It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. So when the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society asked me and co-workers Lou Hudson and Emily Ward to help judge wines at its Fête Rouge Food & Wine Fête on Aug. 23 at the L’Auberge Event Center, we couldn't say no.

The tasting had one of its largest crowds ever. And, among those sampling the 200-plus wines and the culinary delights created by local restaurants and caterers were Jay Ducote, Heather Day, Amy Strother, coach Roger Cador, Melanie and Craig Vitrano, Beth and Steve Tope, Tom Tanner, Barbara and Mickey Frieberg, Helen Graf, Justin McDonald, Elizabeth Vowell, Graham Ulkins, Jim Urdiales, Y’Zell Williamson, Donté Phillips, Gerron Jordan Patty and Mike DePaulFranz Borghardt and his wife, Shannon Fay, and Chad Sabadie, who served as the night’s emcee.

Chef Leroy Harrison, of Cullinary Excellence, and chef Darrell Harris, of Southern Fusion Catering, took home People's Choice and Best in Show awards for their respective dishes of Sweet Potato Cheesecake and Panko Crusted Shrimp Burgers and Pigs in a Blanket Revenge.

Opéra Louisiane

The night before, I popped into Opéra Louisiane’s Summer Soirée at the Crowne Plaza. Aside from the scoop on the upcoming season, guests were entertained by sopranos Elana Gleason and Ashley Nunez, tenor Kyle Melton and baritone Eric Morgan. They were accompanied by pianist Louis Wendt.

Members of the host committee included Kathy and Ed Baker, Michael Calabrese, Marie Constantin, Warren Fraser and John Jackson, Evelyn Hayes and Helen Pope, Barbara and Camp Matens, Norman Theriot and Chairwoman Bettsie Miller.

'Lies that Bind'

When authorities discovered the body of local TV personality Scott Rogers five years ago, Baton Rouge was shocked to say the least. It inspired Rannah Gray to write a book titled "Familiar Evil," which in turn inspired the kickoff of a new series, "The Lies That Bind," on Investigation Discovery. Rannah invited a group of friends to watch the episode, "Cult of Personality," with her on Aug. 22 at Uncle Earl's. We were spellbound like we were when we heard the news about Rogers and cultlike family he had created. 

Delta debs

Mackenzie Raegan Bell was crowed queen on Aug. 3 of the 54th annual Debutante Cotillion hosted by the Baton Rouge Delta Development Corp. and Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at the Renaissance Hotel. She also received the top entrepreneurial award and the Sadie Conner Keel Scholarship. Bell is the daughter of Wanda and Michael T. Bell. She was escorted by London Xavier Scretchen Drummond.

Also on the court were First Princess Brionna Julia James, daughter of Melissa and Bruce James, and escorted by Kyle Maurice Parker; Second Princess Tahirah La’Trice Forté, daughter of Sherice D. Forté and Tahir L. Forté, and escorted by Kerry Dontrell Jenkins, of Atlanta; First Maid Zion Kim Ross, daughter of Karen Williams-Ross and Kim Anthony Ross, and escorted by Jordan Griffin; and Second Maid Daria Joy Carter, daughter of Tiffany and Adrian Carter, escorted by Jacob Riley Shelton and recipient of the Miss Congeniality Award.

