THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2018
7:00PM AT CITY PARK
Join us for our kick-off event, Feast Under the Stars at Voodoo, Thursday, October 25, 2018, at 7:00pm. This one-of-a-kind dining experience will take place in the middle of the festival grounds; a 5–course meal, each course prepared by Chef Aarón Sánchez and Friends. Wine will be provided and expertly paired with each course.
A ticket to Feast Under The Stars guarantees you a sneak peek of Voodoo Fest before gates open the following day. Each chef will share their inspiration and who knows maybe you’ll catch a sound check! Truly a unique dining experience.
Please note: You do not need a ticket to Voodoo in order to purchase a ticket to Feast Under The Stars. This is a separate event.
Check out our 2018 Feast Under the Stars Chefs below!
Aarón Sánchez is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author and philanthropist. He is the chef/owner of Mexican restaurant Johnny Sánchez, located in New Orleans, and a judge on FOX’s hit culinary competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. He is a partner/creative director of Cocina, the first online content platform dedicated to celebrating Latin lifestyle through its vibrant culinary culture. One of the world’s most distinguished Latin chefs, Aarón is passionate about preserving his family’s legacy through food and encouraging diversity in the kitchen.
Aarón has starred in multiple Food Network shows, most notably as a long-term judge on the award-winning series Chopped and Chopped Junior. He was the host of the Emmy-nominated Cooking Channel series, Taco Trip, and has appeared on a number of other shows including: Next Iron Chef, Best Thing I Ever Ate, Best. Ever and Guilty Pleasures. Additionally, Aarón was the host of two Spanish-language shows on Fox Life, 3 Minutos con Aarón, and MOTOCHEFS.
A third-generation cookbook author, Aarón has written two books – his first, “La Comida del Barrio” was published in May 2003 and his second, “Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours” was released in October 2011.
Celebrated by both critics and contemporaries, Aarón has won a James Beard Award for Television Studio Program (2014) and has been recognized by the Hispanic Federation and NBC Latino as a leader for the Hispanic community. In 2016, Aarón founded the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund (ASSF), an initiative empowering aspiring chefs from the Latin community. ASSF provides recipients with full culinary scholarships to the International Culinary Center (ICC) in New York City as well as mentorship opportunities.
Aarón’s creativity extends beyond the kitchen. He is a partner at Daredevil Tattoo in NYC, a world-famous tattoo shop and museum. He is an avid music lover and enjoys cooking to the sounds of the Alabama Shakes, Amos Lee, Lenny Kravitz and The Cure. He has a son, Yuma, and lives in New Orleans, LA.
Justin Devillier Chef/Owner Chef Justin Devillier is the Chef/Owner of La Petite Grocery and Balise in New Orleans, and the 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: South.
Devillier was raised in Dana Point, California, a small beach town in South Orange County. He spent summers fishing for Yellowtail and Albacore tuna, and in the fall and winter he would dive for lobsters just steps from his front door. This bounty of local seafood inspired him to enter the culinary industry, and after working in local restaurants right out of high school he decided to focus all of his time on becoming a chef. In 2003, Devillier moved to New Orleans in search of a vibrant restaurant community. He cooked in the kitchens of Bacco, Stella and Peristyle, where he learned the intricacies of French cuisine from his mentor, Chef Anne Kearny-Sands.
In 2004, Devillier joined the team at La Petite Grocery as a line cook and was promoted to sous chef after one year. Following Hurricane Katrina, he helped re-build the restaurant’s infrastructure, and in 2007 was promoted to executive chef. A short three years later, Devillier and his wife Mia took over ownership of the restaurant, housed in a century-old building with a storied history. At La Petite Grocery, Devillier puts his creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with dishes like Turtle Bolognese, Panéed Rabbit, and Blue Crab Beignets. In 2014, he was awarded ͞Chef of the Year͟ by New Orleans Magazine.
In early 2015 the Devilliers opened their second restaurant, Balise, named after the first French settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Set in a 19th century Creole townhouse in the Central Business District, Balise is a modern New Orleans tavern that celebrates the port city’s unique access to a wide variety of ingredients.
In the fall of 2018, the Devilliers will open a Parisian-style Brasserie in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter.
In his free time, Devillier is an avid fisherman and hunter, and loves spending time at the beach with his wife and three young daughters.
Kelly Fields is the chef owner of Willa Jean, a Southern-inspired bakery and restaurant in New Orleans.
Kelly’s goals have been to change the culture of the restaurant industry. She has dedicated much of her efforts into creating an environment void of ego and harassment, allowing her employees to focus on what really matters, making good food. She has managed to do so by creating systems that protect and empower her employees, and also upholding a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct, discrimination, and violence. Maintaining a humble demeanor, Kelly uses Willa Jean as a platform to showcase the talents of her team, and challenges them to grow. To further these goals outside the walls of Willa Jean, Kelly most recently launched, Yes Ma’am, a foundation to inspire, encourage, and mentor the next generation of women in the hospitality industry.
