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Last month my husband and I had the opportunity to attend a Eat & Greet with Jay Ducote and Gina Neely. The event was held at the Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge, LA.

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For those who may not know, Jay Ducote is an award-winning blogger, radio host and a Food Network Star Finalist. He was joined by Gina Neely, the top-rated television personality and a she is also a best selling author.

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My husband and I arrived early and there was a line at the door. We were excited to see what the event would be all about.

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The Neely’s was one of the first cookbooks I have ever purchased. Ms. Gina has a large personality; I knew the Eat and Greet would be great.

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We walked in and the food was prepared and ready to go. There were two appetizers served prior to the meet and greet starting. Gina’s Shrimp Hush Puppies and Grilled Potato Skins. I will talk more about the appetizers later in the blog.

The Eat & Greet was held at the Center Stage. The atmosphere was relaxing with calm background music.

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Jay Ducote started the show by sharing a little about himself for those who didn’t know who he was. He seemed like a really cool, down to earth guy. I didn’t get to meet him, but his stage presence was great.

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Jay introduced Ms. Gina and I loved her entrance. Classy, Stylish and Fun.

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Ms. Gina shared her story. All about her start with food, her journey to the Food Network and a little about where she is now. She looked incredible.

The guests were allowed to ask questions, make comments and get advice.

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Ms. Gina was very helpful to me and many more. Her talk was filled with laughs, jokes, comfort, encouragement and direction for many.

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The reception for her was incredible. She was so fun loving. One thing I appreciated about her was that she keeps it real.

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Following the question and answer session, we had the opportunity to meet Ms. Gina and receive signed autograph pictures.

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It was a pleasure to meet Ms. Gina. She shared some words of wisdom with me concerning my future goals.

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Following the Eat and Greet there was a VIP dinner that we were fortunate to be able to attend.

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I ordered the Peach Palmer as a drink. The Peach Palmer consisted of Peach Puree with a mixture of sweet tea. So good. I couldn’t stop drinking the Peach Palmer.

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Below are the appetizers the BBQ Potato skins. The potato skins were topped with Brisket, sour cream and chives. Also Gina’s Shrimp Hush Puppies with Vidalia Onion Dip.

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The appetizers were really good. The Brisket on top of the potato skin had great flavor.

The hush puppies were delicious as well. The onion dip worked well with the Shrimp Hush Puppies.

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While we were waiting for our entrees, Ms. Gina came in and spoke to each table individually. She has such a bubbly personality and an infectious smile. We shared some laughs with her while she was near us. So much fun.

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During our dinner we shared a table with two friends, Amy Tipton and Karen Toney. The ladies were awesome. Such a fun dinner with those two. They are foodies like us so we had a lot in common.

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Amy had the Chicken with baked beans and coleslaw. The Baked chicken was seasoned well and moist. Finger licking good. The food was perfectly plated and served with bbq sauce. Very good.

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My husband ordered the BBQ Ribs. The Ribs were served with the same sides. The ribs were delicious. Garnished with parsley on top.

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Below was the Catfish with Baked Beans and Coleslaw. The grilled catfish was beautifully grilled with good flavor. The bbq baked beans were superb. The coleslaw was delicious. Great balance of flavors. My dish was absolutely delicious. My only complaint was that my catfish was on top of my baked beans and I didn’t like that. I don’t mind my food touching the catfish was sitting on top of the baked beans. But other than that the food was so good.

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For dessert, we were served the Gina’s Toffee Blondie. We were also given the recipe. Shown below is the Toffee Blondie.

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I plated my dessert and heated the blondie for about 15 seconds with a large glass of milk. So so good. A really good dessert.

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Overall, we really enjoyed our time at the Eat and Greet and the dinner at Celebrity Grill. The two events were well planned and informative. This event was the weekend of our anniversary so it was a perfect event for the two of us. Being able to meet Ms. Gina was awesome. I am a huge fan and it was good to hear how she started and what she is up to now.

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The only complaints were that all the dishes were served with the same side. I think options would have been good. But the sides were good.

Additionally, we were given our desserts to go. It would have been nice to be able to eat the dessert at the restaurant.

Lastly, we had a good time with the ladies we sat with. But it would have been nice to sit alone as a couple at a separate table. Simply because it was a date night for us.

Other than that everything was awesome. The Celebrity Grill event was amazing. I hope that there will be more in the future. We are looking forward to attending the next one.

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