Interview with New Orleans Rising Star Artisan Leighann Smith of Dryades Public Market

by Caroline Hatchett
February 2016

Mary Choi: How did you get your start?
Leighann Smith:
 I started cooking young. I washed dishes when I was a teenager at the The Lark Creek Inn. I loved cooking, and being a butcher was always something I was incredibly interested in. I attended the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver and moved to New Orleans four and a half years ago and applied for a job at Cohcon. I learned as much as I could, and here I am. 

MC: How are you involved in the local culinary community?
At the new shop, we're hiring kids from CafĂ© Reconcile, and from the neighborhood.

MC: What's the biggest challenge facing your restaurant?
Getting it open! I'm not to sure what our biggest challenge will be, but as of now, it's making sure everything is ready for the opening.

MC: Who's your mentor?
 Stephen [Stryjewski] was the biggest mentor here, especially with the curing. They let us experiment and guided us through the process and books. 

MC: What's your five year plan?
I want to get this shop up and running, then hopefully open my own.

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