Claremont, Calif. (April 18, 2012) — Pitzer College alumna Jenn Louis ’93 has been named a 2012 Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef. One of the highest honors in the restaurant industry, the Food & Wine award is given to chefs “with a unique culinary vision.” The 2012 winners will be featured in the July issue of Food & Wine magazine.
Louis is the owner and chef of Lincoln Restaurant in Portland, OR, which she and her husband David Welch opened in 2008. Louis uses seasonal ingredients to create what Food & Wine called “honest, delicious, sustainable cuisine.” Louis and Welch also run the Sunshine Tavern which offers a huge selection of craft beers, casual pub fare and a 14-foot shuffleboard table.
Louis’ cooking career began after she graduated from Pitzer and took a job as a base camp cook with the North Carolina Outward Bound School. Louis discovered her calling during her days slinging hash for rock climbers, kayakers and mountaineers.
“When I was a little kid, I always wanted to do something creative. I tried to paint, I tried to draw, but I was so bad at those things,” Louis said. “Then I found cooking.”
Louis went to culinary school and worked at Wildwood Restaurant and Bar in Portland. She later opened Culinary Artistry, a company which started out making high-end private dinners and evolved into a private cooking school and a full-service catering business.
Louis was an environmental studies and religious studies major at Pitzer College.