Susan Spicer began her cooking career in New Orleans as an apprentice
to Chef Daniel Bonnet at the Louis XVI Restaurant in 1979. After
a 4-month “stage” with Chef Roland Durand (Meilleur
Oeuvrier de France) at the Hotel Sofitel in Paris in 1982, she returned
to New Orleans to open the 60-seat bistro “Savoir Faire”
in the St. Charles Hotel as Chef de Cuisine. In 1985, she traveled
extensively in California and Europe for 6 months, returning to
work in the kitchen at the New Orleans Meridien Hotel’s “Henri”
(consultant chef, Marc Haeberlin of l’Auberge de l’Il).
In 1986 she left to open the tiny “Bistro at Maison de Ville”
in the Hotel Maison de Ville. After nearly four years as chef, she
formed a partnership with Regina Keever and in the spring of 1990
opened Bayona in a beautiful, 200-year-old cottage in the French
Quarter. With solid support from local diners and critics, Bayona
soon earned national attention and has been featured in numerous
publications from Food and Wine, Gourmet, and Food Arts, to Travel
& Leisure, Bon Appetit, The New York Times and more.
From 1997 through 1999, Susan owned and operated Spice, Inc., a
specialty food market with take-out food, cooking classes and artisan
bakery. This developed into Wild Flour Breads, which she currently
co-owns with partner Sandy Whann.
In October of 2000, Susan and thcee partners opened Herbsaint,
a casual contemporary bistro-style restaurant in the Warehouse District
of New Orleans. Herbsaint has quickly become a hot spot with the
locals for dining and socializing.
In September 2001, Susan along with The Kimpton Group opened Cobalt,
a regional American restaurant located adjacent to the Hotel Monaco
as consulting chef.
Susan has been the guest chef at The James Beard House, The Oriental
Hotel in Bangkok, the Lanesborough in London, Cunard and Crystal
Cruise Lines, as well as appearing on local and national television.
She also contributes her talents to numerous charity events, such
as co-chairing the New Orleans chapter of Share Our Strength’s
annual “Taste of the Nation” for 11 years. She has also
represented New Orleans at the Superbowl hunger-relief fundraiser
“Taste of the NFL” for 11 years. In May 1993 she was
the recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southeast
Region and, in 1995 was chosen for the Mondavi Culinary Excellence
Award. Bayona was featured as one of Restaurants and Institutions
1996 Ivy Award Winners, as well as being named to Nation’s
Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame in 1998. In addition Bayona
received “5 Beans,” the highest rating from the New
Orleans Times Picayune. For the last three years, Bayona has been
included in the Top 5 Restaurants in New Orleans in Gourmet’s
Readers’ Poll. In March, 2001, Susan was the featured chef
at a dinner in Paris for Les Amies des Vielles Maisons to be held
in the Senate building. In New Orleans, she can be found in the
kitchen at either Bayona or Herbsaint most nights of the week.