2021 Best of 225 Awards: People & Entertainment winners


2021 Best Chef Winner Chris Motto

Best Chef

Chris Motto16.5%

Whether you’ve watched him compete on Hell’s Kitchen or tasted his food during his 12 years at Mansurs on the Boulevard, chances are good you’ve developed an appreciation for Chris Motto. A native of Loreauville, the self-taught chef has been lauded for his innovative spins on Louisiana staples. Now, he’s moving on to new ventures. “It’s my plan to open smaller scale concepts where I can better focus on attention to detail while creating great work environments to further the passions of today’s young and upcoming chefs. I’m very excited for this next chapter,” he tells 225.

Runners up
John Folse, Chef John Folse & Company 13.1%
Jeremy Langlois, Houmas House and Gardens 10.8%
Don Bergeron, Bergeron’s City Market 9.8%
Justin Ferguson, BRQ Seafood & Barbeque 9%


Best Bar or Restaurant To Watch Sports

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux 40.7%

While Baton Rouge has its fair share of great venues for kicking back with friends and family to watch a big game, no other bar or restaurant captures the Capital City’s fanatical sports culture quite like Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux. walk-ons.com

Runners up
Mid City Beer Garden 12.1%
The Chimes 11.3%
The Bulldog 6.8%
Pluckers Wing Bar 6.6%


Best Virtual Event or Experience

Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s LASM 360 virtual museum — 22.2%

The Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s LASM 360 is Baton Rouge’s first immersive virtual museum and planetarium tour of its kind, allowing you to explore its galleries and exhibits in HD right from the comfort of your couch. lasm.org

Runners up
Bella’s Ball by Bella Bowman Foundation 14.7%
Virtual Hollydays Market by Junior League of Baton Rouge 14.5%
Nutcracker Sweets by Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre 12.8%
BUST Breast Cancer by Foundation for Woman’s 12.5%

Best Local Instagrammer winner @GeauxBatonRouge. Photo Courtesy Dustin & Brandy Sutton

Best Local Instagrammer


Some of the best local art, food, photography and more can be found right in the palm of your hand—all you need to do is follow GEAUX Baton Rouge. The account, run by Dustin and Brandy Sutton, celebrates six years next month. The duo spotlights photos by local city explorers and food bloggers, as well as shares peeks inside local businesses and attractions. It’s a great way to find corners of the Capital City that you may not yet be aware of. It also regularly hosts giveaways for local businesses like restaurant gift cards or event tickets, so scrolling through its page might just net you some fun freebies, too. instagram.com/geauxbatonrouge

Runners up
@eat.drink.br.nola 14.3%
@foodiestoforkwith 12.3%
@WheretoGeaux225 12.1%
@JordanHefler 8.8%


Best Place to Spend a Day with the Kids

Knock Knock Children’s Museum — 31.1%

Knock Knock Children’s Museum officially reopened its doors in June after being closed for more than a year due to COVID-19, and its staff is eager to welcome your family back to its engaging exhibits. knockknockmuseum.org

Runners up
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo 17.9%
Topgolf 13.4%
Barn Hill Preserve 12.1%
Louisiana Art & Science Museum 8.6%


Best Place for a Wedding Reception

Houmas House and Gardens — 28.2%

From its garden’s wide array of vibrant plants to its mansion’s ornate interiors, the historic sugarcane plantation makes for a picturesque wedding backdrop. houmashouse.com

Runners up
White Oak Estate and Gardens 19.2%
Capitol Park Museum 12.9%
Shaw Center for the Arts 11.8%
Boudreaux’s 5.6%

Best Local TV News Personality winner Sylvia Weatherspoon

Best Local TV News Personality

Sylvia Weatherspoon, WBRZ32.6%

Baton Rouge native Sylvia Weatherspoon’s passion for journalism is immediately apparent to those who tune in to watch her newscasts. And that passion has led her to become one of the Capital City’s most popular on-air presences—this year marks Weatherspoon’s fifth Best of 225 win. wbrz.com

