The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is pleased to announce that Greg Reggio, owner and chef of Taste Buds in New Orleans, will serve as the 2017 LRA Chair of its Board of Directors. Taste Buds is the parent company of Zea Rotisserie & Bar, Semolina Restaurant and Mizado Latin Kitchen. He assumed this role with the start of the New Year.
In this capacity, Reggio will serve as the ambassador of Louisiana’s world-renowned restaurant industry. He will travel the state attending chapter meetings and philanthropic events throughout the year and foster the engagement of one of the state’s largest business trade associations.
Reggio, along with his partners Gary Darling and Hans Limburg, formed the Taste Buds after a cooking event brought them together in Hawaii in the late 1980s. They opened Semolina in 1990 and few years later, created the innovative and popular restaurant concept Zea Rotisserie & Bar. Their latest successful venture is Mizado Latin Kitchen, which opened in 2013. Taste Buds owns and operates 10 restaurants in south Louisiana and one in Mobile, Ala.
Reggio was elected to the LRA state board in 2004. He has chaired several committees, including the Louisiana Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO and Communications. He was the LRA Greater New Orleans Chapter President in 2007 and was appointed by Governor Jindal to the Louisiana Tourism Development Commission in 2008.
In 2011, Reggio was named the LRA’s Active Member of the Year and Restaurateur of the Year—the only member to receive dual awards in the same year. In 2012, the National Restaurant Association awarded Taste Buds the Restaurant Neighbor Award for the company’s relief efforts following the tornados in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Joplin, Missouri. Reggio also served as the LRA’s Public Affairs Conference Whip in 2014.
Reggio and his chef partners were also honored as regional finalists in the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, sponsored by Inc. Magazine and Merrill Lynch, and published in the April 2006 national publication Chain Leader for growth and rebounding from Hurricane Katrina.
Most recently, Reggio was at the front lines after the state’s devastating August flood and coordinated the “Doin’ It for Denham (Springs)” event, where 25 restaurants and suppliers provided a day of food, music and fellowship for those impacted. He is a past board member and remains actively involved in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. In addition, Reggio is the past President of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation.
“It is a great blessing to the LRA to have someone with Greg’s passion, experience and vision serve as our chair. He dedicates so much of his time to ensure that the restaurant industry thrives in Louisiana, be it through food relief or engagement with our members. We look forward to Greg guiding the LRA this year,” said LRA President & CEO Stan Harris.
“I am truly honored by this opportunity,” said Reggio. “I’m excited to engage with as many of our LRA members across the state that I can and I consider it a privilege to further the restaurant industry’s position of importance in the culture and economy of our state.”
The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (S&WB) recently updated the plumbing code to comply with a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce oil and fat in the sewers. In the last few days, the S&WB has sent correspondence to restaurants regarding the rules governing discharge into the public sewerage system from grease traps and grease interceptors. To those establishments, that when sampled that have a high reading are subject to being required to apply for a discharge permit and pay the applicable fees.
S&WB also outlined the new Fats, Oil and Grease (F.O.G.) ordinance in Section 16.5 of the Plumbing Code. The change in regulations was made to reduce sanitary sewer overflows in the collection system. The majority of sewer overflows are caused by obstructions in the collection system and grease causes most of those obstructions.
Traditionally, municipalities issued discharge permits and sampled the discharge from the grease-trap to determine if a facility was in compliance. The F.O.G. program is a means to regulate discharges to the sanitary sewer by the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs). The intent of the changes to the Plumbing Code is to make food service facilities aware of the function of their grease-trap and grease-interceptors. It also will require the food service facility owner and/or manager to properly maintain their trap. This is done by having it pumped or cleaned by a grease-trap cleaning company. The trap must be inspected on an annual basis by a licensed plumber to ensure it works properly.
Key points of the regulations are found below:
1) The new fats, oil and grease daily discharge maximum of 100 mg/ltr (which was reduced from 250 mg/ltr max).
2) All food service establishments that discharge waste containing fats, oils or grease must obtain a F.O.G. discharge permit, install and maintain a grease trap or grease interceptor.
