Celebrity Chef Dinner Series 2017 – 2018 – 2 remaining dinners


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We are pleased to announce the 4 chefs for our 2017 – 2018 Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine Celebrity Chef Dinner Series

Purchase the four-dinner series for $350.00.  Individual dinner tickets are transferrable.

All funds raised from the sale of dinner series tickets directly supports our Community Cooking Classes.



January 20, 2018: Kristen Essig, Coquette

Kristen Essig was born and raised in Florida. 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. Seventeen 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 four-year turn with Chef and mentor Anne Kearney at the famed New Orleans Restaurant, Peristyle. She joined the Crescent City Farmers Market as market manager where she cultivated strong relationships with local farmers, producers and vendors. Kristen proudly joined the Coquette family in the fall of 2016 as a co-chef and partner with her love, Michael.

May 12, 2018: James Leger, Tía Pol

James Leger is the executive chef at Tía Pol restaurant in Manhattan. Tía Pol is owned by Heather Belz and Mani Dawes who worked together at L’Economie Restaurant in New Orleans. When a friend showed them the sliver of a space on 10th Avenue that would become Tía Pol, they saw a chance to bring a piece of Spain to New York. Mani and Heather envisioned the exact style of tapas bar they would create based on the many “tapeos” — going from bar to bar, eating and drinking — they experienced around the Lavapies and La Latina neighborhoods of Madrid. All that was left to decide was the name. Since the day it opened, Tía Pol has strived to capture the magic of Spain and share it with New York and, along with James Leger, they bring that same spirit to New Orleans for a night at the Goldring Center.

With Music Curated by Murf Reeves

The foundation for Murf Reeves’s music passion was laid by his grandfather who had a listening room filled with records from floor to ceiling. It was then that Murf learned that people listened to music with such serious intent and he wanted a listening room of his own. He started listening to anything and everything, genre hopping, and is equally at home with Tony Bennett, R.E.M. or Public Enemy. After beginning a career in the service industry, Murf started a second career as a radio personality (DJ) for New Orleans based WWOZ 90.7 fm/WWOZ.org. From there his music ventures continued at Preservation Jazz Hall as a live performance emcee, tour manager, booking agent, and one of the architects for the Preservation Recordings record label. In 2013, he was recognized by the Grammy Foundation for contributing to the Living Legends Recording Documentary.

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