Southeastern sets date for Chefs Evening


Wednesday, February 28, 2024
by: Tonya Lowentritt Chefs Evening graphic

     HAMMOND – Chefs Evening, Southeastern Louisiana University Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event, returns Sunday, March 24.
     Chefs Evening features the region’s best chefs, caterers and bakers for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, made possible in part by Platinum Sponsor First Guaranty Bank. Guests can savor delicious food, sip tasty concoctions, place bids in the silent auction, and even toast with Southeastern’s new President and First Lady, Dr. William and Misty Wainwright. 
     “Chefs Evening has become a tradition of the university and an essential part of the Southeastern Foundation’s mission to secure financial resources for the critical needs of our students and academic programs,” said Vice President for University Advancement Wendy Lauderdale. “We are excited to join the Wainwright’s at their residence for their first President’s Toast, as well. The energy they bring, as well as the excitement surrounding our upcoming centennial celebration, is something you don’t want to miss out on. Chefs Evening is the perfect way to get connected with our campus community and students.” 
     For sponsors and VIPS, the evening will begin at 4 p.m. with the President’s Toast, an intimate gathering at the President’s residence featuring exclusive hors d’oeuvres from the chefs at Cena and wine from the Wainwright’s personal wine selections. At the toast’s conclusion, attendees will make their way to Southeastern’s Pennington Center for the main Chefs Evening event, which lasts from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sponsors and VIP table guests also receive a specialty drink at the VIP entrance crafted by the team at Pink Agave Ponchatoula. 
     Many regional restaurants will be participating in Chefs Evening for the first time, such as Pull Clip Cafe, Ronnie’s Boudin, and Charcuterie by Madison. Several local favorites are making their return as well, including BATTER, Blythewood Event Center, The BLVD Lounge and Grill, The Boston, Cate Street Seafood Station, Cena, Champagne Beverage, The Crescent Bar, Eddie’s Famous Frozen Custard, Jacmel Inn, Lee’s Drive In, Lele’s FOOD Laboratory, Le Saigon, Louisiana Catering Company, Luma Coffee, Mariner’s Inn, Oak Knoll Country Club, One Thirteen, Our Mom’s Restaurant and Bar, Roux & Brew, Sarita’s Grill & Cantina, Shack’s Restaurant, Southeastern Catering, Tchefuncte’s Restaurant, The Cakery, The Cocoa Bean, The Depeaux, Trey Yuen Cuisine of China and Walk On’s Sports Bistreaux.
     “Funds raised at Chefs Evening provide vital support for student scholarships and academic programs,” Lauderdale explained. “Southeastern Foundation’s many partnerships help continue to elevate this event, thus providing an important platform for boosting the success of the region’s university and its students.”
    Additional Chefs Evening sponsors include First Guaranty Bank, Hancock Whitney, American Bank, Atmos Energy, Barriere Construction, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, BROC, Citizens National Bank, Fidelity Bank, La Capitol Federal Credit Union, Merrill Lynch, North Oaks Health System, Vexus, Wells Fargo, S&W Foods, Southeastern Catering, Romano Promo and the Northshore Media Group. 
     For more information or to purchase tickets for Chefs Evening and the President’s Toast, visit or email

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