About the Author
In high school, Andre' began to work in the industry, first as a fifteen-year-old grill cook, then as a catering cook at Crokett's receptions in Baton Rouge. At age 17, Andre' spent his summer as Pantry Chef at the respected Baton Rouge Country Club. By age 18, Andre' figured out he could supplement his income in the kitchen, and while attending the Conservatory, he worked evenings as a Pasta Chef at the famed Fedora Bar and Grill on the plaza in Kansas CIty, Mo.
Working as a jingle writer and singer, it was then Andre' and wife Jami left their jobs to open their own restaurant, Beignet's Louisiana Kitchen, located in the heart of Chicago's Gold Coast.
Within months, the restaurant gained enormous popularity, and would see it's numbers soar. Two hour waits were common on weekend nights, as Andre' would boil 800 pounds of live crawfish on the sidewalk at State and Chestnut. Within a year, the spot was named "Top 10 Restaurants in Chicago Under $10" by the Chicago Sun Times, and was featured on Fox TV, as well as numerous radio stations. In 1994 Andre' and Jami sold their interest in the restaurant and moved to Los Angeles, California.
In 2005, André and Jami opened their cuban-by-day, Tapas-by-night hotspot "The Lava Room" in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The venture was critically acclaimed but sadly closed soon after Hurricane Katrina affected the area in 2005.