Delvin Davis recently attended a crawfish boil at John Besh’s house. The event was a fundraiser for the restaurateur’s Chefs Move! scholarship program – and Besh had a big surprise in store. At the event, Besh took the stage to announce the foundation was able to award three more scholarships this year. Davis was one of those recipients.
Davis, who works in the banquet kitchen at the Hyatt Regency, exemplifies what it means to work in hospitality in New Orleans. It’s not just a job; it’s a calling. And although he’ll be moving to New York City (the scholarship sends aspiring chefs to the International Culinary Center for nine months), he’ll be back: all Chefs Move! recipients return to New Orleans at the end of their scholarship to breathe new life into an already-robust culinary city.
We recently spoke with Davis about his career in hospitality, which will surely be even more exciting as he begins his new culinary training! Congratulations, Delvin!
How long have you lived in New Orleans?
I’ve lived in New Orleans for 20 years.
What do you love most about this city?
I love my city’s diverse culture.
Tell us about your role in the hospitality industry.
I work at the Hyatt Regency in the banquet kitchen. My role is to prepare and cook food for each event in a timely manner.
What path led you to this point in your career? How did your career in tourism begin?
I love to make people’s day with my creations. I enjoyed watching my family cook at gatherings.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the attention to detail and the fast-paced environment.
What advice would you give to other New Orleanians or peers about choosing a positive career path, perhaps in tourism?
My advice is to make sure you love what you do. In the tourism industry, it’s hard work and long hours, so you have to make sure you have passion and that your heart is in it.
How is your job personally affected by tourism?
My job is personally affected by tourism because all of our reservations and large banquets typically include tourists as guests.
What does tourism mean to you as a local?
To me, tourism means I will always have a job.
What might the city look like without tourism?
New Orleans would look empty, because all the popular sites in the city are accompanied by tourists.
NEW ORLEANS WILL…
…always be unique for our culture.