New Orleans is brimming with culinary talent unlike any other in the country. Some of the best remain under the national radar while others have risen to the level of celebrity chef. Here are just a few who've reach name-recognition status here in New Orleans and beyond.
A homegrown Louisianan, Donald Link has built a stellar career making upscale versions of the Cajun food he grew up with. He won a James Beard award for Best Chef in the South in 2007.
Emeril LagasseOne word made Emeril Lagasse the most famous chef in America: "Bam!" Beyond making cooking shows cool again, the Massachusetts native has become an adopted son of New Orleans. He built his reputation at Commander's Palace before building his own restaurant empire.
Restaurants: Emeril's New Orleans, Emeril's Delmonico and NOLA.
It's difficult to turn on the Food Network without seeing John Besh either competing on a show or judging a competition. The Louisiana native still has time to keep his vast New Orleans restaurant group thriving.
Tory McPhail made a name for himself at Commander's Palace Las Vegas before moving back to the Big Easy in 2002 to take over the original, 135-year-old restaurant that has churned out major awards and chefs such as Emeril Lagasse. He hosts "Off the Menu," which airs on Turner South.
The character Ms. Desautel in HBO's "Treme" is loosely based off of her,Susan Spicer also has an award-winning cookbook, a James Beard best regional chef award, Food Network appearances and a restaurant in the Nation's Restaurant News' Fine Dining Hall of Fame to her credit.
Alon Shaya lived and worked in New Orleans for a short time while training under Chef John Besh before moving to Italy to feed his obsession with Italian cuisine. After coming back to New Orleans from Italy, Alon and the Besh Restaurant Group partnered up in 2009 and opened Domenica, located in the Roosevelt Hotel, featuring Italian cuisine. Alon was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award in 2015 for Best Chef. Following Domenica's huge success, Alon opened Pizza Domenica as well as Shaya, which features dishes that reflect his Israeli roots and received the 2016 James Beard Foundation award for Best New Restaurant. Alon enjoys giving back to his community by visiting local public schools to cook with students and teach them about healthy food alternatives. (Photo Credit: Marianna Massey)
Nina Compton is a chef from Miami who decided to make the move to New Orleans after competing in season 11 of the hit show, Top Chef, on Bravo. Nina opened her new restaurant, Compère Lapin located in The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in the Warehouse District. The restaurant's menu showcases a combination of Nina's background in Caribbean, French and Italian dishes.