A Few of the Best Known Chefs of Louisiana

Discover these chefs that will make your mouth water while you devour their award-winning Louisiana dishes.

Top Louisiana chefs; Chef Tory McPhail from Commander's Palace

Chef Tory McPhail from Commander's Palace in New Orleans

Top chefs in Louisiana Cory Bahr

Chef Cory Bahr from Nonna and Cotton in Monroe, Louisiana

Chef Folse - Louisiana chefs

Chef John Folse of Restaurant R'evolution in New Orleans

Great meals and Louisiana go together like gumbo and rice—you can’t think of one without the other. And behind every Louisiana dish is a chef who ensures that diners are getting an experience they won’t find anywhere else on Earth. Here are some of the culinary geniuses who are making sure Louisiana maintains its reputation as a food lover’s dream destination.

A few of the top chefs and restaurants to experience in Louisiana

Sue Zemanick

As the winner of the 2014 James Beard award for Best New Chef: South, you can be sure Sue Zemanick knows her way around the kitchen. See her in action on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and on Top Chef New Orleans, or better yet, taste her signature dishes in person at New Orleans restaurants Gautreau’s and Ivy.

Manny Augello

Manny Aguello's Twitter bio sums it up: "obsessed chef & charcutier. culinary activist.  representative of the new garde. madly devoted to food & culture. kitchen junkie." While at Jolie's Bistro in Lafayette, Aguello was invited to cook at the Farm to Table Dinner at the James Beard House in New York.  Visit Manny at Bread & Circus Provisions in Lafayette for charcuterie and other "playful food." 

Aaron Burgau

Chef Aaron Burgau is the cofounder of Patois, a restaurant serving French fare with Southern accents located in uptown New Orleans. He is also the recent winner of one of Louisiana’s highest culinary honors, the King of Louisiana Seafood award (taking over from 2013 winners Sam and Cody Carroll of Hot Tails Restaurant in New Roads).

Tory McPhail

As the executive chef at New Orleans’ world-famous Commander’s Palace, Tory McPhail has won accolades that include the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the South in 2013. It wasn’t because the competition was lacking, however—that year, competitors for the prize included chefs from local restaurants Domenica and La Petite Grocery.

Emeril Lagasse

Few chefs in the world are so famous that they’re known by one name. Emeril is among them. The man behind Emeril's New Orleans, NOLA Restaurant and Emeril's Delmonico is a pioneer in what’s widely known as “new New Orleans” cuisine—contemporary twists on traditional Creole fare.

Cory Bahr

Chef Bahr’s list of accolades keeps getting longer, with awards that include Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in the U.S. and being named the King of Louisiana Seafood. He’s also one of north Louisiana’s shining culinary stars, exemplified by his restaurants Cotton and Nonna, both located in Monroe.

Justin Girouard

In 2013 he was selected as one of Louisiana Cookin' magazine's "Chefs to Watch."  James Beard nominated, Chef Justin Girouard spent six years in the kitchen at Stella! in New Orleans where he perfected his technique before opening The French Press in Lafayette. SAVEUR Magazine named The French Press in their Top 100 Inspiring Place and Things to Eat issue in Jan/Feb 2013.

Susan Spicer

Susan Spicer is a James Beard Award-winning chef best known for Bayona, a fusion restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter that is housed in a 200-year-old Creole cottage and courtyard. Stop by Bayona for a taste of Spicer’s multicultural creations, or at Herbsaint (which she cofounded), or her newest endeavor, Mondo.

John Folse

The namesake of the John Folse Culinary Institute and author of The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cooking is also one of Louisiana’s most beloved chefs. Experience dining as an art form at his and chef Rick Tramonto’s Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans and at Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant at Bittersweet Plantation in Donaldsonville.

Louisiana is home to far more praiseworthy chefs. Discover more of them, plus recipes, restaurants and the Taste-umentary video series at Louisiana Culinary Trails. Your taste buds will thank you.