Amy A. Kirk Duvoisin
Director of Marketing
(504) 522-2621 ext. 205 office
WAITERS RACE THIS SUNDAY JULY 11!
THE FIRST ANNUAL FRENCH MARKET WAITERS RACE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WE LIVE TO EAT REVIVES A FRENCH QUARTER TRADITION!
FRENCH CONSULATE OLIVIER BROCHENIN WILL PRESENT AWARDS
(New Orleans, LA—July 8, 2010) In honor of Bastille Day, New Orleans will join cities around the world in hosting a waiters race, a tradition started in Paris in the early 20th century to recognize the waitstaff profession. Coined “VIVE LA FRANCE, VIVE LA SEAFOOD!” the race serves as a celebration of the New Orleans local restaurant and seafood industries. The public is encouraged to attend and cheer on waiters as they make their way down Decatur Street from St. Ann Street to Ursulines Street.
The French Market has partnered with We Live to Eat, an initiative of the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association that exists to increase awareness and appreciation of New Orleans restaurants. Through We Live to Eat, 25 local waiters have signed up to compete in this speedwalking race that tests waiters’ ability to carry items on a serving tray without spilling or dropping or running or bumping into one another. Response to the call was swift, with waitstaff filling the spots within three days of announcing the race and forcing the creation of a wait list for others interested.
The race begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday July 11 on Decatur Street at St. Ann (near Café du Monde). Waiters will register at Washington Artillery Park across from Jackson Square, where they will be fitted with an apron, napkin, waiters tray, and plastic wine glasses filled with water. Waiters will need to adhere to strict rules as they carry their tray in a straight shot down Decatur Street to Ursulines, just past the Joan of Arc statue, where the race ends. The awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. at the Gazebo Café, 1016 Decatur Street and is open to the public. There will be food, drink, live music and a public toast to the restaurant industry.
Waitstaff from Café Giovanni, Southern Yacht Club, Luke, Morton’s Steakhouse, Galvez Restaurant, Pelican Club, Domenica, El Gato Negro, O’Henry’s, Montrel’s Bistro and The Market Café and are set to compete for cash prizes from The French Market and gift certificates donated by the following establishments: Bombay Club, Phil’s Grill, Hard Rock Café, Corky’s BBQ, Praline Connection, Creole Cuisine, Royal Sonesta’s Desire Oyster Bar, as well as retail shops Voodoo Harley Davidson and Whats New Gift Shop. Linen napkins for waiters to drape over their arms as they race will be donated by TLC Linen Services.
Prizes are as follows: First Place - $300 cash plus store and restaurant gift certificates totaling $200. Second Place - $200 cash plus store and restaurant gift certificates totaling $100. Third Place - $100 cash plus store and restaurant gift certificates totaling $50. All winners receive trophies and a free WE LIVE TO EAT! tshirt. All contestants receive a free apron with the VIVE LA FRANCE! VIVE LA SEAFOOD! logo.
Olivier Brochenin, French Consul General in Louisiana, will present the awards along with Kenneth Ferdinand, Executive Director of the French Market, Chef Duke Locicero of Café Giovanni, and Alexandra Stafford, President of Alliance Française New Orleans.
“The restaurant industry cannot live without waiters, and New Orleans cannot live without seafood. We want to honor all of those struggling during this time while we celebrate our French heritage and New Orleans’ indefatigable joie de vivre--despite it all!” said French Market Marketing Director Amy Kirk Duvoisin.
Bastille Day, formally called La Fête Nationale (National Celebration) and commonly le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July), commemorates the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. The French Market will honor Bastille Day on July 14 with a procession of French characters, wreath laying ceremony by The Council of French Societies, and the second annual LET THEM EAT CAKE! event. See www.frenchmarket.org for details.