This Week's Edition / August 28, 2014

First Bite

Spotlight on Grinning Jupiter’s jams, jellies and more

Baton Rougean Ashley Savoy’s line of Grinning Jupiter jams has gone from hobby to full-time venture over the past four years.

What started as a way for Savoy to show off fresh, seasonal fruits in jellies has now become a full-time business, offering a rotation of 72 flavors of jams year-round and new items like salsas and syrups.

Savoy, who is also a local photographer and manager at Brew Ha-Ha, finds joy in creating sustainable goods, using produce from local farmers.

"I like the idea of knowing where my food is coming from and seeing the process of it being made," she says. "Nowadays, you go into a grocery story, and 99% of it is not local and has some sort of chemical processing. For me, it's about keeping artisan goods alive and sustaining the industry locally."

The popularity of Grinning Jupiter has grown, too. Starting Sept. 6, Grinning Jupiter will be available at Red Stick Spice Company's display at the Main Street Market. The products are now available through Indie Plate, at Alexander Highland Market's pop-up farmers markets and at Brew Ha-Ha.

Business is going so well that Savoy will build a commercial kitchen early next year to get Grinning Jupiter in more local stores.

For more information, check out Savoy's store on Etsy. —Matthew Sigur

A few minutes with Fete Rouge winner Matthew Reed

Chef Matthew Reed of Reed's Catering took home the Best in Show Award at last week's Fête Rouge chef's competition.

Reed won for his "Twins Duet"—an homage to his newly-born twins—which featured a girl's plate of Holden strawberry shortbread with a Chambord and Mayhaw milkshake as well as a boy's plate of Guinness vanilla ice cream and house-made Feaux Ore-eaux. The dishes also took first place in the dessert category.

For Reed, who placed third in the meat category at last year's festivities, the win is still a bit surreal, and he was humbled by the victory.

"I know the amount of years of experience in that room," he says. "It's such a competitive atmosphere. Months before the event, the chefs are all planning the things they're going to do. People put their best foot forward. Everybody wants to take home the hardware." Read the full story.


‘225’: Dining In gets you prepared for kickoff

Satisfy football fans at your tailgate with a delicious and festive menu. With the Tigers' season kicking off this weekend, now is a great time to pick up the August 225 and see what Tracey Koch and Stephanie Riegel have prepared in the monthly feature Dining In. The two contributors have prepared a menu of great food with tons of LSU spirit. Among the dishes is a Spicy Purple Rice Arancini, an Italian rice ball that is stuffed with cheese, breaded and fried. Read the full story and get all the recipes.

Hanley's Foods' Sensation dressing graduates from LSU Food Incubator

Hanley's Foods' popular Sensation salad dressing has graduated from the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator and will now be manufactured by a co-packer in north Louisiana. Richard Hanley, who has been making his Hanley's Foods salad dressings at the incubator since it opened last July, will now be able to produce 650 gallons of the Sensation dressing a day.

"This is a huge accomplishment," says Gaye Sandoz, food incubator director. "Reaching the level of sales needed to be accepted by a co-packer is no easy task. Richard has a great product that we've enjoyed helping him improve, and he's worked very hard to market it and grow his business." Read the full story.

Du Jour

From Spatula Diaries: How to sell family dinner

Most parents don't realize it, but there's an easy way to get your kids to enjoy eating. It's all about selling what you're cooking by typing up and posting a menu on the fridge, Maggie Heyn Richardson writes in her latest blog post. By using the same techniques restaurants do and describing food with flowery language, kids will be intrigued by the irresistible dishes on display. Still, there's also a practical side to typing up the week's menu. "Creating a typed and posted menu full of delicious-sounding food forces you to plan, shop and cook," Richardson writes. Read the full story.


Tin Roof releases new seasonal beer

Baton Rouge's Tin Roof Beer is releasing a new fall seasonal beer, Turnrow, this week. The coriander ale will be available on draft at select establishments and in cans at a few local grocery stores, Tin Roof co-founder William McGehee says. The beer is a "football seasonal," McGehee says, that is "perfect for tailgating." The local brewery is also nearly finished work on its taproom, which should be ready by the end of September. In the new space, Tin Roof will serve beers most days a week as well as specialty one-time kegs and events. "The beauty of it is we'll be able to experiment with all different types of stuff," McGehee says. Read the full story.

