Three of the highest-profile chefs in Shreveport-Bossier will be opening new restaurants within the next few months, and the local dining scene could change dramatically as a result. First up to open is Chef Hardette Harris’s Us Up North Kitchen (300 North Allen, Shreveport).

Us Up North Kitchen is the first brick-and-mortar restaurant project associated with Harris, who created the Official Meal of North Louisiana in 2015 and has since assumed the role of go-to expert on traditional northern Louisiana cuisine. She’s taught classes, hosted tours, collaborated with local farmers, and much more – and now she’s got a restaurant.

Why is this so important? For starters, Us Up North Kitchen is located on an incredibly charming corner in Allendale, a neighborhood on the edge of downtown Shreveport that will undoubtedly benefit from a popular new business. Also, Harris has arguably become the face of culinary culture in northern Louisiana (she was named a Louisianian of the Year by Louisiana Lifewon the Best Small Town Chef Award from Country Roads Magazine, and appeared as a cornbread expert on PBS’s Nourish, just for starters). For a well-known figure like Harris to open a restaurant where visitors can sample her cooking on a regular basis – not just during events – is a big deal.

“The menu will come directly from the Official Meal of North Louisiana,” Harris told me by phone. “Of course, I’ll be serving my most popular items, but I’ll also be adding in some local favorites like meat loaf and mac n’ cheese.”

Recently, Harris has been opening the restaurant occasionally to serve her outstanding fried catfish, mixed greens, barbecue, and more. As of Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, the restaurant will be open for lunch only on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

“It really feels surreal,” Harris said. “There’s finally a place to get the Official Meal on a regular basis.”

Later in 2019, Chef Anthony Felan and his wife and partner, Amanda, will be opening Fat Calf Brasserie and Chef David Bridges will be opening Sauvage. You can keep track of the progress at Sauvage by liking their Facebook page.

It’s going to be an eventful fourth quarter in Shreveport, as far as restaurants are concerned.

Want to keep up with Us Up North Kitchen? Like the Pure Louisiana Soul – Food ours and Culinary Experiences page on Facebook.

Chef Hardette Harris, creator of the North Louisiana State Meal, displays the official proclamation with Representative Gene Reynolds. Photo by Jim Noetzel.

Enjoy local food in Shreveport-Bossier? Download Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.