Bayona, located in a 200 year old Creole cottage in the heart of the French Quarter, has been delighting patrons for 25 years with its eclectic menu, extensive wine list, and creative cocktail offerings. Chef Susan Spicer and her team infuse local, seasonal ingredients with flavors from around the world to create innovative dishes that thrill the palate. The charming décor and lush, tropical courtyard provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable dining experience.
Executive Chef, Susan Spicer
Susan Spicer has been cooking professionally since 1979, mostly in New Orleans, with a stint in Paris in 1982, and numerous guest chef appearances around the world. She has been chef of Savoir Faire and the Bistro at Maison deVille and for the last 25 years, has been chef and co-owner with Regina Keever of Bayona, in the French Quarter. In June of 2000, she opened Wildflour Breads, a wholesale artisan bakery, with partner Sandy Whann of Leidenheimer Baking Company and was a founding partner and chef of Herbsaint Restaurant, with former Bayona sous chef, Donald Link.
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 its 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 will be 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 June of 2010, she embarked on a new adventure as owner and chef of Mondo in the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans, where she resides with her husband and stepchildren. In February, 2011 Mondo was awarded 4 Beans (out of 5) by the Times Picayune She is proud to serve on the board of the Gulf Restoration Network, as well as participating in various charity events both nationally and locally.