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Announcing an Exciting Lineup of Events for Foodies and Music Lovers


BATON ROUGE, La. –  The 16th Annual Louisiana Book Festival will feature cookbook and foodways authors, as well as music historians and scholars, live Louisiana music, and more on Saturday, November 2, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. throughout Capitol Park in Downtown Baton Rouge.


“Louisiana doesn’t throw any type of party without two things: food and music,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “The Louisiana Book Festival is no exception, offering a full festival experience that will truly Feed Your Soul.”


“Each year, we are proud to celebrate Louisiana’s unique culture and heritage, and we can’t do that without food and music involved,” said State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton. “Attendees always take advantage of all the fun offered at the festival. Best of all, just like our panel presentations, book talks, and other programs, there is absolutely no charge to listen to world-class musicians performing on the Entertainment Stage, or to sample the food prepared in our Cooking Demonstration Tent.”


Cooking demonstrations will take place in the Cooking Demonstration Tent from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.  They will feature Molly Kimball with The Eat Fit Cookbook: Chef Inspired Recipes for the Home, Jack and Joe Walker with Growing Up Cajun: Recipes and Stories from the Slap Ya Mama Family, and Brittany and Pam Wattenbarger with The New Southern Cookbook: Classic Family Recipes and Modern Twists on Old Favorites. Chef Joshua Hebert, the 2018 Country Roads Magazine “Small Town Chefs” Award Winner and 2018 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off Runner Up, will prepare a recipe from the Junior League of Baton Rouge’s River Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine.


Foodways book talks will include discussions ranging from New Orleans cuisine to American classics known around the world. Each of these programs will take place in the Louisiana State Capitol. Authors include Liz Williams, founder of the National Food & Beverage Foundation, with Unique Eats and Eateries of New Orleans and Christine Ward with her book American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love SPAM, Bananas, and Jell-O. Popular Louisiana native Ken Wells returns with Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou. Zella Palmer, joined by Liz Williams, will discuss her book, Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard; and Monique Boutte Christina presents Let’s Party at Mulate’s: The Original Cajun Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana.


John Coykendall, a celebrity of farm-to-table cuisine with locally sourced, organic, and heirloom foods, shares his story of Preserving Our Roots: My Journey to Save Seeds and Stories, recently featured in Garden & Gun Magazine, with Louisiana author and documentary filmmaker Christina Melton. The book presents a narrative of the Tennessee native and master gardener’s visits to Washington Parish since 1973.


Literary music highlights will include discussions at both the Louisiana State Capitol and the Capitol Park Museum. Authors participating will discuss various genres including jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, punk, and the Beatles. Programming includes Clive Wilson discussing Time of My Life: A Jazz Journey from London to New Orleans; Steven Y. Landry with Beatles Day in New Orleans; and Kembrew McLeod with Downtown Pop Underground: New York City and the Literary Punks, Renegade Artists, DIY Filmmakers, Mad Playwrights, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Glitter Queens who Revolutionized Culture. The punk-rock feminist movement of the early ’90’s is captured in the Young Adult debut novel by Elizabeth Keenan, who will appear with other Young Adult authors in the State Library of Louisiana.


It wouldn’t be a festival in Louisiana without a little live music, and the Louisiana Book Festival will feature musical performances in a variety of genres including jazz, alternative, blues, rockabilly, and punk rock. The music sets scheduled on the Entertainment Stage from 10: 15 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include performances by WBR Jazz Combo, Ben Bell, Smokehouse and Mamie Porter, Monday Night Social, The Unnaturals, and Your Mom.


Cooking demonstrations, book discussions, and panel presentations will be followed by book signings in the Barnes & Noble tent, where attendees will have the opportunity to meet featured presenters and have their books signed and personalized.


For a full list of authors, information about their books, and a downloadable schedule, please visit LouisianaBookFestival.org.



Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
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Julio Guichard
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
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