. The looks were custom-made by LSU alumna Margo Cory’s brand Sparkle City. The line’s sequined tiger tees and bedazzled jersey-style sweaters are designed to stand out in the stadium, with their sporty-meets-high-fashion-style. “I’ve played year-round sports my entire life,” Cory says. “I’ve always been kind of a tomboy who was into fashion, and I’ve mixed those two sides of me ... whether it was dressing up to go hunting and fishing with my dad or getting really decked out for a game day.” It’s what ultimately led to Sparkle City: a brand known today for bringing glitter and style to football. Cory, who is now the brand’s sole owner, says the idea for the brand began with a partner when she was still a student at LSU. When buying clothes for fall football, she found boutiques mostly stocked with generic purple and gold tops. “Game-day fashion was cute when I was in college,” Cory recalls. “But I could never find pieces that were specifically for the game or that showcased the spirit of the team I was cheering for.” It was through this experience that she found her new brand’s niche: designing gameday fashion that was “fun, funky and sparkly.” In 2018, Sparkle City was launched with two sweater designs. The brand has grown ever since, now with collections for a multitude of sports teams as well as festive pieces to make a statement for any holiday or Mardi Gras party. The brand has even expanded to making pieces for bridal parties and has done custom work for Louisiana celebrities such as Big Freedia. Cory credits a lot of that growth to LSU’s iconic football season in 2019. She remembers getting an email from an LSU staffer asking her to showcase Sparkle City pieces to some women at the football operations office. When the meeting went well, Cory began cranking out custom pieces for the LSU staff, coaches and family members she’d made connections with. Once these famous ladies were seen wearing Sparkle City on the sidelines, the brand could soon be spotted in the crowds inside and around Tiger Stadium, too. And after Sparkle City gifted ESPN football analyst Lee Corso a custom “Corseaux” jersey sweater, he showed it off during College GameDay. Cory says going to the 2019 National Championship was one of the greatest experiences as a business owner. “It was the highlight of such an awesome year,” Cory says. “Sparkle City was everywhere. It was the greatest day meeting our customers. I think I cried happy tears like five times that day because all the hustle and hard work that went into that season really showed.” Though the brand is now based in New Orleans, Sparkle City’s LSU game-day pieces can be found in boutiques around Baton Rouge like Hemline, Bella Bella, Perlis and Frock Candy. Cory says big things are happening for Sparkle City, and ultimately she hopes that her pieces allow fans to feel beautiful and comfortable for any kind of event. “We want to make everyone feel good in what they’re wearing, whether they’re going to a game or going to an event,” Cory says. “We want our customers to be able to dress up, feel cute and feel confident. Who doesn’t feel good when they’re wearing sparkles?” sparklecity.com


A community is made stronger when its people stand together. As we’ve endured more than ever over the last few years, 225 GIVES is calling our community to come together once again and support our local nonprofit

Build Community. Ignite Action.

organizations. Join us online, Tuesday, November 30th, for our annual, community-driven fundraising event as we stand together and inspire action across the Greater Baton Rouge Area.

T U E S D AY | N O V E M B E R 3 0 , 2 0 2 1 Learn more about our mission and make a donation at 225GIVES.org. GIVES21-02 225 Magazine Half Page Print Ad_BUILD.indd 1

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STYLE //

Tie up Upgrade your holiday look with feathered bow ties

Styled by Elle Marie // Photos by Collin Richie

AMONG THE ROWS of sport coats and game-day tees at Carriages Fine Clothier, the glint of feathers might catch your eye. The Baton Rouge shop’s selection of Brackish bow ties pack a punch of color and texture that Southern holiday style calls for. The ties are handmade in Charleston, South Carolina, with all-natural and sustainably sourced feathers, and each tie is oneof-a-kind. Every tie is packaged in its own wooden box, perfectly ready for a holiday gift—hint, hint.

USE PROMO CODE “225” AND RECEIVE 15% OFF YOUR ENTIRE STAY (VALID AT BURBANK LOCATION ONLY)

locations • Online booking available Issue6 Date: NOV region 2021 wide Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS WWW.DEPENDABLESTORAGE.COM 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.

Brackish “Brockman” bow tie, $195

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

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Brackish “Grey Bobwhite” bow tie, $195


Issue Date: November 2021 Ad proof #2 STYLE //

• 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

Stocking stuffer staples TRENDY JEWELRY ICYMI, men’s jewelry is having a renaissance. You can thank stylish celebs like Harry Styles and Pharrell Williams—seen rocking everything from layered chokers to pearly Chanel brooches—for the inspo. Here, bullets on wrapped cord are the right mix of rugged and shiny metallic.

“Shot in the Dark” bracelets, $36 From The Garage

The PINK Building on Perkins

TRAVEL SETS All that post-pandemic travel you’ve probably booked somehow looks even better with a leather case for toting your razor and nail clipper.

Edwin Jagger travel kits, $60 From The Garage

LOUISIANA-INSPIRED SOCKS From afar, these look like simple, colorful socks. Look closer, though, for a Louisiana surprise. Each set is patterned with imagery of crawfish, pelicans, the St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans Saints football or Garden District flowers.

Brackish “Mayfly” bow tie, $195

Printed socks, $19/set From The Garage

CLOTHING • SHOES • ACCESSORIES WOMEN • JUNIORS • GIRLS 4631 Perkins Road • Baton Rouge • 225-916-8755 @shopmylaboutique 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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I N S I D E : Dine briefs / Wild game dinner recipes

Pie day

COLLIN RICHIE

Sampling every style of pizza at Pizza Byronz

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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Have your prized treasures evaluated FREE by local and regional collection specialists!

21ST ANNUAL

Attic Treasures & Collectibles event FREE and open to the public 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Saturday, November 6 Main Library at Goodwood • 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Registration is required • Limit 3 items per person • Masks or face coverings are required to attend, and the event will adhere to social distancing protocol.

