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Chef Donald Link
Chef Donald Link
Chef Donald Link

Top Chefs in New Orleans

These chefs are creating some of the best food in the world

People come to New Orleans to eat, and for superb reason. Our game-changing culinary repast is world renowned, informed by three centuries of cultural gastronomy and an army of dedicated chefs and creatives. We have our own Creole cuisine, a legion of mom and pop corner stores that dish irresistible food regularly and a cavalcade of ingenious chefs intent on preserving the classics while others create new traditions. And some are wildly successful doing both.

With more restaurants in the city than ever, the culinary landscape is vibrant and evolving. Many of the city’s chefs (and some mixologists) have earned international accolades, from James Beard Foundation awards to inclusion in best new chef/restaurant line-ups -- because what they serve is just always that good. Here are a few of the top chefs around town, creators of an only-in-New Orleans never-ending feast.

  • Emeril Lagasse’s TV shows, cookbooks and restaurants helped to define New Orleans cuisine for the rest of the world.
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  • A James Beard award-winning chef and an inspiration for a Disney princess, Leah Chase has spent the last seven decades stirring, chopping, spooning, basting and, in general, creating countless...
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  • There’s a Link between fish and pork in New Orleans and his name is Donald. Over the past two decades Chef Donald Link and his string of contemporary restaurants, including Peche and Cochon,...
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  • Chef Tory McPhail’s career grew, literally, from farm to table, and New Orleans is the lucky recipient. Tory grew up on his family's farm in Washington State, eating fresh, locally grown...
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  • From St. Lucia to New Orleans, this Top Chef alum fell in love with NOLA and the city has fallen right back in love with her and her warm personality and Caribbean-inspired cooking.
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  • Variety is the spice of life for Susan Spicer. A native of Key West, she is one of New Orleans most recognized and popular chefs, most notably for her classic restaurant, Bayona, housed in a...
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  • His face won’t be forgotten – a visage equally sly and cheerful – with eyes that twinkled like a bayou Santa. 
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  • Frank Brigtsen is still lighting a fire under inventive Creole cooking,just as he did in 1986, the year he opened his iconic Uptown restaurant Brigtsen’s. And that’s just fine with New...
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  • Call it the audacity of hope. Arriving in New Orleans from California and with no formal culinary training, James Devillier decided he would become a chef in one of the most competitive restaurant...
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  • For Alon Shaya, a passion for Middle Eastern food may have started in his native Israel, but it flowered in New Orleans.
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  • In May 2014, when the James Beard Foundation named Ryan Prewitt "Best Chef: South" and his restaurant, Pêche Seafood Grill, "Best New Restaurant."
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  • Rebecca became Herbsaint’s Chef de Cuisine in 2011. Then in 2017, she was honored with the prestigious “Best Chef: South” award from the James Beard Foundation.
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  • After the huge success of his first restaurant, Michael opened Maypop in December of 2016, a more elegant MOPHO spinoff in the Warehouse District.
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  • Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation “Best Chef South,” Stephen Stryjewski is Chef/Partner of New Orleans’ award winning restaurants Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Pêche Seafood...
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  • Four-time James Beard Finalist Best Chef South, Executive Chef Slade Rushing, is proud to be upholding the heritage of one of the French Quarter's grand old institutions.
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  • Chef-owner, Jason Goodenough, of Carrollton Market is more than "good enough." Chef Jason takes a hands-on approach in an intimate setting with a culinary line-up that will wow. 
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  • In 2008, Michael opened Coquette –“a culinary playground." Today Coquette is known for internationally inspired, contemporary Southern cuisine created with locally sourced products.
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  • Chef/Owner Kristen Essig of Coquette kicked off her Crescent City culinary career with Chef Emeril Lagasse at Emeril’s, followed by Chef and mentor Anne Kearney at Peristyle.
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  • Chef John Harris of Lilette has been a James Beard finalist for "Best Chef South" in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. 
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  • In New Orleans, diversity is delicious. Young Adolfo Garcia grew up in the city, the son of Panamanian parents. Years later, as Chef Adolfo, he fuses the tastes of local seafood and Creole dishes with...
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Videos About New Orleans Chefs