Smokehouse and Mamie Porter (copy)

Smokehouse Porter, right, and his wife, Miss Mamie, along with the Gutbucket Band, will help reopen Chorum Hall with a 7:30 p.m. show Friday.

Do you love soul food? Here's a chance to celebrate it and, if you want, prove you know how to cook it.

The fourth annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival is scheduled for June 26-27 in downtown Baton Rouge. It will include a talent lineup featuring gospel, contemporary Christian, soul, blues and R&B artists, will honor a beloved restaurant and feature a cooking contest.

Performers will include blues greats SmokeHouse Porter and Miss Mamie, with a guest appearance by Kenny Neal; the blues, soul, funk reggae band Henry Turner Jr. & Flavor and the Listening Room All-Stars featuring singer/songwriter Larry “LZ” Dillon; spoken word artist ‘Nspire and the Inspire band; comedian Eddie “Cool” Deemer, gospel/jazz artist Wyanda Paul; gospel/soul singer Pastor Leon Hutchins; R&B singer Xavie Shorts; reggae artist Simon Oguinye; blues rocker Owen Scott; and folk blues soloist Greg Robinson.

Lizzie’s Restaurant, 8436 Tom Drive, will receive this year's Pioneer Award for outstanding contributions to the soul food industry. It was founded by Lizzie Griffin’s son, Ricky, and daughter, Kwanda, in 2016. Lizzie Griffin was famous in the community for making hearty soul food for patrons of the bar room Night Cap. The restaurant was a hit using her recipes.

The cooking categories are meats, vegetable/side dishes, breads/desserts, appetizers/soups and beverages/ices. Entries will be judged on presentation, taste and the story behind each entry. Ten contestants in each category will be pre-selected by the judging committee. Entry fees are $20 in advance, $30 for walk-ups if slots are available. Contestants need to bring enough food for six people the day of the festival. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each category. For entry forms and information, visit

Presenting sponsor is Louisiana Film Channel. Sponsors include Blue Runner, Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room Museum Foundation, Piyahhhhh!! Seasonings, Cutting Edge Music Conference and River Parishes Tourist Commission. Community Partners are Visit Baton Rouge, Tactical Impact Security, Off Beat Magazine and Where Y’at Magazine and Pushback LLC.

The festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 27, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at River Front Plaza, 300 River Road South in downtown Baton Rouge. The festival is family friendly, free to the public and also features a Vendors Village. VIP tickets, available on the website, include food, beverages and photo ops with the talent. For information, visit or call 225-802-9681.

Email George Morris at