For more information and to register, call (225) 231-3740.

ebrpl.com | (225) 231-3740 ebrpl.com/DigitalLibrary

Check Out the Library’s FREE Resources for Antiques! The Prices4Antiques Database is used by experts on Antiques Roadshow, and has information drawn from the 50 leading regional auction houses located throughout the United States, plus other selected specialist auctions. Find pictures and sale prices of hundreds of antiques and collectibles offered at auction like vintage advertising, autographs, folk art, clocks & dolls, fine china, sports & war memorabilia, paintings and more!

FREE in the Digital Library at www.ebrpl.com/DigitalLibrary All you need is your Library card to get started!

For more resources on antiques, visit the InfoGuide at https://ebrpl.libguides.com/antiques.


TA ST E / /

THE BASICS: The Byronz Restaurant Family opened Flambee Cafe in summer 2017 just across from its Willow Grove location. Celebrating the Alsatian style of flatbreads similar to pizza, the Frenchthemed restaurant attracted customers curious to try its tartes flambees. Reopening last July as Pizza Byronz, its menu has expanded to offer a wider variety of pizza styles as well as sandwiches, pastas and crowd-pleasing appetizers.

The classic-style Tail-Spin pizza (background), the thin-crust Champignon flambee and the square Butcher2 pizza, along with the Byronz Chop salad.

WHAT’S A MUST: The Byronz Chop salad if you want to start off with lighter fare (though we wouldn’t fault you for going in on some Parmesan fries or fried onion strings). The shrimp-studded Tail-Spin is a good intro to the restaurant’s take on classic pizzas, while you can recall its French roots with the Champignon tarte flambee.

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

Pizza Byronz B Y D.J . B EAU TI C I A / / P H OTO S BY CO L L I N R I C H I E

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. pizzabyronz.com 8210 Village Plaza Court Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday, 4-8:30 p.m.

TUCKED AWAY IN the Village Plaza center off Perkins Road sits Bistro Byronz’s pizza parlor concept. The former Flambee Cafe was rebranded last summer, but the restaurant’s pizza oven is still in plain sight, the space is still cozy, the bar is still well apportioned, and the shady patio still beckons. Only the name has changed—and its expanded variety of pizza options. Once home to versions of the French-style tarte flambee (a pizza-like flatbread), Pizza Byronz now aims to satisfy every pizza lover with classic pies and square pies joining the French import. There were several hefty appetizer choices on our visit—like wings, fried

brie bites and Parmesan fries—but to save more room for pizza, we went with a salad. The Byronz Chop looked particularly appealing, with lettuce, cucumbers, artichoke, chickpeas, avocado and a surprise of rice sticks. Those crunchy rice sticks offered a mild textural element while the tangy, creamy horseradish dressing brightened the entire salad. Thin ribbons rather than slices of cucumber were a nice and unexpected touch. Wanting to try the three pizza crust varieties, we opted for the Tail-Spin from the classic menu, a square of the Butcher2 and the flambee thin-crust Champignon. We first dove into the Butcher2, which looked alluringly ooey gooey.

That look did not deceive. A thick dough baked in a square pan supported the weight of all the luscious meats (pepperoni, beef, bacon and ham). A mound of melted mozzarella thankfully spilled over into the pan edges and created crave-worthy, mouthwateringly caramelized cheesy goodness. It was reminiscent of a Detroit-style pizza, and it had all the best qualities of a good deep dish pizza, too: meaty, slightly greasy, rich and indulgent. I was initially surprised that the Champignon flambee had raw white onions scattered on top rather than sautéed onions, but it turns out it’s traditional to the French style. The thin crust was very appealing and crisp,

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TA ST E / /

but the bacon overwhelmed the scant mushrooms. More mushrooms might have balanced it all out, and sautéed onions would have been a less pungent topping. The shrimp on the Tail-Spin pizza sparkled with a nice dusting of seasoning mix. Melted mozzarella and artichoke hearts were quite abundant, adding touches of saltiness to the pie. Slices of tart tomato rounded out the flavors and brought everything together tastily on this classic pizza. For dessert, the most appealing option was the Chocolate Cake Parfait. Deceptively named, this was essentially a layered brownie à la mode. While all of the elements were fairly standard, the brownie did have an unusual cherry flavor. We did not finish it. Dessert aside, pizza is the name of the game here, and the restaurant is more than worthy of multiple visits to sample the three varieties. My partner pointed out that a dinner of only one type of pizza might be too boring or too rich depending on your preferences. But a mixture of several different pizzas and interesting toppings made all the other pies that much more worthwhile. So come and eat variety: the spice of life (and pizza).

For those who loved the Alsatian-style flatbreads of the former Flambee Cafe, Pizza Byronz has kept many of those items on the menu, including the mushroom and bacon Champignon version.

If you aren’t drooling over the hefty appetizer offerings, opt for a lighter starter like the veggie-loaded Byronz Chop salad.

Pizza Byronz’s Graham Nichols brings out the Tail-Spin pizza, offering well-seasoned shrimp, artichoke hearts and slices of fresh tomato.

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TA ST E / /

Bottom of the barrel

STOCK PHOTO

Louisiana breweries hope state and federal reviews lead to local craft brewing boom

DESPITE A NATIONAL reputation for its local cuisine and “let the good times roll” approach to life, Louisiana is at “the bottom of the heap” in terms of the number of local breweries per capita, says Cary Koch, executive director of the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild. “We’re not out there to throw stones and make enemies,” Koch says. “But we are going to speak the facts of what a 21st century craft brewery deals with when we’re dealing with laws that were created decades ago.” The guild supported House Resolution 210 from state Rep. Gregory Miller, R-Norco, which passed during the last regular session and asks the House judiciary committee to “study and make recommendations for legislation on the regulation of the craft brewing industry in this state and to report its findings to the

House of Representatives prior to the convening of the 2022 Regular Session.” While the number of breweries in Louisiana has increased from 12 to 44 since 2012, the state ranks last per capita nationally, according to the resolution. In 2020, the craft brewing industry incurred an 8% volume sales loss nationally and a 22.2% volume sales loss in Louisiana, the resolution states. At the same time, the federal government also is taking a close look at the industry. In July, President Joe Biden issued a wide-ranging executive order meant to promote competition in the U.S. economy. The order names the alcohol business as one needing scrutiny and directs the Treasury to look into potential barriers to new entrants to the marketplace. Koch says the state review could go in “a thousand different directions.” But one thing other states allow that might help Louisiana is letting small brewers sell directly to retailers rather than going through a wholesaler, he says. Koch says creating a thriving local beer sector also would help other types of businesses in a state that spends a lot of time and money promoting the local culture. “When people come here, they are surprised by the lack of breweries that we have,” he says. “That’s something that we need to talk about as far as economic development and tourism.” labeer.org

