The Cabildo (Louisiana State Museum>, Jackson Square, 701 Chartres St.
Sponsored by Faulkner Books
Celebrate the release of Randy Fertel’s new book, The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir, his tribute to his dynamic parents, Rodney Fertel and Ruth Udstad Fertel and analysis of family relationships.
Rodney, raised on Rampart Street, was a world traveler, athlete and gambler. Never working a day in his life, Rodney ran for Mayor of New Orleans in 1969 with the campaign slogan: Don’t settle for a monkey. Elect Fertel and get a gorilla, and promised to get a gorilla for the zoo. After an enormous defeat, he kept his promise and brought two gorillas to the zoo, Red Beans and Rice.
Ruth, a native of Happy Jack, Louisiana, graduated high school valedictorian at 15 years old and earned her degree in chemistry and physics from LSU. Ruth and Rodney divorced after two sons and eleven years of marriage. As a single mother in 1965, Ruth purchased a little steak house and turned it the hundred million dollar restaurant chain, Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir features the people and events that influenced Randy’s life, from his parents’ upbringing to Hurricane Katrina. The book highlights New Orleans’ unique culture and Randy’s love for his hometown.
For more information about the book launch at the Cabildo and The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir visit www.gorillamanofneworleans.com.