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Chef Brian Mottola IN at NOLA; Gearing Up For Creole Tomato Fest

Plus, some Nina Compton fun facts, and Latitude 29 makes Esquire's Best Bars in America 2015.

The French Market Creole Tomato Festival
The French Market Creole Tomato Festival

QUARTER— Emeril's NOLA has announced Brian Mottola as its new chef de cuisine. Mottola worked at  Emeril's from 1997-1999, and rejoined the team in 2012 at e2 in Charlotte. He takes over for chef Josh Laskay, who sadly passed away in April at age 36. []

QUARTER— Beachbum Berry's tiki mecca Latitude 29 has been selected as one of Esquire's best bars in America this year, with booze-world overlord David Wondrich noting "damned if the drinks aren't the best of their kind." [Esquire]

QUARTER— Helen Freund reports that the French Market's annual (and FREE) Creole Tomato Festival is on the horizon, the weekend of June 13-14, with cooking demos, live music, an eating contest, and free boxes of tomatoes for folks who spend over $30 at French Market stalls. [Gambit]

QUARTER—Kicking off the Creole Tomato Fest, Ian McNulty reports, is the Summer Harvest Gala June 10 featuring drinks from Cane & Table and Abita, and dinner by chef heavyweights Justin Devillier, Slade Rushing, Kristen Essig, Rebecca Wilcomb, and Snackbar's Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar and NOLA native John Currence visiting from Oxford, MS. [Advocate]

WAREHOUSE DISTRICT— Behold, Nina Compton—chef of upcoming Compere Lapin, Top Chef: New Orleans runner up and St. Lucia native— fun facts: Her grandmother was a great cook known for her fish and chips. Her mom knew the owner of Sandals resorts and hooked her up with a kitchen job. She went to the CIA in NYC, and her keys once froze in her door. She also cooked at a private club in Miami's Versace mansion, where she met husband/Compere Lapin manager Larry Miller.  []