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 cities in the world. He worked at Bacco, Stella then Peristyle before joining La Petite Grocery in 2004 as a line cook. Six years later he bought the restaurant with his wife Mia Freiberger-Devillier focusing on traditional Southern ingredients done with a contemporary flair.
His peers have noticed. Chef James has been named a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: South for 2012 through 2015 and then finally won the award in 2016. He was also a fav favorite as a finalist on Top Chef: New Orleans. In 2015 he and Mia opened the more casual Balise in the Warehouse District to a host of good reviews.
Uptown or down, the Freiberger-Devilliers have made a name for themselves in a city with more than a few masterful chefs.