"Good people, good food, good stories. This book is Louisiana!—Jeffrey Marx, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Season of Life

 Tasty and amazing stories about our favorite subject, FOOD!” – Emeril & Alden Lagasse

"We eat, drink and tell the story of our lives, our loves, our hope, our dreams.  Sweeney-McDonald has hit upon the idea of putting this all in the pages of a beautiful glossy coffee table book....and this is a book that deserves to be read." - Samuel Bernstein, West Hollywood News

“Peggy draws attention not only to our food, but also to the people who make it part of the character of Louisiana.” —Chef John Besh, author of My New Orleans and My Family Tableamh

 “I'm laughing, I'm hungry, I'm happy - when is the next edition?”- Lally Brennan co-proprietor of Commander's Palace and co-author of In The Land of Cocktails

Click book cover to buy now

Excited to Partner with the Community Action Partnership of Orange County & OC Food Bank for a Hope for the Holidays Fundraiser - Sunday, October 1st

posted Sep 1, 2017, 7:23 AM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Sep 21, 2017, 5:24 AM ]

We are excited to be partnering with the Community Action Partnership of Orange County for a fundraiser. All proceeds will go towards the Hope for the Holidays Campaign benefitting low-income families in Orange County, California during the holidays. The festive event will be held on Sunday, October 1, 2017, and take place at the Old Ranch Country Club located at 3901 Lampson in Seal Beach, California 90740. A cocktail party will begin at 5:00PM with music, appetizers, cash bar and a silent auction. The first ever "Hope for the Holidays" themed Meanwhile Back at Cafe Du Monde... Life Stories About Food monologue show will begin at 6:15PM.  

Peggy Sweeney-McDonald will be the emcee and will share the tasty journey of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... from idea, to show to book and more!  The Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... Life Stories About Food coffeetable/cookbook by Pelican Publishing will be available for purchase and signing after the show.

Advanced Tickets are $50 an can be purchased online until September 29th. Tickets at the door can be purchased for $60.  

For more information email: or call Peggy Sweeney-McDonald at 310-709-2851.

Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... at Eliza Restaurant - Sunday, September 17th

posted Aug 21, 2017, 5:20 PM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald

We are excited to partner with Chef Russell Davis and his wife, Sally Davis, owners of the hot new Baton Rouge restaurant, Eliza to produce the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... show.  Eliza Restaurant opened in late 2016 to rave reviews and the accolades keep coming!  The Advocate's review called it a "a jam packed food stretch that is a must to visit!" The Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... show will be presented with a three course dinner on Sunday, September 17th.  Dinner will begin at 6:00PM and the Show will begin at 6:45PM.  

                                                                           Chef Russell and Sally Davis, Owners of Eliza

Chef Russell and Sally Davis will be sharing their food stories, along with Franz N. Borghardt, owner of Geaux Rouge and Baton Rouge Brunches, Fairleigh Jackson, Executive Director of Preserve Louisiana and Anne Milneck, owner of Red Stick Spice Company. Peggy Sweeney-McDonald will emcee.

                                                                                                Franz N. Borghardt

                                                                                                Fairleigh Cook Jackson

                                                                                                    Anne Milneck

                                                                                            Peggy Sweeney-McDonald

Limited Seats available so advance ticketing is highly recommended.  Tickets are $45 (plus tax and gratuity) for dinner and show. Cocktails and wine available for purchase.  Call 225-349-8895 for tickets or email

Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... Celebrates the Baton Rouge Bicentennial with Food Stories at the East Baton Rouge Library - Sunday, August 13th

posted Aug 6, 2017, 7:37 AM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Aug 6, 2017, 9:09 PM ]

What better way to celebrate the Baton Rouge Bicentennial then to share Baton Rouge food stories!  We are excited to partner with the East Baton Rouge Library located at 7711 Goodwood Boulevard to produce the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... show with Baton Rouge foodies sharing their life stories around food on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 6:00PM.  Doors open at 5:30PM.  This is a free community event with refreshments to follow including gourmet donuts and the signature "Peggy-Meanwhile" beignet/donut created by Kara Castille of Thee Heavenly Donuts.

Storytellers sharing their tasty food stories include:

Emcee will be Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, Creator of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... who will be sharing the journey of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... from idea the inspired by Lisa Annitti's now famous "Coconut Pie and a Bottle of Wine Story", to the show to the best selling book of same name by Pelican Publishing and more. 

The Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... show premiered on May 16, 2010 at the Myrtles Plantation with 15 Baton Rouge foodies as the original cast of storytellers. Since then, the show has been produced across the country with close to 400 storytellers and over 80 shows held in restaurants, fundraisers and corporate events. The show is produced by Superstar Events-LA, the meeting and event company owned by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald.

A New Generation of Food Stories... Peggy Sweeney-McDonald Leads a Teen Workshop at East Baton Rouge Library

posted Aug 1, 2017, 4:22 PM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Aug 2, 2017, 1:07 PM ]

Before moving back to Baton Rouge, Louisiana from Los Angeles last year, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald partnered with drama teacher Hank Amigo at Hale Charter School for a 6th Grade Introduction to Drama/Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... workshop. The 42 sixth graders wrote their food stories and performed them in a fabulous show for their parents, families and friends. It was a huge success, a sold out crowd of 200 people and the ticket sales went to the drama department to help support their future productions.

                                                         Hale Charter School Drama Students with Peggy Sweeney-McDonald

When Peggy met Mary Stein, Executive Director, and Chaundra Johnson, Community Programming Coordinator, of the East Baton Rouge Library at the 2016 Louisiana Book Festival, Peggy suggested they partner and produce a Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... show. Mary thought it would be a great event for the Baton Rouge Bicentennial which is now scheduled for August 13th at 6:00 PM at the Main Library on Goodwood. Mary suggested Peggy also lead a teen workshop for their Teen Summer Program.

                                                                                     Teen Class at the Library with Peggy

On July 24th - 28th, the first Baton Rouge Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... Teen Workshop was held at the Main Library on Goodwood. The group of teens met from 10AM-Noon each day for five days. The first day, they read from the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... Life Stories About Food coffeetable/cookbook by Pelican Publishing. The teens then shared their ideas of  "If I were a food, what would I be and why?"  

On Tuesday, they read more of the stories from the book and then the teens began sharing their ideas for their food stories.  Peyton Segrest, who just graduated from University High School, stopped by to share her food story she had written a few years ago called, "And This Is Why, I Go to L.A."  Her story is about a vacation to Los Angeles to see her Aunt and all the great food experiences including a picnic at the 4th of July concert at Hollywood Bowl and an In and Out Burger at Santa Monica Beach! The teens enjoyed meeting Peyton and they got a first hand look at how she took a fun time in her life and thread her food experiences throughout her story. A photo op ended the class!

                                                                             Peyton Segrest, Guest Storyteller with Class

Wednesday, the teens had their stories written and typed up by the end of the class.  They took the stories home to begin rehearsing. On Thursday and Friday, Peggy directed them and they punched up the stories up with energy and body language.  At the end of the class on Friday, they were excited and ready to perform!

At 6:00PM on Saturday night, they performed their food stories at a Meanwhile... show for family and friends. They opened their presentations with "If I were a food, what would I be and why?" and they entertained everyone with their creative food stories. The audience members joined in and several wanted to share what food they would be including Library Executive Director, Mary Stein, several brothers and sisters, plus a Grandmother!

                                                                     Peggy with Teen Storytellers, Tyrel, Nicholas and Ethan

The teens original food stories were about family food memories and Louisiana food culture. The titles included: Vacations with My Father, I Love Me Some New Orleans and My Family Gatherings.  Everyone was entertained and impressed with the talent, level of creativity after only a five day workshop.  It truly was a tasty treat savored by all!

A Tasty Celebration for the 7th Anniversary of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... at the LSU Museum of Art

posted Aug 1, 2017, 2:41 PM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Aug 3, 2017, 7:37 AM ]

                                                     Cast: Kara Castille, James Fox-Smith, Jim Urdiales, Missy Crews, Pam
                                                     Bordelon, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, Paul Arrigo, Bill Profita & Karen Profita

Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... celebrated its 7th Anniversary with a fun filled show of Baton Rouge foodies at the LSU Museum of Art on May 13, 2017 at The Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The event was a fundraiser for the LSU Museum of Art and funds raised will be used for art education.  Renee Bourgeois, the Event Manager, of the museum produced the event along with Peggy Sweeney-McDonald of Superstar Events-LA.  A champagne reception was held in the Museum following the show with fabulous seafood enchiladas by Chef Jim Urdiales of Mestizo's Cajun Mexican Restaurant, delicious Sundried Tomato Orzo Salad by Heirloom Cuisine with beignets, of course, and gourmet donuts by Thee Heavenly Donuts including a signature "Peggy" Meanwhile... donut created by Kara Castille!

