3-course interview: Loyola alum Bob Almeida, Napa winemaker

Lagniappe Peak Cuvee will fund a Loyola scholarship
Bob Almeida graduated from Loyola University in 1972 with a degree in business. After he retired in 2007, he bought a Napa Valley vineyard and started making wine.

3-Course interview: filmmaker James Martin on the Sazerac

Director of The New Orleans Sazerac on the making of the short film
James Martin first started asking questions about the Sazerac cocktail a few years ago when he launched www.thesipologist.com, a blog on which he explores cocktail culture and its history. His short film The New Orleans Sazerac screened at the New Orleans Film Festival.

3-Course interview: Leslie Iwerks on Ella Brennan

Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table screens at the New Orleans Film Festival
Filmmaker Leslie Iwerks is known for documentaries about Pixar, the Hearst family and her grandfather, Ub Iwerks, co-creator of Mickey Mouse. Her latest documentary, Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table, about restaurateur Ella Brennan, screens at the New Orleans Film Festival at 8:30 p.m.

3-course interview: bartender Daniel Victory

On the “interactive bartending school” at New Orleans Drink Lab
A veteran of the New Orleans bar industry, Daniel Victory opened his cocktail bar Victory (339 Baronne St., 504-522-8664; www.victorynola.com) in the Central Business District in 2010. Last fall, Victory and his partner Camille Whitworth opened New Orleans Drink Lab (www.drinklabnola.com), a bartending school above the bar.

3-Course interview: historian Paul Freedman

The author of Ten Restaurants That Changed America on dining in the U.S. and New Orleans
Paul Freedman is a professor of medieval history at Yale University and wrote the recently released Ten Restaurants That Changed America. The book features New Orleans' 176-year-old Antoine's, which Freedman includes for its elegant dining aesthetic and the French-Creole regional cuisine.

3-course interview: Chef Thomas Woods

Catering for Hollywood South
Chef Thomas Woods was the executive chef at the now-shuttered French Quarter Italian spot Maximo's Italian Grill. Now a catering chef for The Lakehouse restaurant in Mandeville, Woods cooks on film and commercial sets across the state.

3-course interview: cooking alligator with Chef Nathan Richard

The Kingfish chef prepares a five-course alligator dinner Sept. 22
At French Quarter restaurant Kingfish (337 Chartres St., 504-598-5005; www.kingfishneworleans.com), chef Nathan Richard pulls from his Cajun upbringing in Thibodaux, highlighting regional ingredients and dishes. With alligator hunting season in swing through September, Richard went to Bayou Black, where he's hunted alligators for a decade.

3-Course interview: Chef Amy Sins helps with flood relief

Local chefs feed Baton Rouge residents in the wake of the flood
Langlois Culinary Crossroads (www.langloisnola.com) chef and owner Amy Sins started a Facebook group (Louisiana Flood Outreach — New Orleans Cooks) to provide meals to Baton Rouge area flood victims and evacuees. The efforts attracted chefs, restaurant workers, public relations professionals and restaurateurs to collaborate on an ongoing effort, which has provided more than 100,000 meals.

3-course interview: chef Allison Vines-Rushing

On life after MiLa and her new pop-up
It's been more than two years since chef Allison Vines-Rushing left MiLa, the celebrated restaurant she and husband Slade Rushing opened in 2007 inside the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette hotel. Vines-Rushing brings her pop-up Port City to Jacques-Imo's at 5 p.m.

3-Course interview: chef Hari Pulapaka

On farm-to-table dining
Hari Pulapaka is the executive chef and owner of Cress restaurant (www.cressrestaurant.com) in DeLand, Florida. He's also an associate professor of mathematics and computer science at Stetson University.

3-course interview: Leighann Smith, butcher

The pop-up chef talks sausage and craft butchering
Leighann Smith was the resident "meat mama" at Cochon Butcher where she ran the butcher and charcuterie department for five and a half years. She recently left to open the pop-up Piece of Meat Butcher (www.facebook.com/pieceofmeatbutcher) with partner Dan Jackson.

3-course interview: Matthew Holdren, carpenter

The woodworker on building out restaurants
Local carpenter and woodworker Matthew Holdren (www.matthewholdren.com) has worked on a number of restaurants in the city including Blue Oak BBQ, CellarDoor, Ursa Major, Booty's Street Food and The Franklin. Holdren spoke with Gambit about building out a restaurant and current trends in the industry.


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