Gene's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Southern Route

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New Orleans, LA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 2

  • ON DVD:

    Roadtrip Nation: Season 2

GENE BOURG

Restaurant Critic
The Times-Picayune

“The great advantage that you have at your age is that nothing is forever. You can change as many times as you want. I took it for granted when i was young, and maybe you do, too, but you should never lose sight of the fact that you can turn back.”

INTERESTS:

Food Journalism Writing

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Confidence Focus Passion Pressure Success Talent

TAGS:

advantage, Berlin wall, change, draft, restaurants, war, you can turn back

BIOGRAPHY:

New Orleans’ Times-Picayune food critic Gene Bourg spent lots of his younger years wondering what he should do with the rest of his life. “But I didn’t really have to make up my mind,” he says, “because I had potentially 60 years to deal with things as they came along.” The first thing that came up was the Berlin Wall. When it went up in Germany in 1961, Gene got his draft notice. That sent him from his hometown of New Orleans to France for two years. “And that,” he says, “is where I really learned to eat.” Little did he know that those were skills he would need later. When he came home, he got a job at the newspaper as a general assignment reporter, but that put him behind the computer all the time. Fed up with working what was turning out to be an office job, he went to his editor and told him he was through. Well, his editor replied, we need a restaurant reviewer. Gene did a test run and got the job. Suddenly, everything was fresh; he found himself going to work early to find out what his daily assignment was. Since then, he’s been chronicling the restaurants that make up New Orleans’ storied food scene. “Writing was just something that i found I was good at and I stuck to it,” Gene says. “I’m sure there are millions like me who start a job and find that it’s the perfect fit. It’s just the greatest feeling you can possibly have.”

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