We are thrilled to welcome Ben Lewis as the Executive Chef of Restaurant 1796. Chef Lewis, a Mississippi native, has more than 7 years of culinary experience and believes that cooking is all for the love of the food and the joy it brings to guests. With a passion for creating fresh, local, seasonal dishes that demonstrate what our area has to offer, Chef Lewis is ready to delight Louisiana with his culinary talents.
Lewis is best known for his time at Longboard Coastal Cantina, a Virgin Islands restaurant at which he worked his way up from line cook to sous chef. The restaurant utilized local ingredients and delighted guests with elevated components from the saltwater. While at Longboard Coastal Cantina, Lewis learned to step out of his comfort zone and adapted to highlighting local ingredients with a Caribbean flair. Lewis returned to his southern roots shortly after Hurricane Irma hit the Virgin Islands.
Lewis will bring his expertise to deliver a wood-fired, farm-to-table concept with a seasonal menu, revolving around locally sourced produce.
Restaurant 1796 will open soon, and Chef Lewis will be ready serve you. Follow our Facebook page for behind the scenes info about the restaurant.
In the very beginning, the inspiration for Restaurant 1796 came from Chef Curtis Duffy. I had a passion for the industry since childhood, but when I stumbled across his documentary “For Grace” three years ago, it changed the way I viewed food. It was no longer about serving a “meal” but creating an experience for a captive audience. Later that week, I had a flight to Canada to meet with a Louisiana Tourism delegation for sales mission. While en route, I ran into Curtis Duffy in the Houston airport, where we had a brief conversation centered on the goal of making each meal an interactive experience for his guests. I took this as a sign that I needed to put these thoughts into motion.
I spent the next two years designing and developing the concept for the restaurant. The overall mission was to create a restaurant that would serve as much more than just a place to eat at the Myrtles Plantation. I wanted something that would educate, entertain, and provide a new experience for our guests. It was important to accomplish this both inside and outside the restaurant. The restaurant will incorporate open-hearth cooking with a live wood-burning fire. This style of cooking is historically accurate to The Myrtles Plantation, yet modern and innovative for our surrounding area.
As I began thinking of ways to incorporate the grounds of the property in the project, I would like to start growing a fruit and vegetable garden on the plantation’s property in the near future, with the goal of featuring these seasonal items on our menu.
The driving concept for Restaurant 1796 finally came into focus: A wood-fired, farm-to-table restaurant with a seasonal menu based on what’s locally sourced, if not growing on the plantation property. In addition to the restaurant, guests can experience the tradition and history that comes with a visit to The Myrtles Plantation.
Restaurant 1796 will open soon, and we can’t wait to share this unique dining experience with you. To follow the progress on the new restaurant, please make sure to “like” our Facebook page.
For over 200 years, The Myrtles Plantation has stood tall as a testament to historic Louisiana culture.
Surrounded by the serene beauty of St. Francisville, a place renowned for hilltop views, bird watching and exquisite gardens, The Myrtles is home to stories of the romantic South and the people who personified them.
Join us on a tour or stay overnight in one of our many accommodations. Discover for yourself why this is a place to remember, a place reviewed by everyone from National Geographic to the New York Times, and look forward to having stories of your own to tell.