Runners up
Jay Grymes, WAFB chief meteorologist 22.2%
Greg Meriwether, WAFB anchor 14.8%
Liz Koh, WAFB reporter 7.6%
Elizabeth Vowell, WAFB anchor 6%


Best Local Radio Personality

Murphy Sam & Jodi, 96.1 The River — 27%

From their high-profile celeb interviews to their laid-back, conversational tone, the trio behind the Murphy, Sam & Jodi show deliver on their promise of “real friends, real fun.” The nationally syndicated radio show has become a huge success thanks in large part to the natural chemistry of its hosts. 961theriver.iheart.com/featured/murphy-sam-jodi

Runners up
Matt Moscona, After Further Review on 104.5 ESPN Radio 20.1%
Jay Ducote, The Jay Ducote Show on Talk 107.3 12.4%
T-Bob Hebert, Off the Bench on 104.5 ESPN Radio 11.4%
Jim Engster, Talk Louisiana on WRKF 89.3 8.8%


Best Radio Station

98.1 The Eagle — 15.8%

With its popular morning talk show Condon Uncensored, its LSU sports broadcasts, and its rotation of rock hits both old and new, 98.1 The Eagle has something for almost everyone. eagle981.com

Runners up
102.5 WFMF 13.7%
92.7 KLove 10.72%
89.3 WRKF 10.65%
104.5 ESPN Radio 10.4%

Best Local Artist winner Lauren Barksdale Hill

Best Local Artist*

Lauren Barksdale Hill17%

Lauren Barksdale Hill’s work seeks to capture life in Louisiana as seen through her own eyes with abstract-yet-vivid depictions of local landscapes. From portrayals of serene marshes and rows of sugarcane to towering oak trees and native fauna, her passion for Louisiana scenery shines through in each of her acrylic paintings. Passing by one of her pieces hanging on your wall is a great at-home reminder of just what makes life in the Bayou State so unique. instagram.com/laurenbarksdalehillart

Runners up
Jacob Zumo 12.5%
Andrew Pullman 10%
Cora Barhorst 9.5%
Ellen Ogden 8.4%

*Editor’s note: Nominees for this category were limited to visual artists.


Best Museum

Knock Knock Children’s Museum — 28.9%

Interactivity is the name of the game for Knock Knock Children’s Museum—above all else, it seeks to make learning fun, and it has been hugely successful in that regard. knockknockmuseum.org

Runners up
Louisiana Art & Science Museum 21.6%
LSU Rural Life Museum 15.7%
Capitol Park Museum 7.6%
Louisiana’s Old State Capitol 7.4%


Best Performing Arts Group

Theatre Baton Rouge — 23.3%

2021 marks the 75th anniversary of Theatre Baton Rouge, a cornerstone of the local performing arts community. After finding innovative ways to keep performing safely during the pandemic, the theater is looking forward to resuming a full production schedule. For more on what TBR has been up to, turn to page 113 for our story on the future of local live theater. theatrebr.org

Runners up
Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra 21.9%
Playmakers of Baton Rouge 12.5%
Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre 11.6%
Of Moving Colors 7.9%

Best Place to Hear Outdoor Live Music

Perkins Rowe — 27.1%

COVID-19 may have dealt a heavy blow to the live music industry, but it also enabled local venues to try interesting new things—perhaps the best example was Perkins Rowe’s drive-in concert series last fall. This month, look for Back to the Rowe, an all-day, July 10 event with performances from musicians like The Michael Foster Project, MJ and the Redeemers and The Baton Rouge Concert Band, along with a mini makers market, food truck round-up and more. perkinsrowe.com

Runners up
Beauvoir Park 21.8%
Superior Grill 14%
Bin 77 Bistro & Sidebar 10.7%
Happy’s Irish Pub 10.5%

More winners

Shopping & Services

Food & Drink

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