Rounding out the debutante coterie were Naana Alberta Ennin, daughter of Sophia and Ato Ennin, escorted by Tyrease Hamilton; Jahmaya Nicole Glover, daughter of Kenyana Nicole Coates-Glover and Joseph Glover III, escorted by Jachius Spears; Chloe Olivia Hill, daughter of Yvette and Calvin Hill, escorted by Tanner Allen Colson; Dorian Shaliece Jones, daughter of Shantell and Deron Jones, escorted by Kole Austin Smith; Kenyah Mariah Marie Jones, daughter of Nevard Elbert Jones, of New Orleans, and the late Charlene James Brown, escorted by Braxton Givens; LeahMonet Gloria Morgan, daughter of Gabrielle Brown-Morgan and Warren Eldridge Morgan Jr., escorted by William Dwayne Morgan Jr.; Karrington Deyone Ned, daughter of Keshia N. Roberson and Derrick Ned, escorted by Bryant Bedney; Jhayce Kalisse Smith, daughter of Angelica and Keith Smith, escorted by Brenton Cooper; Kya Lydell Smith, daughter of Danetta Camper-Smith and Carl Smith, escorted by Larry Dewayne Thomas; Quinterria Renae Tennart, daughter of Sheneka and Morel Johnson, escorted by D’Ontae Scott; Skylar Ella Jean Williams, daughter of Melinda and James Anderson Jr., escorted by Jamari Aukeis Valery; Chyna Nicole Williams, daughter of Demetra and Michael Breaux, escorted by Morgan Leslie Patton; Jailen SandraJo Wright, daughter of Shantell Young and the late Julius Wright Sr., escorted by Cody Lamont Rucker Jr.; and Karin E’lane Wright, daughter of Trudi Griffin and Kina Wright Sr., escorted by Jeremiah Harris.

Forté received the Ora Noble Evans Scholarship Award, and Dorian Jones was awarded the Virtle T. Jones Scholarship.

Also recognized at the event were this year’s Community Service Awards recipients: The Walls Project and Executive Director Casey Philips; and Imagination Leads and Executive Director/founder Erika Green.

Krewe of Artemis

David Carlyle Voss and Kim Frischhertz Morgan were crowned King and Queen Artemis XIX at the Krewe of Artemis’s 19th coronation Aug. 24 at the Crowne Plaza. Along with members of their royal court, they will reign at the krewe’s Mardi Gras Soirée on Jan. 18 and lead the Artemis parade on Feb. 14.

Before the coronation, King and Queen Artemis XVIII, Dr. Jacob F. Henderson and Dr. Elise Scallan Lalonde, made their final promenade. They were joined by royal maids Abby Frances Blaize and Leanne Adams Livingston and royal dukes Kirby Koch and James Allen Lalonde III.

The evening continued with the introduction of 2020 royal maids Alexis Katherine Antolik, daughter of Tricia Frye and John Antolik Jr.Madison Anne Cheatham, daughter of Katie and Steven Cheatham; and Caroline Rose Uzee, daughter of Dr. Ann and Larry Cook Jr. and Travis and Kim Uzee; and royal dukes Ryan Christopher Bankston, son of Anita Rodrigue Bankston and the late Ray P. “Chip” Bankston Jr.; Daniel Edward Lee, son of Ginger Stevenson and Drs. Matthew and Mimi Singer Lee; and Clay Scott Taylor, son of Michelle and Scott Taylor.

They were followed by princesses Bailey Michelle and Berkley Morgan Duncan, daughters Lindsay Morgan Duncan and Brad DuncanAnna Catherine and Sarah Elizabeth Guidroz, daughters of DrsJennifer and Andrew GuidrozSophie Louise Maltbie, daughter of Dr. Alan and Jennifer Maltbie; and Claire Ann McDowell, daughter of Elizabeth and James F. McDowell IV; and junior dukes Blaise Joseph Calandro IV, son of Dr. Mindy and Blaise Joseph Calandro III; and Adam Charles and John Wesley Marien, sons of Laurie and Jason Marien.

Attending the king and queen were pages Levi Benjamin and Madison Lane Calandro, children of Dr. Mindy and Blaise Joseph Calandro III; David Keith Chauvin III, son of Nicole and David Chauvin Jr.; Jane-Elsie Joy Crawford, daughter of Stephanie and John CrawfordMcCall Genevie Dauzat, daughter of Lauren and Brad DauzatBoyce Miller Duncan, son of Lindsay Morgan Duncan and Brad Duncan; Cecilia Jane Lato, daughter of Cherie and Shaun Lato; and Grayson Taylor Ludwig, son of Mallory Morgan Ludwig and Karl Ludwig.

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