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.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ten departing CEOs rake in $430 million; profile of FSU gunman emerges; Buffalo's weather woes and more national and international news for Friday, November 21, 2014.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
Pat Cooper is contesting his termination by the LPSB, filing a petition Tuesday that calls the recent decision “arbitrary and capricious.”
A look at the numbers highlights the challenge facing Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu as she tries to win a fourth term in a Dec. 6 runoff against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.
A national animal rights group has been rebuffed by a Baton Rouge district court judge, although the group might still get its day in court.
The administration says public college campuses won't be on the chopping block.
The legendary musician is performing at a $1,000-per-person fundraiser Dec. 1 in New Orleans.
Old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments and other unclaimed money is sent to the state when a business cannot locate someone.