The Louisiana Restaurant Association will honor Michael Rodrigue, Lucien Gunter and Paul Rotner, owner, chief executive officer and chief operating officer, respectively, of Acme Oyster House, as its Restaurateurs of the Year at the LRA Education Foundation “Five Star Futures” Gala on Saturday at the Grand Ballroom of Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
Restaurateur of the Year is the association’s most prestigious award and goes to “an individual (or individuals) who has contributed unselfishly to the advancement of Louisiana’s restaurant industry and has continually dedicated his services at both the local chapter and state levels,” a news release said.
Rodrigue, a New Orleans native, bought Acme Oyster House in 1985 and created a brand with five locations in the Greater New Orleans area, Baton Rouge and Florida and 500 employees with an annual revenue of more than $25 million.
Gunter opened four of the company’s restaurants and next year will oversee the sixth location in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Rotner joined Acme in 2007. He sits on the LRA Board of Directors and is the LRA Greater New Orleans Chapter president.
Each year, the LRA also recognizes a member “who has given faithful, dedicated and outstanding service to the association” by inducting him or her into the LRA Hall of Fame.
Drago and Klara Cvitanovich of Drago’s Seafood Restaurant in Metairie and New Orleans are this year’s inductees. They have been LRA members since 1991.
Ralph’s Markets director
Ralph’s Markets has named Louis “Jack” Treuting as its director of perishables. He will be responsible for strategic planning and sales development in the perishable arenas including meat, deli/bakery, floral and produce departments in all Ralph’s Supermarket locations.
Treuting is a Louisiana native and a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, S.C., with a degree in culinary arts. He spent seven years with Whole Foods Market in the Florida region and was hired in 2009 by Rouses Enterprises in New Orleans as its director of Food Service and Deli. He later became executive director of Culinary Operations.
Ralph’s Supermarkets is an independent family owned supermarket operation with stores in Gonzales, Pelican Point and Baton Rouge’s Jones Creek area.
Aunt Sally’s Praline Shops
Aunt Sally’s Praline Shops Inc. will hold a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of its new corporate headquarters, commercial candy kitchen and second retail store at 750 St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans.
The company purchased a 10,000-square-foot abandoned car dealership and auto parts store in the Warehouse District in 2012 and completed a multimillion dollar renovation, a news release said.
Aunt Sally’s, founded by Pierre and Diane Bagur in 1935, also has a store at Royal and St. Louis streets in the French Market.