Jay Ducote's ‘Deep Fried’ pilot to air on Travel Channel June 25; future depends on viewer engagement _lowres

Baton Rouge chef Jay Ducote is returning to Food Network on Thursday night to compete on 'Beat Bobby Flay.'

The upcoming White Star Market development has announced its first tenant, and it has a “Food Network Star” finalist on board.

Baton Rougean Jay Ducote has signed on to open Gov’t Taco in the new Government Street development.

White Star Market is slated to begin construction later this spring with an anticipated opening date in 9-to-10 months.

Ducote’s concept will feature a wide range of creative tacos.

“The taco is just the perfect vessel to distribute any flavors,” he said. “I love tacos. Lots of people love tacos. It’s something I felt I can do anything I wanted and put it in a taco.”

Ducote said that Gov’t Taco will not feature very many traditional Mexican flavors, but more of the stuff inspired by his cooking style and utilizing his products.

“Really, it can take us wherever our imagination goes,” Ducote said. “We will just operate with a lot of flexibility with seasonal flavors and daily specials, driving home the creativity side.”

Ducote is the popular writer and creator of the Bite & Booze blog, which features the Baton Rougean talking about the food and beer he loves at home and abroad.

On season 11 of “Food Network Star,” Ducote’s popularity rose across the nation as he competed week in and week out to become the next television star for the network.

Ducote was a finalist on the show and has since launched a product line, which features a barbecue sauce and molasses mustard.

Ducote said he’s ready for the general public to try his food.

“Up till now at least, the masses of Baton Rouge haven’t really been able to taste the food that I cook,” he said. “I’ve done a fair amount of pop-up dinners, barbecue demos and things like that. This will be my first time to put my time on a legit food service establishment. Certainly, there’s pressure with that for the tacos we produce to live up to lofty expectations. We’re going to have to be creative, inventive, and just straight up good.”

In a press release, White Star Market co-owner Clark Gaines said that Ducote is “synonymous not only with the food culture in Louisiana, but the emergence of changing trends within the Baton Rouge food scene as well.”

The White Star Market was a huge selling point for Ducote bringing his concept to life.

“I had been telling people that I had no interest in opening a brick and mortar,” Ducote said. “Having a booth in this market was really the right answer for that transition from having nothing to having something.”

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter @MatthewSigur.