The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) is pleased to welcome Rachel Bolotte as its new Program Manager. Bolotte will administer the LRAEF Scholarship Fund and Louisiana’s 65 ProStart® programs, which provide culinary and restaurant management education to more than 2,000 students.
For the past eight years, Bolotte has cultivated a nuanced career in education and the culinary field. She has taught culinary education and the foundations of the ProStart program to students at both Academy of Our Lady and John Ehret High School in Marrero. Previously, she was line cook at Restaurant R’evolution and Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and Old Faithful Inn and Lodge at Yellowstone National Park.
“Rachel’s experience as a ProStart program instructor, as well as her diverse culinary background, makes her uniquely qualified to lead the ProStart Program to new levels of success,” said LRAEF Executive Director Alison Greffenius. “She is well equipped to oversee our ProStart programs, strengthen the quality and stature of the program with regard to education structure, and strategically develop new programs and partnerships.”
“I am excited to start this new career pathway with the LRA Education Foundation,” said Bolotte. “Food has always been my passion in life and now I am able to combine my educational background with my knowledge in culinary arts to inspire and share with other passionate ProStart educators.”
ProStart is a nationwide, two-year culinary arts and restaurant management program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant industry leaders. By uniting the classroom and the industry, ProStart gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents and opens doors for fulfilling careers. Students are required to complete a 400-hour work internship, thus providing hands-on training. Many LRA members serve as mentors to ProStart students and also hire them.
“One of the most important missions of the LRA Education Foundation is educating our industry’s future leaders about the opportunities we offer,” said LRA President & CEO Stan Harris. “Having a person with Rachel’s academic and culinary experience will allow us to continue to expand this mission.”
A New Orleans-area native, Bolotte received her culinary arts degree from the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University.
2017 LRAEF Annual Partners: Five Diamond- Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor Services, Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, Louisiana Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers; Four Diamond- Performance Foodservice- Caro; Three Diamond- Atmos Energy, Baton Rouge Epicurean Society, Ben E. Keith, Delaware North, Ecolab and Louisiana Culinary Institute; Two Diamond- Besh Restaurant Group and Louisiana Gas Association and One Diamond-Capitol City Produce. The LRAEF would also like to thank the nine chapters of the LRA for their support throughout the year.
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB) crowned Chef Bonnie Breaux of The St. John Restaurant in St. Martinville as the Queen of Louisiana Seafood at the 10th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off, held this evening at the Cajundome Convention Center in conjunction with A Taste of Eat Lafayette.
To earn the crown, Chef Breaux prepared Crackling-Crusted Black Drum graced with a Fennel Marmalade, nestled on Abita Amber-infused Brabant Potatoes and Sautéed Haricot Vert, topped with butter-poached, Jumbo-Lump, Blue-Point Crabmeat. Chef Breaux beat eleven of the state’s best chefs by to win the title of "Queen of Louisiana Seafood".
“It is an honor to crown the new Queen of Louisiana Seafood, Chef Bonnie Breaux of St. Martinville,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. “This year’s competition was the toughest yet, as each competitor truly showcased why Louisiana has the most exceptional, healthy and delicious seafood in the world. Together, we will promote Louisiana’s thriving seafood industry and the impact it has on the state’s tourism, economy and culture.”
Chef Breaux’s first duty as Queen of Louisiana Seafood will be to represent the state at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off held on Aug. 5, in conjunction with the Louisiana Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO in New Orleans, where she will compete against the nation’s top seafood chefs.
Chef Anthony Felan of Wine Country Bistro in Shreveport was named runner-up, followed by Nathan Richard of Cavan in New Orleans.
This year’s competitors were:
From June 1 to November 1 each year, the possibility that we’ll have to pack up our families and businesses and clear out of South Louisiana is very real. Many of us have been through the “big one” and our older members may have been through several major storms. It’s important that we don’t let those events get too far from our minds as time goes on. The trials were many and collectively as an industry, the times following them were definitely some of our hardest.
What should you be doing right now to prepare?
If evacuation is necessary:
These are just the highlights of what you can do to prepare and reduce your losses during a weather event. There are so many aspects of emergency preparedness and it varies depending on your operation, number of locations and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. Four things we all can do are consider, think, discuss and act. It may not be fun, but it is completely necessary.