We Live to Eat

00:00 September 01, 2011

In February 2010, the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association launched a movement called We Live to Eat. This clever campaign was designed to raise awareness of New Orleans’ extraordinary culinary industry, serving as an eminent piece of our local culture.  We celebrate everything in our lives with a culinary experience combining great memories with delicious dishes from births to deaths and everything in between.  As it’s said, “In New Orleans, we don’t eat to live—we live to eat.”  The campaign celebrates our lives as locals and focuses on supporting local restaurants, highlighting our distinctive dining scene.   
To commemorate our unique foodie culture, the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association recently announced that We Live to Eat: Louisiana Seafood Restaurant Week will be held September 12-18, 2011. During this week long celebration of New Orleans cuisine, participating restaurants in the New Orleans metro area will offer special prix fixe menus, giving diners the opportunity to try items at 25 percent value off the regular price. Restaurants will offer a two-course lunch for $20 and a three-course dinner for $35. Participating restaurants range from fine dining establishments to neighborhood favorites. This campaign serves as a great reason to try new restaurants, explore new neighborhoods and taste eye-opening cuisine.
“This is an awesome opportunity to showcase Louisiana Seafood to tourists around the country and our locals,” said Ewell Smith, Louisiana Seafood Promotions and Marketing Executive Director.  “This is certain to become a signature event for New Orleans.”
“We have a lot to celebrate in New Orleans and our culinary culture is at the top of the list,” said Octavio Mantilla, Co-Owner of Besh Restaurant Group and New Orleans Restaurant Week Chair. “People travel from across the globe to experience what locals sometime take for granted. This is a perfect opportunity to support local restaurants and have a fantastic meal at the same time.”
A website, www.WeLiveToEatNOLA.com is the home base for the We Live to Eat campaign and We Live to Eat: Louisiana Seafood Restaurant Week. This helpful site lists all LRA member restaurants participating in Restaurant Week along with their menus. Reservations can be made on the website for Restaurant Week through reservation sponsor OpenTable.
As one of the largest business organizations in the state, The Louisiana Restaurant Association represents restaurant operations and related businesses. The restaurant industry in Louisiana is the state’s largest private employer with 140,000 employed directly and another 55,000 indirectly employed. In 2011, estimated restaurant sales in Louisiana are expected to generate near $6.2 billion. The New Orleans metropolitan restaurant industry alone accounts for  close to 50,000 jobs and an annual sales totaling $2.5 billion, in which more than $25 million annually in food and beverage taxes is generated from the City of New Orleans.
The GNO chapter of the LRA’s hosts fundraisers which benefit the LRA Education Foundation, Prostart Programs and special projects like We Live to Eat.  The LRA Education Foundation supports students who choose the culinary industry as a career choice, one that can be lifelong and fulfilling. ProStart is a dynamic and comprehensive two-year curriculum that encourages juniors and seniors to learn all aspects of operating and managing a foodservice establishment.  
The LRA greatly encourages all New Orleanians to embrace everything our great culinary city has to offer by dining out at local restaurants and participating in We Live to Eat: Louisiana Seafood Restaurant Week September 12-18.  Foodies everywhere can now follow the latest LRA food news via We Live to Eat on Facebook and Twitter.

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