Michael earned his place in Lafayette lore through delivery of food, drink and service when his patrons wanted to celebrate. Is there a bigger honor than being asked to handle the details of a daughter's wedding or a family's holiday celebration? And the operational detail that had to be coordinated in the gauntlet between Thanksgiving and Mardi Gras was always an exercise in delicately controlled chaos that would impress the most seasoned CEO. He delivered consistently from massive Mardi Gras balls all the way through a single serving of Eggplant Audrey for a grandmother's birthday without seeming to sweat.
These constant engagements coupled with the exceptional food he put into people's events exposed him frequently to solicitations for donations. Being in the restaurant business myself, I understand how often you do get asked to give. I truly believe that he was not able to turn away a request ' and there sometimes as many as 20 per week, all for a good cause ' of someone who had been a good customer or a better friend. His generosity may well have been his undoing. Brian Blanchard was correct in stating the misconceptions of the margins in the restaurant business and when you give of your business you truly have to take long strides to recoup that donation. If you are donating as often as Michael was, then there will certainly be a mountain to climb.
I write this letter not to defend the financial nor operational predicaments a la carte endured in recent times. We have all weathered storms of our own creation. I think the safe harbor of Brian's involvement and his expertise will refill the entire enterprise with new life; for that I am pleased for the two of them.
But I do feel as though the tone of the article could be potentially disparaging to an accomplished and seasoned businessman going through a tough time. Michael is a great citizen and a philanthropic neighbor in ways that we should all strive to be. To have his name become known as one who was made a mess of things is a travesty; I admire his contributions to all of the celebrations, gatherings and good causes in Acadiana. His class, good nature and generous spirit are his calling card and should be his legacy.
As Michael enters this chapter of his career and begins to re-build the foundations of a la carte with Brian, I wish them much success. His product has long been his reputation and that will certainly see him through.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Fifa under fire for fake turf plans; freed journalist back home; corporate conversions rising and more national and international news for Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got the message from the NFL. He's not dunking footballs over goal posts any more.
With qualifying over, the start of campaign season is official, and for the Lafayette Parish School Board, the race toward Nov. 4 will pit 20 candidates in battles for all 9 of the district’s available seats.
An abortion rights organization has filed the first court challenge to a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election Friday the same as any other candidate, filling out paperwork and handing over cash to pay his qualifying fee. But he finished it quite differently, doused with ice.
The recent release of Victor White III’s autopsy report could spell trouble, as it tells a much different story of his death than the one told five months ago by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“Candidates for Congress and members of Congress spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money to get back to Congress or to get their party back into power.”
Over the last four days of the trial against attorney Daniel Stanford, there’s been one notable absence from Judge Elizabeth Foote’s courtroom: attorney Bill Goode.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Nick Toon are not on the same page yet, and time is running short for Toon to get it right.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election the same as other candidates, filling out paperwork and handing over qualifying money. But he finished it like no other, doused with ice.
That’s what Lafayette Parish has obtained in Pentagon surplus since 2006.
Qualifying continues through Friday.