Fête Rouge is back, determined to be better than ever

The Baton Rouge Epicurean Society’s 14th annual food and wine gathering, Fête Rouge, is returning this month after the pandemic sidelined it in 2020. Organizers have been working to make sure this year’s culinary gathering, which will attract about 1,000 guests, will be splashier than ever.

“We’re expecting to sell out, as we always do,” BRES board president and Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine owner Jim Urdiales says. “We’ll have food tables and wine tables for tasting, and we’re planning a very festive, party atmosphere.”

Urdiales is working with August Events to stage a flow that encourages both a social and culinary experience for guests, he says. The food and wine celebration will be returning to the events center inside L’Auberge Casino & Hotel.

“Coming off of last year, people are very anxious for a real party,” he says. “We want your jaw to drop when you walk in.”

Along with about 30 tasting tables, event planners will create a central gathering area where patrons can regroup and visit with friends before heading back out to taste more.

And the tasting will be significant. Patrons can sample portions from regional restaurants, whose teams will prepare a dish in one of four categories: meat, seafood, Louisiana flavor and dessert. Each category will be judged, with first, second and third place prizes awarded. Expect to nibble dishes from Houmas House, Rouj Creole, Mestizo, Lucky Dogs, Calandro’s, Chef Don Bergeron, City Pork and the forthcoming City Group Hospitality restaurant Spoke and Hub, which is in the works on Government Street.

Regional wine distributors will be on hand to offer samples of 200 different wines, including varietals from domestic and international producers. The wines will also be judged and awarded prizes.

Fête Rouge will be held Friday, Aug. 27, at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel.
It’s one of several annual events hosted by BRES, a nonprofit intended to expand the Baton Rouge culinary scene while raising money and awareness for childhood nutrition initiatives, education and scholarships. bresbr.org/fete-rouge

This article was originally published in the August 2021 issue of 225 magazine.