Chef Thierry Marceaux owns Le Rendez-vous Cafe in Las Cruces. Ten years ago, however, he was the executive pastry chef at the legendary Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans, a block off Bourbon Street.
I sat down and visited with Thierry yesterday for more than an hour, exactly ten years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. We talked about the looting, the week he was stranded in the hotel, and the death and destruction he witnessed as he prepared three meals a day for the hotel's 200 guests who had no place to go. (Some of the wealthier ones used their cell phones to call private helicopter companies to evacuate them.)
We also talked about how he ended up buying a restaurant in Las Cruces, which is frequently described as a "hidden gem," or a "local treasure."
His is a tremendous story, and conveys a degree of chaos, lawlessness and panic that America hasn't seen in recent history. "The city was out of control," he told me. "Jewelry stores, Gucci stores, French designers — they were all looted. A policeman was shot outside the hotel. It was very dangerous. People were wading through the streets, holding huge flat-screen TVs above their heads."
I hope you'll read the story. #HurricaneKatrina #TenYearsLater #Reporting #Journalism #NewOrleans #LasCruces #NewMexico #NMTrue