Melvin Rodrigue has dedicated his career to cultivating the tradition and experience of one of America's grandest fine dining institutions - Galatoire's - and showcasing New Orleans as a world-class destination. A Louisiana native, Rodrigue joined Galatoire’s as their chief operating officer in 1997, rising to the company's presidency in 2012. In that time, he has led Galatoire’s to the highest of culinary distinctions, being recognized in 2005 by the James Beard Foundation as the Most Outstanding Restaurant in the United States.
Working with Galatoire’s ownership group, Rodrigue opened new doors for guests worldwide to take part in Galatoire’s dining tradition in 1998 through an extensive renovation of the venerable restaurant’s second floor dining room, which had been shuttered since World War II. He oversaw Galatoire’s entrance into other markets with the 2005 opening of Galatoire’s Bistro in Baton Rouge. This project resulted in the successful relocation to a newly constructed Bistro location in Baton Rouge, which opened to great fanfare in 2013. This growth continued with the 2012 acquisition and subsequent renovation of 215 Bourbon St., unveiling Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak and new private dining spaces for guests. Both locations were conceived in the Galatoire tradition of fine dining.
As part of Galatoire's Centennial in 2005, Rodrigue co-authored the Galatoire's Cookbook to critical acclaim. Originally appointed in 2005, Rodrigue was named president of the Ernest N. Morial Exhibition Hall Authority by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in 2008. During his leadership, the $650 million New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center increased its reputation as a top location for the nation's premier conventions, special events and meetings, accounting annually for more than $1.5 billion in economic impact and 23,000 jobs. Rodrigue served as the chairman of the Louisiana Restaurant Association in 2012 and continues his work on the association's Board of Directors. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation and the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.His previous industry contributions include serving three terms as a board member, executive committee member and treasurer of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the marketing force behind drawing more than 6 million leisure travelers to New Orleans each year.
Rodrigue has developed new ways for Galatoire's to connect with the community as a founder of The Galatoire Foundation and creating the restaurant's annual Christmas and Mardi Gras Table Auctions. Launched in 2006, this twice-a-year tradition has raised more than $1 million for The Galatoire Foundation and dozens of New Orleans non-profit organizations, as guests bid to reserve a table in Galatoire's famed first floor dining room on the two busiest days of the year, the Friday before Christmas and Mardi Gras. Rodrigue has been personally honored by Gambit Weekly as an outstanding achiever in the "40 Under 40" business category and as a member of city's "Power Generation" by New Orleans CityBusiness. Rodrigue lives in New Orleans and has four daughters, Caroline, Savanah, Eugenie and Adelaide.
As Executive Chef of Galatoire’s Bistro, DeWitt Ginn manages one of Baton Rouge’s busiest kitchens, overseeing a staff of more than 30 and preparing the award-winning restaurant’s signature dishes.
Prior to taking the helm at Galatoire's Bistro, Ginn worked with Chef Michael Sichel at Galatoire's in New Orleans to master the classics such as Oysters Rockefeller with Herbsaint scented spinach; Chicken Clemenceau with mushrooms, peas, Brabant potatoes and natural garlic chicken jus; and the traditional Gulf Fish Meuniere Amandine.
Ginn, who worked in medical management before pursuing his dream of becoming a chef, is an avid Louisiana sportsman and learned at a young age how to prepare simple and delicious food from his grandmother. After graduating from Louisiana Culinary institute, Ginn worked under Chef Nathan Gresham at Beausoleil and went on to become executive chef of Table Kitchen & Bar.
Wine Director and Sommelier
After successfully completing the testing for both the Introductory and Certified Sommelier examinations, Waxman earned the title of Sommelier and is the first ever Sommelier to be a part of the Galatoire’s team.
Waxman brings unique qualities to her trade, allowing her to have a fun perspective on wine while creating an approachable atmosphere for guests to learn more. Passionate about broadening her customers’ horizons in the world of wine, Waxman excels at introducing Galatoire’s extensive collection and creating the perfect match.
Her work at Galatoire’s showcases her detailed knowledge of Galatoire’s wine list, which focuses heavily on French Wines, while simultaneously incorporating some of the rarest wines from the new world. She is particularly fond of the Burgundy selection found on Galatoire’s extensive 26 page list.
Blake Hernandez, general manager of Galatoire’s Bistro, is a New Orleans native who holds a degree and multiple minors from Louisiana State University. He has worked in the hospitality industry throughout the country including opening and managing restaurants in Asheville, Charleston, Seattle and Salem, OR.
He joined the Galatoire’s Bistro team in 2010 at its original location. Upon the reopening of the Bistro at its current location, he was promoted several times, eventually taking over as General Manager in December of 2015.
Blake is passionate about the history of cocktails and spirits, and has received many awards including DIG’s “Best Bartender” of 2014. Like his love for classic cocktails, he enjoys honoring the traditions of the Galatoire’s name while also forging a new identity for Galatoire’s Bistro. He is also one of the founding members of the Greater Baton Rouge chapter of the U.S. Bartenders' Guild.
Blake lives in Baton Rouge with his girlfriend and Corgi.
Banquet and Catering Sales Manager
Haley Robert, a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University who grew up in a military family and has lived in multiple places across the country, has been working in the hospitality industry for more than eight years. She began her career as a hostess for a well-known Louisiana eatery and was quickly promoted to a manager. She worked in operations at a number of locations throughout Louisiana.
She joined the Galatoire’s Bistro team in 2015, and was excited to move away from operations so she could focus more on her passion for sales and interacting with guests. As Banquet and Catering Sales Manager, Haley enjoys conceptualizing and adding her own creative touch to special events as well as working with social organizations and participating in community events.
Haley lives in Baton Rouge with her son and enjoys everything the area has to offer.