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Kristen & Michael

Chefs & Owners

Kristen and Michael are co-chefs and owners of Thalia & Coquette. Their first restaurant, Coquette offers innovative southern cuisine with an emphasis on locally sourced products and international inspiration. Kristen and Michael consider themselves lucky to work with small farms across the south as well as being one of the 2 restaurants that sponsor Paradigm Gardens, an urban farm in New Orleans Central City. The Times-Picayune has honored Coquette as one of the “Top Ten Restaurants” in New Orleans for 6 years (2012-2015, 2017&2018).

Kristen moved to New Orleans from Charleston, South Carolina in 1999, and has had the great pleasure of working with Chefs Emeril Lagasse, Anne Kearney, and Susan Spicer. She’s worked in fine dining since 1999, managed farmers' markets and started her own boutique catering and private chef business in 2005, all before returning to restaurant kitchens in 2012. Michael moved to New Orleans from Baltimore, Maryland. He most notably worked at Restaurant August as a sous chef before jumping feet first into restaurant ownership at the age of 27. Michael opened Coquette, a restaurant located in New Orleans Garden District in 2008 and Kristen joined the team in 2016. 

Together Kristen & Michael were named James Beard Finalists for “Best Chef in the South” (2018&2019).  Michael has been named a James Beard Semifinalist 5 times, Star Chef’s “Rising Star” (2012), and “Chef of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine (2013).  Kristen has been named one of the “5 Coastal Chefs to Watch” (2015), nominated as one of Food & Wines Magazine’s “The People’s Best New Chef” (2015), and one of Times Picayunes “Chefs to Watch” (2014).