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?
LS:
At the new shop, we're hiring kids from CafĂ© Reconcile, and from the neighborhood.

MC: What's the biggest challenge facing your restaurant?
LS:
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?
LS:
 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?
LS:
I want to get this shop up and running, then hopefully open my own.

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