Susan Spicer - Chef / Owner >>
Susan Spicer began her cooking career in New Orleans as an apprentice to Chef Daniel Bonnot at the Louis XVI Restaurant in 1979. After a 4-month “stage” with Chef Roland Durand (Meilleur Oeuvrier de France) at the Hotel Sofitel in Paris in 1982, she returned to New Orleans to open the 60-seat bistro “Savoir Faire” in the St. Charles Hotel as Chef de Cuisine. In 1985, she traveled extensively in California and Europe for 6 months, returning to work in the kitchen at the New Orleans Meridien Hotel’s “Henri” (consultant chef, Marc Haeberlin of l’Auberge de I’ill).
In 1986 she left to open the tiny “Bistro at Maison de Ville” in the Hotel Maison deVille. After nearly four years as chef, she formed a partnership with Regina Keever and in the spring of 1990 opened Bayona in a beautiful, 200-year-old cottage in the French Quarter. With solid support from local diners and critics, Bayona soon earned national attention and has been featured in numerous publications from Food and Wine, Saveur, and Food Arts, to Travel & Leisure, Bon Appetit, The New York Times and more.
From 1997 through 1999, Susan owned and operated Spice, Inc., a specialty food market with take-out food, cooking classes and artisan bakery. This developed into Wild Flour Breads, which she currently co-owns with partner Sandy Whann.
In October of 2000, Susan and three partners opened Herbsaint, a casual award winning contemporary bistro-style restaurant in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. In 2008, she sold her partnership to Donald Link, but continues to be a regular patron at the bar.
Susan has been the guest chef at The James Beard House, The Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, the Lanesborough in London, Cunard and Crystal Cruise Lines, as well as appearing on local and national television, including an appearance on the finale of the popular Bravo series Top Chef in 2009. She regularly contributes her talents to numerous charity events, such as co-chairing the New Orleans chapter of Share Our Strength’s annual “Taste of the Nation” for more than 15 years and has represented New Orleans at the Superbowl hunger-relief fundraiser “Taste of the NFL” ( with one exception, 2010-the year the Saints won the Superbowl!!!) since it’s inaugural year. In May 1993 she was the recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southeast Region and, in 1995 was chosen for the Mondavi Culinary Excellence Award. Bayona was featured as one of Restaurants and Institutions 1996 Ivy Award Winners, as well as being named to Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame in 1998. One of the 1989 recipients of Food and Wine’s Best New Chefs award, Chef Spicer was inducted in the summer of 2008 into the magazine’s Best New Chef Hall of Fame. In March 2009, the John Folse Culinary Institute honored Chef Spicer with the Lafcadio Hearn Award given to “…culinary professionals who have had a long term positive influence on the cuisine and culture of Louisiana and the nation…” In addition Bayona received “5 Beans,” the highest rating from the New Orleans Times- Picayune., Since 1995, Bayona has been listed in the Zagat Guide for New Orleans as one of the top 5 restaurants in the city, receiving a rating of 28 points out of 30, and has repeatedly received 4 stars from Mobile Star Awards, one of two restaurants to receive this rating in New Orleans. In May 2010, Susan was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.
Susan’s first book, entitled Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer’s New Orleans, was released nationwide by Knopf in late October 2007. In the spring of 2008 Crescent City Cooking was recognized by the International Association of Culinary Professionals with a nomination for Best American Cookbook, and was awarded Best New Cookbook by New Orleans Magazine. Chef Spicer’s book was also included in Food & Wine’s 2008 Best of the Best, a collection of recipes selected from their top 25 cookbooks of the year.
In May of 2010 Susan was inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. Her latest project is the opening of MONDO, a casual, family style restaurant which opened in June of 2010 in Chef Spicer’s neighborhood of Lakeview, where she has lived for 20 years.
Regina Keever - Events Manager / Owner >>
In March of 1990 Regina Keever joined with Chef Susan Spicer in founding Bayona. With a world-class chef in the kitchen, Regina’s business skills and passion for design have helped to propel Bayona into world class standing while retaining its classic French Quarter charm.
While serving on the board of the American Institute of Wine and Food, Regina had the honor of presenting scholarships to students of Delgado Community College’s program in Culinary Arts. In addition, through Bayona’s charitable efforts she is able to remain involved in the development of the community of New Orleans.
Regina is a member of the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization, DIRONA (http://www.dirona.com/) which serves as an authority in recognizing and promoting excellence in dining throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Ms. Keever’s accolades include:
- Restaurants and Institutions 1996 Ivy Award
- Nation’s Restaurant Fine Dining Hall of Fame 1998
- Restaurant of the Year in 2004 by the Louisiana Restaurant Association
Eason Barksdale - Chef de Cuisine >>
Eason Barksdale hails from Fairhope, AL, and graduated from LSU in music and anthropology, then headed to culinary school in Portland, OR. He completed his culinary degree with Chef Susan at Bayona, where he remained for 5 years and worked his way up to Sous Chef before taking the helm at Mondo. From Boston to L.A., Eason has traveled and worked for a variety of events and chefs, alongside such luminaries as Daniel Boulud, Nancy Silverton, and Owen Clark. Eason's instinct for excellence, his culinary curiosity and friendly nature make him the perfect choice for Chef Spicer to represent her globally inspired menu as he returns to Bayona.
Tori Rawson - Pastry Chef >>
Andre Mauberret - General Manager >>
- Assistant Manager >>