17th Annual Summer Cure Chefs Wine Dinner – Held August 10, 2018
Our Co-Chairs: Pat Denechaud, Holley Haag,
Kristi Post, Dottie Reese and Jordan Teich
Event Coordinator: Joe Briand
Committee Members: Regan Forrester, Tracie Garner,
Jennifer Neil and Elizabeth Williams
It was a beautiful night with our outstanding Chefs paired
with Wine Importers Extraordinaire. We couldn’t have had a more successful event without the support of our wonderful chefs, sponsors and supporters.
Our 2018 Spectacular Chef line-up included:
Host Executive Chef Vlad Ahmadyarov,
The Grill Room, Windsor Court Hotel
As a native Azerbaijani, Vlad Ahmadyarov became acquainted with Louisiana’s Creole cuisine long before stepping foot on Gulf soil. Ahmadyarov began working in the industry at 16 in his favorite uncle’s restaurants, and credits the early experience for inspiring him to become a chef. Years later, an American company came to Azerbaijan to opened Cajun and Tex Mex restaurants, and Ahmadyarov got his first taste of the cuisine.
Ahmadyarov mastered the basics and after three years, and he earned the title of chef at both restaurants. The owner, a Louisiana native, had opened a new restaurant in Folsom, Louisiana, and invited Ahmadyarov to migrate to the states in 2000. He worked at Winners Circle for two years before moving to New Orleans to work at the Ritz-Carlton before transferring to the Ritz-Carlton in Boston after Hurricane Katrina.
Back in New Orleans, Ahmadyarov took on the role of executive chef at the city’s storied Windsor Court Hotel, where he oversees the hotel’s food and beverage operation. Ahmadyarov has grown as a chef in the Creole and Southern tradition and his philosophy is to only use the freshest of Gulf ingredients, including hyper local products from the farmers markets and neighboring farms.
Compton, a native of St. Lucia, moved from Miami to New Orleans in 2015 to open Compère Lapin, her debut restaurant. She first visited New Orleans as a contestant on the locally shot season of Bravo’s “Top Chef: New Orleans,” where she was voted fan favorite.
Compère Lapin, which draws on Compton’s Caribbean heritage and her experiences cooking at high-end Italian and French restaurants, has gained numerous local and national accolades since opening three years ago. In 2016, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune named Compère Lapin its restaurant of the year. Compton opened a second restaurant called Bywater American Bistro in early March. Compton was named Best Chef: South in 2018 and in 2017.
With roots in South Louisiana that run more than 300 years deep, Chef Isaac Toups knows the ins and outs of Cajun-style cuisine. Born in Rayne, the “Frog Capital of the World,” Toups cut his teeth with 10 years in the kitchen at Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico, rising from fry cook to executive sous chef. After stints as executive chef at Cuvée and Ste. Marie, Toups opened Toups’ Meatery in 2012, where he serves crowds of locals sophisticated Cajun cuisine that honors the boils, boucheries, and barbecues of his childhood.
2018 James Beard Award Nominee
Pastry Chef Kelly Fields,
For Pastry Chef Kelly Fields, farm fresh has always been the way to go. Growing up in South Carolina, she baked at some of Charleston’s best patisseries, where she discovered a natural talent for the sweet side of the industry. Following her passion, Fields attended Johnson & Wales in Charleston, anchoring her pastry enthusiasm with solid technique before eventually making the move to New Orleans. As it’s been known to do, the city charmed her, both as a young culinarian and a NOLA neophyte. But Fields’ wide-eyed enthusiasm evolved into a more passionate savvy, owing at least in part to her tutoring under legendary Chef Susan Spicer. Spicer wasn’t the only local legend in Fields’ career path. After graduating culinary school, Fields met and worked under prolific New Orleans Chef John Besh, climbing the ladder and eventually taking over the pastry program at Besh’s Restaurant August. Over the years, Fields’s desserts—blends of the exotic, nostalgic, and romantic—have earned her a cult following. Today, she is not only a leader of the culinary industry in New Orleans, but of her own restaurant, Willa Jean, which opened in summer 2015. At Willa Jean, her business model is simple: she serves everything she loves about food. And it is one of the highest grossing restaurants in the group.
Chef Jennifer Cole and Chef Joaquin Rodas,
Bacchanal Wine & Spirits
Komen New Orleans is excited to announce the additions of Chef Joaquin Rodas and Chef Jennifer Cole to our Summer Cure Chefs Wine Dinner featured Chefs! Both proud members of the Bacchanal Wine & Spirits family, Chef Cole hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Chef Rodas is from San Salvador, El Salvador and has worked the kitchen at Bacchanal for over 8 years. Chef Cole and Chef Rodas’s different backgrounds come to a crossroads in the fantastic food creations they make with a focus on fresh ingredients and great wines to pair. With an emphasis on Mediterranean minimalism and a comprehensive understanding of wine, Chef Cole and Chef Rodas let the magnificence of their ingredients shine through. We are grateful to them for joining our spectacular Summer Cure team and supporting Komen New Orleans as we raise funds to find and fund the cures for breast cancer.
Thank You to our Partners in Survivorship:
Thank You to our Partners in Hope:
Patricia C. Denechaud
Judge Kern & Dottie Reese
The van Meerveld family in memory of
Karen van Meerveld Davis
Elizabeth & James Williams