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Vino on the Bayou
A wine-tasting series begun last year on the banks of Bayou St. John is starting up again. Cork & Bottle (3700 Orleans Ave., 281-4384;, the wine store in the American Can Building, will cohost the tastings with the Louisiana Landmarks Society (1400 Moss St., 482-0312) at the Pitot House, an early 19th-century French Caribbean-style home the nonprofit preservation group runs as a museum. The series begins Friday, June 2, and will be held the first Friday of the month through the summer from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Each will include two wine-tasting stations with four or five wines selected by Cork & Bottle staff. Admission is $10 and proceeds benefit the Louisiana Landmarks Society. Tickets are available at the door.

Bam Master
Emeril Lagasse was inducted May 20 into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame, a program run by the food service industry magazine Nation's Restaurant News to honor leaders in restaurant and food development. In its nomination, the magazine credits Lagasse with ushering in the era of the celebrity chef. A native of Fall River, Mass., Lagasse first made a name for himself as chef at Commander's Palace. He opened his first restaurant, Emeril's (800 Tchoupitoulas St., 528-9393;, in 1990 and his second, NOLA (534 St. Louis St., 522-6652), two years later. In 1993, he published his first cookbook and began his ongoing presence on the Food Network. He later renovated a stalwart New Orleans steakhouse to open his Emeril's Delmonico (1300 St. Charles Ave., 525-4937), which is scheduled to reopen in the fall. Emeril's Homebase, the company that oversees all of Emeril's projects, is headquartered in the Warehouse District. Other New Orleans chefs inducted in the MenuMasters Hall of Fame include Paul Prudhomme, who was honored in 2003, and the late Warren Leruth of the long-gone LeRuth's Restaurant in Gretna, who was honored in 1998.

The Good Shrimp
A little French lesson and a big push for local seafood is underway around the state with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board's ( campaign for Gulf shrimp. The industry group has dubbed its campaign Bonne Crevette Ñ French for good shrimp Ñ and promotional materials bearing its name and colorful logo can be seen in advertisements and at restaurants using local shrimp. Gov. Kathleen Blanco proclaimed ÒBonne CrevetteÓ as the motto for this year's brown and white shrimp seasons, while radio ads featuring a character named Madame Crevette trumpet the superiority of Louisiana shrimp. The promotion board kicked off the shrimp season this year with a blessing of the fleet event outside of St. Louis Cathedral.

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