Zea Restaurant Gives Free Cruise To Deserving Married Couple

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As a loving mother and devoted wife, nothing can erase the pain of losing a cherished family home and a beloved son. But thanks to Zea Rotisserie & Grill, Marie Hubert and her husband Earl are hoping to gain a little closure on some difficult memories with a dream cruise to the Caribbean.

Hubert, a mother of three from Covington, entered a contest on Zea Rotisserie & Grill’s Facebook page in August in hopes of accompanying Owner/Chef Greg Reggio and Gary Darling on a foodie cruise on Holland America’s luxury cruise ship, Nieuw Amsterdam. Though she thought she had “no chance” of winning, she hoped the contest would offer her a chance to get away and enjoy time with her husband.

“Earl and I have been married for 38 wonderful years,” said Hubert, “but we have never had a chance to take a vacation as just the two of us.”

When Hubert received an email from Zea congratulating her on winning the grand prize, she was in disbelief.

“I thought it was a joke when I got the phone call! It took me a couple of days before I even responded.”

Hubert has always had faith that good things happen to good people and feels “truly blessed” to have won this once-in-a-lifetime vacation. In addition to stops on the gorgeous Caribbean beaches of Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay, Costa Maya and Half Moon Cay, Hubert and her husband will be treated to delicious cooking demonstrations from the award-winning Zea chefs, as well as a host of other notable cooks.

As a mother of three raising a family in St. Bernard Parish, Hubert always enjoyed cooking and baking for her family. After losing her son Brian—a member of the United States Navy—at age 21 and her family home in Hurricane Katrina, Hubert also lost her love for cooking. When her two older children graduated school, the joy she found in cooking for others continued to wane.

As Hubert and her husband count down the days with a sign on their refrigerator, she looks forward to learning tips from Greg Reggio and Gary Darling in the ship’s world-class show kitchen.

“Our family loves Zea,” said Hubert. “I just hope I get the chance to learn how to make their corn grits. They’re my favorite dish!”

In addition to watching Reggio and Darling share their expertise, Hubert cannot wait to lounge on a deckchair in the sun and enjoy a cocktail with her husband. She says it will be an opportunity to remember their son, but also a chance to put behind painful memories. As she relaxes in the warm Caribbean waters, Hubert looks forward to allowing the pain of her losses to wash away.

“Gary and I are thrilled that such a wonderful, deserving couple won our contest and will be joining us on the New Holland cruise,” said Reggio. “I was excited to be able to bring a lucky Zea fan on the cruise but it’s so rewarding to bring a fan who could use a chance to getaway and just enjoy a wonderful vacation with their spouse.”