Kendell Trepagnier has been in a professional kitchen since he was fifteen years old.
“I need Air Jordans, mom,” he said. “I need them for the 4th of July! ‘Go get a job,’ my mom said.” “I didn’t realize at the time she was joking, so I walked around the French Quarter all day and Brennan’s Restaurant hired me as a dish washer.”
Trepagnier went from washing dishes to busing tables. Showing an interest in cooking, the staff trained him as a prep cook and eventually, he became a line cook supervisor at Brennan’s. He later studied business and culinary arts at Nicholls State University and since he had so much kitchen experience already, the teachers looked to him to lead the class and offer instructive support.
After spending time abroad cooking in both Berlin and Africa, Trepagnier landed back in New Orleans and spent 16 years at the Hilton before joining us here at Kingsley House.
“Growing up partly in Nola’s Irish Channel, I knew a lot of families who benefited from Kingsley House,” he said, “I am happy to be here and the position also gives me the opportunity to spend more time in the evening with my children and wife.” Trepagnier has five children, three boys and two girls.
As a chef who now focuses his culinary talents to feed medically fragile adults, seniors, preschool students and summer campers, his goal is to make healthy food fun and exciting. He mentioned that Kingsley House works with a nutritionist to make sure they are making the best choices for their participants that cater to their personal health needs. “I can get anyone to eat Brussel sprouts. No salt necessary. Just a dab of unsalted butter and coconut flakes do the trick!” Trepagnier joked.
He believes that one of the most important elements when serving food is presentation especially when you are feeding seniors and young children. “It has to look appealing and fun.”
When asked what his favorite thing to cook was, “Gumbo because I never make it the same way all the time.”
We at Kingsley House are thrilled to have Chef Kendell Trepagnier on our staff. Follow us on social media to see what’s cookin in our kitchen with Chef Kendell.