Welcome to Our Community Connect Series

Welcome to the Witry Collective’s Community Connect Series. This is the first in a monthly series where we highlight a special client doing outstanding work in our city. At the Witry Collective, we believe that learning about your community and its members offers many essential benefits, including knowledge, networking, inspiration, resources and support. These benefits help us to evolve and thrive within ourselves and also as a whole. We hope the information within this series is enlightening and assists you in feeling more rooted in your local network.

This month, the Witry Collective is honored to introduce Kristen Essig as our first Community Connect Client. Kristen is not only a strong woman and business owner, but also a dear friend of the Witry Collective. Kristen has entrusted us in buying and selling two properties over the last several years. Kristen has made an enormous impact on the New Orleans restaurant industry with her tenacity, creativity and drive. We are thrilled to have represented her in making such important real estate decisions and proud to follow her culinary accomplishments.

Kristen Essig was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in 1998, Kristen worked with James Beard award winning chefs, Chef Frank Lee of Slightly North of Broad and Chef Louis Osteen of Louis’ Charleston Grill. Seventeen years ago, Kristen made New Orleans her home, kicking off her Crescent City culinary career with Chef Emeril Lagasse at Emeril’s, followed by a four-year turn with Chef and mentor Anne Kearney at the famed New Orleans Restaurant, Peristyle. She joined the Crescent City Farmers Market as market manager where she cultivated strong relationships with local farmers, producers and vendors. She’s been a Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine “Chef to Watch” (2005), a sought-after private chef, and in April, 2013 Kristen returned full time to the restaurant kitchens. Kristen proudly joined the Coquette family in the fall of 2016 as a co-chef and partner with her love, Michael. Since then she’s been named one of Times Picayune’s Chefs to Watch (2014), one of Coastal Living Magazines “5 Coastal Chefs to Watch” (2015), nominated as one of Food & Wine Magazine’s “The People’s Best New Chef” (2015), and a semi-finalist alongside her partner, Michael, for Best Chef South by the James Beard Association (2017). Kristen and Michael are currently working on their second project, Thalia; a neighborhood restaurant in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans, opening in late 2018.