Celebrity Chef Cook-off returns for The Taste

Capital Area’s Top Restaurants Featured at Cancer Center’s 21st Annual Culinary Event


(Baton Rouge, La.) Great food, friendly competition and a lot of fun is in store for those attending The Taste, one of Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s largest and most anticipated fundraising events of the year. The Taste 2016 is set for Thursday, April 14, starting at 7 p.m. at the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel, a presenting sponsor, along with Brian Harris Audi and Louisiana Lottery Corporation. All proceeds benefit cancer patients in the Baton Rouge region.

Taste co-chairs are Rebecca Rathbone Harrod and Shelly Johnston, who promise a spectacular evening featuring award-winning cuisine from  more than 20 of the Capital City’s top restaurants and caterers, a silent auction, live musical entertainment and celebrity chef cook-off.

“Shelly and I are honored to serve as co-chairs for such a significant fundraising event that supports cancer care in our local community,” said Harrod. “With your support, we can help ensure that our family, friends and neighbors have access to world-class cancer care right here at home.Through the community’s support of The Taste, we can do more to help people fighting this disease.”

The Celebrity Chef Cook-off, which premiered for the first time last year, was the highlight of The Taste 2015, offering an exciting new twist to the event. This year’s cooking contest will be hosted by Food Network Star finalist Jay Ducote of the Bite and Booze radio show and presented by Calandro’s Supermarket and Culinary Productions. The cook-off will feature three local chefs, along with their sous (assistant) chefs, in a 30-minute cooking competition. Each team will prepare a dish, including a secret ingredient that will be revealed when the competition begins. The winner will be judged on presentation, taste and originality.

The teams will include:

·      Returning champion Chef Cody Carroll and Louisiana State Police Colonial Mike Edmonson

·      Chef Ryan André and Michael Cauble, sports director at WBRZ

·      “MasterChef” TV show duo Jesse Romero and Avery Kyle

Mobile bidding technology will be used for the silent auction at this year’s event. “Anyone placing a bid on an auction item can do so through their smart phone. When you have been outbid you will receive a text message and can place a new bid wherever you may be in the room,” explained Kaitlyn Guerin, development director for the Cancer Center. “This technology will allow guests to watch the Celebrity Cook-off, enjoy the food and drinks and bid at the same time.” Volunteers will be on-site to assist those unfamiliar with this technology.

Live music by the John Gray Jazz Trio and other unique activities are planned, such as the 365 Days of Giving Wall, sponsored by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry where guests can win up to a $2,000 gift card.

Tickets for The Taste, which include tastings and cocktails, are $100 each; $175 per couple; or $1,250 for a  10-ticket package for a reserved table. A limited number of tickets are still available. To purchase tickets, inquire about mobile bidding from home and more, please visit takethefightforward.org/taste or call (225) 215-1224.


As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advanced technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. The Cancer Center provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program and extensive supportive care services. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on the Cancer Center, and how you can become involved, please visit mbpolol.org.