Bruce, a New Orleans native, started out in the restaurant business as a freshmen in high school working for Andrew Martin’s Cajun Cuisine as a dishwasher in 1976. “It was so much fun, I had a blast,” Bruce remembered. The next summer, Bruce worked as a Galley Boy on oil rigs. A year later, he started at Christian’s as a prep cook, then moved to the broiler at just 17 years old. After graduating from high school, Bruce went to Johnson and Wales University where he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in culinary arts. He then earned his Bachelor’s Degree in hotel and restaurant management from Florida International University. After returning to New Orleans, Bruce started out as Sous Chef at Upperline Restaurant, and then worked at Maylie as a line cook. After that, he got a job at Commander’s Palace.
Altogether, Bruce has worked at 42 New Orleans Restaurants including Emeril’s, where he was a Sous chef for Emeril Lagasse, Palace Cafe, Ruth’s Chris, Chophouse New Orleans, and Mr. John’s. Bruce opened up 22 restaurants including Desi Vega’s Seafood and Prime Steaks. Almost all the restaurants where Bruce worked are still open to this day.
What Makes this place special: “Desi lets me do what I wanna do, which is great.” At Desi Vega’s Seafood and Prime, customers have a lot of choices. Since the restaurant is in the suburbs, “I can create relationships with customers,” Bruce said. Unlike the French Quarter, where there are millions of tourists, the Metairie location allows him to get to know his clients. “I get to know exactly how you like your steak cooked,” Bruce explained. “I love the food, I love the ambiance and I love my clientele,” he added.
Recommended Dishes: Salad Louie, Gulf Fish Almondine, New York Strip, Twin Tails, Desi’s Prime Meatballs. “We trim our own meat,” Bruce added.
Favorite King Cake: McKenzie’s
Favorite Bakery: Maple Street Patisserie