Bayou Teche releases new Belgian-style wheat ale

Arnaudville's Bayou Teche Brewing celebrates its new ale, Teche Hombres, at its taproom (1106 Bushville Highway, Arnaudville, LA, 70512) Saturday noon-7 p.m. The event includes music from Diego Martin-Perez of the Choupique High Rollers and Chris Segura of Feufollet as well as fish tacos and more from the Cajun Flavor Cooking food truck. The new beer is a limited edition brew that will be packaged in 22-ounce bottles and will initially be available only at the brewery's taproom. Teche Hombres' name is a nod to the ZZ Top album, Tres Hombres, and the beer is a Belgian-style wheat ale brewed with organic Agave nectar. The beer is finished with Spanish orange peel and Peruvian Aji Limon peppers from Lafayette's own Primo's Peppers. For more information, visit or call (337) 303-8000. —Matthew Sigur


Now open: Fresh Kitchen

Fresh Kitchen, a new restaurant at 7474 Corporate Blvd. that offers healthy meals to go, is now open with restricted hours. The healthy approach to fast food comes from co-owner Ryan McNeil and chef/co-owner Daniel Dreher, who returned to Louisiana after working in New York City and St. Louis, Missouri. Fresh Kitchen offers around 35 menu items, including breakfast selections, and has a focus on proteins such as bison, beef, vegetarian and vegan dishes.

"We wanted to provide a broad range of dishes that would apply to people who have specific dietary goals as well as the person who is just looking for a healthier alternative," McNeil says.

Most dishes come in a regular or small size that can be easily heated. Some of the menu items include a honey mustard chicken entrée with roasted red potatoes and sautéed carrots, vegetarian lasagna and tofu pad Thai. View the full menu here.

The restaurant will expand its business hours within the next week, according to McNeil. For now, Fresh Kitchen is open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, call 367-1117 or visit —Matthew Sigur

Portico owners renovate Southdowns restaurant, close Coursey location

Portico, a Louisiana bar and grill that originated in Monroe, has closed one of its two locations in the Capital City. The restaurant's Coursey Boulevard location, which opened in June 2012, closed last Sunday. Co-owner Stephen Walker says the decision was made to consolidate efforts on the Southdowns location at 4205 Perkins Road, which opened in January.

"It was becoming an issue of consistency between the two locations," Walker says. "We wanted to focus on making the best Portico brand we could, and we felt like the Southdowns location had more potential in the future."

The Perkins Road restaurant has been renovated, with a new patio with room for 40 patrons. The interior is now one "big wide open space," Walker says, with booths and tables and the dining room flowing into the bar area. Executive chef Josh Hebert was also brought in, focusing on a menu that was revamped with the help of local food writer Jay Ducote. Read the full story.


My Sugarbelle hosts Michael Jackson week

It's no secret that My Sugarbelle owner Kasie Coleman is a fan of Michael Jackson. To celebrate the life of the "King of Pop," who would have celebrated his 56th birthday Friday, Coleman's bakery is hosting an exclusive menu of cupcakes through Saturday.

On the menu is six flavorful creations named after Jackson's hit songs. There's the "Black or White," which is half yellow and half chocolate cake. The menu also includes "Thriller," which features caramel cake topped with cream cheese frosting, toasted pecans, chocolate ganache and caramel; "Smooth Criminal," a White Russian alcohol-infused treat; "Dangerous," a chocolate toffee cake topped with toffee butter cream, Heath toffee pieces and chocolate ganache; "Billie Jean," a butter cake topped with butter cream frosting; and "Dirty Diana," a cookies and cream cupcake topped with Oreo cream cheese frosting.

For more information, click here or call 349-8368. —Matthew Sigur

Check out the Capital Chefs’ Showcase next week

Cancer Services hosts the 32nd annual Capital Chefs' Showcase next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the River Center. The event puts the spotlight on local cuisine and caterers and also features live music, an open bar and silent and live auctions. Food will be provided by Chef Don Bergeron Enterprises, Juban's, Portobello's Grill and many more. Tickets are $100. For more information, click here.


Heads up: Trevor’s Wish citywide food drive starts next week

Trevor's Wish, a community organization started last year in memory of Trevor Sims' wish to feed the hungry in Baton Rouge, will kick off its citywide food drive with a party at Caliente Mexican Craving (1072 W. Lee Drive) next Tuesday, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Those who bring one canned good will receive a free scoop of ice cream. The event, which coincides with September’s Hunger Action Month, will also feature a patio party for kids and families. For more information on Trevor's Wish and how you can help, click here or watch the video below.

‘Business Report’: Stabiler buys more property near restaurant under development on Jefferson

Wayne Stabiler, owner of restaurants such as The Little Village, Le Creolé and Stab's Steak and Seafood, closed deals last week on two properties worth $1.25 million that are adjacent to the site of a new restaurant under development on Jefferson Highway. Read the full story from Business Report.

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