The Advocate: Willa Jean's Chef Kelly Fields Brings Home James Beard Award

May 6, 2019
By Ian McNulty

Kelly Fields first made her name with exquisite, upscale desserts. This week, the New Orleans chef won a major culinary award for the bakery cafe she named for her grandmother, Willa Jean, and which is best known for a more homespun approach with biscuits, country bread, cake and pastry.

Fields won the outstanding pastry chef award Monday night from the James Beard Foundation, earning a national accolade for a Central Business District restaurant that mixes contemporary style and Southern flavor.

Fields was one of 10 contenders from New Orleans in the running for this year's awards, which are closely watched in the hospitality industry and by dining aficionados. She was the only one of them to come away with a James Beard Award, which was presented at a ceremony in Chicago.   Read more….