Baton Rouge Art League members are knowledgeable about more than fine arts. They know a thing or two about good food, too. So, when they rave about a dish, it’s best to check it out.

The Cheddar Cheese Dip With Raspberries prepared by Sheryl Campbell, refreshments committee chairwoman, for the organization’s January meeting garnered plenty of attention. She adapted the savory dish from two similar dishes that use the “old-fashioned” ingredients of sharp cheddar, pecans and onions, which are shaped into a ring. Sweet preserves are spooned into the center of the ring.

The Junior League of Baton Rouge always served a similar dip at its meetings in the 1970s and 1980s, Campbell said. “Jan Hill made it every time but with strawberry preserves,” she recalled.

Campbell said her version looks the same as Hill’s, but “I changed it to my taste. I use much less onion.” And, she combined her recipe with an “old staple that originated in the Mississippi Delta. It’s very popular there for parties, coffees and potluck suppers at church, and you wouldn’t dare have a funeral meal without it.”

The secret to her Cheddar Cheese Dip, Campbell said, is the Mouli grater, a hand-held, two-piece French rotary grater used for grating small amounts of food.

“It makes fine little strings of cheese,” Campbell said.

She also hand grates the onion, using the larger hole on a box grater or flat grater. Her Cheddar Cheese Ring With Raspberries would make a delicious start to a Valentine’s Day celebration.

Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter at @CheramieSonnier