3) Pump out grease trap/interceptor a minimum of once per 90 days and within two working days whenever 25 percent or more of the design capacity of the interceptor, measured from the bottom of the device to the invert of the outlet pipe, contains floating materials, sediment, fats, oils, or grease.
4) For each interceptor that has a capacity greater than 100 gallons, a liquid waste hauler permitted by the S&WB to collect, transport and dispose of liquid waste must be hired to dispose the waste at a facility authorized and permitted to receive the disposal waste.
5) All property owners shall maintain cleaning and pumping receipt records that include the date and time grease interceptor was cleaned, quantity of grease and materials removed, company or qualified agent providing services and shall be maintained on-site for three years. Copies of cleaning records shall be submitted by the grease trap cleaning company monthly to the S&WB. Reports shall be due by the 15th day of the previous calendar month and must be submitted by fax or U.S. mail.
6) Interceptor inspection by a licensed plumber must be done once per year and shall make a visual observation of and take photographs of inlet and outlet fittings, internal baffles, walls, floor and all other internal structures.
They must provide a written report of the inspection to the food service establishment or food preparation establishment of the report and photographs and provide the name, address and telephone number of the licensed plumber or qualified professional approved by the S&WB conducting the inspection, the date of inspection, and a description of any defects observed. A copy of the report must be sent to the S&WB. All interceptor defects shall be corrected within 90 days of each inspection.
For more detailed information, please see Section 16.5 February 2016, Plumbing Code Section 16 revised Feb 2016, Changes to Plumbing Code 2016, 2015 Restaurant Permit Application and Instructions or visit http://www.swbno.org/environmental_pretreatment.asp
If you have any further questions please contact Peter Brown at 504-942-3856 or PBROWN@swbno.org
These members are top volunteers to the association
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is proud to announce the presidents that will lead its membership in 2017. The LRA is comprised of nine chapters across the state, each representing a Major Metropolitan Area (MMA). Every year, the chapters’ board of directors elects a restaurant owner in its ranks to serve as president. This year’s leaders, who volunteer their time and efforts at the highest level, are charged with localizing the overall LRA member experience and cultivating opportunities for growth within the association.
The 2017 LRA Chapter Presidents are:
·Acadiana Chapter (MMA-Lafayette): John O’Meara of the Petroleum Club in Lafayette. O’Meara has been an LRA member since 2006 and is an Acadiana Chapter board member. He also serves on the LRA State Board of Directors. This is his second consecutive term as president.
·Bayou Chapter (MMA-Houma/Thibodaux): Linda Ayers of Ground Pat’i Restaurant in Houma. Ayers has been an LRA member since 2010; a Bayou Chapter board member since 2011.
·Cenla Chapter (MMA-Alexandria): Scott Laliberte of Diamond Grill in Alexandria. Laliberte has been an LRA member since 2010, and joined the Cenla board in 2013.
·Greater Baton Rouge Chapter: Jeremy Langlois of Ruffino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge. Langlois has been an LRA member since 2014 and became a Greater Baton Rouge board member in 2015. This is his second consecutive term as chapter president.
·Greater New Orleans Chapter: Jim Besselman of Ernst Café in New Orleans. Besselman has been a LRA member for 15 years and a GNO Chapter board member since 2009. He also serves on the LRA State Board of Directors.
·Northeast Chapter (MMA-Monroe): Glen Lewellyan of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in West Monroe. He has been an LRA member since 1999 and he has been a Northeast board member since 2012. This is his second consecutive term as chapter president
·Northshore Chapter (MMA-Mandeville/Covington): Craig Smith of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Covington. He has been an LRA member for five years and has served on the Northshore board since 2012.
·Northwest Chapter (MMA-Shreveport): Jason McKinney of Texas Roadhouse in Bossier City. McKinney has been an LRA member since 2012 and has served on the Northwest board since 2012. This is his third consecutive term as chapter president.
·Southwest Chapter (MMA-Lake Charles): Ben Ferguson of Sysco in Lake Charles. He has been an LRA member for 20 years and has been a member of the Southwest Board since 2013. This is his second consecutive term as chapter president.
“The LRA is only as strong as its volunteer leaders,” said LRA President & CEO Stan Harris. “This group of restaurateurs and foodservice professionals will do a great job representing their regions and the restaurant industry this year.”