                                                                               Beignets and the "Meanwhile/Peggy" Donut
                                                                               created by Kara Castille of Thee Heavenly Donuts

Daniel Stetson, Executive Director of the LSU Museum of Art, welcomed everyone to the museum. Paul Arrigo, President of Visit Baton Rouge, was the emcee. Baton Rouge personalities sharing their life stories around food included:
  • Pam Bordelon, The Advocate, Pam's Party Line
  • Kara Castille, Owner of Thee Heavenly Donuts
  • Missy Crews, former Miss Louisiana/Art Educator/Child Advocate
  • Jim Engster, President of Louisiana Radio Network and host of the Jim Engster Show at 107.3
  • James Fox-Smith, Publisher of Country Roads Magazine
  • Karen Profita, Executive Director of Louisiana Seafood Board
  • Bill Profita, Talk Show Host at 107.3
  • Jim Urdiales, Chef/Owner of Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Restaurant
  • Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, Creator/Producer of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde...
The show begain in Baton Rogue on May 16, 2010, at the Myrtles Plantation with Baton Rouge foodies and has been produced across the country with over 350 personal food storeis told by chefs, restaurant owners, actors, writers, musicians, TV and radio personalities, The Food Network stars, politicians and more! 

The Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... official photographer, Troy Kleinpeter of Kleinpeter Photography was on board to photograph the event. 

                                                                        Creator of Meanwhile, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald
                                                                        and the George Rodrigue Blue Dog at the Museum


Teen Writing/Performing Workshop July 24-29, 2017 at the East Baton Rouge Library

posted Jul 12, 2017, 8:10 PM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald

Creator/Author, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, is leading a Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde... one week teen writing/performance workshop at the East Baton Rouge Library from July 24-28 from 10:00AM – Noon (Monday-Friday).

Taking the inspiration from the live Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… live shows and book by Pelican Publishing, the teens will create their food stories starting with the popular, “If I were a food, I would be ______ and why?” then move on to write and perform their own food stories from their memories of life around food. The workshop ends with a live show for family and friends on Saturday, July 29th at 6:00PM. 

The workshop is free and open to teens from 6th - 12th grade. Call 225-231-2770 to register. The workshop will take place at the East Baton Rouge Library located at 7711 Goodwood Boulevard in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. 

Celebrate the 7th Anniversary of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... at the LSU Museum of Art at The Shaw Center - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 6:30 PM

posted Mar 10, 2017, 10:21 AM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald

We are excited to annouce that the LSU Museum of Art will host the seventh anniversary show of Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… Life Stories About Food on Wednesday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. This unique food story show will be held in the museum’s Bert and Sue Turner Gallery on the third floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts, followed by a champagne reception in the fifth floor museum. Proceeds from this event will benefit the LSU Museum of Art.

Storytellers will include Pam Bordelon, The Advocate, Pam’s Party Line; Missy Crews, former Miss Louisiana; Kara Castille, owner of Thee Heavenly Donuts; Jim Engster, president of Louisiana Radio Network; James Fox-Smith, publisher of CountryRoads  Magazine; Bill Profita, talk show host at 107.3; Jim Urdiales, owner/chef of Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Restaurant and Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, creator/producer of the show and president of Superstar Events-LA. Additional storytellers will be announced at a later date. Paul Arrigo, president of Visit Baton Rouge, will be returning as emcee.

Additional support has been provided by Glazer’s Distributor’s, Heirloom Cuisine, The Heavenly Donut and Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Restaurant.

Tickets are $40 for LSU MOA members and $50 for the general public and includes show and the champagne reception. Limited seating will be available. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 225-389-7210.

For more information about this event, please contact Renee’ Bourgeois at or by calling 225-389-7206.

