Baton Rouge is establishing itself as a food destination. Every day, more and more food news is cooking in the area. A new weekly feature to Red, “Leftovers” is a roundup of the latest on the local food and restaurant scene.

Ducote taps friends for pop-up dinner

“Food Network Star” runner-up Jay Ducote is keeping busy. Next week, he will team up with fellow “Food Network Star” competitor Rue Rusike and Baton Rougean Jesse Romero of “MasterChef” for a three-course pop-up dinner.

The event, called “Too Many Cooks,” takes place at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $15 online.

Ducote will serve up a cast iron cauldron of red beans with smoked andouille. Rusike will prepare Zimbabwean-inspired oxtail and okra stew with sadza. Romero’s dish will be jalapeño honey glazed chicken thighs with rosemary and sage-roasted fingerling potatoes. For more information, visit

L’Auberge BR hires new pastry chef

L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge has hired an award winner to take care of its property’s pastries.

L’Auberge announced last week that Tricia Nash is its new executive pastry chef.

Nash, a 20-year veteran in the culinary world, has won more than 30 medals in international pastry competitions. Most recently, she worked in the same position at the Motor City Casino in Detroit.

At L’Auberge, Nash will lead pastry production in 18 Steak, Bon Temps Buffett, PJ’s Café, Stadium Sports Bar & Grill and at all banquets and events. For more information, visit

Fresh Kitchen opens second location

Foodies looking for a quick meal in the Willow Grove area can head to Fresh Kitchen.

The fast-casual restaurant that serves healthy, heatable breakfast, lunch and dinner items has opened its second location at The Village at Willow Grove. The second store is about half the size of the first location, which opened last year around this time at 7474 Corporate Blvd.

The new Fresh Kitchen opened Saturday and has business hours of 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

Co-owners Ryan McNeil and chef Daniel Dreher are also working on new menu items to debut soon. For more information, visit

Town hall meeting re: beer garden planned

Some Mid City residents are championing Dave Remmetter and Brian Baiamonte’s latest idea of putting a beer garden on the corner of Government Street and Steele Boulevard. However, others have concerns that the bar might hurt the community.

Before any construction begins, Remmetter and Baiamonte will have to get approval to rezone the lot for a bar. On Monday, the developers will make a presentation on their proposal at a 6 p.m. town hall meeting at Grace Mid City Baptist Church, 630 Richland Ave. Councilwoman Denise Marcelle will receive comments from the public.

Rue Orleans, formerly on College, moving

Rue Orleans, a breakfast and lunch spot located in a shopping strip at 3145 College Drive, will relocate. According to a post on the business’ Facebook page, the eatery is looking for a new location. The announcement was posted nearly a month ago. Phone calls about the relocation were not returned in time for press.

The restaurant was in its soft opening phase earlier this summer after about a year of delays. Before opening, owner Katrina Wyman told reporters that Rue Orleans would specialize in New Orleans style po-boys, seafood platters and beignets. For more information, visit

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.