Susan Spicer is a definitive New Orleans chef. In 1985, six years and several restaurants after she began her career, Spicer traveled extensively in California and Europe months, returning to New Orleans to work at Meridien Hotel’s Henri before opening Bistro at Maison de Ville the next year. Four years later, she formed a partnership with Regina Keever and opened her second venture, Bayona, in a beautiful, 200-year-old cottage in the French Quarter. With solid support from local diners and critics, Bayona earned national attention in publications, including Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and The New York Times.
A prolific chef, Spicer also owned and operated specialty food market Spice, Inc., which has since evolved into Wild Flour Breads. In October 2000, Spicer and three partners opened Herbsaint in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. Less than a year later, she partnered with The Kimpton Group to open Cobalt, a regional American restaurant next to Hotel Monaco.
Throughout her career, Spicer has won numerous awards—including a 2010 induction into James Beard’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” Her first cookbook, Crescent City Cooking, was published to instant acclaim in 2007. Community-oriented to the core, Spicer lends her talents to numerous charity events, including co-chairing the New Orleans chapter of Share Our Strength’s annual “Taste of the Nation” and Super Bowl hunger-relief fundraiser “Taste of the NFL”—in addition to leading local charges in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf oil spill. Her latest projects include serving as culinary consultant to HBO’s “Treme” and opening Mondo, a casual, family-style restaurant in Spicer’s Lakeview neighborhood, where she has lived for 20 years.