May 12, 2011 - Anniversary Show
Melvin L. "Kip" Holden - is the Democratic Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. He was elected the city's mayor on November 3, 2004. Holden was inaugurated on January 3, 2005. Holden's election is significant in that he is the first African-American Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish. His election was made possible on account of the support of his black base in the city's core, but also with substantial support from suburban white voters, many being Republicans. Support from the latter group was buoyed by the support of Jim Bernhard, CEO of The Shaw Group, and other leaders in business and industry in the Baton Rouge area, but largely a result of severe dissatisfaction with Mayor-President Simpson. This was demonstrated in dramatic fashion by the fact that President Bush received 54 percent of the parish vote in his re-election campaign and Congressman Baker received 69 percent. Holden in the same election secured 54 percent parishwide. In 2008, Holden was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. Previous to his political career, Holden was a journalist and later an attorney. http://brgov.com/dept/Mayor/
Emcee - Scott Rogers - Host of The Around Town Show - Scott Rogers hails from Britian and has immersed himself into the Baton Rouge scene over the years as a popular TV host and local celebrity hosting endless events around town. His show is the show to find out what is happening in Louisiana. Scott has emceed "Meanwhile, Back At Cafe Du Monde..." in New Orleans and Baton Rouge many times and we are excited to have him on board as his food stories keep everyone in hysterics!
Peggy Sweeney-McDonald - Creator/Producer of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... Peggy created the show in 2010 in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and produces the event under her event company, Superstar Events-LA. In one year, the show has now been in 3 states, with over 29 events and over 200 headliners sharing their food stories. As President of SSE-LA, she has offices in Los Angeles and Baton Rouge, LA and offers a wide range of corporate meeting & event services and specializes in creative themes to ensure memorable events. A member of Screen Actors Guild, she has worked in television commercials, film and theatre for over 20 years. She produced the tv pilot of "Meanwhile, Back At Cafe Du Monde..." and has several film projects in development. I'm excited to be back in my hometown for the 2011 shows at our new home at Juban's restaurant! www.superstareventsla.com
Whitney Vann - WBRZ Anchor/Host of 2une in Morning Show - Channel 2 - For more than 15 years, Whitney Vann has been anchoring WBRZ's popular morning program, 2une In. A Kentucky, native, Whitney earned her Masters Degree at Boston University in Television Broadcasting and her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Mississippi.
She first co-anchored 2une In from 1994-1995. She returned in June 1999 and has co-anchored the program since. In between her time at WBRZ, Whitney anchored the 6 and 10 p.m. news for WAPT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi. She has won numerous awards. She has won an Edward R. Murrow Award, a regional Emmy and was voted Best News Personality in 2009 and 2010 by Baton Rouge publication 225 Magazine. Whitney was the emcee at the Premiere shows of "Meanwhile, Back At Cafe Du Monde..." at The Myrtles Plantation and The Lyceum Ballroom in May of 2010. http://www.wbrz.com/news/whitney-vann-anchor-2une-in/
Paul Arrigo - President & CEO - Visit The Baton Rouge - Baton Rouge Area Convention & Visitors Bureau since 2002. Prior to that time, he served as the Bureau's VP of Sales & Marketing since 1997. He is a native of New Orleans and has over 39 years of experience in hospitality marketing. Paul and his wife Melanie reside in Baton Rouge with their daughter, Lauren. Paul was in the original cast of "Meanwhile, Back At CafeDu Monde.. at the Myrtles Plantation in May 2010 and has been on board as a popular headliner and emcee in more than 8 shows. His monologue - "New Orleans Restaurants Storm Into Baton Rouge" is a favorite with audiences and he keeps everyone in hysterics! www.visitbatonrouge.com
Missy Crews - A Baton Rouge native and LSU graduate, Missy Crews is thrilled to be back in Louisiana. As a former Miss Louisiana, Missy also performed with the Miss America USO tour before moving to NYC where she worked in tv, film & print. Moving to Charlotte, NC, Missy was on staff with the Children's Theatre of Charlotte serving as a writer, performer and director and continued her passion for youth development by serving as Director for the National program, "Best Friends - Best Men" in the Charlotte school system. Missy served as Marketing Director for the private music club, "Music With Friends" and most recently has worked with the Manship Theatre in BR as Speical Projects Director. Missy has 2 daughters, Susannah and Elizabeth. Her monologue, "Caution, Nostalgia Is High In Calories" was a favorite in the April 18th show at Jubans! She's excited to be back on board again!
