Justin Girouard, chef and owner of The French Press, has been nominated for a 2012 James Beard Award.
To say this is "kind of a big deal" is like saying a tablespoon of cayenne in your mouth is "a little bit hot." The James Beard Awards are equivalent to the Oscars, except of course tastier. The categories are vast — both the food and beverage sides of a restaurant are noted and best chefs are broken up by U.S. region. Girourard is nominated in the "Best Chef: South" category.
This same honor was given last year to another Louisiana chef, Stephen Stryjewski of Cochon in New Orleans. Past Louisiana winners have included Cochon's founder Donald Link and also Susan Spicer, John Besh and more. With national eyes turned toward Lafayette it isn't a leap to assume we can expect more nominees from our side of the Atchafalaya in the coming years.
Girourard is a fairly new chef. He began working in Crescent City eateries about t10 years ago and after getting his feet wet opened The French Press on Vermilion in downtown Lafayette two years ago. With its bricked walls constantly packed with the salivating masses it's easy to see why he was nominated — Girourard takes typical Cajun and Southern fare and turns it on its ear a bit, enough to be innovative and not enough to alienate the grandparents who grew up eating foods made the same way. Even our beloved downtown fireman statue points toward The French Press.
The fun part? Most people are knowingly nominated by a colleague, restaurant manager or friend. Not Girourard. He doesn't know who put him up for the biggest culinary award so far in his career, although some of us outside his restaurant have theories and guesses.
Whether Girourard wins will be discovered May 7 along with the rest of the nominees in New York City where they will be fêted over a weekend. The awards are announced at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Since 1990 the awards have singled out the best chefs, restaurants, bars, writers and others in North America. James Beard was a singer and actor who turned to catering in the 1940s after moving to New York City. This led to the publication of his first cookbook. In 1955 he founded the James Beard Cooking School and went on to become one of the first nationally known chefs, bringing particularly French and also Chinese influences to American households. This established foundation seeks to honor what Beard began.
Follow the James Beard Foundation Twitter feed here for minute-by-minute announcements May 7 or check them out for great recipes, links and interviews.
The hip little River Ranch shop will open in the Acadiana Center for the Arts in time for the September ArtWalk.
Lafayette’s first-ever Whole Foods Market will open its doors in September.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
The parent of Investar Bank says its second-quarter earnings fell to $1.1 million or 26 cents a share from $1.7 million of 44 cents a share in the same period a year ago.
1,554 rigs were exploring for oil and 315 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,770 active rigs.
Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when people charge money to drive others in their personal vehicles.
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.
By launching a Super PAC to end all Super PACs, our Top 50 keynote speaker hopes to change the game in Washington.
Oil Center-based private facility extends its offerings with special events venue in failed women’s store.
One year later, is his expansion plan paying off?
Newspaper industry insiders question John Georges’ expansion plan.
How the U.S. has gotten itself into another fine mess