The American Culinary Federation New Orleans recognizes local culinarians who display exemplary skill and excellence in the kitchen. Each spring, our Best Chefs of Louisiana event showcases dozens of the top chefs of New Orleans and the surrounding area, bringing them together for one night of tasting, dancing, and networking.
Chef Ruth is a longtime member of the ACFNO, and has been the program manager of the Nunez Community College Culinary Arts Program in St. Bernard for almost 25 years.
Chef Frank Davis worked as a radio and television personality with WWL-TV and WWL-AM from 1974 to his retirement in 2011. An avid fisherman, his on-air sportsman reports tied together south Louisiana cuisine with the sport of fishing in a way that many said to be pioneering. Known for his tagline “Naturally N’awlins”, Davis authored several cookbooks and other reference guides to the cuisine of New Orleans. Chef Frank Davis will long be remembered around the region for being a passionate proponent of creole cuisine.
Chef Andrea began his formal culinary education while working in a bakery in his home town of Anacapri at the early age of seven. At fourteen, he left Capri to travel to Germany, Switzerland, England and South America to further his culinary training in some of the best hotels in Europe and abroad. After working 35 years in kitchens all over the world under some of the finest, most respected chefs, Chef Andrea moved to Bermuda in 1973 to work at the Southampton Princess Hotel and later in Hamilton Princess Hotel. In 1975, he came to the United States as Executive Sous-Chef of the Omni International Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. And in 1977 he moved to New Orleans as Executive Chef of the Royal Orleans Hotel; a position he held until January, 1985 when he left to open Andrea’s, his life-long dream.
Growing up in Alexandria, Louisiana, JoAnn Clevenger always knew the value of hard work. The food on the table each night was grown right on the farm, and upon dining at her Upperline restaurant, guests can see that fact greatly influenced the restauranteur’s passion for hospitality. Since opening Upperline with her family in January 1983 (“with 40 chairs and no money for the first week’s payroll”), the restaurant, JoAnn, and her legendary shrimp remoulade over fried green tomatoes have all grown to be a well-loved fixture here in New Orleans. She is the recipient of the 2015 Southern Foodways Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been a James Beard SemiFinalist for Outstanding Restauranteur. Upperline was named 2017 Restaurant of the Year by the New Orleans Advocate.