RAIN OR SHINE!
City Park Festival Grounds
1701 Wisner Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70124
September 2-4, 2016
Chef Chris Lusk
Chris Lusk’s career has spanned an eclectic range of culinary experiences – from an externship in an Irish hotel and time as a sous chef cooking Tex-Mex under Stephen Pyles at Star Canyon in Dallas, to creating Asian cuisine in Florida and Italian under Mario Batali at Otto Enoteca in New York. Yet Lusk, a Texas native, has earned his Louisiana cooking stripes, working with the renowned Brennan family at Foodie’s Kitchen in Metairie and, most recently, at both Commander’s Palace, Café Adelaide and Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans. Now, he joins John Besh’s Our House Hospitality as Executive Chef of the iconic Caribbean Room.
Though Lusk attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales, he confirms, “Commander’s Palace was my culinary education.” Lusk hadn’t planned on cooking professionally. After a high school job in a local restaurant, he recalls thinking that he would, “never chop an onion again.” After high school he earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, TX, but the kitchen continued to call to him.
“Once I graduated from college, I just knew I had to give it another shot,” he recalls. Chef Lusk is a passionate follower of author Harold McGee’s extensive works on food and science, and his inquisitiveness has stayed with him throughout his more than 13 years as a professional chef. In his role as Executive Chef of New Orleans’ Café Adelaide, Chef Lusk spent three years honing his Creole and Southern-style kitchen expertise, bringing a playful, abstract take on the region’s classic cuisine to the menu. Chef Lusk continued his study of Cajun and Creole cuisine at Restaurant R’evolution, leaving in 2016 to open the Caribbean Room within the storied Pontchartrain hotel.
Chef Lusk’s talent has earned him accolades both locally and nationally. In 2009, he was named one of Esquire magazine’s “Four Breakout Chefs to Watch,” as well as a “Chef to Watch” by Louisiana Cookin’ magazine. In 2010, Lusk achieved top honors as the winner of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off, and in 2011, Chef Lusk was honored with an invitation to cook at the esteemed James Beard House, and was recognized again by Esquire magazine’s John Mariani with a nod for “Best Dessert of 2011.”