In case you’ve missed them, we’ve introduced two new features to the pages of Food this summer.

Both had a “soft” opening so to speak when they first appeared, so you may not have noticed them. But they’re proving to be a positive addition to the section, and I’d like to give them a formal welcome.

The first is the Fresh Ideas column contributed by local food blogger Helana Brigman, a 25-year-old native of New England and a graduate student in English at LSU.

Brigman grew up in a foodie family and learned to cook from her mom, who was a restaurant chef.

She is passionate and articulate on the subject of food, and delights in creating fresh, interesting dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious.

Her blog,, is as impressive as any I’ve seen and has a growing following. That’s due, I think, to the fact that her recipes, for the most part, are very doable, even for people who don’t have much time to cook.

She makes it all seem manageable and fun, while staying abreast of the latest food trends and using plenty of fresh, healthful ingredients.

The other new column is The Wingman, a monthly feature written by Dr. Everett Bonner Jr., a local surgeon and another great foodie.

Bonner grew up in New Orleans and learned the basics of good cooking from his mom, whom he describes as one of the best cooks he’s ever met.

He also got some professional culinary experience while in his early 20s in the kitchens of Mr. B’s Bistro in the French Quarter and the Magnolia Café here in Baton Rouge.

The Magnolia Café is no longer in business, as its owner Cannon Clegg has relocated to Jackson, Miss. But Bonner is proud to note that his signature dish from the Magnolia menu - Chicken Everett - remains a staple on the menu of Clegg’s Jackson eatery.

Bonner’s column, The Wingman, specializes in appetizers and other side dishes that - like a wingman - will always complement a main course and make sure all the bases are covered.

He’s got a terrific sense of humor, a great writing style and favors rich, hearty, occasionally decadent dishes, which certainly have a place in this section.

I hope you appreciate the fresh voices and perspective that Brigman, a young woman, and Bonner, a man, bring to this section. Both have a lot to offer!