Winner of the 2018 James Beard Awards “Best Chef: South” and one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs 2017”, Nina Compton is Chef/Owner of award-winning restaurant Compère Lapin in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. Her second restaurant venture, Bywater American Bistro (BABs), is located in New Orleans’ “Sliver by the River” Bywater neighborhood.
Born and raised in St. Lucia, Nina grew up with the flavors and beauty of the Caribbean. Upon completion of secondary school in England, she returned home where she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. Her wary but supportive parents arranged an internship with a friend’s hotel in Jamaica where she fell in love with the creativity and camaraderie of the kitchen. Leaving the cozy, warm winters of the Caribbean, Nina chose to move to chilly Hyde Park, NY to study at The Culinary Institute of America.
Graduating in 2001 from America’s finest culinary school, Nina began her professional journey at Daniel in New York City, working and continuing her culinary education alongside world renowned chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud and his team.
After moving to Miami, she continued to work with the best, joining the crews of Norman Van Aken at the original/iconic Norman’s then Philippe Ruiz at Palme d’Or at the historic Biltmore Hotel. Eventually Nina moved to Casa Casuarina, a private club and boutique hotel in Miami Beach where she rose from Sous Chef to Executive Chef of the small yet highly acclaimed property.
With the excitement of the 2008 reopening of the refurbished Fontainebleau Miami Beach, combined with the chance to work with Scott Conant at Scarpetta, Nina leapt at the chance to join the pre-opening team as Sous Chef and went on to be appointed Chef de Cuisine, where she earned raves and accolades. During a star turn on BRAVO’s acclaimed cooking competition show, Top Chef New Orleans, on which she was a finalist and fan favorite, Nina fell in love with the Crescent City. An opportunity with Provenance Hotels lured Nina to New Orleans where she opened her first solo restaurant, Compère Lapin, at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in the Warehouse District.
Since opening in June 2015, Compère Lapin has received critical acclaim including Eater National’s “Best Restaurants in America 2017”; a rave review in The New York Times, and Top 10 Winner of Playboy’s Best New Bars in America 2016. At Compère Lapin, the talented toque creates robust dishes that meld the flavors of her Caribbean upbringing and love for French and Italian cuisine, while highlighting the Gulf and Louisiana’s beautiful indigenous ingredients.
Compton’s highly anticipated Bywater American Bistro – which opened in March 2018 – features contemporary American fare, showcasing the chef’s culinary craftmanship while focusing on seasonal ingredient-driven cuisine in a casual, convivial setting.
A woman of many hats, Nina Compton also serves as the Culinary Ambassador of St. Lucia.
Todd Pulsinelli is the Executive Chef at August, BRG Hospitality’s flagship restaurant. Born in Germany and raised in Ohio, Todd began cooking in restaurants as a teenager. He first witnessed true hospitality while working at a local country club, where he found himself inspired and motivated by both the techniques in the kitchen and the refined way the servers treated their guests.
Driven to seek a full-time career in the hospitality industry, Todd earned his culinary degree from Columbus State, an American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship Program, in 2003. After graduation, he felt drawn to move somewhere with a strong food culture and thus moved to New Orleans to accept a Garde Manger position at BRG Hospitality’s acclaimed fine-dining establishment, August, in 2004. He helped to re-open the restaurant three weeks after Katrina and continued working his way up the kitchen ranks over the next five years. He joined the opening team of Domenica as Executive Sous Chef in 2009 before opening The American Sector at The National World War II Museum as Executive Chef later that year.
In 2012, Todd returned to August as Executive Chef. Known for being a motivating and respected leader, Todd is proud to lead the team in continuing the development of August’s refined cuisine and renowned hospitality. Over the past six years as Executive Chef, he has experienced career highs cooking for heads of state, on national television, and alongside First Lady Michelle Obama.
In Fall 2018, Todd will achieve his lifelong dream of opening his own restaurant. Inspired by Todd’s love for street food, 80s hip hop, and 90s rap, the restaurant is named for his own rapper alter-ego, Warbucks. Warbucks highlights the skills Todd has sharpened over a career of more than two decades in fine-dining kitchens and applies them to a playful, more relaxed atmosphere. Todd is proud to serve his guests outstanding, artistic food in a fun environment, and to, above all, achieve his simple hospitality philosophy: just make people happy.
Todd lives in New Orleans’ Mid City neighborhood with his wife, Elizabeth, and two young sons, Hank and Teddy. When he’s not at August or spending time at home with his family, you can find Todd on his skateboard or in the studio working on his latest album under his hip-hop persona, Warbucks.