whitestarred_TS_70.081718 for RED 052419

'Founding Father' Jay Ducote, left, and 'Majority Whip' Therese Schneider gather at their shop, Gov't Taco, in White Star Market. Ducote is in India this week co-hosting a workshop on food entrepreneurship.

Jay Ducote reps BR in India

Baton Rouge food entrepreneur Jay Ducote is serving this week as a U.S. culinary ambassador to Kolkata, India. Ducote and Dallas, Texas-based chef Tiffany Derry led a three-day culinary entrepreneurship workshop in the east India city as part of a program organized by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Consulate in India and Indo-American Center.

Ducote runs the Bite and Booze blog and radio show, has appeared on Food Network and is the owner of Gov't Taco in Baton Rouge's White Star Market. In the workshop (which took place May 20-22) for food and beverage business owners in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, Ducote and Derry shared advice on topics like social media and food TV to launching culinary product lines and opening new restaurants.

"This opportunity to represent the United States, Louisiana and my hometown of Baton Rouge is a huge honor," Ducote said in a statement. You can see updates from Ducote on his trip by following his social media: On Facebook at facebook.com/HugJayD and @jayducote on Instagram and Twitter.

IceHouse re-opens

With more draft beers and a new coat of paint, the IceHouse at 14111 Airline Highway has re-opened. The neighborhood bar and grill originally opened in 2013 and closed earlier this year. The business was purchased by Anthony Gallo, whose family owns Cadillac Cafe, and re-opened as IceHouse Tap Room on May 18.

Major changes weren't made to the business, Gallo said, but some cosmetic renovations were done, like fresh paint, clean decor and bathroom fixes. The biggest difference is the addition of 24 new draft beer taps, bringing the tap selection to 32, with a focus on local and craft beers. The spirits selection has been slightly expanded, and the bar will feature regular drink specials. The menu has also been simplified, and new flatbread pizza and cheese bread dishes added.

IceHouse Tap Room is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday. More information can be found at facebook.com/IceHouseBatonRouge.

jamfestsatasc.060117 750_6191.jpg for RED 052419

Todd Breaux stirs his jambalaya during the 50th Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales on Saturday, May 27, 2017. The 52nd edition of the festival takes place this weekend at the Gonzales festival grounds.

Sammy's Grill Zachary to close

Father's Day (June 16) will be the last day for Sammy's Grill in Zachary. The restaurant, which has operated in Zachary for almost 20 years, announced on its Facebook page last week that it is closing the Zachary location in order to focus on other Sammy's Grill locations.

The Baton Rouge institution has locations on Highland Road, on Airline Highway in Prairieville and in Central on Wax Road. Companies "consolidate and reallocate their resources to further their brand as a whole, and it is with this mindset that we make this decision," Sammy's said on Facebook. More can be found at facebook.com/SammysZachary.

Walk-On's strikes the weekend's first twang

Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar on Burbank Drive will kick off the Memorial Day and/or Bayou Country Superfest weekend with a block party at 6 p.m. Friday, May 24. Along with food and drinks specials, the free event will include music by Americana band Vidalia and Texas-based, country singer-songwriter Abby Anderson.

Walk-On's is located at 3838 Burbank Drive. For more information, go to facebook.com/walkonsburbank.

Jambalaya Festival stirs up a 52nd year

The 52nd annual Gonzales Jambalaya Festival gets cooking Friday, May 24, at the town's festival grounds (219 S. Irma Blvd., Gonazales), with music, carnival rides and games, a car show, 5K and 1-mile run, cooking contests and, of course, the signature dish of the "Jambalaya capital of the world." The free festival runs through Sunday, May 26. This year's music lineup includes Foret Tradition, the Chee Weez, Wayne Toups, Nite Train with Mike and Steve Broussard, Chris LeBlanc and Boogie Long and more.

More information about can be found at jambalayafestival.net.


Follow Jake Clapp on Twitter @Jake_Clapp