Coquette, New Orleans
Chef Kristen Essig was born and raised in Florida, where, from an early age she developed a passion for food and cooking while working in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother. After graduating from the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in 1998, Kristen worked with James Beard award winning chefs, Chef Frank Lee of Slightly North of Broad and Chef Louis Osteen of Louis’ Charleston Grill. Twelve years ago, Kristen made New Orleans her home, kicking off her Crescent City culinary career with Chef Emeril Lagasse at Emeril’s, followed by a five-year turn with Chef and mentor Anne Kearney at the famed New Orleans Restaurant, Peristyle. Kristen has had the privilege of working with Chef Susan Spicer (Bayona Restaurant), Chef Corbin Evans (Lulu’s), and Chef Greg Sonnier (Gabrielle), before taking a job with the Crescent City Farmers Market as market manager where she cultivated strong relationships with local farmers, producers and vendors. She’s been a Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine “Chef to Watch” (2005), a sought-after private chef, and in April, 2013 Kristen returned full time to the restaurant kitchen when she joined Sainte Marie Brasserie’s team as Executive Chef. In May 2014, Sainte Marie (with the entire team) moved to the French Quarter and re-branded as Meauxbar.