Justin Devillier might be a California native, but since he made the leap from Orange County to New Orleans in 2003, he’s become one of the Big Easy’s brightest young chefs. After working in the kitchens at Bacco, Stella, and Peristyle—where he trained under his mentor, Anne Kearny-Sands—Devillier joined the team at La Petite Grocery.
After helping to rebuild the space following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Devillier shot through the ranks, took over ownership of the restaurant, scored a James Beard award for Best Chef: South, and became a household name on the 11th season of “Top Chef.”
If that weren’t enough to entrench himself in Louisiana’s rich culinary landscape, the chef recently opened his second restaurant, Balise, which has helped further his vision for a more modern New Orleans cuisine. Between juggling a newborn, two kitchens, and dozens of employees, here’s how the Crescent City’s adopted son likes to explore his hometown. And in New Orleans, that’s through its food.