Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Louisiana restaurateurs honored in DC for community service

Restaurateurs are widely-recognized as charitable individuals and Greg Reggio, of the Taste Buds Restaurant Group, is an example of one that has taken his philanthropy to the masses. Specifically, he and his business partners in Semolina and Zea Rotisserie & Grill restaurants, Gary Darling and Hans Limburg created “Three Chefs, One Mission,” an effort they coordinated to bring hope and reprieve to those affected by natural disasters.

Reggio and his “buds” as he likes to he calls Darling and Limburg, we’re honored by the National Restaurant Association April 17 with the Restaurant Neighbor Award. The award recognizes restaurateurs who have gone above and beyond in giving back to their communities.
“Restaurateurs are some of the most philanthropic business owners on earth.” said Stan Harris, Louisiana Restaurant Association President & CEO. “Greg and his partners, Hans and Gary, are an excellent example of how ‘paying it forward’ can change lives, one plate of food at a time. We are thrilled that Taste Buds Management has been recognized for its community service efforts.”

In 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston, Texas and inundated Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish coastal town of Lafitte with water. Reggio and fellow members of the Louisiana Restaurant Association Greater New Orleans Chapter served hot meals to more than 1,200 residents at the Lafitte Town Hall only three days after the community was re-opened to its citizens.

Since then, he’s found a calling, specifically named, “Three Chefs, One Mission,” along with Darling and Limburg.

“Although Katrina was six or so years prior, it was still very much in our minds and memories,” said Reggio. “We said, ‘We know what they are going through and we are going to bring them some Louisiana love’.”

Reggio is all smiles
receiving the NRA's
Restaurant Neighbor
Award, April 17.
With a team of support and volunteers, Reggio led a caravan to the tornado-ravaged town of Tuscaloosa, Ala. last spring. His team was armed with fresh Louisiana seafood, musician Amanda Shaw and Louisiana hospitality and warmth.

“It’s incredible how Greg rallied the industry to bring hope and comfort to a community that so desperately needed it,” said Glen Armantrout, LRA Past Chairman.

A similar event followed in Joplin, Mo., which had also been hit by a tornado, leaving another path of destruction in its wake. He made the national news for his efforts and those of the volunteers who joined him.

“I know when Greg calls we are going to go do something for the community,” said Chef Duke Locicero of CafĂ© Giovanni.

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