new chef

Cara Peterson has been named executive chef at Rocca Pizzeria.

Restaurants in the greater Baton Rouge area are beginning to reopen their dining rooms, albeit it at only 25% occupancy. And, while the shutdown has put a damper on business, it hasn't stopped local eateries from giving back.

On Monday, May 25, a benefit is being held to support the families of Baton Rouge Police Officer Glenn Hutto, who was killed in the line of duty, and officer Derrick Maglone, who is recovering from injuries on the job.

At Serop's Cafe, 7474 Corporate Blvd., 100% of the proceeds of the sales of its chicken shawarma plate ($10) at its drive-thru window between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. will go to the families. Dudley Debossier Injury Law will match the sales up to $1,000.

For more information, call (225) 201-8100 or visit

New chef at Rocca

Cara Peterson has been named the new executive chef at Rocca Pizzeria, 3897 Government St.

Peterson worked with Pomegranate Hospitality in New Orleans and is the former chef de cuisine at Saba restaurant in New Orleans under chef Alon Shaya.

"She brings extensive culinary experience and talent to help Rocca continue our journey of providing an exceptional dining experience to Mid City," Rocca Pizzeria said in a post on its Facebook page.

For more information, call (225) 478-1286 or visit

Raising Cane's rewards employees

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Throughout the coronavirus crisis, Baton Rouge-based Raising Cane’s has kept all but a handful of its 500 restaurants open nationwide. Only those without drive-thrus have temporarily closed.

Last week, to show its appreciation to its workers, the company distributed $2 million to its crew members. The money is intended to make up for the hours that each crew member agreed to give up at the beginning of the pandemic so all staffers could stay employed.

The brand is also continuing to expand, with three new locations set to open in Texas this month. Raising Cane's also is in the process of hiring 5,000 employees to help support existing restaurants across all of its markets.

For more information, visit

Copeland Foundation honors heroes

The Al Copeland Foundation has presented 1,200 gift cards valued at $25 each to real-life heroes in Louisiana's hospitals as the finale to its “Be a Hero. Thank a Hero.” campaign. 

For the past month, the foundation’s campaign has supported doctors, nurses and first responders across the state with essential care packages, meals and gift cards to several Louisiana-based restaurants, including Drago’s Seafood, Zea Rotisserie & Bar, Parkway Bakery & Tavern, Copeland’s of New Orleans and Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro.

The campaign raised nearly $100,000 and delivered more than 200,000 items to more than 30 hospitals. 

The Rum House closes

Popular Baton Rouge restaurant The Rum House, 2112 Perkins Road, has permanently closed due to the impact of the state's coronavirus restrictions, the business announced on its Facebook page on May 14.

"Like most small businesses and many in the restaurant industry, the impact of COVID 19 Pandemic has been devastating," the post read. "We are incredibly grateful to our Baton Rouge staff for their service and thankful to all our customers for their patronage over the last 6 years."

Email Robin Miller at