[Courtesy of the Link Restaurant Group]

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience to Honor Chef Donald Link

07:00 December 04, 2023
By: Schyler Vicknair

NOWFE Will Celebrate Donald Link

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience will be awarding chef and restaurateur Donald Link with the 2024 Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award. It will be presented on January 25 at 7 p.m. at The Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, with a VIP reception beginning at 6 p.m.

The Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award is named for New Orleans restaurateur Ella Brennan and recognizes individuals who have dedicated their lives to the hospitality industry through leadership, personal and professional accomplishments, and philanthropic contributions.

[Image Provided by Liz Bodet]

Chef Link began his career at 15 years old, inspired by the Cajun and Southern cooking of his grandparents. He has been the executive chef and president of Link Restaurant Group for the past 20 years. The group includes Herbsaint, Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Pêche Seafood Grill, La Boulangerie, Gianna Restaurant, and Calcasieu. In 2012, Chef Link was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Louisiana Restaurant Association and has since been nominated for the Outstanding Chef award by The James Beard Foundation numerous times.

Chef Link's first cookbook published in 2019, Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana, won the award of Best American Cookbook by The James Beard Foundation. Real Cajun reflects the rich tradition of Cajun cuisine through a collection of family recipes.

Link released his second cookbook in 2014: Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything. These recipes expand beyond Louisiana cuisine and incorporates traditions of regional Southern fare.

In 2007, Herbsaint earned Chef Donald Link a James Beard award and Cochon was nominated for Best New Restaurant. Herbsaint was also listed as one of the top 50 restaurants in America by Gourmet Magazine and was inducted into the Nation's Restaurant News Hall of Fame. Cochon was named "one of the top three restaurants that count" by the New York Times and listed as one of the 20 most important restaurants in America by Bon Appétit.

Pêche Seafood Grill won The 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards for Best New Restaurant, and Gianna was nominated for the 2019 award in the same category.

[Peche, website]

A Night To Celebrate

NOWFE Executive Director Aimee Brown said in a press release, "Chef Link will be honored for his long-standing stewardship of our culinary culture and heritage, his celebration and cultivation of the remarkable bounty of growers, farmers, and fishermen in Southern Louisiana, and his guiding inspiration of future generations of chefs."

Tickets to the 2024 Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award Gala are available at nowfe.com. A La Carte Single Tickets are $175 and include access to the Gala from 7-10 p.m. with a plated meal reception and multiple bars. VIP A La Carte Single Tickets are $275 and include access to the VIP reception from 6-7 p.m., The Awards Gala from 7-10 p.m. with a plated meal reception and a complimentary wine bottle on your table, and multiple bars.

A table of 10 can be purchased for $1500, which includes access to the Award Gala with a plated meal reception and multiple bar options. A VIP table of ten can be purchased for $2500 and includes access to the VIP Reception, Award Gala, complimentary bottles of wine, and access to multiple bars. Proceeds from the Award Gala benefit the non-profit organizations NOWFE supports throughout the year.

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