Featured Chef: Sue Zemanick
Executive Chef, Gautreau's, New Orleansuser rating
Sue Zemanick, executive chef of Gautreau’s in New Orleans, is nominated for the 2010 James Beard Rising Chef Award. It is her second nomination and follows honors such as Food & Wine magazine’s Top 10 Best New Chefs in America in 2008 and New Orleans Magazine’s 2008 Chef of the Year.
Zemanick knew at an early age she wanted to be a chef. Born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., she attended a summer program at the Culinary Institute of America in New Hyde Park, N.Y., at the age of 15 and was immediately hooked on the culinary profession. She graduated from the CIA in 2001. After stints in upstate New York and at Oceana in New York City, Zemanick moved to New Orleans, LA in 2003.
She began working at the city’s famed Commander’s Palace before moving to Gautreau’s in 2004. She was named executive chef in 2005—three weeks before Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans. Gautreau’s was badly damaged during the storm and closed for a year and a half while under repair and renovation. Once it reopened in February 2007, Zemanick was able to put her mark on the new Gautreau’s. The restaurant offers Modern French and contemporary Louisiana fare using only fresh ingredients. The menu changes approximately every six weeks.
Zemanick shares her recipes for Macadamia Crusted Halibut with Spaetzle, Jumbo Lump Crab, Pearl Onions, English Peas and Champagne Beurre Blanc as well as Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. And in a Q&A linked below, she discusses her passion for seafood, seasonal ingredients and New Orleans.