Chef Hardette Harris is reviving and celebrating North Louisiana culinary on the national stage. As founder and executive chef of Us Up North, Chef Harris has earned accolades from coast to coast. Most recently, Chef Harris earned recognition as a 2024 James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef: South.
In response to the honor, Chef Harris says, “I’m still in shock. I’m grateful the world sees me. The award puts a spotlight on North Louisiana. I have to thank myself. It’s an acknowledgment of the work I put in to keep Us Up North authentic. Being seen is a big deal. This award isn't just mine. I share it with all of Shreveport, it’s Shreveport’s honor.”
The James Beard Award is a competitive and prestigious honor prized by chefs nationwide. The awards recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, and sustainability.
Nominees will be announced on Wednesday, April 3, and winners will be announced at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 10 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Chef Harris's passion for North Louisiana cuisine runs deep. In 2015, she made history by creating the official meal of North Louisiana. The meal includes mini Natchitoches meat pies, fried catfish, purple hull peas, and hot water cornbread! YUM! Her dedication was celebrated in 2017 when she was named "Louisianian of the Year" by Louisiana Life Magazine and one of "Country Roads Magazine's 2017 Best Small-Town Chefs."
In 2018, Us Up North was named "Attraction of the Year" by Visit Shreveport-Bossier and received the 2019 Convention and Tourism Sales Department Award. Chef Harris’s expertise extends beyond her restaurant, with a recurring column called "Up North" in the beautiful Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine and recipe contributions to LOLA Magazine.
Harris's broad culinary knowledge landed her a television feature for the PBS Digital Series, Nourish in "The Great Cornbread Debate," where she gave a history of cornbread and demonstrated several cornbread dishes and fried fish.
In 2019, Chef Harris opened the Us Up North Kitchen in Shreveport’s historic Allendale neighborhood. This vibrant space is more than just a restaurant. It is a community hub designed to celebrate the unique flavors of North Louisiana.
Us Up North is at 300 N. Allen Avenue, Shreveport, LA. To learn more, visit www.usupnorth.com.