STAFF DIRECTORY

JANA BILLIOT
Chef de Cuisine

jbilliot@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

Chef de Cuisine Jana Billiot oversees menu execution and kitchen operations, while developing seasonal offerings and specialty dishes. And her Hogs Head Terrine dish recently won the 2017 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience Fleur de Lis Silver Culinary Award for the Meat/Poultry category. Previously, Billiot served as Restaurant R’evolution’s executive sous chef.

Billiot joined Restaurant R’evolution during its conceptual stage, even before it opened its doors in 2012, closely assisting in menu development alongside managing partners and executive chefs Folse and Rick Tramonto. Restaurant R’evolution, which evolves the food of the "seven nations" that formed Louisiana's culture and cuisine, has quickly risen to prominence throughout the fine-dining scene of the greater New Orleans area, the United States and across the globe.

Billiot, a Louisiana native of Johnson Bayou in Cameron Parish, is a 2007 graduate of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (CJFCI) at Nicholls State University. Currently, CJFCI is the only post-secondary institution in Louisiana – and, in fact, one of the only ones in the country – offering four-year Bachelor of Science and two-year associate of science degrees in culinary arts. While studying at CJFCI, she trained at the Institut Paul Bocuse, Hôtellerie Restauration & Arts Culinaires in 2005 in Lyon, France. Following graduation, Billiot honed her culinary skills at Tramonto’s TRU Restaurant in Chicago, before joining the Restaurant R’evolution team in 2010.

 
Gabriel Beard
Executive Sous Chef

gbeard@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

Blake Abene
Executive Pastry Chef

jabene@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

A native of Hammond, Louisiana, Abene is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His professional experience includes work at the Michelin three star-rated Jean Georges and the two star-rated Corton restaurants in New York, along with the Sullivan Street Bakery, also in New York.

Abene’s interest in modern fine dining desserts began at Jean Georges, where he trained under Executive Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini. Abene went on to work at Corton, initially serving as chef de partie and then eventually working his way up to the position of executive pastry chef. After returning to Louisiana in 2013, he worked at the former Stella! before joining Rebel Restaurant Group as executive pastry chef for its Root and Square Root locations.

“I’m thrilled to join the Restaurant R’evolution team and to bring some creative confections to the table for our guests,” said Abene. “It’s an honor to become part of the legacies of Chefs Folse and Tramonto, taking beloved traditional Louisiana desserts and putting a modern spin on them.”

Over the years, Abene has garnered honors from numerous organizations, including the American Culinary Federation of New Orleans, which named him one of its “Best Chefs of Louisiana” in 2016. In addition, StarChefs.com named him a “rising star” pastry chef for its 2016 New Orleans class.

Steven Russett
Wine director

srussett@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

Luis Ochoa
General Manager

lochoa@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

Patrick sterling
Assistant General Manager

psterling@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

As Bar R’evolution manager, Sterling leads the creation of seasonal craft cocktails, curates various menus, trains the front of house staff and develops related promotional programs for the venue. He brings more than 15 years of experience in the cocktail, mixology and hospitality industries. Most recently, Sterling worked as bar director at the Chicago location of Colorado-based farm to table restaurant group, The Kitchen.

Throughout his career, Sterling has practiced as an independent beverage consultant, lending expertise to a wide variety of venues in creating beer, wine, spirit and craft cocktail menus, as well as developing bartending training programs. In addition to his most recent position with The Kitchen, he was the head bartender at the Michelin Bib Gourmand award-winning restaurant, Gather. He also worked in numerous venues, ranging from the James Beard and Michelin Star awarded restaurant, Blackbird in Chicago, the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, The 2e Lounge inside The Pierre Hotel in New York, plus the fine dining location, Bacchus, in Milwaukee.

Sterling holds a master’s degree from DePaul University, as well as a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has also received beverage industry training and certifications at the prestigious Beverage Alcohol Resource Group B.A.R 5-day program, The Midwest Wine School WSET program, Gary Regan’s Master of Service “Cocktails in the Country” class, and has been certified through the AOC of Armagnac at the Armagnac Academy in New York.

 
Dakiel Jones
MaÎtre d'

djones2@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

 
Arionne Nicholas
Special Events Coordinator

anicholas@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

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