Meet the Chefs

Chef Cory Bahr

North Delta Born, Bred, and Cookin’ Proud Cory Bahr sinks his country roots down deep as his stars rise high at Cotton.

Cory Bahr’s culinary philosophy boils down to sourcing:  “I find the best oysters I can get my hands on, and get out of their way.  I’m not interested in showing how smart I am on a plate.”  It’s an approach he learned from two of the best North Delta cooks he knows – his grandparents, who raised him in the small town of Monroe, Louisiana.  

His grandmother ran a catering business, and to this day has the most impressive collection of cookbooks and back-issues of Southern Living Bahr has ever seen.  He was always underfoot in her kitchen.  “Her m.o. is to find the best ingredient, and put her signature on it,” says Bahr, who has inherited her creativity.  His grandfather would return from business trips to New Orleans with fresh oysters, shrimp, and flounder; he did all the cooking at their hunting and fishing camp, and will still call his grandson about a new dish he’s invented – sometimes it ends up on the menu.  [Bahr inherited his creativity, too…] They always had something growing in their vegetable garden, and were always pickling or canning one thing or another.  They raised him with love and discipline, and with complete support for his passion for food, which was, after all, their way of life.  By 9 years old, he was baking his grandfather’s favorite Caramel Jam Cake [“not easy!”] to everyone’s surprise and delight.  

Two local ladies who admired his cooking asked Bahr to run a restaurant they were planning to open in Monroe.  It was a great success.  Then in 2007, at age 30, he was approached to open Monroe’s Restaurant Sage as executive chef – another success.  In 2011, Bahr was crowned King of Louisiana Seafood, and fulfilled his ‘royal’ duties by acting as a national spokesman for the Louisiana Seafood Board’s Chef Council.  And in June 2012, just six months after opening his own hometown restaurant, Cotton, Cory Bahr remained cool as a cucumber on the Food Network’s Chopped! handily winning the cutthroat competition with his skill, speed, and ingenuity.  He has been named “Chef to Watch” by Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine.

Chef Hans

Born in the German speaking region of northern Switzerland, Hans Korrodi came to the United States in 1969, after a tour in the Swiss Merchant Marines and having developed his cooking skills in prestigious establishments in Switzerland, Norway, and England. After completing a sailor’s apprenticeship on the Rhine River he obtained a visa under the sponsorship of restaurateur and fellow Swiss, Andrea Meyer, who ran the famous Waterville Valley resort on White Mountain in New Hampshire.

Korrodi served as an assistant chef there and head chef in Vermont, and discovered Louisiana cuisine while on vacation in New Orleans. It was there that “Chef” found his true calling, training at the posh Commander’s Palace while simultaneously holding the Executive Chef spot at Brennan’s in Houston. At the palace, Chef learned from Louisiana’s great culinary artists, Paul Prudhomme and Ella Brennan, whom he credits as one of his greatest influences.

In 1979, Chef Hans settled in West Monroe,  catering for the Monroe/West Monroe municipalities. In 1986, he opened Chef Han’s Restaurant, and won the Louisiana Restaurateur of the Year award. In 1990, he resigned from his catering position and started Chef Han’s Gourmet Foods, Inc. in Downtown Monroe. There he is fulfilling his dream of sharing Louisiana’s singular cuisine
with the rest of the world.

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