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

Prior to joining R’evolution, Russett’s professional background, expertise and accolades earned in the restaurant and hospitality industries include work in premier venues throughout greater New Orleans. Russett has served as assistant sommelier and sommelier at well-known establishments, including Emeril’s, Emeril’s Delmonico and Nola. His career experience also includes sales and management positions at Republic National Distribution Company and Lirette Selections.

Russett has been awarded on numerous occasions for his work in the wine industry, including being named the 2008 Grand Award Winner by Wine Spectator, as well as being recognized as 2011 Brand Champion for Graffigna Sales by Pernod Ricard USA. He also previously received a nomination for the James Beard Foundation’s Excellence in Wine Service Award. Beyond his time in the wine and restaurant industries, Russett is also a member of the United States Marine Corps.

“I’m proud to join the Restaurant R’evolution team,” said Russett. “The legacies of Chefs Folse and Tramonto are inspiring, along with the Cajun and Creole cuisine they create. I can’t wait to share my knowledge and love of wine with our guests.” 

Luis Ochoa
General Manager

lochoa@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

Ochoa provides more than a decade of experience within a fine dining environment, including expertise in guest relations and development, team management, development of operation procedures and managing sales and inventory. He joined the restaurant team in 2015 as the assistant general manager, and he previously served as restaurant manager to other New Orleans staples including Emeril’s New Orleans, NOLA Restaurant and Atchafalaya.

“Restaurant R’evolution brings the best of Louisiana cuisine and Southern hospitality to every guest who walks through our doors,” said Ochoa. “It’s an honor to lead this team, and I’m excited to have a part in our legacy right here in the French Quarter.”

Patrick sterling
Assistant General Manager

psterling@sonesta.com
504-553-2277

Sterling has more than 15 years of experience in the cocktail, mixology and hospitality industries. He joined the Restaurant R’evolution team early in 2016 as the manager of Bar R’evolution, which offers chef-driven, seasonal cocktails inspired by modern takes on "gilded age" libations from the pre-Prohibition era. Sterling has also received numerous beverage industry trainings and certifications, including the prestigious Beverage Alcohol Resource Group B.A.R 5-day program, The Midwest Wine School WSET program and Gary Regan’s Master of Service “Cocktails in the Country” class.

“I’m excited to serve the role of assistant general manager at this culinary treasure,” said Sterling. “I look forward to working closely with Luis to continue ensuring our guests receive an unforgettable experience each time they visit Restaurant R’evolution.”

 
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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