About us

The Southern Riviera

Our inspiration is European, but our influence is distinctly American. Expect memorable service, exceptional ingredients, and the artful preparations that have made the European Riviera justifiably famous. We just add a little bit of Louisiana flavor – which is exactly what they’re missing, if we may be so bold…




Meet The Team



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Samuel Peery 

Executive Chef

Born in Virginia and raised in Tennessee, Chef Samuel Peery found his passion for food at a young age. Watching his grandmother’s hard work in the kitchen, turning family recipes into delicious meals, stuck with him; at college, he began working in local kitchens. He loved the rush that came during the hectic parts of a busy service, as well as the beauty and balance of a well-composed dish. From there, his path was set.

Before joining the Fontenot team in 2022, Chef Peery worked at R’evolution under Cajun-Creole legend Chef John Folse. He is a Level 1 Sommelier who has spent extensive time cooking in Italy, and his experiences in Tennessee, Denver, Piedmont, and Salento have transformed his career and made him an able translator of culinary styles and techniques perfect for King. 

When he is not cooking, Chef Peery is often found outdoors, hiking, biking, or snowboarding.

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Jessica Retif  

Food + Beverage Director

Jessica Retif is a New Orleans native with over fifteen years of experience in the restaurant and bar industries.

In 2022, Retif was promoted from Restaurant and Bar General Manager to Director of Food and Beverage at Kimpton Hotel Fontenot as she took on even more of a leadership role in preparation for the hotel’s expansion and the opening of the property’s French brasserie, King.

Under her guidance, the food and beverage program at the property’s concepts, Peacock Room and Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats, has offered guests a sense of playful discovery and storytelling, while evolving seasonally to showcase global and local influences that have developed the rich culture in New Orleans.

Prior to joining Kimpton Hotel Fontenot in 2021, Retif worked as beverage consultant with Pomegranate Hospitality for the Four Seasons New Orleans, developing their opening cocktail and zero proof programs.

Jessica Retif opened Saba Restaurant, and served as General Manager for the modern Israeli restaurant from chef Alon Shaya, while also curating their wine and beverage program. She also assisted in operating sister restaurant Safta in Denver. Earlier in her career she worked as beverage manager for contemporary Cajun restaurant Toups’ Meatery, and sharpened her skills for fine dining at New Orleans staple restaurant, Emeril's Delmonico.

Also a lover of film, Retif got a degree in Film/Theatre Production at the University of New Orleans and studied Japanese Film at Doshisha University in Kyoto. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring outdoors, natural history, fine art exhibitions and dark room photography.


Pastry Chef Lanna Talley

Lanna Talley

Pastry Chef

Born and raised in Knoxville, TN, Chef Lanna Talley has always loved being in the kitchen. Whether it was making deviled eggs with Grandma, grilling with Dad, baking cookies with Mom or rolling biscuits with Mimi, she always wanted to be a part of it. Lanna found her passion for baking and pastry in culinary school with Chef Catherine Hallman who instilled the patience, science, and creativity it takes to be a pastry chef. Lanna loves combining new techniques with nostalgic flavors, making dessert the most fun part of the meal!
Before moving to New Orleans, Chef Lanna owned and operated Sunflour Bakery on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Prior to that, she worked as a Pastry Chef for Oliver Hospitality and Dollywood Theme Park where she learned to be a leader and teacher in the kitchen. Her passion for southern hospitality and great dessert make her an excellent addition to the team here at Hotel Fontenot.

Outside of work, you can find Lanna spending time with her husband, Chris and their 2 dogs, cat and turtle. They love playing DnD, going to the park, and relaxing under their oak trees.