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Albuquerque Restaurants Recognized for Community Service

Scalo Northern Italian Grill, Brasserie La Provence and Steve Paternoster have a chance to win the National Restaurant Association’s prestigious 2010 Restaurant Neighbor Award

Scalo Northern Italian Grill and Brasserie La Provence have been selected as the New Mexico state winners of the 2010 Restaurant Neighbor Award and are now in the running for the national award that rewards community service, the New Mexico Restaurant Association announced today. The Restaurant Neighbor Award was created by the National Restaurant Association to recognize restaurants that exemplify the industry’s philanthropic spirit. In addition, Steve Paternoster, who owns both Scalo and Brasserie La Provence, has been selected as the New Mexico state winner of the Cornerstone Humanitarian Award, which honors exemplary community service activity by an individual in the hospitality industry.

“Steve Paternoster exemplifies the true spirit of the Restaurant Neighbor Award and the Cornerstone Humanitarian Award. He is a committed community leader, employer and dedicated supporter of numerous causes throughout the City of Albuquerque. The New Mexico Restaurant Association is proud to be able to submit Steve and his restaurants, Scalo Northern Italian Grill and Brasserie La Provence, as the New Mexico winners of these prestigious awards.”, said Carol Wight, CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association.

“We are proud to recognize these outstanding winners of the 2010 Restaurant Neighbor Award,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “America’s restaurants serve their communities every day. Providing nourishment, quality of life, opportunity and enjoyment, restaurants are not only good neighbors but important contributors to our nation’s health and prosperity.”

Steve Paternoster has been involved in a number of community service projects, but he has taken a particular interest in supporting Dismas House, a transitional living facility that assists men and women in making the jump from prison to a productive life on the outside. Dismas House has assisted over 1300 people become productive citizens in New Mexico. For the past five years, Scalo has hosted a private event that includes dinner and a silent auction . The highly-sought after event has raised over $20,000 for Dismas House, a large portion of their budget. Sister restaurant Brasserie La Provence holds “A Dismas Christmas” fundraiser for the organization. Overall, the restaurants’ contributions to the community are over $150,000 every year.

The Restaurant Neighbor Award honors charitable contributions of restaurants across the United States. Each participating state restaurant association selected winners in their respective states that are in the running for the national award.

A panel of industry leaders will select four national award recipients from winners of participating states. The national winners of the 2010 Restaurant Neighbor Award will each receive a $5,000 contribution to continue their community programs and be presented the awards this September in Washington, D.C. Both national and state winners will be recognized on the National Restaurant Association Web site.

The National Restaurant Association and Restaurant Neighbor Award founding partner American Express developed the award to raise awareness about the restaurant industry’s contributions in local communities across the country and to inspire other restaurant owners and operators to showcase their enormous contributions in their communities.

For more information and to apply, visit the National Restaurant Association’s website at www.restaurant.org/sustainability.

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 945,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of nearly 13 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For more information, visit our website at www.restaurant.org.

The New Mexico Restaurant Association’s mission is to empower the food and beverage industry by promoting and protecting common values and interests. It has more than 1,000 members in 111 cities all over New Mexico, who join together for meetings, seminars and the hospitality industry awards to honor the industry’s top achievers. It has actively represented and promoted the food service industry in New Mexico since 1946.