NEW ORLEANS - How long have you worked at your current job? 25, 30, maybe even 40 years? Even so, there’s a safe bet there’s someone at Galatoire’s Restaurant who has you beat.
On Monday evening, the Louisiana Restaurant Association will honor 17 Galatoire’s employees, including several of the famed Bourbon Street restaurant’s legendary waiters, as restaurant legends.
The recipients will be recognized at a special ceremony at the restaurant. The “Restaurant Legends Award” recognizes the long-term dedication of employees of the restaurant industry, with 20 or more years of service at one establishment.
“With 557 combined years of experience and service at Galatoire’s Restaurant, these men and women exemplify the satisfaction of making their jobs a lifelong and rewarding career,” said the LRA in its announcement.
Galatoire’s, open in the French Quarter since 1905, is among the classic, old-line restaurants known for the personalities and talents of its servers, several of whom appear on the honorees list, including several members of the Fontenot family, who have been waiters there for generations.
The Galatoire’s employees being honored are:
- Linzie Brown, busser, employed for 51 years
- Arnold Chabaud, Maître D, employed for 23 years
- Michael “MC” Emmons, server, employed for 25 years
- Billy Fontenot, server, employed for 29 years
- Harold Fontenot, server, employed for 54 years
- Homer Fontenot, server, employed for 24 years
- John Fontenot, server, employed for 29 years
- David Gooch, manager, employed for 47 years
- Charles Grimaldi, server, employed for 28 years
- Fernando Gutierrez, cook, employed for 35 years
- Joann Nunnery, receptionist, employed for 31 years
- Roger Rojas, cook, employed for 22 years
- Richard Smith, server, employed for 30 years
- Bryant Sylvester, server and Maître D, employed for 27 years
- Dorris Sylvester, server, employed for 39 years
- Imre Szalai, server, employed for 40 years
- Murray Thomas, cook/kitchen manager, 23 years