LSU group sets drive to benefit food bank

The Student Dietetic Association at LSU is holding its annual spice drive through March 31.

The drive, benefitting the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, is part of the student association’s activities for National Nutrition Month. It is seeking donations of salt-free dried herbs and spices, which will go to low-income residents with chronic diseases that will be helped with a low-sodium diet.

Food Bank donation barrel locations include the LSU Student Union, Middleton Library, the Human Ecology Building and Knapp Hall, all on the LSU campus, and at The Fresh Market, 10555 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge.

SDA will also host a spice drive collection event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23 at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, 5255 Highland Road, Baton Rouge.

For more information on the SDA Spice Drive, contact LSU Alumni professor Carol O’Neil at (225) 578-1631 or email

Italian chef to teach classes at Fresina

Maurizio Moretti, a visiting chef from Florence, Italy, will teach two cooking classes at Fresina Pasta Co. & Italian Specialities, 3458 Drusilla Lane, Suite B, Baton Rouge. Theme of the classes is “If you can’t be in Italy, we’ll bring Italy to you!”

Moretti’s first class is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. March 22-23, and the second class is set for the first weekend in April. Cost of each class is $75.

The menu for the March class includes a trio of crostini, handmade pasta ravioli with spinach and ricotta with butter and sage and strawberry tiramisu.

Moretti, 52, is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Arts of Chioggia.

Call Linda Fresina at (225) 926-1341 for reservations.

John Besh to speak at BR food conference

Nationally known New Orleans chef and restaurateur John Besh will be a featured speaker Thursday at the 2013 Louisiana Food Processors Conference in Baton Rouge. He will be speaking on using local ingredients in food products, including why using locally grown products is good for business.

Other presentations at the conference, which began Wednesday, will focus on foods and obesity and diabetes and on marketing through social media.

The conference is a partnership among Louisiana Economic Development, the LSU AgCenter, the Louisiana food processing industry and allied supporters. For more information, contact Ashley Gutierrez at (225) 578-5207.

Edible Schoolyard benefit slated

NEW ORLEANS — The Edible Garden at Samuel J. Green Charter School, 2319 Valence St., will be the setting for An Edible Evening, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans’ annual garden party under the stars, on March 21.

The event benefits five school gardens and two teaching kitchens in the FirstLine Schools network.

An Edible Evening features more than 25 restaurants, live music, a silent auction and specialty cocktails. Presqu’ile Winery, of Santa Maria, Calif., is title sponsor and provides exclusive wine. Music includes Seguenon Kone and NOCCA Jazz Ensemble.

An Edible Evening will be from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. March 21. Patron hour begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $45, available at, or $50 at the door. Patron tickets start at $250.

The fourth annual An Edible Evening fundraiser will support garden expansions and programs such as parent cooking classes, after-school programs, kitchen and wellness programming, as well as a new 1-acre Edible Garden and hands-on Teaching Kitchen at Arthur Ashe Charter School and development of an Outdoor Classroom at Langston Hughes Academy.

Hogs for the Cause tickets still available

New Orleans — Tickets are still available for the fifth annual Hogs for the Cause benefit and cook-off.

The event to raise money for families coping with pediatric brain cancer will be held from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. March 22 and from 11 am. to 10 p.m. March 23 at City Park Festival Grounds.

The event includes cooking teams competing in the Ben Serrat Jr. “High on the Hog” pork cook-off, public sampling, pork dishes for purchase, cocktails and live music.

Tickets are $15 if purchased online or $20 at the gate. There also is a March 22 gala dinner prepared by Southern chefs. Gala tickets are $250 online or $300 at the gate. Visit

Compiled by Food staff