Meanwhile, Back in Natchez.... Tour - January 27-29th with Preserve Louisiana

posted Feb 6, 2017, 4:01 PM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Feb 7, 2017, 12:24 PM ]

Stanton Hall Group Tour

The first cultural and culinary tour with Preserve Louisiana in Natchez, Mississippi January 27-29th was a memorable weekend filled with history, architecture, culinary, spirits, food stories and most of all friendship. The Natchez community rolled out the red carpet for our group of 25 people from the Baton Rouge Area. Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, creator of Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… hosted and planned the trip along with Fairleigh Jackson, Executive Director and Maleyia Porter, Marketing Coordinator of Preserve Louisiana (formerly the Foundation for Historical Louisiana). It was a great partnership and we hope the first of many to come. The goal of the trip was to explore the neighboring community of Natchez that is a treasure of architecture, culture, food and southern hospitality.

                    This tour was one of the best I have ever experienced. Best food experience ever! – Dorothy Novak

The tour travelled by bus to Natchez on Friday, January 27th with the first stop at the Carriage House Restaurant for a lovely lunch by Chef Bingo Starr. We enjoyed delicious Southern Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, salad and their amazing melt in your mouth biscuits.  After lunch we toured Stanton Hall Plantation with an amazing tour guide before checking into the lovely Natchez Grand Hotel located on the mighty Mississippi.  As we settled into our rooms, we were able to watch the sun go down as all of our rooms had river views before leaving at 5:30 PM for the Charboneau Rum Distilleryy. A tasting tour was led by Doug Charboneau and his son, Jean Luc.

Rum Tour at Charboneau Distillery
Charboneau Distillery

The tour was very informative, entertaining and ended with a Rum Cocktail at their historic restaurant, King’sTavernn, next door before heading over to Twin Oaks Plantation. Chef Regina Charboneau, an award winning cookbook author and Mississippi Maven, welcomed us into her beautiful historic home with an over the top dinner and hospitality straight out of Southern Living Magazine.  We feasted on Shrimp and Grits, melt in your mouth brisket, salads, roasted vegetables, poached pears and cheese, Regina’s famous biscuits and incredible desserts of Blackberry Crème Brulee Trifle, Pecan Pie and wine.  It was hard not to go back for seconds and many of us did!  During dinner Regina entertained us with stories of her journey back to her hometown after having several award winning restaurants in San Francisco and cooking for celebrities including Mick Jagger. Darby Short of the famous Darby’s Fudge and Darby’s Store in downtown Natchez, stopped by to bring us a delicious platter of fudge to sample and tell us her journey to Natchez and her food story.

Twin Oaks Plantation Dinner with Regina Charboneau
                                                             Peggy, Darby, Regina, Fairleigh & Maleyia - Twin Oaks Plantation                  

This trip was perfect. Dining at Regina Charboneau’s was an incredible experience! I felt like we were in a Southern Living Magazine – Debra Minkus

Twin Oaks Plantation

                                                                                            Twin Oaks Plantation

Regina Charboneau's Dining Room - Twin Oaks Plantation

After the first day and dinner at Twin Oaks, we felt we had received our money’s worth. The team that put this together was awesome! – Chris and Patrick Bella

On Saturday, after breakfast at the hotel, we headed to Our Lady On the Bluff, the beautiful and stately Rosalie Plantation for a wonderful tour followed by a fun lunch of Barbeque at the Pig Out Inn.  The ribs and pulled pork were a highlight along with their great sides of baked beans, mac and cheese, coleslaw and potato salad.  After lunch and a walk along the River Park to take a group picture at the Gazebo, our tour guide Carole LaMay, took us through town stopping at The William Johnson House, the Rip Rap House, St. Mary Basilica and a drive by tour of other Natchez plantations.  We ended the afternoon shopping in downtown Natchez with a trip to Darby’s to buy fudge to bring home!

Natchez On The Bluffs - Gazebo - Group Picture
                                                                            Natchez on the Bluffs Gazebo - Group Picture

Being a history buff, I enjoyed the very comprehensive tour guides stories about the homes we visited. – Gene and Ollie Leblanc

Rip Rap House
                                                                                                The Rip Rap House

On Saturday night, we headed to the Dunleith HistoricPlantation for a beautiful dinner of Marinated Pork Tenderloin or Roasted Chicken with sweet potatoes and greens, their famous Montgomery Salad and White Chocolate Bread Pudding. The dinner was followed by the Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde…. Life Stories About Food show emcee’d by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald. The storytellers sharing their food stories included Fairleigh Jackson (Executive Director of Preserve Louisiana), Regina Charboneau (cookbook author – Regina’s Table and Mississippi Current),  James Fox Smith (Editor of Country Roads Magazine), Mark Brockway (Cocktail Consultant, Documentary Producer & Manager of Castle Restaurant at Dunleith Plantation), Lynn Beach Smith (Sales Manager of Natchez Pilgrimage), Bryan Price (Bar Manager of Natchez Grand Hotel), Myles Sweeney (a true Southern Gentleman) and Jeff Kleinpeter (former President of Kleinpeter Dairy). The stories were humorous, touching, entertaining and heartfelt!  It was a great night celebrating the history and beauty of Natchez and the wonderful people.

Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... show -  Dunleith Plantation
                                                                        Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde....Storytellers

The Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… closing night show was OUTSTANDING! The dinner at Reginal Charboneau’s home, Fair Oaks Plantation, was great. I could hear her speak for hours. We look forward to the next one. – Paul & BJ Arceneaux

On Sunday morning we all gathered for breakfast - one more meal together before heading home to Baton Rouge.  New friendships were formed and so many great memories were made together! We are still basking in the glow of the fabulous weekend and excited to start brainstorming about the next tour.  Stay tuned as we hope to announce another trip soon. 

It was a pleasure working with Preserve Louisiana and creating/hosting the tour was a natural fit for Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde…   Incorporating the food stories of the lovely town of Natchez add a tasty layer you usually do not get on a destination tour. 

Working with Peggy was an absolute pleasure. Her organization, natural hospitality and creativity made our experience truly memorable! - Fairleigh Jackson, Executive Director of Preserve Louisiana

Peggy and Preserve Louisiana team did a great job in meeting the needs of the attendees. Peggy’s relationship with the Natchez people participating in the programs made it so much better! – Vic LeFeve

Natchez Trip - Montage
                                                                         Let the Good Times Roll in Natchez


Meanwhile, Back in Natchez.... with Preserve Louisiana January 27 - 29, 2017

posted Dec 19, 2016, 6:56 PM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Dec 19, 2016, 6:57 PM ]

Preserve Louisiana’s first Cultural & Architectural Tour will travel to Natchez, MS with host, creator and author of Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… Life Stories about Food, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, on January 27 - January 29, 2017.

Sweeney-McDonald, in partnership with Preserve Louisiana, will explore the culture and history of Natchez and neighboring cities.

“These trips are more than a cultural and architectural tour as we will be mingling and dining with local Natchez personalities and hearing their personal and touching stories around their culture and food,” Sweeney McDonald said. “It will truly be a tasty journey of ‘Meanwhile, back in’ Natchez.”

The tour will visit the Rosalie Plantation, Stanton Hall Plantation and downtown Natchez, which includes the Court House and the Thomas H. and John W. Gandy Photograph Collection. Attendees will also enjoy delicious cuisine at the Carriage House by Mississippi Celebrity Chef Bingo Starr; a barbeque lunch at the Pig Out Inn; a tasting tour of the award winning Charboneau Rum Distillery; and dinner at Dunleith Plantation with the Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… show. The tour also includes dinner and wine at the Twin Oaks Plantation, the private home of best-selling cookbook author, Chef Regina Charboneau.

Sweeney- McDonald will emcee the show with notable local foodies, including Chef Charboneau; owner of Darby’s Famous Fudge, Darby Ward Short; editor of Country Roads Magazine, James Fox-Smith; and Dunleith’s popular mixologist Mark Brockway.

 Director of Natchez Pilgrimage Tours, Lynn Beach Smith, will also be in attendance.

“Natchez hosts groups from all over the world, but we are so excited to host Preserve Louisiana,” Smith exclaimed. “We will make this trip a culinary, historical, and cultural experience not to be missed.”

Preserve Louisiana’s Cultural & Historical Tour includes transportation, a two-night stay at the Grand Hotel set on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, meals, tours, and the Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… show.

For more information and booking, please call Peggy Sweeney-McDonald at (310) 709-2851 or

Preserve Louisiana is Baton Rouge’s premiere historic preservation organization committed to the safeguarding of our state’s cultural and architectural heritage for generations to come. The Foundation, a member-based group, also provides technical preservation assistance on a fee for service basis.  For more information:

Jay Ducote Spices Up Season 11 of Food Network Star

posted Jun 16, 2015, 7:31 PM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 8:54 AM ]

The latest season of Food Network Star is getting a spicy serving of Louisiana lagniappe in the form of "Big Jay" as Host Giada De Laurentiis called on the first episode which premiered Sunday, June 7, 2015. Jay Ducote is taking the latest season of Food Network Star by storm with his killer cooking and big love of Louisiana culture! He is filling the screen with his passion for food and larger than life personality.  

