This is Lucie Monk from Country Roads magazine, writing to share the good news that Chef Cary Dugas of Taste of Louisiana Café has been nominated for Country Roads’ inaugural Small Town Chefs Award!

New in 2014, this award will be presented to three Louisiana chefs doing great things in cuisine in towns of fewer than 25,000 people.

In recent weeks Country Roads has been asking readers and businesses from throughout South Louisiana to nominate their favorite Small Town Chefs. Clearly Chef Cary Dugas has lots of admirers, because his name was among our twenty-five finalists.

While Louisiana is famous for its food, much of the attention tends to center on what’s happening in the major metropolitan areas. We believe that this means missing a fundamental ingredient in the state’s culinary culture, which is that our rural regions and small towns are where the culinary roots are—where so many great chefs get started and where many of them choose to stay, cooking for the home crowd. So we wanted to establish an award that celebrates the folks making great contributions to Louisiana’s cuisine in small-town settings. That’s what this project is all about.

Chef Cary Dugas’ name has been included on a list of nominees that has been passed to a judging panel of regional culinary experts for their consideration. Three winning chefs will be selected, profiled with feature articles in the July “Cuisine” issue of Country Roads magazine, and invited to showcase their flavors at a Small Town Chefs gala dinner taking place in Baton Rouge in late June. Proceeds from this dinner will benefit Triumph Kitchen, a non-profit Baton Rouge training facility established to provide culinary, hospitality, and life skills training to at-risk youth in the capital region. For more information about Triumph Kitchen, visit

We expect to have the results by April 15. Then we will be in contact with the winners to make things official. In the meantime, we’d just like to offer our congratulations and thank you for your contributions to Louisiana’s culinary landscape. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to be in touch. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

—Lucie Monk, assistant editor

Lucie Monk
assistant editor
Country Roads Magazine