Michael Stoltzfus opened Coquette on the corner of Washington Ave. and Magazine Street in December 2008. The Garden District building was built in the late 1880’s and has been among other things a residence, grocery store, auto parts store and a number of restaurants. With dining rooms on two floors and a 14 seat bar, Coquette offers innovative southern cuisine with an emphasis on locally sourced product. Featuring an accessible international wine list, classic and creative New Orleans cocktails and a well-traveled beer list.
Chef / Owner
Although he grew up on a 140 acre working dairy farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and enjoyed the freshest products available, Stoltzfus never imagined a career in the culinary industry.
Fate or perhaps his mother’s intuition steered him in a fortuitous direction, when a couple of weeks before he was to begin college, his mother decided to open a bakery and enlisted Stoltzfus’ help in running it. Although he knew little more than how to scramble an egg, Stoltzfus found himself cooking breakfast and lunch at the family owned restaurant.
While working at the family bakery, Stoltzfus embarked on his personal culinary adventure, purchasing a variety of cookbooks and began cooking and experimenting at home. At 25 years old, after working at a few restaurants in Maryland, his talents were evident and he was hired to work at New Orleans’ esteemed Restaurant August, where six months later he was promoted to Sous Chef.
His entrepreneurial spirit flared, and in December of 2008, he opened Coquette in a gorgeous two-story Garden District building. Stoltzfus looks at Coquette as a culinary playground where he thrives on designing personalized tastings menus for guests and creating a menu that changes daily. His inspired cooking earned his restaurant a four bean rating from New Orleans’ Times Picayune, a Star Chef’s “Rising Star” Award and most recently Stoltzfus was named a semi-finalist in the prestigious 2013 James Beard “Best Chef in the South,” award.