Jay is one of Louisiana's finest foodie personalities and is the radio host of the award winning The Bite & Booze Show. He is a former favorite host and storytelller of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde..., the live food monologue show produced by Superstar Events-LA, and is a contributor to the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde....LIfe Stories About Food Coffee Table/Cookbook by Pelican Publishing. He recently came out with his own tasty Jay D's Louisiana Barbeque Sauce and a small batch of Blanc du Bois wine from the Louisiana Landry Vineyard. Both fly off the shelves in Lousiana grocery and specialty stores.

If you aren't familiar with the Food Network Star on The Food Network, the show is hosted by Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis. It begins with 12 contestants who are challenged each week with cooking competitions. One chef is eliminated by the end of each week. The show is unique as the competitors are judged on cooking skills along with their personality and stories.

On the second show of the season titled "Savor Your Baking", Jay knocked it out of the park in the "What's for Dinner?" segment. The contestants made a mad dash to choose limited left-over type ingredients from the refrigerator and create a family dinner. Jay chose grilled salmon and created a Barbeque Salmon Hash with potatoes, onions, peppers, jalapenos and Kraft Barbeque sauce. Too bad Jay wasn't able to bring his own Jay D's Louisiana Barbeque Sauce, a top seller in stores throughout Louisiana and used by many chefs. Kraft is a Food Network sponsor so I guess that wasn't going to happen! Each contestant had to present their dish on camera and Jay received amazing comments such as "flawless" by Judge Melissa D'Arabian, former winner of Food Network Star Season 5. He was challenged by the judges to "show us something we really need to know about you in each challenge going forward."

On the second segment of the show, the contestants were challenged to create something savory but inspired by something traditionally sweet. On Sunday morning, Jay had texted me to "watch the show for several reasons." My radar went up and I figured he was going to make his mouthwatering Blackberry Bourbon Boston Butt, the best pork dish I have ever eaten which is featured in the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde ... cookbook, or possibly make a special beignet inspired by Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was intrigued and set my DVR. I was surprised and thrilled when Jay shared how he had been a speaker in a food monologue show back in Louisiana called "Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde..."  and was inspired to make a savory beignet because beignets are "little pillows of decadence," my favorite term for them! Although Jay was told by the judges that he sometimes seems too rehearsed and needed to show other sides of his personality, the judges were very positive about his beignets. Host Bobby Flay said they had a good flavor and guest judge Chef Alex Guarnaschelli liked his passion for Louisiana culture. 

There is no question in my mind that Jay will step up to the plate with the excellent feedback shared by the judges. I feel like they are pulling for him to win and are giving him the tools to get him there. There are many sides of Jay Ducote yet to be revealed and Food Nework needs to buckle their seatbelts as Hurricane Jay has just begun! My fingers are crossed because he deserves to win this competition and shine on his own Food Network show!  

As we say in Louisiana, "Yeah You Right...Geaux Jay!"

Jay Ducote in Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde...

Tune in to Food Network Star, an entertaining and mouthwatering show, on The Food Network on Sunday nights or look for it On Demand.  

Meanwhile, if you want a little more of Big Jay, check out his website and order his delicious Jay D's Louisiana Barbeque sauce.

Jay D's Louisiana Barbeque Sauce & Blanc Du Bois wine

Jay's book hasn't been published yet, but is in the works with LSU Press. While you wait, check out the Meaanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... Life Stories About Food coffee table/cookbook to read Jay's food story, Bite, Booze & Beyond, and try his delicious recipe for Blackberry Bourbon Boston Butt. 

Jay Ducote's Blackberry Bourbon Boston Butt

You can watch my interview with Jay on Savoring The Sweetness, Let's Talk About Food talk show, a Pepper Jay Production filmed last year in Hollywood, California.  Visit SavoringTheSweetness to see Jay's show and my interviews with other foodies.

Jay Ducote & Peggy Sweeney-McDonald on Savoring The Sweetenss

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