Fork in the road, Part III: Gabrielle Waxman

June 2, 2016 11:15 AM

Fran Simon

Gabrielle Waxman

Galatoire’s Gabrielle Waxman is the restaurant’s first wine director. She also helped blend its first private-label chardonnay. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

“My sister is a doctor. She’ll keep you alive, but I will make life worth living.”

Gabrielle Waxman

This is Part III of a four-part series that profiles millennial Tulane alumni in New Orleans’ restaurant industry. Today’s installment: Gabrielle Waxman (B ’08).

Gabrielle Waxman is as surprised as anyone by the career she has uncorked. She is the first-ever wine director for the iconic Galatoire’s Restaurant and Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak, on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, and Galatoire’s Bistro in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

She attributes her success to “luck and a little bit of talent,” plus mentoring by a Tulane alumnus.

Originally Waxman was in the A. B. Freeman School of Business five-year program, but she called her mother back home in Long Island, New York, saying tearfully that a career as a certified public accountant was not for her.

Waxman traveled to Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. She worked in a café and picked blueberries. She taught English in Costa Rica for a while.

But as she perused wine selections in grocery stores, she realized that teaching was not her passion or calling. And the “unquantifiable” lure of New Orleans brought her back.

When Waxman went into Galatoire’s to interview for a position on the wait staff, she met with a panel of top brass including Bill Kearney (A&S ’84), who was CEO and managing partner. She got the plum assignment.

“It was such an honor to be hired as a waiter at Galatoire’s. People have waited tables there for 40 or 50 years,” Waxman says. But soon Kearney envisioned Waxman in a new position.

“I’ve always had a passion for wine, and Bill has a passion for wine and food. He saw that in me, and he has been a great mentor,” Waxman says.

She fits in smoothly with Galatoire’s philosophy of providing impeccable service to make a dining experience memorable.

Read the full story here.

This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Tulane magazine.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu