The fifth annual Men Who Cook fundraiser, held recently on the top level of the Justice Center Parking Garage in downtown Covington, saw 17 teams competing for the Top Taste trophy. 

The Judges Choice awards went to The Shack and parish District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s brisket machaca over polenta in first place, with Covington City Councilman Rick Smith’s dish and Paul Myers' tempting pickled wild Louisiana shrimp offering following close behind.

People’s Choice winners included Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz’s lamb lollipops, as well as State Sen. Jack Donahue and Smith.

Other celebrity chefs included Mark Johnson and Randy Ponthieux, Monty Fontenot, Kevin Cavaretta, Dwayne Stein, Frank Jabbia, Doug Ferrer, Don Dubuc and Louie Dubuc, Bubby Brister, Charlie Thomason, Chav Pierce and Bryan Huval, Clay Madden, and Patrick McMath.

Judges were Tom Fitzmorris, Jeff Young and Ann Maloney.

Desserts were prepared by the ProStart culinary programs at Northshore and Fontainebleau high schools, and as the sun set behind the pine trees, guests were entertained by Four Unplugged.

The unique venue is always a popular attraction. Paired with an outstanding silent auction and raffle, the event raised more than $60,000 for The Children’s Advocacy Center — Hope House.

The nonprofit organization serves victims of child abuse in Washington and St. Tammany parishes. For more information on the center, phone (985) 892-3885 or visit

Home is Where the Art Is

The East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity celebrated its 10th annual Home is Where the Art Is fundraiser at the Northshore Harbor Center on Nov. 17.

The auction presented a wide variety of fine works from many prominent Louisiana artists, and proceeds help support Habitat.

The emcee for the event, a chic purple, green and gold “Laisses Les Bon Temps Rouler”-themed affair, was WWL-TV reporter Ashley Rodrigue. The Mardi Gras motif enveloped the ballroom, and guests entered in a second-line with the Big E Brass Band. Black linens and large floral arrangements decorated tables, and the music of Overboard kept the dance floor full.

More than 400 guests came out, including many of the 2017 Women Build heroes. Each of 50 “Rosie” heroes was dedicated to raising at least $500 in sponsorships and donating their time and labor to help build a home for a Slidell family.

This year’s Women of Distinction were honored for leading the program. They included Glenda Drennan, Dania Fandal, Dawn Sharpe, Adele Bruce-Smith and Sen. Sharon Hewitt.

Rene Arcemont is president and CEO of the agency. Kentrell Jones is the assistant executive director, leading the board including Chris Kaufmann, Elwin Ordoyne III, Lisa S. Harris, Kristen Stanley-Wallace, Kelly Rodriguez, Amanda Trosclair, Brenda Scofield, James Miller, Kendra Maness, Lesley Beard, Michael Tassin, Tyler Gugliuzza and Vicky Magas.

Missie Arata Noel is a society writer for the north shore. She can be contacted by email at