Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Luis Bruno ~ Celebrity Chef

New Years Eve 1983The picture to the right is from a 1983 New Year's Eve celebration at Bruno's Eclectic Cuisine in Jackson, Mississippi. We were celebrating our silver wedding anniversary. Our oldest daughter has entitled this photo The Queen Mother. The tiara was a party favor that was left behind at the restaurant, and I haven't seen one any prettier in all the years since then. I remember that Bruno's had stocked the ladies room with special New Year's Eve toilet paper. Don't we remember the oddest things?

This was the last time I ate food prepared by Chef Luis Bruno. Although we didn't see him that night, we spoke with his wife Kathleen. Several years earlier, we first met Kathleen and Luis when they were competing in a Red Beans and Rice Festival in downtown Jackson. At that time, Bruno was the executive chef appointed by Governor Kirk Fordice at the Governors Mansion, and he is currently the executive chef at Huntington's Grille at the North Jackson Hilton. It was nice to learn where he is and what he is doing now after all these years.

Bruno's love of food has taken him to the celebrity status in several circles now. The contest on ABC News Nightline Platelist brought Luis to my attention again very recently. Take a look at his interesting life in his contestant's biography:
LUIS BRUNO, Huntington's Grille, Jackson, Miss.

Luis Bruno is the chef at Huntington's Grille in Jackson, Miss. Healthy recipes are most important to Chef Luis, whose inspirational story includes maintaining a non-surgical weight loss of 200 pounds through exercise and healthy eating.

In 2003 he weighed 400 pounds when health issues and uncontrolled diabetes forced him to close his celebrated restaurant Bruno's, and his doctor gave him just five years to live. One year later and half his size, he had turned his life around — and his weight-loss efforts melded perfectly with Governor Haley Barbour's dedication to the health of Mississippi's citizens. Bruno returned as Executive Chef at the Governor's Mansion, where he remained until his appointment with The Hilton in Jackson as Chef at Huntington's Grille. Luis's recipes have a Caribbean flair and are some of the best. One of my favorites is Banana Leaf Wrapped Buttered Snapper with Clams and Saffron Broth. He is quite the showman and is a local celebrity.
I encourage you to vote for Bruno, who is a finalist in ABC News Nightline Peoples Platelist contest, the winner of which will be featured on national television. You can do that here:

Peoples Platelist Finalist: Luis Bruno

Voting ends on Sept. 26, 2010 and is limited to one vote per individual IP address. The finalist receiving the most votes online will be declared the winner of the contest. The winner will be announced live on the broadcast during the week of Sept. 27, 2010. The winning chef will be the topic of a full Platelist segment, taped and produced by Nightline that will run on the national broadcast on ABC.

Learn even more about Luis's weight loss plan:

Trimming the Fat
Runners World – March 2007


  1. Sorry to report a man from Louisiana won this contest:


  2. Being a typically fickle person, after seeing the article and video about Chef Henry Chandler, whose restaurant is in Acworth, GA, it makes we want to travel to Acworth and experience this restaurant for myself.

  3. I confess, I haven't keep up with your blog posts properly – didn't read this until two days after voting closed. You're justified to treat me like I'm responsible for Bruno's loss *sob*

  4. (from the Youngest Daughter)

    As for the stunning photo included here —

    Although I'm flattered by the suggestion that I dreamed up its appropriate title, I must give credit where it's due. Several years ago as my older-and-wiser sister and I marveled at this regal pose, I offhandedly labeled it Princess Mae Dean – to which she immediately responded with a much better idea – Queen Mother.

  5. To: CarlaCarlaCarlaCarla ~
    Thomas Dewar