After almost an entire year of failing to live up to your expectations, we are taking a breather this week to relax, recharge, and rush to meet our billable hour requirements. But before we bid farewell to 2011, we want to spread the word about a special event on Friday.
Those of us who are fans of the lunch time tapas menu at Rio Mar probably know Lorie Gandy by face but not by name. Since 2004 Lorie has been the one woman orchestra during every lunch shift at Rio Mar, cranking out plates of blistering morcilla, crispy patatas bravas, and crusty pressed sandwiches filled with jamon and manchego. More recently, Lorie could be found at local markets dishing out cochon de lait po-boys and other fare at a booth sponsored by her Bon Vivant Catering venture.
Last week during lunch at Rio Mar I was surprised to see Nic Bazan, co-owner of Rio Mar and a man of many talents, dressed in his chef whites and working the line. After our table finished a delicious meal (which was punctuated by the absolute best tasting flan that has ever touched my lips), I asked Nic why he was wearing a different hat on this particular day.
It was then that I learned that Lorie was in Houston after an overnight trip was extended indefinitely when she unexpectedly delivered twin boys, Knox and Gabriel, 3 months before her due date. Lorie and her husband Will have been in Houston since then, caring for their boys who are under 24 hour watch at Women's Hospital of Texas and will likely stay there until mid March at the earliest. Once Knox and Gabe are healthy enough for travel, the family plan on making the drive back home to New Orleans.
During lunch on Friday December 30th, the Rio Mar family is throwing a tapas fundraiser to support and assist the Gandy family. Joining the cause will be Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing from MiLa. The cost is $40 per person (which covers tapas and tax), and although there is no specific menu, you can be sure that these chefs will be feeding you well and that no one will leave hungry. Alcohol will be sold separately, and only cash and checks will be accepted.
Most of us were fortunate enough to spend this holiday season at home surrounded by our family and friends. Let's all do as much as we can to ensure that next year the Gandy family will get to do the same.