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S AY WH AT

“It’s disheartening to drive by national fast-food chains and see lines wrapped around the block, because local places are still struggling.” —Peter Sclafani, owner of Phil’s Oyster Bar and Portobello’s Grill, and a member of the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s board of directors. The National Restaurant Association in October pressed Congress to replenish the depleted Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

DI GI T

200

Number of employees from Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers’ Dallas headquarters who have been sent to help with short-staffed chains across the country. The home base employees join about 250 members of Raising Cane’s field team, such as marketing and training staff, who helped temporarily fill cashier, fry cook and other positions amidst an hourly worker shortage, according to Bloomberg. The Baton Rouge-founded chain is attempting to hire 10,000 new workers as part of a push to open more locations in 2022.


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TA ST E / /

How the sausage is made Find additional recipes from this menu and instructions from Jason Fuselier on making your own green onion venison and pork sausage at 225batonrouge.com/recipes.

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TA ST E / /

DINING IN

After the hunt In Louisiana, Thanksgiving recipes celebrate local game BY TRACE Y KOCH A N D STE PH A NIE RIE GEL PHOTOS B Y A M Y SH UT T

LOUISIANA IS KNOWN as a sportsman’s paradise, and for good reason. The many varieties of waterfowl and deer attract hunters from all over, and November is the height of the season. Though neither of our families hunt, we are fortunate to have plenty of friends who do—and are generous enough to share their bounty with us. Besides the month of November being the peak of hunting season, it also marks one of our favorite holidays. Thanksgiving is best known for sharing a meal with family and friends. So, in that spirit, we felt it was only fitting to focus our recipes this month on some of the very plentiful game indigenous to this region, so you and your loved ones can share together.

November at

M A N S H I P T H E AT R E

On the menu • Smoked Duck Breast • Oatmeal Risotto with Bacon and Herbs • Pepper Jelly Glaze • Sautéed Green Beans in Brown Butter with Toasted Pecans (Find this recipe at 225batonrouge.com/recipes) Recipes by Tracey Koch • Fresh Green Onion Sausage Gravy • Homemade Green Onion Venison and Pork Sausage (Find this recipe at 225batonrouge.com/recipes) Recipes by Jason Fuselier

Tab Benoit ’s Swampland Jam

NOV 10 7:30 PM

Tab Benoit leads an all star band featuring three giants of Louisiana Roots Music Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Sansone, and Waylon Thibodeaux.

Smoked Duck Breast DUCK IS ONE of the most decadent types of fowl to prepare. The meat is rich and bold in flavor, making it very different from chicken breast. It’s actually more akin to a beef steak, and it is served medium rare to medium in many recipes. We admit duck breast can be a little intimidating to prepare. The thick layer of fat can quickly flare up, causing the breast to char and leaving an unpleasant flavor and inconsistent internal temperature in the meat itself. We have found that smoking duck breast is the easiest way to prepare it with the best and most consistent results. We like to start with a simple brine of apple juice and apple cider vinegar and a few spices to ensure the duck breast stays moist while smoking. It also adds a delicious, sweeter flavor. We recommend keeping the temperature in the smoker between 225 and 245 degrees. If you do not have a true smoker, this can easily be done on a charcoal grill using wood chips. If using a grill, set the coals off to one side, making sure the breasts will cook with an indirect heat and preventing any flare ups from the coals. Depending on the size of the breasts, they may only take a couple of hours to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. We then finish them off in the oven to help the skins crisp up.

Servings: 6 FOR THE BRINE 6 (4-to-6-ounce) boneless duck breasts 4 cups apple juice ¼ cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar 3 tablespoons Kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder ½ teaspoon dried sage 1 teaspoon onion powder

1. Rinse the duck breasts and place them in a large plastic storage bag.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the

apple juice and the remaining ingredients together. Stir until the salt is dissolved.

3. Pour the brining mixture into the storage bag over the duck breasts. Press all the air out of the bag and seal it. Place the bag into the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours before smoking. TO SMOKE THE DUCK 1. Take the storage bag out of the refrigerator and allow the duck to come up to room temperature. Remove from the brine and pat them dry.

2. Heat a wood smoker to 225 degrees.

Place pecan wood pieces into the smoker. Set the duck breasts skin side up on the middle rack of the smoker.

3. Depending on their size, smoke the duck breasts for 2 to 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove the breasts from the smoker.

Peabo Bryson NOV 21 7:00 PM

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4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and

place the duck breasts into the oven to continue cooking and crisp up the skin. This will take 7 to 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches between 155 and 165 degrees. Allow the duck to rest 5 minutes before serving.

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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 Mayor-President and Metro Council.

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The 225 Magazine App is now available All things Baton Rouge at your finger tips. The 225 magazine app is here and ready to bring you all the latest news, guides and offers for Baton Rouge restaurants and bars, entertainment, people, culture and style, all delivered to your phone or tablet so you never miss a headline. Download for free at 225batonrouge.com/app or scan here

DISCOVER. EXPERIENCE. CELEBRATE.


TA ST E / /

Fresh Green Onion Sausage Gravy A fresh green onion sausage is delicious in so many recipes, including just throwing it on the grill. Family friend and avid hunter Jason Fuselier shared with us his favorite way to prepare sausage: He calls it sausage gravy, and it is the ultimate in Cajun comfort food. Much like fresh Italian sausages simmered low and slow in red gravy, Jason’s version is cooked down in a rich brown roux and served over rice. It is the perfect meal on a cool November night, and it’s become a go-to for us.

1. Cut the sausage links into fourths. 2. In a large, heavy cast-iron skillet or

Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the sausage.

3. Sauté until it is browned and cooked

through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage onto a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

4. Add the flour to the skillet with the reserved oil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook and stir until the roux is a deep golden brown.

