Chef Eric Labouchere has been professionally mastering the culinary arts for over 30 years, from coast to coast. He was born in Australia, but his family had moved to Belgium and then France became home for a while. In 1980, they settled down in Connecticut, where Eric spent the remainder of his childhood. When Eric turned 18, he gained valuable knowledge and experience working as a chef’s personal assistant one summer in Cape Cod, MA. This was his very first job in the fine dining restaurant industry.
Eric was in his prime, young and adventurous, and journeyed to many different states. He loved live music, the Grateful Dead, and various other jam bands that began to emerge during the 90’s. While living in Vermont, he decided to go see Phish perform at the 1996 New Orleans Jazz Festival with longtime friend and Grateful Festival promoter Tony Abrams. Eric recalls, “That may have been my first time in the South,” but it was not then that Eric made Louisiana his home.
He enrolled at the University of Denver for hotel and restaurant management, then proceeded onto New York where he studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. His classical training from the Institute - paired with his love for New Orleans food, music and culture - had greatly influenced his final move. This passion propelled him to return to The Big Easy. It fueled his culinary desire and he has now resided and worked in New Orleans for the past 20 years.
Eric has been featured alongside popular NOLA Celebrity Chefs at numerous culinary events, appeared on television, has participated in countless fundraising events, and always attends the annual New Orleans Jazz Fest. He has been honored with prestigious titles including Executive Chef, Chef de Cuisine and Sous Chef for some of New Orleans' finest restaurants.
This year he is excited to be a part of Flagstaff’s 4th annual Grateful Festival. Drawing inspiration from Southwest influences with fresh, local ingredients, he plans to create a festival-friendly menu with a unique fusion of Louisiana’s iconic fare and Arizona’s signature styles and tastes. Eric calls it "The Creole Wild West". To that we say, "Laissez les bons temps rouler!" (Let the good times roll!)