Jacqueline comes from a deep Cajun background, growing up on Bayou Lafourche in Southeast Louisiana’s Assumption Parish. Her family settled into the Lafourche Valley in the late 1700’s as sugar cane farmers, and they’ve been there ever since. Cooking has always been in the fabric of her family, taking part in traditions such as crawfish boils and the old Cajun boucheries each fall. After getting her bachelor degree in Culinary Arts from Nicholls State University just after Hurricane Katrina, she headed west to join the team of Chef Thomas Keller’s French Laundry and Bouchon in Napa Valley. She later joined the team at Frasca in Boulder, CO in the restaurant’s early years. After a stint at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, she headed back to New Orleans to work alongside fellow NSU alum Michael Gulotta as executive sous chef at Restaurant August, where she’d worked during college… also where she and Brandt met. After a summer cooking in Provence at Chateau de Montcaud, Jackie was offered a sous chef position from fellow TFL alum Corey Lee at San Francisco’s highly acclaimed Benu, where she helped the team earn 3 Michelin stars.
Jacqueline has spent many years traveling and cooking throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan to gain a deeper repertoire and a better understanding of these culture’s cuisine. It was these experiences that molded the seasoned chef she’s become, as well as shaped her perspective and respect for understanding global cuisine. The goal has always been to be as well-rounded a cook as possible.
Realizing that she couldn’t immediately finance the restaurant she’d hoped for, she took a slight career turn (a hiatus, really) to open Coutelier back home in New Orleans - a business decision she felt was based off of the needs of her peers and fellow cooking community of South Louisiana. Serious cooks need serious tools.
She and Brandt travel to Japan yearly to the source of this ancient craft they have come to foster and facilitate understanding towards. Their goal is to support and promote the focused, multi-generation blacksmiths of Japan who hand-forge professional cutlery for the culinary community. Education is at the core of it. They feel the quality and craftsmanship of Japanese steel is unrivaled on a worldwide scale. Her love for Japanese cuisine and technique has deeped along the way, and she continues to have plans for a small restaurant of her own.
Brandt found his love for food while studying abroad during college in 2004 and quickly transitioned that into several cooking opportunities in his hometown of Oxford, MS. He quickly moved through the ranks from pizza & pasta cook to hotel executive chef by the age of 23.
Striving to further his career while continuing to learn new techniques; in 2009 Brandt moved to NYC to attend the French Culinary Institute, graduating top of his class. While in the city he was also a member of the opening staff of David Burke’s newly renovated Townhouse Restaurant in New York’s upper east side.
Missing his southern roots, Brandt moved to New Orleans in 2010 to work with chefs John Besh & Michael Gulotta at Restaurant August. It was there that he met Jacqueline & furthered his knowledge of Cajun & creole cuisine. He then became the opening sous chef of Besh’s new seafood restaurant, Borgne with chef Brian Landry.
In search of new challenges, he became the opening sous chef fork Monsieur Benjamin in San Francisco under Michelin-award winning chef Corey Lee in 2014.
It was while in the Bay Area that Brandt and Jackie were inspired to return to New Orleans and provide the culinary community with the proper tools and service that they needed. Together, they also opened North Fork Table & Tavern in Utah’s beautiful Ogden Valley before returning to New Orleans to open Coutelier NOLA’s doors in August of 2015