Fathers and Sons
Wayne Baquet Longtime local restaurateur; owner of L’il Dizzy’s Café on Esplanade Avenue and Poydras Street
Similarities: My son has my tenaciousness, my character and my desire to succeed in everything I do. He’s got it in him. He’s tough. In business, you have to be tough.
We love cars – he’s worse than I am, he goes to the Indianapolis 500 and other races. We also have a passion for Saints football and the Hornets.
Differences: I run a small business. I’m a hands-on type of person. He is better at delegating and he runs a business with more than 200 employees. I love [creating dishes for] breakfast. He can cook but he’s better at dinners and entrées.
Wayne Baquet Jr. President, Imperial Trading Co.; silent partner, L’il Dizzy’s Café
Similarities: I am a product of my father. He has influenced my career. He helped prepare me to run a large business. He taught me my work ethics, how to treat employees. He taught me how to work my way up.
My dad told me a long time ago, “Everybody needs to be respected.” He showed me how to treat employees.
Differences: My taste in food is more expansive than his. He likes New Orleans food. I do, too, but I like a wider variety.
I’m a delegator and he’s more hands-on. Maybe it has something to do with the generation.
Gunter Preuss Owner, Broussard’s Restaurant in the French Quarter; longtime local restaurateur
Similarities: We respect each other. Marc has grown up in the [restaurant] industry and gone through the same European schooling I did. Marc has worked with me since we had Versailles [restaurant]. He bussed tables and was always involved. So we know he has the knowledge and temperament to run the restaurant.
Differences: I am older than Marc! So each generation has different ideas. We find a middle ground. When you’re older, you’re wiser but sometimes you have to listen to the younger generation.
Marc Preuss Manager, Broussard’s Restaurant
Similarities: My dad has instilled his “German efficiency” in me. He expects it done right the first time and I live by that. I attended the European management schools like my dad. He is a master of the trade.
When my dad was off, he didn’t fish or hunt, he just rested. Now I’m the same. A restaurateur is like an entertainer: he’s always on.
Differences: You have to work with people. I’ve had to lower the bar a little bit. Sometimes I might have been too soft with people.
George Shinn Owner, New Orleans Hornets
Similarities: Chad and I are both passionate about the Hornets organization and about New Orleans. We share a commitment to build the Hornets’ legacy, to see the team succeed on and off the court and to maintain our commitment to rebuilding our hometown, New Orleans.
Differences: Chad loves the game of basketball and knows all about the league and the game itself. My focus is on the business side of the franchise, especially sales. He is more hands-on with the team’s decision makers, while I step back and evaluate the recommendations they provide based on their expertise.
Chad Shinn, Executive Officer of the Board, New Orleans Hornets
Similarities: Dad has more than 20 years of experience as owner of the franchise and knows the business inside and out. He is helping me learn the business aspect of running an NBA team. We both care deeply for the organization and share the goal of maintaining championship performances, on and off the court.
Differences: We do have differences but we’ve used those differences to build a strong relationship, both personally and professionally. I am proud of what he’s accomplished and I’m blessed to have learned from the best.
Mel Parnell Former left-handed pitcher with the Boston Red Sox; manager, New Orleans Pelicans and other clubs; elected to Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1997.
Similarities: Mel and I are both left-handed. He grew up liking baseball; he has it in his blood. We even look alike. There is a picture of me in a mural in Mickey Mantle’s restaurant in New York, and some people think it’s Melvin.
My wife and I love to travel. I have been to all 50 states and he’s a traveler, too.
Differences: He played baseball when he was younger. I continued on in baseball and he didn’t. But now many people I meet know him!
My wife and I are a little too old to travel, now.
Melvin Parnell M.D. Orthopedic surgeon
Similarities: My father and I look a lot alike and we have the same mannerisms. Some people say, “like father, like son.” I appreciate that now more than I did when I was younger. We are both “people persons,” and we’re both very active. We both have a lot of friends. We’re both laid back. My grandfather was, too. I was lucky as a kid – because of baseball we traveled a lot.
Differences: He only went through high school and I’m a doctor. He always told me I would go to college. He had the wisdom to know that without an education nowadays, you cannot succeed.
George Cortello, Partner, Franky & Johnny’s restaurant on Arabella Street and Zeke’s restaurant in Metairie
Similarities: Both boys know the restaurant business. Our objective is the same: to please the customer. With food, we’re all pretty adventurous. We will try things.
We travel as a family, to Destin, Gulf Shores and Houston. We like to cook and eat together. We enjoy each other.
Differences: With both my sons, they’re more intense than I am. I am more laid back. I do better with people, while they handle the kitchen end.
Anthony “Tony” Cortello, Partner, Franky & Johnny’s restaurant on Arabella Street and Zeke’s restaurant in Metairie
Similarities: I think our work ethics are very similar. Our motivations are the same to do what’s best for the restaurant in the long run, to consider other people and don’t worry about yourself.
Differences: I wish I had [my dad’s] patience. He is very calm, at least on
the outside. I like being in the kitchen. My brother and I are in the kitchen a lot. My dad is more comfortable in the front of the house.
Darryl Cortello, Partner, Franky & Johnny’s restaurant on Arabella Street and Zeke’s restaurant in Metairie
Similarities: My dad and I are both thorough thinkers. We [three] appreciate being in a family that works together. We work together well.
We all like family-type cuisine. There are never any culinary battles.
Differences: My dad is pretty mild-mannered. I’m quicker to address a situation more aggressively. Dad likes to enjoy his family and friends. I do, too, but I like drawing, painting and working out.