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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eleven Amazing Happenings of 2011

While I'm not one to follow the trends all the time, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the past while looking forward to the future.  I know "top 11 of 2011" lists and "12 things to look forward to in 2012" lists are all over the place right now, but this ain't my first rodeo.  Last year I came up with a top 10 list of items that I ate, drank, or blogged about during 2010.  Then I followed that up with 11 things I wanted to eat and drink more of in 2011.  Some of them I succeed, some proved to be impossible, and some I just didn't really do.  This year I decided to change it up a bit.  I tried to recall the top eleven memories or amazing things that happened to me over the past calendar year.  Somewhat in order of importance, though certainly not by scientific or well thought out criteria, here is my list that counts down from eleven:

11.  Victory at the Frankie's Dawg House 4th of July Hotdog Eating Contest

Winner, winner, hot dog dinner!

10.  KingCakeBR

Visit Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Social Media Association, and TommysTV collaborate with me on this project and it turned out to be a huge success!

9.  Emeril's Blogger Party and the start of Virtual Potluck

Calandro's Supermarket helped me out with a lot of the ingredients and I successfully cooked 9 recipes from Emeril's new book over a three week period this past Fall.  It also introduced me to the other bloggers who were selected that have now formed the Virtual Potluck!

8.  Viking Cooking School Outdoors
Photo taken on film, courtesy of Frank McMains
I got to help open the first ever Viking Cooking School Outdoors at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center.  It was a fun and challenging month watching the school go through construction, dealing with logistics and equipment orders, all the way to the helping teach the opening class!

7.  Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde...

I had the pleasure of being a headliner and filming a segment for the TV pilot in 2010.  In 2011 I got to serve as a red carpet host and emcee for a couple shows and have submitted an entry for the coffee table book.  I'm so proud to be a part of what Peggy has built from this food monologue show!

6.  Eat St. on the Cooking Channel

Eat St. came to Baton Rouge to film three episodes for the Cooking Channel (and the Food Network in Canada) and I got give an interview for the show about Taco de Paco!

5.  Raise a Glass

"Raise a Glass" is a weekly radio show about the history, traditions, culture, production, and consumption of alcoholic beverages.  I host it with my brother Eric Ducote from BR Beer Scene.  The show airs on Fridays at 6 pm and replays Sundays at 4 pm on 96.9 FM WHYR Baton Rouge Community Radio.


4.  LSU Press Bite and Booze Cookbook Contract

Although it won't come out until 2013, signing my contract for the "Bite and Booze Cookbook" is certainly worthy of being on this list.  Now all I have to do is write it and wait!

3.  Forty Under 40

I had the extreme honor of being recognized as one of the Baton Rouge Business Report's Top Forty Under 40 recipients for 2011.  My mom and dad joined me for the awards banquet, which was also quite an honor!

2.  The Bite and Booze Radio Show

The Bite and Booze Radio Show on Talk 107.3 FM started in April 2011 and has been a consistent fixture in Baton Rouge's Saturday talk radio lineup ever since.  I actually just signed a contract for all of 2012 as well, so the Bite and Booze Radio Show is here to stay!  Get ready for more interviews with local chefs and some great food and drink talk radio!

1.  MasterChef

The audition process started in 2010, but I actually spent 10 days in Los Angeles in February of 2011 filming the first four episodes of MasterChef on Fox.  I didn't get a whole lot of air time out of it, but national television exposure is better than none!



Here's to an even better 2012!!!