OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
We like to think of south Louisiana as the food capital of the world, and, certainly we’re known for our cuisine, but just because someone knows how to prepare good food doesn’t mean they know how to turn their culinary talent into a successful restaurant, catering operation or food-related venture. Stephanie's guests on this edition of Out to Lunch would be the first to admit that. They’re food entrepreneurs who have navigated the gulf between making good food and making money at it.
Ameen Walker is relatively new to the food side of entrepreneurship but he's far from a stranger to launching businesses. Among other interests, Ameen is the owner of First Financial of Baton Rouge, a tax preparation and business consulting firm. Since early this year he has also been the owner of Everything Philly, a restaurant near the north gates of the LSU campus that specializes in the classic dishes of Philadelphia, Walker’s home town.
Jay Ducote is the epitome of a food entrepreneur. Jay is a local celebrity who has built a brand around his penchant for cooking and eating. His Bite and Booze website and blog is a bona fide online success story, he's launched a line of barbecue sauces, hosts a radio show and is a star of TV's Food Network.
This is a rare candid glimpse into the risky world of the food business through the eyes of two fearless entrepreneurs.