Our Team

Kara Johnson | CEO/Founder


Kara JohnsonI’m Kara and this is my journey into orchestrating a beautiful life filled with good food, music, art, entertainment, friends and family.  I'm an attorney, mom and lifelong resident of New Orleans. I grew up surrounded by amazing cuisine, music, art and architecture.  New Orleans cultivates a passion for the decadent as a matter of one’s birthright.  I grew up surrounded by women who made every day magical.  There was always the most incredible food at my great-grandparent's home.  Everything was made from scratch.  Homemade peach cobbler that has never been duplicated, bread pudding with the most amazing rum sauce, homemade king cakes, pralines and chocolate covered turtles…  My family even made all of our Easter candy.  Instead of gold brick eggs with a few pecan shavings, ours were filled with large chunks of pecan and other nuts.  We had heavenly hash eggs loaded with almonds and beautifully decorated white chocolate bunny rabbits.  Desserts were only the beginning.  Dinner each and every evening was an event.  Red beans and rice with hot sausage or paneed pork chops or a rich ochre gumbo.  And I can’t leave out the seafood every Friday, whether it was during the Lenten season or not. Life was layered with delights for all the senses.  In my family, we celebrated every birthday.  There were so many aunts, uncles cousins, great aunts and uncles that practically every weekend there was a party or family gathering, and often, more than one.  My great-aunt Velma made the most incredible birthday cakes with your choice of jam separating the layers and the icing flavor of your choice to top it off.  I always wanted strawberry.  It’s my son Zachary’s favorite also.  My aunt Marilyn’s cakes were always white almond and intricately decorated- a spun sugar woven straw basket filled with ample roses, gardenias and peonies flowing over its sides, each flower painstakingly created,.  My mother’s cornbread and oyster dressings, stuffed mirleton and southern fried chicken are the best I’ve ever eaten, ever!  And with all of that, we looked forward to those special occasion rainy days when dinner was shortening bread with hot coco.

 

Looking back on my childhood, it took many loving, helping hands to make the magical days that were my everyday.  I want my 10-year-old son to experience this. I want you and your family and friends to experience this.  It is my mission to offer you the best chefs, recipes and ideas for making everyday extraordinary.  It’s a New Orleans thing.  Laissez Le Bon Temp Roulez because here, connoisseuring is easy.

 

    My great great grandmother Marie Meteye Reveal

Steeped in the New Orleans Creole tradition of cooking and entrepreneurship, my great great grandmother, Marie (Meteye) Reveal, and her husband Joseph, owned a popular French Quarter restaurant called The Cook Shop, in the early 1900s. It was located at 532 Toulouse Street. The bustling restaurant served breakfast, lunch and dinner to those who frequented the Quarter and to the workers along the Mississippi River.

Her beautiful daughters, my great grandmother, also named Marie, but known by her middle name, Marguerite and her sister, Rachel, would walk along the Mississippi banks at lunch time with baskets full of delicious french bread sandwiches for sale. A favorite was the ham salad sandwich. In fact, their food was so delectable that when they sold out, patrons would ask to buy the leftover gravy with bread.

I grew up eating many of the dishes served at The Cook Shop, and now, you can experience the wonderful flavors of traditional Creole and Cajun cuisine in a healthy & modern way. The Cook Shop Seasoning Blends have everything you need. They’re your FLAVOR FOUNDATION!

Connoisseuringly yours,

Kara

___________________________________________

Chef Gason Yen Nelson of New Orleans | Culinary Advisor

 

Chef Gason Yen Nelson of New Orleans

 Chef Gason Yen Nelson of New Orleans is one of the country’s most renowned personal chefs. This two-time James Beard scholar was also named one of Louisiana’s top 25 Best Chefs of 2017.  His passion for preparing creole cuisine coupled with his extraordinary culinary skills has taken him around the world to cook for clients with the most discriminating taste. On his client list, you’ll find celebrities including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Matthew McConaughey, Sinbad, the Kardashians, and NBA and NFL Players like DeMarcus Cousins, Chris Paul, Will Fuller, Reggie Bush and Ben Watson.

He has competed on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’, been featured in Readers Digest, Sports Illustrated, as well as on New Orleans’ morning shows and local magazines. Chef Gason is also often featured at food festivals across the U. S., including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the New York Soul Food Festival, the Miami Jerk Fest and the San Francisco Food Fest where he dazzles crowds with his mastery of Creole/Cajun cooking. In addition to his work taking New Orleans cuisine to people everywhere, Chef Gason is a recipe developer and menu designer for one of Louisiana’s most popular restaurant chains and is often hired by corporations and schools across the country for speaking engagements and cooking demonstrations. He proudly represents the company “Chef and the Dish”, as one of their 10 international chefs who teach online cooking classes to subscribers around the world via Skype. Chef Gason owns Full of Flavor Personal Chef Service, LLC and is always being presented with new, exciting opportunities.

Sandifer Consulting Group | Director of Branding & Marketing