Kristen Essig was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in 1998, Kristen worked with award winning chefs, Chef Frank Lee and Chef Louis Osteen. 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 mentor Chef 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. 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. Since then she’s been named one of Coastal Living Magazine’s “5 Coastal Chefs to Watch” (2015), nominated as one of Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef”(2015), and one of The Times Picayunes Chefs to Watch (2014).