Servings: 6 2½ to 3 pounds fresh green onion sausage ¼ cup vegetable oil ½ cup flour ¾ cup chopped onions ½ cup chopped bell pepper ½ cup chopped celery ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ Cajun seasoning ½ teaspoon dried Italian herbs ¼ teaspoon dried dill 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes 2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce ½ cup white wine 4 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce

5. Add the onion, bell pepper, cel-

ery, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and dried herbs. Continue cooking and stirring for another 2 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.

6. Pour in the canned tomatoes and hot sauce. Stir to combine.

7. Carefully pour in the wine and the

water or broth. Stir to prevent any lumps.

8. Bring the mixture up to a simmer,

continuing to stir until everything is smooth and the sauce begins to thicken.

9. Add the sausage to the sauce as well as

the Kitchen Bouquet. Stir and cover. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an hour, stirring to prevent anything from sticking. Serve over rice or oatmeal risotto.

Oatmeal Risotto with Bacon and Herbs OATMEAL IS ONE of the healthiest grains you can eat. It contains more soluble fiber than any other grain, which helps slow the absorption of glucose in the body, which in turn prevents spikes in blood sugar. Oatmeal has also been proven to help lower cholesterol, and because it moves more slowly through your system, it helps you feel full longer. We generally think of oatmeal as a breakfast food, but it’s a delicious grain served savory as well. For our take on risotto, we used old-fashioned rolled oats in place of short-grained rice and the results were amazing. It has all the creaminess of a traditional risotto with a little nutty flavor and a bit more texture. Plus, it takes a lot less time and effort to prepare. You can add other vegetables to change up the flavors. It makes a great side dish but is hearty enough to stand alone as a complete meal.

Servings: 6

Pepper Jelly Glaze Servings: Yields 1 cup ¾ cup red pepper jelly 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons apple juice

1. Add all the ingredients to a small sauce pot.

2. Heat over medium heat until the jelly melts and the sauce begins to simmer.

3. Spoon a couple of tablespoons

of the warm glaze over the duck breasts just before serving. Serve the remaining glaze as a dipping sauce for the grilled fresh sausages.

2 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup chopped shallots ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ¼ teaspoon dried herbs de Provence 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 cups steel cut or oldfashioned oats (not quick or instant) ½ cup white wine 4 to 5 cups warm chicken stock 1 cup Parmesan cheese 4 strips center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the

chopped shallot, salt, pepper and dried herbs. Sauté the shallot for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the oats and continue cooking for a

couple minutes or until the oats begin to smell nutty.

3. Reduce the heat to medium low and pour in the wine. Use the spoon to scrape any bits that may have stuck to the bottom. Slowly pour in 2 cups of the broth and stir to prevent the oatmeal from sticking. 4. Once the liquid is almost absorbed, add in

another 2 cups of broth and continue simmering the oatmeal, stirring as it cooks. Pour in the last cup of broth and turn the heat to low.

5. Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and stir

until the mixture is creamy. Turn off the heat and cover. Let the oatmeal risotto sit to thicken for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a little extra Parmesan, the crispy bacon bits and more fresh ground black pepper.

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SOL OU TD


CULTURE I N S I D E : Arts and music events / Up next with Lango

Missy Couhig, owner of The Conundrum bookstore

BOOKS

Page turner BY MAGGIE H E YN R ICH A R DSO N // P H OTOS B Y CO L L I N R I C H I E

St. Francisville bookshop The Conundrum is a hub for readers and writers

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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C U LT U R E / /

ASK THE EXPERT CONTRIBUTIONS BY MEREDITH ROUSE, MD Q. WHAT IS DIABETES? A. Diabetes mellitus is a disorder of the endocrine system that affects 34.2 million Americans today (that is about 1 in 10!). There are two forms of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, both of which alter the way the body processes sugar. All cells in the body need sugar to function properly, and insulin is the hormone that facilitates the cellular uptake of sugar. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreatic cells are unable to produce enough insulin; whereas, in Type 2 diabetes, the cells of the body cannot process and utilize insulin effectively, which is known as insulin resistance. In both cases, the overall result is a decrease in the cellular uptake of sugar with increased blood sugar levels, which accounts for many of the complications associated with diabetes.

Q. WHY IS SCREENING FOR DIABETES IMPORTANT? A. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, and has many complications associated with it. Diabetes can lead to the development of kidney disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, and even increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (leading to heart attack and stroke). Many people with diabetes have no symptoms in the early stages, so screening plays an important role in identifying those with diabetes as well as prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends screening all adults over 45 years of age and those with additional risk factors, particularly those who are overweight. Screening should be performed at least once every 3 years, unless a diagnosis of prediabetes is made, in which case yearly testing is recommended. Screening allows for appropriate interventions to be made in order to control the disease and reduce the risk of the many associated complications.

FOR QUESTIONS OR TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ONE OF OUR INTERNAL MEDICINE PHYSICIANS PLEASE CALL (225) 246-9240

MAIN CLINIC: 7373 PERKINS ROAD BATON ROUGE, LA 70808 (225) 769-4044 BATONROUGECLINIC.COM 76

[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

WHY WOULD YOU open an independent bookstore in 2015, when e-books sales were among their highest? Why do it in a small town of 1,700 people that you didn’t even live in at the time? What’s with the jigsaw puzzles? And where’s the coffee? Six years ago, those were the questions Missy Couhig heard over and over again about her plans to open a bookshop on Ferdinand Street in the sleepy town of St. Francisville. Missy and her husband, Rob Couhig, a prominent New Orleans lawyer and investor, had bought property in the community in 2005 after evacuating from the city during Hurricane Katrina. One day, Rob announced to Missy that he’d signed a lease on a building on Ferdinand Street where Missy could open a bookshop. The two adored independent bookstores, and always made a point to visit them when traveling. Missy, about to retire from a career in marketing and sales, thought “Why not?” There were plenty of naysayers. “We were asked those questions all the time,” Missy recalls. “And they were great questions, without answers. As far as I know there’s only one word for that, and that was ‘conundrum.’ So we became The Conundrum.” Since The Conundrum opened,

it’s become a community hub in a tight-knit town that loves gathering places, from the Magnolia Café to West Feliciana High School football games. It’s also a region that values arts and culture. The Couhigs now live here full time, and their store hosts authors from Louisiana and Mississippi and organizes book sales for literary festivals and cultural events across the region. Comfy sofas in the shop create a cozy spot for patrons to sample a new title from the shelves. The sitting area also hosts local book groups, which can reserve the bookstore for their discussions. Their members lean on Couhig, an avid reader, for book suggestions and group orders. A free book bin outside the store adds a neighborly touch. Deciding how to stock the shelves says a lot about how Couhig established The Conundrum’s community vibe early on. Initially, she approached a national retail service, which advises independent bookstores on what titles and quantities to order based on a shop’s linear feet of shelf space. “That just didn’t feel right,” Couhig says. “To me this bookstore had to be sort of organic, and of the community. So instead, I took to my handy dandy computer and I made a sheet of paper


