Announcements


"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

Meanwhile at the Old Governor's Mansion - Thursday, September 20, 2018

posted Aug 14, 2018, 1:12 PM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 1:13 PM ]

Join us Thursday, September 20th at Preserve Louisiana at the Old Governor's Mansion for Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde..... This will be our first time at this beautiful historic site in downtown Baton Rouge.  

For tickets and more information www.preserve-louisiana.org or call Peggy Sweeney-McDonald at 225-387-2464 or 310-709-2851








Peggy Sweeney-McDonald to Host "Steel Magnolias" - Natchitoches, Louisiana Tour with Preserve Louisiana October 26-28, 2018

posted Jul 16, 2018, 10:00 AM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Jul 23, 2018, 1:41 PM ]


Join Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, host, creator and author of Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… Life Stories about Food, for the third Preserve Louisiana Cultural & Architectural Tour to the charming town of Natchitoches, Louisiana scheduled for Friday, October 26 to Sunday, October 28, 2018.  Sweeney-McDonald, in partnership with Preserve Louisiana, will explore the culture, architecture and history of Natchitoches.

This year Natchitoches celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Steel Magnolias film based on the Broadway play written by native Robert Harling in memory of his sister. The film was about love and friendship, loss and grief but most of all the story was about how a family and a community lived through it all.  It brought international attention to this lovely town.  “We will visit the film locations, including a tour of the “Steel Magnolia Home” and sip a cocktail on the front porch to provide a perfect Fall weekend to remember,” Sweeney-McDonald said.

Preserve Louisiana’s Cultural & Architectural Tours traveled earlier this year to New Iberia to explore the Cajun culture, cuisine and dancing with stops at Tabasco, Rip Van Winkle Gardens and Shadows on the Teche. 

                                                                        New Iberia.Louisiana Tour - February 26-28, 2018

In January 2017, we traveled to Natchez, Mississippi, where we enjoyed antebellum homes, a rum distillery tour and a gourmet meal prepared by cookbook author Regina Charboneau at her home, Twin Oaks Plantation.  Both tours included a Saturday evening dinner and the Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… show.

                                                                                Natchez, Mississippi Tour - January 2017

This October, the group will explore Natchitoches with tours of Oakland Plantation, the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Melrose Plantation where artist Clementine Hunter began painting her famous folk art, Fort St. Jean Baptiste Historic Site, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fameand Northwest Louisiana Museum along with the historic Front Street District on the Cane River Lake.  A taste of Natchitoches will include lunch at the famous Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant, a catered lunch in a rustic barn at Melrose Plantation, Friday dinner at Mama’s Oyster House with local blues music and a festive dinner on Saturday evening with the Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… live show at the popular Merci Beaucoup Restaurant. Sweeney- McDonald will emcee the popular show with local foodies who will share their life stories about food including Rose and Johnnie Cox, owners of Merci Beaucoup, Arlene Gould, Executive Director of the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rhonda Gauthier, Curator of the Fort St. Jean Baptiste Museum and Marlyn Monette, best selling cookbook author (So Good Makes You Want To Slap Your Mama) who has previously appeared in the show and is also featured in the book.

                                                                                  Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches, LA

“These trips are more than a cultural and architectural tour as we will be mingling and dining with local Natchitoches personalities and hearing their personal and touching stories around their culture and food,” Sweeney-McDonald said. 

                                                                               Meanwhile... Storytellers in New Iberia, LA
                                                                     Stanley Dry, Tuesday Sunshine, Peggy & Barry Ancelet

Preserve Louisiana’s Cultural & Historical Tour includes transportation on a luxury 31 passenger coach bus with bathroom, a two-night stay at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Natchitoches, all meals including dinners with wine or beer, tours, snacks/bottled water and the Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… show.

"This was our 2nd tour with Preserve Louisiana. Our favorite was the Saturday night Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde dinner at Antique Roseville.  Peggy and the Preserve Louisiana staff did an excellent job as usual and we look forward to future tours with them." – Vic Lefeve

"The personal attention bestowed on us by Paul Allain and his wife and Linda Freyou at Antique Roseville was amazing. Also having the historian at Tabasco lead our tour presentation was great.  We really liked the historical information provided.  The size of the group was just right." – Debra and Mike Minkus

"Our favorite part of the tour was the speakers for the Meanwhile, Back at Café du Monde… dinner at Antique Roseville and the tour of Linda Freyou’s home." -  BJ and Paul Arceneaux

For more information please call Peggy Sweeney-McDonald at (310) 709-2851 or peggy@superstareventsla.com or register at www.Preserve-Louisiana.org/upcoming/2018/ 




 

Peggy Sweeney-McDonald to Host Preserve Louisiana Cultural Tour to Cajun Land - February 16-18, 2018

posted Dec 8, 2017, 11:16 AM by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald   [ updated Jan 3, 2018, 6:22 PM ]





Preserve Louisiana’s second Cultural & Architectural Tour will travel to the heart of Cajun Country with host, creator and author of Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… Life Stories about Food, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, on February 16 – February 18, 2018.

Sweeney-McDonald, in partnership with Preserve Louisiana, will explore the culture and history in the heart of Cajun Country.

                                                                    Peggy and Jimmy McDonald Cajun dancing at Landry's

“After a successful tour in January to Natchez, we are excited to be travelling to New Iberia, Avery Island, Jefferson Island and St. Martinville.  We will savor the difference in this part of Cajun Country where Spanish, French, Acadian, African-American and Native American roots mingle to provide a weekend to remember. These trips are more than a cultural and architectural tour as we will be mingling and dining with local New Iberia 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 Cajun Land.”

                                                                                   Checking out the Hot Sauce at Tabasco!

The tour will visit the newly renovated Tabasco Factory and Jungle Gardens, Shadows On the Teche Plantation, The Bayou TecheMuseum, The Joseph Jefferson House, Rip Van Winkle Gardens, the Evangeline Tree and Monument and the Museum of the Acadian Memorial. Attendees will also enjoy delicious cuisine at the Little River Inn, the Original Landry’s (not the chain) with Cajun Dancing to the Cajun Express Band, the Jefferson Café and a wonderful dinner on Saturday evening at the lovely Antique Roseville with the Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… show. Sweeney- McDonald will emcee the popular show with local foodies sharing their life stories about food including Bonnie Breaux - 2017 Seafood Queen and Executive Chef of Café Sydnie Mae, Tuesday Sunshine - Pastry Chef of Indulge Bakery, Author Stanley Dry - the Louisiana Life Kitchen Gourmet columnist, former senior editor of Food & Wine magazine and accomplished cookbook author of The Essential Louisiana Cookbook and Linda Freyou - chef/owner of Antique Roseville. We will also have Happy Hour with Architect Paul J.Allain and tour his award winning historic office building on the Bayou Teche.

Preserve Louisiana’s Cultural & Historical Tour includes transportation, a two-night stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites, all meals, tours and the Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde… show. Single Rate is $675 and Doubles rate is $575/each,

For more information and booking, please call Peggy Sweeney-McDonald at (310) 709-2851 or peggy@superstareventsla.com or register at www.preserve-louisiana.org/preserve-louisiana-tours/

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.

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: events@capoc.org 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 hello@elizabatonrouge.com.


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 renee@lsu.edu or by calling 225-389-7206.



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