Meet our Culinary Team
The Culinary Team on the Steamboat NATCHEZ and Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS have a diverse background in food preparation and presentation.
Let us introduce you to our lead food service professsionals and intriguing individuals.
Steve Wells, Banquet Chef
The New Orleans Steamboat Company is proud to have Banquet Chef Steve Wells leading the Steamboat NATCHEZ and Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS culinary teams.
Steve has an extensive background as an accomplished Executive Chef, specializing in corporate, catering, institutional, and fine dining environments. With a degree from Delgado Community College in Culinary Arts, Steve also holds several certifications for further study and training from the Culinary Institute of America. In the past, he has served as Regional Executive Chef of Chartwells/LSU Dining for over 10 years, was an Executive Chef for Sodexo/UL at Lafayette, as well as Executive Chef and Sous Chef for fine dining at John Folse’s Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant in Donaldsonville, LA. Just prior to joining the Steamboat Company, Steve was Senior Executive Chef at Morrison/Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.
“Steve has the knowledge and skills needed to provide high quality food in a banquet setting,” says Marc Lewis, Director of Food and Beverage for the Steamboat NATCHEZ. “He exercises diplomacy in management of staff and his passion for the culinary arts drives ensures guest satisfaction and returning customers. We are happy to have him on board.”
Byron Fennidy, Sous Chef Steamboat NATCHEZ
Meet Byron, a New Orleans local who also received his love of cooking from his father. Byron’s culinary story is nothing short of inspiring. His training began in 2010 as an intern at Café Hope, a culinary program that provides job placement for disadvantaged youth while giving them a hands-on experience money can’t buy. In addition to his expertise is in the culinary field, his hobbies and personal interests lie in real estate.
Byron feels very fortunate for getting a job placement on the Steamboat NATCHEZ . He has risen from cook, to Kitchen Supervisor, and in August 2016 to Sous Chef. The crew are happy to have him, as he has brought a warm personality and a multitude of skills with him.
Let’s hear from Byron:
Go-to dish to make at home: My go to dish at home would be seafoodballs. Pair them with a roux based garlic creole cream sauce and serve over angel hair pasta. The balls are made of a fatty cut of grounded beef as well as ground hot sausage,,green-yellow and red bell peppers, onion, celery, garlic, shrimp, crab and crawfish. Roll them - bake them - eat them! What you are doing there is placing New Orleans all into one bite..
Ingredient you must have in your pantry: Garlic Powder/granulated is a must for me. I use it in dressings, marinades, batters and just about every little thing I do. I'd say I have been known to cause a few garlic breaths out there...
Favorite dish: As a food professional it's hard to pinpoint one dish, but just gimme that crawfish bisque in traditional style with stuffed crawfish head, plenty of tails and river claws. Have to add sides of Mac n'Cheese, potato salad and some sweet peas.
Food Philosophy: It is simple - Eat real food. Ditch the perfection and find the joy. I believe every ingredient should be used in moderation, seasoned and prepared with love. I feel as a Sous Chef these techniques leave little room for error. Treat the Food like you would like it to treat you.
Passion for Cooking: My passion for cooking began as soon as I had permission to use the stove. From that point it was Much Success...and many fails, and each one I learned from. Becoming a good cook was handed down from both sides of my family. They taught me the same dishes in different ways so I could tweak them and make it my own. Motivation came from my dad - if you could name it he could cook it!
Jemielyn Arcega, Sous Chef Riverboat CITY of NEW OREANS
Meet Jemielyn, a second generation member in the Food and Beverage leadership on the Steamboat NATCHEZ. He mother is a Seasoned Manager in the Food & Beverage Management team, her sister joined the dining management team in 2019- so the love of food and service is long-standing in their family.
Go-to dish to make at home: Hand rolled pasta is an all time favorite. There is nothing like homemade pasta to lay the way for wonderful sauces.
Ingredient you must have in your pantry: Sriracha. It has become more and more prevalant in today's popular cuisines, but has been a favorite in my household for years.
Favorite dish: It is a toss-up between Carbonara and Bolognese to make, its back to that love of fresh pasta. To consume I would have to say roasted Whole Fish.
Food philosophy: Cook from your heart. The love and attention you put into your food will be tasted by all those that share your meal.
Passion for cooking: My interest in cooking started as a young child watching my grandmother and mother cook wholesome meals for our family. It became fulfilling to lend a hand with preparation alongside these women. It meant a lot to observe at gatherings how food impacts the family experience as a whole. It quickly progressed into a passion of evoking those transcendental, nostalgic feelings which then lead to a career in culinary field.
"There is absolutely nothing better than being able to share time and conversation around a table over a meal" Jemielyn Arcega