C U LT U R E / /

The Conundrum sits on Ferdinand Street in historic downtown St. Francisville.

COURTESY THE CONUNDRUM

in Ridgeland

Inside the shop, shelves are filled with Southern fiction, regional history, cookbooks and guides for gardening.

that said, ‘Help us be your bookstore, tell us what you want.’ I had it on the front counter when we did a few pop-up events before the bookstore was officially open, and started letting people tell me what kind of books they wanted.” The result reflects the community’s cravings for modern, best-selling fiction, Southern fiction, world events and regional history. There are Louisiana cookbooks and guides for the Southern garden. Young adult and children’s fiction keep young readers coming in. Jigsaw puzzles give patrons another avenue for fun. Because Couhig is a sucker for pretty books, there are attractively bound classics, and her favorite novel, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, is available in a romantic hardcover version that resembles the one read to Fred Savage’s character by his grandfather in the movie version. For Jane Austen devotees, Couhig keeps different versions of Pride and Prejudice because their covers and binding are each beautiful, she says. One section of the store is a window into another side of the Couhigs’ life. They’re the owners of a 134-year-old British football (soccer) team called the Wycombe Wanderers. Rob Couhig also owned the now-defunct New

Orleans Zephyrs minor league baseball team in the late ’90s. Patrons of The Conundrum can pick up a Wanderers T-shirt, as well as respected titles on the game of soccer. Fans of the popular show Ted Lasso will recognize the book Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson, for example. Early in the pandemic, Couhig took to social media to keep her patrons engaged. She developed a six-daya-week social media series called Chatting Books Online, in which she recommends a single book each day. Now in her second year of these posts, Couhig says customers call or visit regularly wanting a title they’ve seen on the bookstore’s social media. “Almost every single day, I have somebody come in or call to order that book that I talked about that day,” Couhig says. “They’re paying attention.” conundrumbooks.com

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Tackle all your gift shopping in Ridgeland this holiday season with a weekend getaway. Choose from: • 17 luxury hotels Issue •Date: October 2021 Ad proof #1 150 restaurants • Please respond e-mail or faxdistricts with your approval or minor revisions. • 10 by shopping

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Good reads Conundrum owner Missy Couhig gave us five great book recommendations. Head to 225batonrouge. com/arts-entertainment to see her picks!

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C U LT U R E / /

DIGIT

98.9%

Amount of Louisiana members of a national film and television union who voted “yes” to support a nationwide strike. The 1,400 eligible members in the state joined 60,000 members of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents crews, stagehands and other behindthe-scenes workers, in pushing for better pay and benefits and larger profit shares from streaming productions. Louisiana Economic Development says there are 17 film and TV productions underway in the state as of October, with likely more to come—all of which could be impacted by a possible shutdown if negotiations aren’t resolved.

KE YWO RD

NFT, or non-fungible tokens One-of-a-kind digital items that can be bought, sold and traded online but not replicated. NFTs can include pieces of digital art, videos or audio clips. Pass It Down, a digital storytelling company based in Baton Rouge, is creating the first online NFT marketplace for museums, archives and other cultural institutions to sell limited editions of photos, videos and more. Founder Chris Cummings says the marketplace, called Iconic Moments, will provide a new way for these institutions to increase digital engagement and generate revenue. iconicmoments.co

Game time An idea born at St. Joseph’s Academy leads to women-led video game business 2020. Now eight members strong, they moved into A WOMEN-LED VIDEO game design studio hopes studio space at the Nexus Louisiana Tech Park this to bring a concept first hatched in a St. Joseph’s June. Academy classroom to the marketplace. Nastasi says members have had offers to join If successful, Ghost Garden Games would be a established companies, but “we wanted to choose win for Baton Rouge’s small video game sector and our own projects and let our own voices for women in a mostly male-dominated really come through in our products.” industry. In Echo, players control the “People are really excited to see titular sentient sound wave and more women in technology, and her multicolored companion we’re really happy to be doHue. They navigate a surreal ing what we’re doing,” says apartment world, meeting Kathryn Nastasi, producer eccentric characters, and technical artist with fighting bosses and the young company. attempting to solve a As high school mystery. students in 2015, “We really wanted to Nastasi, Asher Lejeune create a strong narrative and Leslyanne and character-focused Warrington came up game with still some of the with the core narrative, fun reflex combat you’re aesthetic and project used to,” Nastasi says. ideas for Echo, a singleThe company’s main player action-adventure goal now is to build a level of game. Claire Luikart, who the game it can show potential taught the technology class, investors next year, with hopes of would later join the development being able to release Echo in 2024. group as lead software engineer. STOCK IMAGE In high school, the founders fell in love with Prior to the company’s official launch, games that had beautiful, immersive worlds and members entered a few “game jams,” in which compelling narratives, and they were inspired to developers work in teams to build a project based create their own, Nastasi says. on a given theme in a brief amount of time. Their “We believe video games are the greatest submission at a 2019 event at Texas A&M, which intersection of art and technology,” she says. they participated in through LSU’s digital media arts ghostgardengames.com and engineering program, was awarded Best Art. Ghost Garden Games was officially formed in —DAVID JACOBS

