Reigning Louisiana Seafood Queen Chef Amanda Cusey of The Villa Harlequin and Chef Lyle Broussard of Barstool Sportsbook at L’Auberge Casino Resort are two of 14 top Louisiana chefs heading to Charlotte to feature the state’s unique flavors in several of the area’s top restaurants. Visit Lake Charles, the Louisiana Travel Association, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board have partnered to present the “Louisiana X Charlotte Restaurant Night” on Thursday, November 3, as part of the Louisiana Culinary Trails tourism marketing campaign.


This extraordinary event gives chefs in Louisiana and Charlotte the opportunity to combine their expertise to spice things up in the kitchen and offer patrons a chance to get a taste of the Bayou State’s vibrant culture and flavorful cuisine. The Louisiana X Charlotte Restaurant Night will feature 28 chefs total at 14 restaurants, each offering a one-of-a-kind experience available at various price points presented as a private ticketed dinner, a prix fixe menu or special featured dishes.


“Food is a way of life in Louisiana, and our culinary heritage and flavors are unlike anything else in the country,” said Louisiana Travel Association Executive Vice President Laura Cating. “With multiple direct flights to Louisiana, we’re excited to give Charlotte residents a sample of the flavors of Louisiana, inspiring them to make Louisiana their next travel destination.”


Prior to the restaurant night, Visit Lake Charles will also be attending the Restaurant Night Media Preview reception, where the Louisiana chefs will prepare the state’s delicious cuisine with our fresh seafood featured for key influencers, encouraging media to write about the Louisiana culinary experience.


“The culinary scene in Lake Charles has grown exponentially over the past several years with innovative restaurants and food experiences for people to explore. Visit Lake Charles is thrilled to partner with Chef Amanda Cusey and Chef Lyle Broussard bring a taste of Southwest Louisiana to Charlotte to entice visitation to the Lake Area and bolster media interest in the culinary stories that we have to share,” said Angie Manning, Vice President of Communications at Visit Lake Charles.


Amanda Cusey, executive chef at The Villa Harlequin, began developing her passion for food while growing up in the Southwest United States. Traveling extensively throughout the US and Europe, Chef Amanda received her Cordon Bleu training at the Tante Marie Culinary Academy in Surrey, England. After working her way up through the ranks at several restaurants in England and Ireland, Chef Amanda has been embracing her new home and bringing her twist on Italian cuisine to downtown Lake Charles at the Villa Restaurant for the past 5 years. In June 2022, Chef Amanda Cusey became the second ever Queen of Louisiana Seafood, besting 11 other chefs to win the 15th Annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off presented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board.


Chef Lyle Broussard is known for his Cajun and Creole flavors and his passion for Southwest Louisiana culture and cuisine, dating back to time spent perched next to his grandmother’s stovetop where he developed a passion for food. Chef Broussard‘s love of his local heritage carries over to the menu with authenticity, deep flavors and a simplicity that allows the ingredients to do the talking.


Other participating chefs include:


  • Chef Ryan Trahan, Vestal, Lafayette

  • Chef Madonna Broussard, Laura’s II Café, Lafayette

  • Chef Ross Dover, Palmettos on the Bayou, Louisiana Northshore

  • Chef Amanda Songbird, Cured. On Columbia, Louisiana Northshore

  • Chef Cory Bahr, Parish Restaurant & Standard Coffee Co., Monroe-West Monroe

  • Chef Celeste Gill, Chef Celeste Bistro, Baton Rouge

  • Chef Jeremy Langlois, Latil’s Landing at Houmas House, Ascension Parish

  • Chef KJ Townsend, Quizine Quarters, Houma

  • Chef Ben Fidelak, Mariner’s, Natchitoches

  • Chef Johnnie Gale, Crawfish Town USA, St. Martin Parish

  • Chef Tootie Morrison, Earnestly Tootie’s Chef Services, Shreveport-Bossier

  • Chef Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans


For more information on the event, chefs and restaurants, visit the event website Thursday, Nov. 3, tune in to Visit Lake Charles’ social media channels for updates and coverage on the event.





Since 2008, the Louisiana Travel Association and its partners have promoted the unique culinary scene throughout the Bayou State with the Louisiana Culinary Trails campaign. In addition to providing foodies and travelers from around the globe with mouthwatering road trip ideas, it also takes the program on the road to major cities throughout the country to inspire travel throughout the state of Louisiana. With several direct flights from Charlotte to Louisiana cities and with the exciting food scene in Charlotte, the Queen City is an important market for Louisiana tourism. American Airlines offers direct daily flights to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Shreveport. For more information about the Louisiana Culinary Trails program, visit and follow Louisiana Culinary Trails on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.