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Honoring Experienced Service
As restaurateurs beat the drum looking for new employees to fill the region's lingering staffing shortage, the Louisiana Restaurant Association (www.lra.org) has created a new award program to recognize veteran restaurant employees for their years of service. Called the Louisiana Restaurant Legends Award, it is open to any employee of a LRA-member restaurant who has worked at the restaurant for at least 20 years. Each LRA-member restaurant can nominate one employee per year by submitting an application found on the organization's Web site. Winners receive certificates for themselves and their restaurants and they will be featured on the LRA's Web site. The LRA plans to invite each of its chapters around the state to submit winners for consideration for an annual grand award. The LRA says its goal is to demonstrate that jobs within the restaurant industry can be lifelong, meaningful careers.

Seed Saver Salon
An upcoming fund-raiser for the Crescent City Farmers Market (www.marketumbrella.org) is all about sowing seeds. To be held Wednesday, June 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Savvy Gourmet (4519 Magazine St., 895-2665; www.savvygourmet.com), the event features chefs, farmers and fishermen preparing dishes using heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits. Proceeds from the night will benefit the market's newest initiative, a community-based fundraising model called the Katrina Crop Circle, which is now working to provide heirloom seeds for community gardens in New Orleans. The guest speaker will be Kent Whealy, founder and director of Seed Savers Exchange (www.seedsavers.org), a nonprofit dedicated to preserving seeds of heirloom produce. Among the chefs preparing food for the event are Corbin Evans of Savvy Gourmet, Gerard Maras of Table One, Jared Tees of Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House and Aaron Bargau of The Bank CafŽ, along with vendors from the Farmers Market. For advance tickets, call 861-5898 or go online to www.marketumbrella.org. Contribution levels begin at $50 per person.

Uncorked Tasting
Cork & Bottle
(3700 Orleans Ave., 281-4384; www.corknola.com) will host a wine tasting with more than 75 wines and artisanal cheeses on Friday, June 16. The event will be held at the downtown wine distributor Purveyor of Fine Wines (1040 Magazine St., 523-5230; www.winepurveyors.com) from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Cork & Bottle proprietor Jon Smith has selected rare and reserve wines from France, California, Spain, Austria, Chile and South Africa for the tasting, including champagnes as well as single malt scotches. In addition to Cork & Bottle's cheese selection, appetizers will be provided by the Savvy Gourmet. Tickets $50; available in advance only at Cork & Bottle in New Orleans or Baton Rouge (3911 Perkins Rd., 225-344-1414). Ñ McNulty Got a tip for Food News? Email Ian McNulty at imcnulty@cox.net.

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