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C U LT U R E / /

ARTS BEST BETS

NOV. 5 The Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist Award winner Sara Evans is taking her voice to L’Auberge Casino & Hotel’s Event Center for one night only. Expect a night of country hits with the “Born to Fly” singer. lbatonrouge.com

ALL MONTH The LSU Museum of Art continues its “The Boneyard: The Ceramics Teaching Collection” exhibit, showcasing ceramics demonstrations through bisque, wet clay that has been fired once and is unglazed. On Nov. 12, you can join Art Educator Grant Benoit for a tour of the exhibit and a mug workshop. The show ends in February 2022. lsumoa.org

NOV. 17 The Raising Cane’s River Center is hosting the “Millennium Tour,” a night filled with endless live R&B, soul and hip-hop with artists like Ashanti, Omarion, Bow Wow, Pretty Ricky and others. raisingcanesrivercenter.com NOV. 18 Kublai Khan is making its way from Texas to Baton Rouge’s Mid City Ballroom with its metalcore sound, along with Orthodox and local bands Decoy and Wasted Creation. midcityballroom.com

Neal McCoy

NOV. 19 “No Doubt About It” country singer Neal McCoy is bringing his hits to town. Listen to the East Texas musician at the Event Center at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. lbatonrouge.com NOV. 19 American Idol 2011 winner Scotty McCreery is going to make you feel “That Kind of Fire” at The Texas Club for this 18-and-older show. thetexasclub.com NOV. 28 The Heat Band, Lam Truong, Mai Thiên Vân and others are bringing their talents to L’Auberge Casino & Hotel as part of the Grand Asian Concert. lbatonrouge.com

NOV. 5 The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 75th anniversary with a concert at the Raising Cane’s River Center. The concert will showcase the orchestra as well as pianist Jon Nakamatsu and the Louisiana Youth Orchestra. brso.org

ALL MONTH Life is colorful, and the Louisiana Art & Science Museum is showcasing it in the “Iridescence” exhibition exploring shifting, shining colors. Visitors can explore the iridescent works of Louisiana’s Jennifer Robison, New Hampshire’s Soo Sunny Park, England’s Franziska Schenk and many more through July 2022. lasm.org ALL MONTH The LSU Museum of Art is featuring “Candice Lin: The Angotology of Tigers.” The work is based on historical photos from LSU and a new configuration of Lin’s tobacco version of La Charada China—a stereotypical “coolie” figure constructed of pressed tobacco leaves—as well as other plants and materials associated with the Chinese labor trade. The show ends in March 2022. lsumoa.org

IMAGE COURTESY NASH BAKER AND PETER HARRIS

NOV. 5 Get your goth on while also supporting the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. The Bloodsuckers Ball takes over Mid City Ballroom with hard rock from Ventruss; hardcore from DownCast; pop-punk from Sometimes I Swear; and soul rock from Austin-based Honor Me. midcityballroom.com

COURTESY L’AUBERGE

MUSIC BEST BETS

Soo Sunny Park’s “Spectrum Specter”

NOV. 28 Welcome to Louisiana, Papa Noel! BREC hosts its annual Creole Christmas + Holiday Fair at Magnolia Mound, featuring folk crafts, an annual bonfire and more exciting activities to ring in the holiday season. brec.org

Fight the Flu.

Get Better Together! Whether you need a flu shot or rapid flu test, we’re here for you. We also offer rapid testing for COVID-19, strep, and RSV. Together, we can slow the spread.

Check our website for flu shot updates!

LakeUrgentCare.com

Check-In Online

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C U LT U R E / /

UP N E X T

Lango

By Cynthea Corfah

Meet the up-and-coming Baton Rouge music artist with a unique alternative rap sound LANGSTON “LANGO” ADAMS is a rock star in the making. When he performs, his energy and daring persona fill the entire room. He often connects with his fans by jumping off the stage and diving into the audience to crowd surf. The 26-year-old is an entertainer at heart. He gets a thrill from doing the unexpected, especially when it comes to his stage outfits. He has worn medical scrubs with gauze wrapped around his face, full head masks with a few holes to see and breathe, and a suit and tie paired with an eye patch. The Baton Rouge native is not just about the frills, though. He takes his craft seriously and dreams of becoming a full-time musician. Based on his passion and fanbase, it appears he’s already on the way. By day, Adams is a home health professional who works with the elderly. By night, he transforms from Langston to Lango—fearless, unapologetic and never afraid to start a mosh pit (or seven).

“I want people to remember me even if they don’t know my lyrics,” Adams says. “I want people to feel it.” He has a modern, alternative rap sound. Inspired by his favorite producers Travis Scott, Kanye West and WondaGurl, his echoey, autotuned melodies and raps are often paired with electronic, rock and trap sounds. Some of his songs are party anthems, while others are easygoing, head-bobbing tunes fit for a long drive or relaxation session. Adams has released four albums and mixtapes since 2018, each with its own unique sound and mood. His last album Wikk Tapes, released in May, showcases his development as a professional music artist. The album is tied together with satirical and animated sound bites and is brought to life with hype ad-libs, consistently catchy beats and heavy bass on each song.

“I’m not a lyricist, but I want to say things that mean something to people,” Adams says. In the song “Oven Bake,” Adams shares about his desire to make it big, advising his listeners to not get used to the current version of him as he continues to evolve. He declares, “Can’t get used to me. Take a look at me. I’ve been losing sleep. I do this so you believe. Look at what I used to be. Look at what I’m ‘bout to be.” Music hasn’t always been at the forefront for Adams, but it has always had his heart. After high school, he studied biology and ran track at Xavier University of Louisiana. When he wasn’t studying or running, he was in his room making beats and songs. After he graduated in 2018, he started connecting with people in the music industry, booking shows and officially kicked off his music career. Adams has since performed all over Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Some of his biggest shows were the

Bloom Festival in Baton Rouge; Xavier’s Homecoming concert with rapper Rico Nasty; and the Freewater Block Party, where Billboard’s charttopping rapper Da Baby also took the stage. He was on the lineup of artists scheduled to perform this fall at BUKU Planet B in New Orleans before it was canceled due to COVID-19. As he continues to expand his fan base and make new music, he plans to release a merchandise collection to pair with Wikk Tapes, including hoodies, T-shirts and masks. He dreams of having a world tour, wants to start an acting career and continue his work in biology and scientific research. Baton Rouge may have been his first stage, but the world is his arena. Editor’s note: “Up Next” is an occasional 225 feature highlighting an up-and-coming musician or artist in the Baton Rouge area. Tell us about someone we should feature by emailing editor@225batonrouge.com.

