Baton Rouge is a city that sometimes gets lost in the food conversation. Maybe it’s the curse of being neighbors with New Orleans, one of the world’s greatest foodie delights. Maybe it’s having Lafayette, Acadiana and all things fried and Cajun just 45 minutes to the west. Or maybe it’s because Baton Rouge is … well … understated Baton Rouge.
Yet over the past several years, the city has indeed become something of a culinary hub, heralded by headlines as “an underrated food city” (USA Today), “Louisiana’s premier destination for down home food and Southern hospitality” (The Daily Meal) and “Louisiana’s culinary capital” (Wine Enthusiast). Take that, New Orleans. And the recent wave of recognition is undoubtedly welcomed.
Though the focus seems to be on what’s happening within Baton Rouge’s food culture, what’s fascinating are those restaurant entrepreneurs who are expanding their brands—and management influence—far beyond the city limits.
In the latest issue of Business Report, staff writer Caitie Burkes looks at five Baton Rouge entrepreneurs who are shaking up the local food industry—from the big-timers like Raising Cane’s founder and CEO Todd Graves to up-and-coming franchise mogul Ozzie Fernandez, owner of LIT Pizza, Izzo’s Illegal Burrito, Rocca and the upcoming Modesto taqueria.