Big news in the food world in Shreveport Bossier today. The Prize Foundation has named the finalists for the Food Prize award this year.

Seven area chefs have passed the first hurdle and will now compete for the Golden Fork trophy.

The announcement was made during the Prize Foundation’s live stream on Monday night.

These chefs were selected by a group of food lovers after two sessions of dinners were held. The top 3 chefs from each session move on to the Food Prize “Come and Get It” competition to try to win the Golden Fork for 2022. A 7th chef was chosen by online voting.

During the finale, each of these local chefs will be teamed up with national celebrity chefs to prepare a tasting which will be served to the guests and a panel of judges at the October event.

Who Are the Seven Finalists in the Food Prize Competition?

This biography information is provided about the Chef's by Food Prize.

Megan Chavez

Courtesy of Food Prize
Courtesy of Food Prize

Chavez is a busy mom, wife, business owner, and chef. She says “I have been cooking since I was 6 years old in the kitchen with my amazing grandma. She taught the importance of organic food long before it was a trend. I have traveled the world to experience ingredients from across the globe and God knew exactly what he was doing placing me in the great state of Louisiana. I love cooking healthy food that makes people feel great but I am not scared to use a little “or a lot” of heat, salt and fat when the occasion calls for some big smiles.”

Anthony Felan


Felan is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco. His love for Louisiana and his family brought him back home in 2010 where he joined the team at Wine Country Bistro as Executive Chef. Anthony pursued his first business endeavor in 2017, opening his food truck Fat Calf Boucherie. In 2019, he and his wife, Amanda, with the help of family and a close friend, opened Fat Calf Brasserie. Here you can expect the same farm-fresh and slow food concept with a French influence that Chef Anthony has been long known for in Northwest Louisiana.

Ryan Gillespie


Gillespie has over 20 years in the industry, with over 10 years as Executive Chef in casinos. Chef Gillespie has also worked for The Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada), Harrah’s, Horseshoe Hotel and Casino, Boomtown, Casperkill Country Club (Poughkeepsie, NY), Cortland Colonial Restaurant and Ballroom (Cortland, NY), and Boston Mills & Brandywine Ski Resorts (Peninsula, OH). He currently trains future chefs and culinarians at Bossier Parish School for Technology & Innovative Learning (BPSTIL).

Niema Longstratt


Growing up in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Chef Longstratt acquired her passion for food from her mother.  After moving to the US, she created RNL Authentics which focuses on bringing the beauty and diversity of West Africa to the world through fashion and food. 2019 was her first year as a finalist in the Battle for the Golden Fork. This led to the opening of RNL’s Cookery Corner, a West African, Afro-Fusion food truck in 2020.

Eleazar Mondragon


Mondragon was born and raised in Mexico where he unknowingly started his culinary journey; inspiration stemming from family cooks and the delicacies of Mexico. He began culinary school at BPCC in 2010, then Le Cordon Bleu in 2011. Eleazar is co-owner of Ki Mexico with his brother where his mother, father, and cousin also work. He is also the 2017 and 2019 Golden Fork Champion.

John Strand


Strand entered the U.S. Army at only 17 and gained classic culinary education and experience during his 24 years of service to our country. Upon Strand’s retirement, he took his in-home restaurant alternative ideas and settled in the Shreveport Bossier City area. In 2006 he created Accents Personal Chef Service, a testament and reflection of all his world travels. This personal and intimate restaurant experience is exclusively tailored to you or your private group. You will enjoy fine dining at a level you will find nowhere else in the community, the way it was meant to be.

Sean Sullivan


Sullivan grew up learning to cook from his mom Laura Sullivan, carrying on a familial tradition of local South Louisiana cuisine; meaningful dinners are an important part of his heritage. After a childhood of family dinners, he finally received the chance to follow his passion in New Orleans after leaving Tulane University by starting at Charlies Steakhouse, an older New Orleans blue collar steakhouse, and worked his way up from dishwasher into the legendary culinary ranks. His resumé includes stalwarts  such as Brennans, Coquette, and the Seaworthy restaurant at the Ace Hotel.

How to Get Food Prize Tickets?

Click here to get your ticket to this amazing culinary event on Friday Oct 21st to taste some amazing food by these local chefs. This event also includes wine pairings and  special mixology creations for this special foodie night.

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