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Rebecca Wilcomb, Chef and Owner of Gianna (New Orleans)

James Beard Foundation Award winner, Best Chef: South, 2017


Rebecca Wilcomb has been inspired by her mother’s Italian roots her entire life—from traveling to Italy, spending time with family, and eating her grandmother’s rustic home cooking. With an inherent passion for food and its beginnings, Rebecca landed her first culinary job at Harvest in Cambridge, Mass., where she learned the fundamentals, followed by Casablanca, and then a highly coveted position at Oleana, where she refined her craft.  

Rebecca moved to New Orleans in 2008 and found an immediate home at Herbsaint. After working the line under Chefs Donald Link and Ryan Prewitt, she took over the kitchen as Chef de Cuisine in 2011, and became the Executive Chef in 2016. She now maintains Herbsaint’s high standards while pushing the restaurant’s food to new levels. Rebecca expands her scope through regular international travel and research, and through personal relationships with Gulf fisherman, area farmers, and local purveyors.

Rebecca’s new restaurant, Gianna, opens in the Warehouse District of New Orleans in April 2019. Gianna will be an Italian restaurant influenced by Rebecca’s family and her travels through Italy.

Rebecca was honored by the James Beard Foundation with their prestigious “Best Chef: South” award in 2017. She is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.