HATTIESBURG, MS (THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI) – Renowned cook and author Lucy "Lulu" Buffett has been selected as the 2010 Boardman Entrepreneur of the Year by the College of Business at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Buffett, sister of famed singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, will be honored during a reception at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 8 at the Carnaval de Brasil in the IP Casino in Biloxi, Miss.
A Mobile, Ala., native Lucy Buffett owns and operates Lulu's Sunset Grill at Homeport Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores, Ala. What was once considered a dive after opening in 1999, Lulu's has blossomed into a destination experience for more than 750,000 customers per year which has translated into more than 1,000 gallons of gumbo and more than 100,000 hamburgers sold annually.
Shannon Woodward, director of development for the Southern Miss Foundation, said this year's award ceremony carries special significance. "This is the first year that the Boardman Entrepreneur of the Year event has been celebrated on the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina (2005)," said Woodward. "This, coupled with the university's Centennial Celebration, makes it a very special event for us and for the business leaders of the Mississippi Gulf Coast."
The Boardman Entrepreneur of the Year is part of the Boardman Forum, established by Joseph Boardman of Gulfport. The Forum also supports the Boardman Alumni of the Year Award and interaction with students through class presentations by professionals throughout the year.
Lucy Buffett is author of the best-selling cookbook, "Crazy Sista Cooking," which features cuisine and conversation from the successful restaurateur. Buffett and her cookbook have been featured on national TV and radio, including "The Today Show," the Food Network's "Build a Better Burger Challenge," in magazines and newspapers.
She credits her grandmothers for inspiring her culinary pursuits from a very young age. From her paternal grandmother, Hilda "Mom" Buffett, she inherited a love of home cooking served boarding-house style and a clear sense of what's right and wrong when it comes to gumbo. Her maternal grandmother, Bessie "Granny" Peets served as dietician at Gulf Park College, a coastal girls' finishing school, and taught Lucy about "fancy food" and proper dining etiquette.
"The Business Advisory Council looked at several different industries when choosing this year's recipient for the Boardman Entrepreneur of the Year Award and decided to recognize someone from the hospitality industry for our return to the Gulf Coast," said Dr. Lance Nail, dean of the College of Business at Southern Miss. "Lucy Buffett won by a unanimous vote."
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