Chef Sue Zemanick
Sue Zemanick began her culinary career at the early age of 15 while working in fine dining restaurants in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She quickly learned that cooking was her passion and calling. After high school, she enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Graduating at the top of her class, she was offered a position to work one-on-one with a chef-instructor as a fellow in the seafood department. During that fellowship, she developed a great love for fish and seafood, which is what brought her to New Orleans.
Upon arriving in New Orleans, she began cooking at Commander’s Palace. She later moved on to cook at Gautreau’s Restaurant under 2004 Food & Wine Best New Chef winner, Mat Wolf. After working her way up the ranks, she was promoted to executive chef in 2005 weeks before damage from Hurricane Katrina closed Gautreau’s for over a year. Upon reopening in 2007, Zemanick was named a Chef to Watch by The Times-Picayune food critic.
In 2008, Zemanick was chosen as a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine as well as Chef of the Year by New Orleans Magazine. Gautreau’s has been consistently rated one of the top ten best restaurants in New Orleans by The Times-Picayune.
Zemanick was featured at both the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and Charleston Wine + Food Festival in February/March 2010, and she was a contestant on season three of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters in 2011.
In 2012, she was named a New Orleans Rising Star. Then, in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 she was a top-five finalist in the Rising Star Chef category by the James Beard Foundation. In 2014, Sue won Best Chef: South from the James Beard Foundation.