Paul C. P. McIlhenny Culinary Entrepreneurship Program

Part of SoFAB’s mission is to encourage food start-up businesses in Louisiana and to promote business training for aspiring chefs and other culinary professionals. Thanks to the support of the Gustaf W. McIlhenny Foundation, SoFAB has been able to host the Paul C. P. McIlhenny Culinary Entrepreneurship Program since 2016.

This program currently offers: 

Dwynesha Lavigne (2016- 2017)

Chef Dwynesha Lavigne owns and operates “Deelightful Roux School of Cooking” a New Orleans-based business that operates today in partnership with SoFAB.  She has received national recognition through profiles in a number of influential food columns, consulted with the Smithsonian Institution, and appeared on podcasts, with a regular spot on WWL morning show doing food demonstrations. 

Serigne "Love" Mbaye (2017-18)

Chef Mbaye worked at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans after honing his skills at SOFAB. Serigne moved to Senegal in May 2019 to cook with the first author to write a Senegalse cookbook after working with award winning Chef Dominque Crenn in San Francisco. He has now opened the award-winning New Orleans restaurant, Dakar Nola.

Sara Lavassuer (2019-20)

Sara Lavassuer now sells her jams and jellies all over the city and has her own kitchen, having outgrown her space at SoFAB. She now owns Bar Pomona and Jamboree Jams.

Ica Crawford (2019-20)

Ica Crawford currently operates an urban food garden and is a master preservator, selling her pickled items throughout the city.  

Byron Bradley (2020-21)

Byron Bradley owns and operates the catering company “2Brothers1Love” which hosts a variety of pop up dinners, curbside pick up options, and had a catering contract with the city of New Orleans to provide meals to those affected by Covid-19.

Bronwen Wyatt (2021-23)

Bronwen Wyatt is an award-winning pastry chef who focused her love to surrealist cakes in 2020 with her business Bayou Saint Cake.