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Louisiana Book Festival celebrates cooking, cuisine and music

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Book Festival will feature chefs, cookbook authors, foodways and music historians and scholars, musicians, and more on Saturday during the free, daylong festival to be held throughout Capitol Park in downtown Baton Rouge.
MasterChef season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale, who was selected on the hit FOX show as the champion home cook by chefs Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi and New Orleans’ own Aaron Sanchez, will give a cooking demonstration featuring recipes from his debut cookbook, “My Modern American Table: Recipes for Inspired Home Cooks.”
O’Neale’s appearance is made possible in part by Karl Breaux, who will give a cooking demonstration earlier in the day, featuring his famous Cajun recipes. Also featured in the Cooking Demonstration Tent will be dietitian Shelly Marie Redmond with her cookbook, “Skinny Louisiana ... in the Kitchen.”
The Fonville Winans Cookbook: “Recipes and Photographs from a Louisiana Artist,” will be featured at a cooking demonstration presented by Cynthia Lejeune Nobles and Melinda Winans, Fonville’s daughter-in-law. South-ern foodways will be the main course in Wendy Atkins-Sayre’s discussion of her book, “Consuming Identity: The Role of Food in Redefining the South.”
Musical highlights include an appearance by punk rock icon and co-founding member of Black Flag, Keith Morris, who will be discussing his memoir, “My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor.” Alyn Ship-ton, BBC radio producer and author, will be presenting two programs, the first with Gwen Thompkins, host of national public radio’s Music Inside Out, during which they will discuss their contributions to Danny Barker’s “A Life in Jazz.”
Later in the afternoon, Shipton will discuss his definitive Harry Nilsson biography, “Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter.” British writer and blues guitarist Julian C. Piper, who spent a year abroad at LSU studying and played blues at the Blues Box in Baton Rouge, will present his book, “Blues from the Bayou: The Rhythms of Baton Rouge.” Jack Sullivan examines musicians’ perpetual renewal in New Orleans Remix, and “may we introduce to you” noted Beatles historian Bruce Spizer with “The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper: A Fan’s Perspective, 50 Years On.”
All cooking demonstrations, book discussions, and panel presentations will be followed by book signings in the Barnes and Noble book signing tent, where attendees will have the opportunity to meet featured presenters and have their books signed and personalized.
The Louisiana Book Festival will also feature musical performances in a variety of genres ranging from funk to folk, blues to zydeco, on the Entertainment Stage from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including performances by DUBYA, Nathan & The Zydeco Cha-Chas, Henry Gray, Monday-NightSocial, Beth Hazel, and The Bills.
For a full list of presenters, programs, times and locations, visit


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