Justin Devillier was raised in Dana Point, California, a small beach town in South Orange County. He spent summers fishing for Yellowtail and Albacore tuna, and in the fall and winter he would dive for lobsters just steps from his front door. This bounty of local seafood inspired him to enter the culinary industry, and after working in local restaurants right out of high school he decided to focus all of his time on becoming a chef. In 2003, Devillier moved to New Orleans in search of a vibrant restaurant community. He cooked in the kitchens of Bacco, Stella and Peristyle, where he learned the intricacies of French cuisine from his mentor, Chef Anne Kearny-Sands.
In 2004, Devillier joined the team at La Petite Grocery as a line cook, housed in a century-old building with a storied history, and was promoted to sous chef after one year. Following Hurricane Katrina, he helped re-build the restaurant’s infrastructure, and in 2007 was promoted to executive chef. A short three years later, Devillier and his wife Mia took over majority ownership in 2010. At La Petite Grocery, Devillier puts his creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with dishes like Turtle Bolognese, Panéed Rabbit, and Blue Crab Beignets. He was named a 2008 “Chef to Watch” by the Times-Picayune. He was also named 2014’s “Chef of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine. In 2016, Justin won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: South after being named a finalist in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
In early 2015, the Devilliers opened their second restaurant, Balise, named after one of the first French settlements at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Set in a 19th century Creole townhouse in the Central Business District, Balise celebrates New Orleans as a port city and its unique access to a wide variety of ingredients.
In his free time, Devillier is an avid fisherman and hunter, and loves spending time at the beach with his wife and three young daughters.
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Mia Devillier moved to New Orleans in 1996 to attend Loyola University. After receiving a degree in Business Management and Marketing, she worked as a manager with Martin Wine Cellar for three years before returning to school at the University of New Orleans for a Masters in Accounting. Upon graduating, Devillier worked as a tax accountant with Deloitte and Touche for three years.
Even during her professional career in business, Devillier has always held various positions in the service industry spanning 19 years – most notably with the House of Blues and in restaurants such as Lilette, Juan’s Flying Burritos and Marigny Brasserie. She joined La Petite Grocery in 2009 as General Manager, and she and her husband, Chef Justin Devillier, took over majority ownership of the restaurant in 2010. During her tenure, La Petite Grocery earned Four Beans from The Times-Picayune in May 2010, and has also been included on Brett Anderson’s “New Orleans’ Top 10 Restaurants” list by The Times-Picayune for 2011-2016.
Mia and Justin Devillier’s second restaurant, named Balise after one of the first French settlements at the mouth of the Mississippi River, opened in the Central Business District of New Orleans in early 2015. Set in a 19th century Creole townhouse, Balise features a menu that celebrates New Orleans as a port city and its unique access to a wide variety of ingredients.
Devillier attributes her passion for food and wine to her late Father, Harley, and her knack for Southern hospitality to her late Grams, Peggy. In their honor, she continues her pursuit of providing memorable dining experiences at La Petite Grocery and Balise.
Bobby Margot was born and raised in Chalmette, Louisiana. He began in the restaurant industry at only sixteen years old, starting as a busboy and working his way up to bar back, bartender, server, and expeditor at Jaeger’s Seafood Restaurant in New Orleans.
In 2004, Margot moved on to Houston’s restaurant where he had the opportunity to learn the business side of the industry. He also taught continuing education classes for the staff covering all aspects of service, and was consistently ranked as one of the restaurant’s top ten employees. In July 2010, Margot was offered a management position at La Petite Grocery, and happily accepted. Expanding his responsibilities, he is now honored to be working as Assistant General Manager at La Petite Grocery as well as at Balise, Justin and Mia Devillier’s second restaurant that opened in February 2015.
Margot holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Administration from the University of New Orleans. His interests outside the restaurant include cheering on the New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers, as well as fishing and hunting. Bobby is passionate about maintaining a positive work environment, and believes that happy employees are key to creating terrific guest experiences.
Jesse Carr was born in Athens, GA and raised between the Virginia Appalachians and Washington, D.C., spending most of his time with his grandparents who were deep-rooted southerners with a love of socializing. True to form, they always believed that it was 5 o’clock somewhere; Jesse would help out by playing bartender and crafting family favorites such as Rob Roys and their own version of Bloody Marys with scotch called “Transfusions”. He saw the true beginnings of what would later become his passion and career.
After graduating from high school and ready to stretch his legs, Jesse moved to California to attend Santa Monica College and UCLA. He began bartending at local pubs – quickly discovering his fondness for hospitality – and after some post-college travel he landed in New York City to start working with some of the greatest people in the industry. In 2011, he found a home at the James Beard Award winning Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, where he and fellow colleagues worked tirelessly to create one of the best bars in America and the world.
In 2014, Jesse and his wife decided to move to New Orleans, a city they fell in love with many years ago during Jazz Fest and thought would be the perfect place to start a family. “I love the city, love the atmosphere, love the drink culture,” says Jesse. He is honored to be working as the Bar Director with the great team at La Petite Grocery and Balise.