La Madeleine offers free desserts

Every Tuesday in the month of October, la Madeleine will give out coupons redeemable for a free cup of coffee or mini dessert with the purchase of an entreé. The café will email reminders and coupons to e-club members and Facebook fans each Monday. Present the printed coupon or the coupon’s image on your mobile device.

Fresina’s to host cooking classes

Fresina Pasta Co. & Italian Specialties, 3458-B Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge, will host a pair of cooking classes in the coming weeks.
First up,‘s Jay Ducote will lead “Steak at the Palazzo” 10:30 a.m. Oct. 4 or Oct. 5. The menu will include Caesar salad, filet mignon rubbed with Italian herbs and topped with Gorgonzola cheese, balsamic-glazed grilled asparagus, and pistachio and chocolate cannoli.
Cost is $75.

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Martin Wine Cellar to host whiskey tasting

Martin Wine Cellar, 7248 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, will host a Whiskeys of the World Tasting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18.
Guests will enjoy five high-end whiskeys, artisan cheeses and gourmet food, and a lecture by James McCartney, Master of Scotch. The whiskeys offered will include Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey 16 Year, Crown Royal Extra Rare Blue Canadian Whisky, Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky  14 Year Distiller’s Edition, Lagavulin Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky 12 Year Cask Strength.
Tickets are $25 per person. Space is limited. Call (225) 610-1190.

Walmart, Sam’s Club awards food banks grant

The Louisiana Food Bank Association won a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Associate Choice Program that the group says will provide food for 200 children.

“This generous gift will allow us to contribute to our member food banks’ backpack programs and provide an additional 200 Louisiana children with backpacks of food to take home on weekends throughout the school year,” Executive Director Cindy Greenstein said in a news release. “With these funds, we can ensure that additional children will receive food on weekends where they otherwise would have been unsure of where their food would come from. We are immensely grateful to all the Walmart associates for this hunger relief commitment to our community.”

Though the grant helps, the association stresses it still relies on help from the community.
“There is an urgent need right now as many of our food banks have depleted their supplies to provide food for victims of Hurricane Isaac,” Greenstein said. “Our food banks’ shelves are bare.”

The Louisiana Food Bank Association represents five regional food banks in the state, including the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank, the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, the Food Bank of Central Louisiana, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana.

Walk-Ons in running for ESPN’s Best Sports Bar

Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar in New Orleans is one of 12 finalists for ESPN Mobile’s Best Sports Bar in North America. Vote for Walk-On’s here through Oct. 2. Note: This site displays best on a mobile device.

Eat, drink and give to Isaac victims

New Orleans eateries and business will host a Hurricane Isaac Relief Tailgate from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday on the Piazza d’Italia, 300 Poydras, New Orleans. Commander’s Palace, Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar, SoBou, NOLA Restaurant, Bourbon House, Palace Café, Reginelli’s, and the Loew’s Hotel.

Food and drink will include a signature cocktail, the Adelaide Swizzle, and there will also be a Saints costume. The winner will receive two tickets to see the Saints this season and a one-night stay at the Loews Hotel.

All proceeds will go to the Saint Bernard Project to benefit recovery efforts from Hurricane Isaac. In case of rain, the event will move to the ballroom at the Loews Hotel, 300 Poydras, New Orleans.

Wednesday morning food news round-up

Big Apple hospitals may ban junk food.

Researchers: Labels affect how much you eat.

Vegan: The new normal?

Nothing scary about eggplant.

Meatless Monday: Broccoli Gratin

Broccoli Gratin With Crunchy Herb Topping
Serves 4. Recipe is from “The Healthy Table” booklet by Pompeian Olive Oil.
1 bunch of broccoli (3 or 4 stalks), cut into florets
Salt, to taste

¼ cup extra-light olive oil
1 small onion
2 tbls. all-purpose flour
1½ cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbl. chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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Monday morning food news round-up

Trader Joe’s recalls peanut butter.

Chicago official wants Chick-fil-A to clarify gay marriage stance.

Sugar may get cheaper.

Isaac gets blame for pecan crop.

Friday morning food news round-up

Researchers identify part of brain responsible for chocolate cravings. CHOCOLATE.

Man wins $7 million in popcorn lung case.

How to find new brews.