Chef Evan Benson of Joel Catering - Biography

New Orleans, LA

January 2016

Growing up in central Florida, Chef Evan Benson was raised on Southern cuisine. But when it came time to solidify his love of food into a career, he traveled north to New York City. Benson polished technical skills with a savory degree from The French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, and he spent next few years working in New York City kitchens, including Le Gamin. Enchanted by warm weather,  familiar flavors, and a certain New Orleans native that he met during culinary school, Benson packed up and moved to the Crescent City in 2003. 

In New Orleans, Benson began working at Indigo, and followed that experience with a position at French bistro Cafe Degas. In 2005, when Katrina hit, Benson assisted in the hurricane relief by providing disaster catering. As New Orleans began to recover, he took over the culinary operations of Joel Catering & Special Events, where he has worked for the past 10 years. With his wife, Cara (the same woman who originally drew him to town), Benson opened Tartine in 2010 and Toast four years later. On top of co-owning a bakery and running a catering company, he still finds time for family and fishing near his home in Algiers Point.