Philanthropic Fun: A Lifetime of Service

Mark Romig was presented the esteemed Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award.

Mark Romig, recognized for his unwavering love and extraordinary commitment to our great city, was honored with the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award. Each year, the award is presented to a recipient who has made a lifetime commitment to the hospitality industry through extraordinary leadership, personal and professional accomplishments and philanthropic contributions to the community. The award is named for legendary restaurateur Ella Brennan, in honor of her deep passion and commitment which has made a significant and longstanding impact on the New Orleans hospitality industry. The award was designed and fabricated by Adler’s.

NOCCA student Diji Diallo trumpeted the beginning of the program with “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Jimmy Maxwell and his orchestra provided musical entertainment at the gala.

Bryan Batt, a longtime childhood friend of Mark’s, was the emcee. The Very Reverend David Caron with the Archdiocese of New Orleans delivered the invocation.

Speakers included Ellen Lee, representing Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the Director of Community and Economic Development for the city of New Orleans; Sonny Lee of Son of a Saint; Errol Laborde; Ti Martin; Mark’s sister and brother, Mary Beth Haskins and Jay Romig; and Gail Varuso, NOWFE Board President.

Amongst the 350 guests, attending chefs included Michael Gulotta, also a NOWFE Board Member, Tory McPhail, Gus Martin and Tom Wolfe.

Served on every table were Moet Magnum Bottles from Coastal Pacific Wines & Spirits, as well as a favorite snack of Mark’s: onion rings from Ye Olde College Inn.


Event at a Glance

What: “Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award,”
benefiting New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

When: Thursday, January 17

Where: Ritz-Carlton


Christian Brown and Fr. David Caron O.P.

Gail Varuso, Brian Kish and Aimee Brown 

Tod Smith and Fred Holley

Peggy Scott and Errol Laborde

Chefs Christopher Lynch and Ashley Gray with Eileen Bivalacqua and chef Tory McPhail