Listen up

COURTESY LANGSTON “LANGO” ADAMS

Find out more about Lango’s music at lango.live. Listen to tracks from this year’s release, Wikk Tapes, and his other music on Apple Music, Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

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DOG TALES of Y R E L L A G O T O H P A special thanks to our readers who shared photos of their smiling pooch in the Dog Tales of 225 photo gallery in September. These adorable dogs made us smile. So much so, we made them 225 famous in this month’s magazine. Meet some of the cutest canines of our city! SPONSORED BY

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Issue Date: NOV 2021 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.

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#4 in the state MASTERY + ALL GRADES 1 point behind the state leaders

Top 5 on 83% of all LEAP Tests Top 5 on more than 80% of subject areas and grade levels tested

#1 Advanced Credentials Earned Also #1 in African American students earning advanced credentials

#3 Mastery+ Grades 3-8

CALENDAR //

November all month

Where play aro to Baton R und o this monuge th C ompiled b Brittney Fo y rbes

GEAUX HOME TEAMS Cheer on the fighting Tigers in Death Valley and the Southern Jaguars in A. W. Mumford Stadium for the final home football games of the year. lsusports.net and gojagsports.com LSU TIGERS: Nov. 13 ARKANSAS Nov. 20 UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT MONROE Nov. 27 TEXAS A&M SOUTHERN JAGUARS: Nov. 6 FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY Nov. 13 JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY Nov. 27 GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY (Bayou Classic in the Caesars Superdome)

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Issue Date: NOV 2021 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.

CARNIVAL VIBES ONLY After a year hiatus, the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair is back for its 55th year! Bring your family and friends out on weeknights and weekends for a petting zoo, more than 40 rides, live music, and corn dogs, nachos and funnel cakes galore. gbrsf.com

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STOCK PHOTO

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MUSIC IN THE PARK You still have a couple weeks left to revel in the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Sunday in the Park series. The outdoor concerts at the Shaw Center for the Arts Plaza celebrate downtown Baton Rouge, and of course, favorite local musicians like Michael Foster Project and Will Wesley Band. artsbr.org

FILE PHOTO BY RAEGAN LABAT

7+14 ON THE ROAD NEW ORLEANS

Mondays 4pm – Close Kids 12 and under receive a free kids meal with every purchase of any adult sandwich. 82

BATON ROUGE • BROUSSARD DENHAM SPRINGS • LAFAYETTE

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[225] November 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

NOV. 16: Luke Combs at the Smoothie King Center, smoothiekingcenter.com

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NOV. 19-21: 3rd Annual New Orleans Tattoo Arts Convention at New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, villainarts.com


Issue Date: NOV 2021 Ad proof #3 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.

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ALSO THIS MONTH EVERY TUESDAY The cozy fall vibes are back, and that means the West Baton Rouge Parish Library fall storytime series for kids has returned, too. wbrpl.com HOT O

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NOV. 5 Life’s a circus, so enjoy the show. Specifically Live After 5’s final show of the season, featuring a performance by The Mixed Nuts plus entertainment from Bayou Cirque. downtownbr.org NOV. 6-7 The fourth annual Henry Turner Jr. Day music festival presents “A Taste of the Deep South” at the Riverfront Plaza. Enjoy a day of live music, Southern food and more, hosted by the Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival. The pre-party is Thursday, Nov. 4. hitcitydigital. wixsite.com/henryturnerjrday

FILE PHOTO BY KRISTIN SELLE

DRINK TO THAT “Drink Beer. Save the Animals” is the mantra at the Sixth Annual Cap City Beer Fest, held downtown at Lafayette Street and North Boulevard. Enjoy a pint with friends while helping Companion Animal Alliance save more than 8,000 lost and abused animals. The event is in conjunction with the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Sunday in the Park, which means you can enjoy some live music, too. capcitybeerfest.org

NOV. 7 Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias brings laughs in his 2021 Beyond The Fluffy - “Go Big or Go Home” World Tour. He’s sold out Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center. Next up: the Raising Cane’s River Center. raisingcanesrivercenter.com

ON THE RUN Release your inner cheetah at the 16th annual Zoo Run Run. All while enjoying the views of your favorite animals, your family can compete in the 2-mile race or half-mile kids’ fun run presented by Ochsner Health. After the race, every runner gets a medal and can join in on snacks, drinks and more. Need more convincing? All proceeds go toward BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo and the international cheetah conservation efforts. brzoo.org

FILE PHOTO BY TAYLOR MORAN

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STARRY NIGHT Dive into your holiday shopping at Mid City’s biggest annual event, White Light Night. The fall art hop takes over Government Street in a showcase of makers, music and food. Restaurants and businesses prep special dishes and displays, and local vendors and artists show off their wares in parking lot pop-ups. midcitymerchantsbr.org

LAFAYETTE

EVERY WEDNESDAY: Cajun Jam at the Blue Moon Saloon & Guest House, bluemoonpresents.com NOV. 7: Tauren Wells at The Family Church, transparentproductions.com

NOV. 12 Multiple Golden Globe nominee Vicki Lawrence brings her beloved Mama’s Family character to her show, “Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two Woman Show,” at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. lbatonrouge.com

PROUD SPONSOR OF LSU ATHLETICS

NOV. 16 BREC hosts Teen Video Game Night, a series of tournament-style video games, including Madden NFL and NBA 2K, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart and more, at North Sherwood Forest Community Park. brec.org NOV. 20 Strut to the Renaissance Hotel for “Power of Women Fashion Show” presented by Nina Ro$$ and Legacy House. powerofwomenfashionshow. com

337 NOV. 11-14: Southern Screen 2021 virtual and in-person festival, southernscreen.org

NEW INSTALLS AS LOW AS $72 A MONTH OR 0% FINANCING FOR 72 MONTHS Certified Technicians serving Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes

