Covington chef participating in Best of Mid-South Friends event _lowres

Photo from Taste of Home -- Halloween snacks don't have to be sweet. Pepper Popper Fingers, made with jalapeno peppers, are baked instead of fried, making them a scary and healthful choice.

Jeffrey Hansell, chef/owner of the new Oxlot 9 restaurant in Covington, will be one of six chefs participating in the Best of the Mid-South Friends of James Beard Benefit dinner on Nov. 8 at The Peabody Memphis hotel in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The six-course dinner will showcase signature dishes from each chef, along with wine pairings.

Hansell, who specializes in Gulf-inspired Southern food, opened Oxlot 9 in August in the newly restored Southern Hotel in downtown Covington. Formerly at the Verandah on Highland in Birmingham, Alabama, Hansell was a finalist for Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Chef 2014, Gulf Coast region. He previously worked under chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace and at John Besh’s Lüke New Orleans.

Also participating in the dinner will be Andreas Kisler, executive chef of The Peabody Memphis and Chez Phillipe; Gary Hawkins, executive chef of 1908 Provisions in Jackson, Mississippi; Matthew Bell, chef/co-owner of South on Main in Little Rock, Arkansas; Regina Charboneau, of Natchez, Mississippi, chef de cuisine of the American Queen riverboat; and Konrad Spitzbart, executive pastry chef of The Peabody Memphis.

Cost is $175 per person for James Beard Foundation members and $200 for nonmembers, plus tax and gratuity. Proceeds benefit the James Beard Foundation and Methodist Foundation Hospital Transplant Fund. For reservations, call (901) 529-4183.

The James Beard Foundation was founded in 1986 to celebrate, nurture and preserve America’s diverse culinary heritage.

For more information, visit

Restaurant R’evolution

Restaurant R’evolution at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily through December.

Breakfast is available from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday-Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sunday. There’s a jazz brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday while on Saturday, it’s lunch bar service only beginning at 11:30 a.m. Dinner is available from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

The restaurant is located at 777 Bienville St. in the French Quarter. Call (504) 553-2277.

Newk’s Eatery

Jackson, Mississippi-based Newk’s Eatery, a fast-casual restaurant brand, plans to expand its Louisiana presence by four restaurants in the first quarter of 2015, including opening two company-owned Baton Rouge restaurants plus two franchise locations in West Monroe and Ruston.

The first Baton Rouge restaurant will open in the LSU northgate area at 3332 Lake St., in the former Mr. Gatti’s building. The 4,500 square-foot restaurant will include indoor dining for up to 150 and a patio with space for nearly 70 more.

The second Baton Rouge location, still in the design phase, will be at 7201 Corporate Boulevard in Towne Center at Cedar Lodge. The restaurants will mark the 11th and 12th company-owned stores in the 70-restaurant chain, a company news release said.