(Photo by Brian Baiamonte)
Jay D. Ducote
Cook, Writer, Speaker, Entertainer and Hugger, Bite and Booze LLC and Hug Jay D LLC
“The best advice I’ve ever gotten has come from all the people who have encouraged me to ‘go for it.’ No matter what I may have been trying to accomplish, I’ve been surrounded by people who have always supported me taking risks. This started with my mom and dad believing in me no matter what and has continued through my professional career as every step along the way I try not to think about why, but instead ask why not. If there’s a good reason not to try some crazy idea, then that’s fine. Otherwise, I’d rather live the adventure, enjoy the successes and learn from any mistakes along the way.”
Professional experience: Born in Baton Rouge, Ducote grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, before returning to attend LSU, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He taught high school math and coached baseball for two years before moving into grant writing and policy research in health information technology. In 2011 he quit his day job to pursue his passion in the culinary field full-time through his blog and radio show, Bite and Booze. That year he was named to Business Report‘s Forty Under 40. In 2014 his radio show won a Taste Award as the best food or drink based radio broadcast in the country, and in 2015 it won the Uniquely Louisiana Award from the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters. Ducote appeared on Fox’s MasterChef in 2011 and Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen in 2014.
In the news: Ducote shined on season 11 of Food Network Star, reaching the final episode before finishing as a runner-up. Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce launched in July 2014 in the Baton Rouge market and is available at select stores around town. Jay D’s Blanc Du Bois, a wine made in collaboration with Louisiana’s Landry Vineyards, had its initial release in May 2015.