Last updated: 01:51 PM ET, Thu June 02 2016

Opinion Home | Sonesta in the NOLA

  • Brigette Folse | June 2, 2016 1:51 PM ET

    Royal Sonesta New Orleans and its Culture of Caring

    Royal Sonesta New Orleans and its Culture of Caring

    Sonesta International Hotels Corporation is committed to a culture of caring. In fact, the company’s “A Culture of Caring” initiative aspires to greet every guest in a spirit of genuine warmth and welcoming. That extends to all Sonesta properties, including its employees, partners, communities and the local cultures served. Sonesta is active in efforts to give back to each of the communities where it operates in an organic, meaningful way.

    In that spirit, Royal Sonesta New Orleans is a proud participant in a unique coastal restoration program. Created by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the Oyster Shell Recycling and Reef Restoration Program collects shells from New Orleans restaurants and returns them to coastal waterways.

    The program is a partnership among several New Orleans-area landmark restaurants, including Desire Oyster Bar and Restaurant R’evolution within Royal Sonesta New Orleans. While the overall goal is to return about 1,500 tons of oyster shells to the coast each year, participating restaurants are estimated to provide about 25 to 30 tons each week.

    Earlier this year, Desire Oyster Bar joined with other renowned French Quarter restaurants that took part in the inaugural New Orleans Oyster Festival’s Dine Out Night. Participants committed 10 percent of Dine Out Night sales to support the festival and the causes it helps fund throughout the year, including coastal restoration.

    And that’s not all. On June 2, Desire Oyster Bar plays host to the preliminary round of the P&J Oyster Shucking Competition, a favorite among annual festivalgoers. The prelim contest will feature 20 competitors who will shuck as quickly as possible in two heats. The top six speediest shuckers will move on to the finals round which will take place two days later. A fun oyster fact: In 2014 and years past, Desire’s award-winning oyster shucker Gus Marshall set the speed record at the P&J Oyster Shucking Contest for shucking 31 oysters in three and a half minutes! 

    SEE MORE: A Look at the Royal Sonesta

    This year, the New Orleans Oyster Festival takes place June 4-5 as a celebration of this local delicacy and its role in Louisiana’s unique culinary culture. Desire Oyster Bar will once again participate as an Oyster Festival food vendor on the riverfront, serving up Shrimp and Grits, an Oyster Po’boy with Corn Maque Choux and Tomato Marmalade, and Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. In addition, Desire’s Executive Chef Corey Jacobs, a member of the Oyster Board, will be participating in a cooking demonstration during the festival weekend.

    Oyster Festival also serves as an opportunity to inform the public about the benefits of Louisiana’s oyster industry, while honoring the restaurants and oyster farmers who helped make the French Quarter the “Oyster Capital of America.”

    Through continued caring and celebrating local culture, both Sonesta and Royal Sonesta New Orleans have infused passion in its corporate philanthropy, taking purposeful strides to not only give back, but also to lend a supportive hand to its surrounding regional communities. 


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Brigette Folse Sonesta in the NOLA

Brigette Folse Brigette T. Folse is responsible for the leadership, effectiveness and productivity of the Royal Sonesta New Orleans’ sales organization. Folse has over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry that includes overseeing several major hotel openings. Before joining the Royal Sonesta New Orleans, Folse served as the associate director of sales for the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. While at Loews Hotels, Folse served as associate director of sales at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa in San Diego and as the national sales manager for the opening of Loews New Orleans. Folse has held additional managerial positions at both the J.W. Marriott and Hotel Monaco in New Orleans.
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