Chef Justin Devillier
Justin Devillier was raised in a small beach town in Orange County, California. Growing up, Justin enjoyed the beach lifestyle. Summers were spent fishing, and in the fall and winter he would free-dive for Lobsters. This bounty of local seafood inspired Justin’s will to cook professionally.
He moved to New Orleans and worked in the kitchens of Bacco, Stella!, and Peristyle. While working at Peristyle, Justin worked with James Beard Award winner Chef Anne Kearny-Sands where he learned the ins and outs of French cuisine.
In June 2004, Devillier joined the kitchen staff at La Petite Grocery and by 2007, he was the Executive Chef. In 2008, Justin was named a Chef to Watch by both Louisiana Cookin’ magazine and The Times-Picayune. In 2009, he was named one of New Orleans CityBusiness’ Culinary Connoisseurs for Best Executive Chef and Best Neighborhood Restaurant. Devillier “cooks in a manner so appropriate to New Orleans spirit: French bistro with a Southern twist." In 2010, Chef Devillier and his wife, Mia Freiberger-Devillier took over majority ownership of La Petite Grocery. The restaurant has earned a coveted spot on The Times-Picayune’s “New Orleans’ Top 10 Restaurants” list for 2011 and 2012. Justin was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South in 2012 and 2013 and is poised to be a finalist this year as well. He recently wrapped up the 11th season of Bravo’s Top Chef and the team will proudly celebrate La Petite Grocery’s 10th anniversary in March 2013. When he’s not in the kitchen, he can be found fishing or on the beach with Mia and their two young daughters. This is Justin's second year representing New Orleans' Fair Grounds Race Course at Taste of Derby.