French Quarter chef wins $10K on Food Network’s ‘Cooks vs. Cons’

NEW ORLEANS — Chris Hayes, executive chef of Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar, won top honors – and $10,000 – on a recent episode of Food Network’s “Cooks vs. Cons.”

Chef Hayes and three other chefs or cons presented their best dishes using the secret ingredients of pineapple and pineapple preserves in round one and potato vodka, potato croquets and powdered mashed potatoes in round two.

Chef Hayes’ winning dish was Creole Potato-Crusted Salmon with Orange Couscous. In round one, Chef Hayes fried the competition with his rendition of Creole fried chicken and waffles topped with pineapple mango salsa.

Hayes, born in Shreveport, has been a chef in New Orleans for the past seven years.

Asked what’s next after winning, Hayes says, “I will continue as executive chef at Felix’s, I’ll be taking my wife on a honeymoon, and growing my catering business. My hope is to have my own show on Food Network.”

Hayes has been a member of culinary teams at several New Orleans restaurants.  Hayes received his culinary education at what is now known as Northwest Louisiana Technical College – Shreveport. Hayes recently started his own catering business The Smoking Oyster and travels throughout the Southern Region.