Dining By Design 2018

Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center
Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Dining by Design

Chef John Folse and Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center are proud to announce the slate of chefs, florists and designers participating in the 10th anniversary celebration of Dining by Design. This luxury dining experience will be held at the L’Auberge Ballroom in Baton Rouge on Sunday, August 19, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Dining by Design combines the chefs’ culinary artistry with the originality of local designers and florists to create a feast for the eyes and palate. This fundraising event will benefit Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center, the home of Sister Dulce’s ministry.

Annually, six national chefs and four local chefs are selected for participation in this upscale event. The national chefs each serve a chateau-style table of 20 guests who have paid handsomely ($1,000 per Gold Level ticket) for the privilege of tasting an exquisite meal prepared by culinary genius. Local chefs serve tables of 10 who pay $500 per Silver Level seat. Chef John Folse serves the Bronze Level tables at $250 per seat.

Local florists and designers spend hours creating tablescapes with vivid floral displays, uniqueness and unparalleled creativity. The table designs have become a highlight of Dining by Design.
In 2001, Sister Dulce Maria was accepted into the Baton Rouge religious community by then Bishop Alfred Hughes, who is now Archbishop Emeritus of New Orleans. Through Sister Dulce’s mission of caring for the sick and dying, as well as offering spiritual guidance to those who seek the Lord, more than 20,000 souls have been touched by her healing hands. Global visitors have sought Sister from places as far away as Russia.

“I’ve seen patients from all over the world,” said Sister Dulce Maria. “Many healing miracles have occurred of body and soul. And I have witnessed many conversions. I am just so grateful to God that He continues to send chefs, florists and designers every year who graciously give their time and talent to help raise funds to keep the ministry going.”
The Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center is located on 56 acres in Baton Rouge. The growing campus consists of an office building, convent, chapel and meditation trails. Cypress Springs is open to all faithful regardless of religious affiliation. No one is turned away.

At this year’s Dining by Design event, each guest will be served either an appetizer or soup course that will include shrimp as an ingredient. A salad course follows with a meat course of Certified Angus Beef and a dessert finalé.

“The creativity of each chef is remarkable,” said Chef John Folse, Board Member of The Sister Dulce Foundation, Inc. and managing partner of Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans and Seafood R’evolution in Ridgeland, MS. “We basically give the chefs two ‘must use’ ingredients: shrimp and Certified Angus Beef. Their creativity explodes from there.”

The Dining by Design chef roster for 2018 is:


Jared Van Camp Chicago, IL Element Collective
John J. O’Leary Naples, FL Wyndemere Country Club
Hartmut Handke Dublin, OH Culinary Fast Trac
Christopher Sherrill Third and Long Consulting Gulf Shores, AL
Seth Shipley Nashville, TN Belle Meade Country Club
Charles Carroll Houston, TX River Oaks Country Club


Peter Sclafani Baton Rouge & Lafayette Ruffino’s
Jana Billiot New Orleans, LA Restaurant R’evolution
Dondi McNulty Baton Rouge The Little Village
Chris Motto Baton Rouge Mansurs on the Boulevard

The team of florists and designers for 2018 is:


Interior Design & Associates – Phyllis Brister and Earl Savoie
Jake’s on the Avenue Floral Designs & Gifts – Jake Sibley and Chuck Johnson
Peregrin’s Florist & Decorative Services, Inc. – Peregrin Joel and Carla Mica Franklin
Designs by Milissa – Milissa Duhe
Billy Heroman’s Flowers & Gifts – Buzzy and Susie Heroman
Spaces by Erin Tew – Erin DeBosier Tew


A Cottage Path – Lea Richardson and Alice Olivier
Bee’s Wedding and Event Floral Designs–Eric and Carolyn Fredricks
A Flower Basket of Baton Rouge – Suzan Dyson
Trey Marino’s Central Florist & Gifts – Trey Marino III


Alexander’s Highland Market – Kelly and Lathan Alexander with designers Angel King and Jeff Leatham
Baton Rouge Succulent Company – Rozlan Fransen
The Flower Girls – Kathy Barbay, Kathy Broha, Staci Duhé, Vicki Rich, Patricia Thomas and Peggy Thompson
Mandy Mey Kinchen Designs – Mandy Mey Kinchen

There is also a casual dinner event, Chillin’ & Grillin’, at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge the evening before, Saturday, August 18 from 6 – 8 p.m. Guests can interact with esteemed chefs and designers as well as enjoy a delicious Chef John Folse meal with beverages for $50 per person.

The silent auction includes a large number of luxury items including two 2018 LSU football season tickets on the 50-yard line; an opportunity to throw the first pitch when LSU’s “boys of summer” take the field at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in the spring; hunting gear from Synergy; exquisite jewelry; New Orleans hotel packages; a dinner for 10 with Sister Dulce at Chef John Folse’s White Oak Plantation; and original artwork from well-known local artists. Silent auction bidding begins for the general public on Sunday, August 5th at www.cypressspringsprayercenter.org, and concludes at 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 19th.

Tickets to win a lovely Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote can be purchased online for $20 (www.cypressspringsprayercenter.org). The iconic bag (valued at $1,320) includes a re-designed interior with a fresh textile lining and heritage details.

The “Wine & Dine” raffle includes local restaurant gift certificates and bottles of fine wine divided among five large baskets to be drawn at the event. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased online at www.cypressspringsprayercenter.org; winners need not be present to win. Special thanks to participating restaurants and vineyards including Bin 77 Bistro & Wine, Bistro Byronz, Black Castle Vineyard, California Pizza Kitchen, Capital City Grill, City Café, City Pork Brasserie & Bar, Drusilla Seafood, Eric Lacassine, Flambée Café, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Frank’s Restaurant, French Market Bistro, Fresh Market, Mason’s Grill, Mike Anderson’s Seafood Restaurant, On the Half Shell Oyster Bar & Seafood Restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant, Paul Bologna Fine Wines, Phil’s Oyster Bar, Portobello’s Grill, Rocco’s New Orleans Style Po-boys & Café, Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant, Serop’s Café, Sno’s Seafood & Steak, Stab’s Prime Steak & Seafood, Stroubes, TJ Ribs and The Little Village.