The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) introduced Chef Dave Evans of Luna Bar & Grill as the winner of the 2019 Restauranteur of the Year during its Annual Meeting in Charenton, La. This year, LTA presented 19 “Louey Awards” to honor and showcase individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the Louisiana tourism industry.
Born and raised in Lake Charles, Chef Dave Evans has been involved in the restaurant industry since childhood. Today, Chef Dave is the owner and executive chef at Luna Bar and Grill, which has been a staple in Southwest Louisiana for 16 years. In early 2020, Chef Dave will open his second location in Downton Lafayette, with plans to expand Luna Bar and Grill to cities across Texas and Louisiana.
“I am very honored to have been chosen as Restaurateur of the Year among the many talented chefs across Louisiana. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family, friends, staff, and the Southwest Louisiana community since Luna’s inception 16 years ago,” said Chef Dave Evans. “I am especially proud to be from Lake Charles, but I’m excited to see where the future of Luna takes us.”
In addition to Luna, Chef Dave is also an art and music champion. What initially began as an idea to celebrate Luna’s 10th birthday in 2013, Chef Dave founded Chuck Fest, now one of Lake Charles’ largest annual festivals. Held every third Saturday in October, Chuck Fest is a culmination of Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana’s music, arts, culinary scene, and culture.
Chef Dave attributes much of his success to the many partnerships that have cumulated throughout his 16 years of business. He applauds Visit Lake Charles’ shift in focus to marketing Lake Charles as a culinary and arts destination. With the addition of the CVB’s Top 20 Best Restaurants annual contest, Chef Dave and Luna Bar and Grill have been awarded #1 and #2 since the contest began 7 years ago. With many tourists visiting his restaurant, he says this influx keeps him and many business owners from being complacent in their work, resulting in creating a more vibrant culinary scene in Southwest Louisiana.
“Lake Charles is fortunate to have Chef Dave Evans, his passion for our community, and his undeniable talent as a chef and restaurateur. From Chuck Fest to the jazz brunches at Luna Bar and Grill and the many musicians he has helped along the way, Chef Dave has been one of the main proponents for the arts and humanities movement in Southwest Louisiana,” said Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of Visit Lake Charles. “Congratulations to Chef Dave Evans and the Evans family on their many successes, and we anticipate a bright future ahead for Luna Bar and Grill.”
This year, Chef Dave was one of the two chefs selected in Southwest Louisiana to represent our region for Louisiana Culinary Trail’s Restaurant Night in Atlanta. He says that this experience has been one of the highlights in his career because he was able to learn from other chefs and become exposed to a different side of the restaurant industry.