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Restaurant Industry Awards Melvin Rodrigue was just 24 in 1997 when the family owners of Galatoire's Restaurant (209 Bourbon St., 525-2021; recruited him as the first manager for their French-Creole landmark to come from outside their bloodline. In the years that followed, he would oversee an extensive renovation of the restaurant, its 100th anniversary in business, the task of reopening after Hurricane Katrina and the debut of the restaurant's first offshoot, Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. For his accomplishments, the Louisiana Restaurant Association ( recently named Rodrigue its 2007 Restaurateur of the Year. The local chapter of the LRA also inducted Chef Paul Prudhomme of K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen (416 Chartres St., 524-7394; into its Hall of Fame . Katy Casbarian of Arnaud's Restaurant (813 Bienville St., 523-5433; was named 2008 president of the association's New Orleans chapter. Lac in Motion The French bistro Chateau du Lac (2037 Metairie Rd., 831-3773; moved from its original Kenner address to a new, larger location along an Old Metairie restaurant row, taking over the former Vaqueros location. The restaurant, run by Frenchman and chef Jacques Saleun , opened for business at its new address last week after a thorough renovation of the space. Saleun's menu remains the same, following the classics of bistro cooking such as escargots Bourguignon, steak au poivre, Dijon-crusted rack of lamb with rosemary, roasted duck, and blanquette de veau, a veal stew with mushrooms and onions. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Former Critic Has Tales to Tell As Gambit Weekly's food critic from 2000 to 2005, freelance writer Sara Roahen worked her way through the city's restaurant scene. New Orleans, in turn, worked its way into her heart, a relationship she relates in her new book Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table, published by W.W. Norton and scheduled for official release Tuesday. Roahen is a Wisconsin native and her book is an intimate memoir offering a look at how someone new to New Orleans discovers, explores and embraces its fabled food culture. Roahen moved to Pennsylvania after Hurricane Katrina. She will be in town later this month for a number of book signings and readings. Check out her Web site at for appearance dates and details.

— McNulty

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