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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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DESIGN • BUILD • MAINTAIN

Something Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Right

IRRIGATION • LIGHTING • LAWN CARE MAINTENANCE • LANDSCAPING

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WRITE ON //

Drive in The mask mandate had been lifted. LAST YEAR, I mastered the art of Capacity restrictions were loosened. dining in my car. Restaurants and bars were crowded. It was the very beginning of the Until delta started surging, it felt stay-at-home order, back when the normal and safe—like almost anything only way you could get food from a was possible again. restaurant was to order take-out. I have a million little memories in My husband and I had ordered car between. trays so we could eat food in our cars Ordering restaurant gift cards without getting crumbs everywhere. It during the stay-at-home order. was a good way to get out of the house, Navigating online eat a meal while it was grocery shopping. still hot and fresh, and, Figuring out how to of course, support local scan a QR code menu restaurants. from my phone’s Our 225 team had camera. compiled a massive guide Picking up to-go to all the places in town containers of frose that were offering to-go from spots like BRQ to meals, and I remember share in our friends’ cherry picking a few socially distant backyard different places from the gatherings. list to visit per week. Finally venturing The ambiance was By Jennifer Tormo back to the movies, and admittedly not great. sipping on a cocktail My car’s weathered from the theater’s bar. interior was pretty sad compared to And so, so much cooking at home. restaurants around Baton Rouge. I We’ve started cooking so frequently, mean, it had nothing on a Marc Fresh in fact, that it’s pushed us to mural or a pretty wallpapered bar. supplement our regular grocery But I still remember it vividly: shopping by experimenting with digging into a family pack from Rocca, new ingredients at local shops like with my car speakers providing the Cannatella Grocery and Fashion India grainy soundtrack for our dinner. We and Groceries. only ate our pizzas after sanitizing our I know we all have different dining hands about 50 times, naturally. memories during the pandemic, as I can recall almost every big dining we’ve all had varying comfort levels moment I’ve had since that day, too. handling COVID-19 precautions. Like the first time we tried outdoor But in a way, I think the moments dining during the pandemic—it was we’ve spent with food over the last the most magical meal at Cocha year and half will forever define how downtown. we recollect this strange, hard time. After weeks spent eating from Personally, the pandemic taught me cardboard to-go boxes, it was a serious to appreciate local restaurants in fresh luxury to eat off of plates. We treated ways. ourselves to cocktails and extra I’ve developed new habits and appetizers. traditions—enjoying Taco Tuesdays Sitting outside on that cool, clear on the patio at Modesto Tacos Tequila night at a cozy table, eating the most Whiskey, meeting friends for drinks at delicious meal, chatting with the the picnic tables at The Vintage, always kindest server—it was pure joy. making dine-in reservations ahead of It made me realize how desperately time on OpenTable. I’d missed the restaurant experience, And yes, we’re still using those and how cinematic it feels—getting car tray tables to indulge in take-out. served your meal fresh across different We broke them out recently for the courses, admiring the setting, peoplehot chicken sandwiches from Chicky watching all the characters sitting Sandos. around you. It was really special. Because whether I’m eating off a I remember, too, how nice it was tray table or out of a plastic box, the when indoor dining started to regain food itself still provides a comforting some normalcy this spring and taste of normalcy—even when outside summer. After being vaccinated, it my car windows, nothing is normal really felt like going out in the “roaring at all. 2020s.”

Find Your Fun

Support DBA Members in Downtown Baton Rouge Visit downtownbr.org for upcoming events and places to eat, stay and play! ch ec k ou t al l of ou r me mb er s!

REACH JENNIFER TORMO AT JENNIFER@225BATONROUGE.COM. 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] November 2021

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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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‘FIRE AND ICE ATCHAFALAYA’ BY ANTONIO FERACHI / antonioferachi.com GET FEATURED We love collaborating with local photographers, artists and designers for this page! Shoot us an email at editor@225batonrouge.com to chat about being featured.


This Month [ N O V E M B E R ]

@ BREC BREC’S GOT TALENT!

Highland Road Community Park Grand Pavilion Nov. 4 | 6-8 p.m.

HOLIDAY WREATH MAKING CLASS Lovett Road Park Nov. 4 | 6-8 p.m. Nov. 7 | 2-4 p.m.

NEIGHBORHOOD MOVIE IN THE PARK

T.D. Bickham Park Nov. 5 Flannery Road Park Nov. 12 Independence Community Park Nov. 23

VETERAN’S DAY AT THE ZOO

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

Nov. 6 | 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. | Grounds close at 5 p.m.

E-SPORTS TOURNAMENT: MARIO KART 8 Red Oaks Park

Nov. 6 | noon

HOMAGE TO A HERO: RUBY BRIDGES Milton J. Womack Park

HOOPER HUSTLE Hooper Road Park Nov. 7 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

10 + UNDER TENNIS TOURNAMENT

Highland Road Community Park Tennis Center Nov. 13 | 8:30 a.m.-noon

FALL BREAK HOLIDAY CAMPS Nov. 22-26

RIDE + ROLL

Perkins Road Extreme Sports Park

SATURDAY MORNING STUDIO: RAINY DAY IN LONDON TOWN

Nov. 13 | 2-6 p.m.

Nov. 13 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

Nov. 13 + 14

Milton J. Womack Park

brec.org/holidaycamp

SWAMP ART SHOW FIELD DAYS

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

MINI CARNIVAL + MOVIE IN THE PARK

SUNSHINE SOCIAL: FALL FEST

Nov. 13 | 1-4 p.m.

Nov. 19 | 6-9 p.m.

City-Brooks Community Park

TEEN POP UP & UNPLUG

Highland Road Community Park

Milton J. Womack Park

ZOOLIGHTS BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

Nov. 13 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Nov. 26-Dec. 30 (Closed Christmas Eve + Christmas Day) 5:30-8 p.m. | Grounds close at 9 p.m.

ZOO RUN RUN

CREOLE CHRISTMAS + HOLIDAY FAIR

Nov. 13 | Registration begins at 6:30 a.m.

Nov. 28 | noon-5 p.m.

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

Magnolia Mound

Nov. 6 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

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.


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