Daniel Brockhoeft - Manager, Sales, Midwest & Southwest Regions Omni Royal Orleans Hotel Omni Royal Crescent Hotel New Orleans. Daniel started his Culinary journey watching his Italian Grandmothers, Mom and Aunts cooking in the kitchen. He picked up a few of the basics and started catering for the neighbors when he was 14, mostly doing baked goods and specializing in decorative breads. He continued cooking and used Catering as a way to pay his way through college, LSUBR. Finally at the age of 28, thinking now or never, he headed off to the Culinary Institute of America, at Hyde Park and graduated top in his class as one of the Top Ten Student Chefs in America for 1991. Daniel cooked at Commanders Palace, became the Director of Catering at the OMNI Royal Orleans Hotel. In 2008, he became the Royal Orleans Regional Sales Manager. Daniel was in the original "Meanwhile, Back at CDM... show at the Myrtles Plantation and the first New Orleans show. His monologue, " A Julia Journey" is a favorite!
Chef Don Bergeron - Owner/Chef - Chef Don Bergeron Catering & Event Planning Company & Mid-City Market - Born and raised in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, Chef Don was inspired to cook at an early age by his Grandma Tute's Cajun home style cooking. At 14, he was an apprentice to Chef John Folse who provided him with a firm foundation in cooking and in business. Today, Chef Don is one of the premierie caterers in Baton Rouge with his flagship company, Chef Don Bergeron Catering & Event Planning Services. He is the Vice President of the American Culinary Foundation of Greater Baton Rouge. The ACF elected him 2007 Restauranteur of the Year and the 2009 Chef of the Year. He was in the original cast of the first two shows of "Meanwhile, Back At Cafe Du Monde..." and happy to be in the anniversary show! www.chefdonb.com
John Gray - Jazz Artist & Teacher - John is a professional trumpet player and educator. He performs a wide range of music genres including jazz, funk, R&B, as well as classical with various groups including The JGray Jazz Trio, The Soul/Funk band, The Michael Foster Project and The Soul Jukeboxx which have performed for numerous events in and around South Louisiana for Festivals, Government officials and Organizations. He has been profiled and written about for local and national publications such as 225 Magazine, The Advocate, Bankers Travel and more. John was the closing headiner for several "Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde..." BR events with his popular monologue "Hangin" and appears in the tv pilot! www.jgrayjazz.com
Jim Urdiales - Owner/Chef - Mestizo's Cajun Mexican Restaurant - Jim started working at his Dad's restaurant - Carlo's Mexican Restaurant in Baton Rouge at age 5 standing on a Kleinpeter Farms Dairy milk crate and washing dishes. He says he was "cheap Mexican labor". His father is from Mexico and his mother is a Cajun girl from Lafayette, Louisiana. His monologue is "The Cajun Mexican" and he has appeared in the original shows at the Myrtles and the Lyceum last May along with a summer show at Ralph & Kacoo's. His restaurant, Mestizo's is a modern day mexican restaurant with a Cajun twist and has the best crawfish enchiladas in the South! www.mestizosrestaurant.com
Nancy Litton - Actress/Teacher - Nancy has appeared in over 130 plays in such venues as Baton Rouge Little Theater, LSU, Swine Palace, Cabaret Theater, and Playmakers. In addition to studying acting in Baton Rouge, I have taken acting classes at Boston University and in acting schools in London and Dublin. I teach in the College of Education at LSU. I love to travel and have actually lived in Switzerland and England. Nancy has been in five "Meanwhile, Back At Cafe Du Monde..." shows in Baton Rouge and brings the house down with "The Food Prude" monologue written by Los Angeles actress/writer, Susan McNabb who was Jerry Seinfeld's live-in girlfriend for 8 years!