Local food influencers talk takeout

Remember growing up and being told not to play with your food? These three locals treat that as if it’s their job. Jessica Black, Chad Schoonmaker and Christina Stephens are the three influencers behind local food blogs Eat.Love.BR and BR Foodies. In between their full-time jobs, reviewing new dishes and updating their social pages, the three Baton Rougeans say food pickup and delivery apps make life simpler. 225 sat down with them to talk about the Baton Rouge food scene and how technology is changing it.


Faces behind the blog: Jessica Black (director of ministry services at Parkview Baptist) and Chad Schoonmaker (social media strategist and artist)
Followers: 11,200

How would you describe the Baton Rouge food scene today?

Black: It’s so fun. You can literally eat somewhere different three times a day every day for a year and still never go to all the places. Baton Rouge is no longer just known for Cajun food.

How has the local food industry changed since you first started blogging?

Black: Social media has made restaurants accessible. You can reach out and send a message to them. It builds regular customers—and it takes regulars and makes them brand ambassadors.

What are some of your favorite places to order food?

Schoonmaker: Dang’s and P-Beau’s

What are some personal must-haves for your to-go orders?

Schoonmaker: If it’s a hot dish, it has to be hot. If you’re doing a group order, I think it’s important to have the person’s name on the box.

What do you see for the future of the Baton Rouge food industry?

Black: I hope that it’s the same in the sense that people are chasing their dreams and opening up cool places. I hope that more people can continue to do that and that it will be sustainable.


Face behind the blog: Christina Stephens (freelance public relations consultant and columnist)
Followers: 3,800

How has food blogging changed since you started BR Foodies as a Tumblr page in 2009?

As opposed to sharing articles or having discussions like we used to, now people just want to see the food. Also, I feel like now I go to Instagram to figure out what I want to eat.

What are the perks of being a food influencer?

I get looped in on new food things happening in Baton Rouge all of the time. I do sometimes get free food or comped meals, which is a nice perk, but that’s definitely not why I do it. I love Baton Rouge. I love our food scene—I want people to know about the good things we have here.

Favorite places to order food?

I order Omi alot. Caliente Mexican Craving. Curbside does a really good job. And Mr. Ronnie’s for doughnuts.

What are some must-haves for your to-go orders?

I definitely want to have all the condiments. I want it to be the same size as it’d be if I dined in. I like when they put the date on the box so when you have leftovers you know when you ordered it.

What do you see for the future of the Baton Rouge food industry?

Whether it’s a traditional food hall or [within a development] like Perkins Rowe, I think we’re going to see more restaurants kind of clustered like White Star Market.

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.

Click here to see more stories from our Order In cover story on the Baton Rouge takeout and delivery scene.