About Us & Our Team
Find out about our history, the people and the food…
We are passionate about the food and dedicated to making each client’s event perfect.
In October 2005, following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans found itself in the most infamous time of its history, a critical stretch that would make or break the city. Over the course of the next few months, very few restaurants and food service facilities were accessible to businesses, agencies, organizations or residents. All of whom found themselves needing meals as they began the arduous task of digging out from the storm’s destruction.
The Pel Hughes family made a commitment to rebuild and help its community in every way possible. Kellie Levy and Russ Spezial, two locals determined to help out, wanted to rebuild the city the best way they knew how; by providing their fellow citizens with good food. Partnering with Vic Hughes and his family, Kellie and Russ established Toulouse Gourmet Catering inside the Pel Hughes Printing & Direct Mail building in Mid City.
From the new location, the team began providing box lunches, lunch buffets, school lunches, corporate catering, as well as hope and support to locals in the area. As the region regained its footing, the community remembered their kindness. The business took off and with their many years as event specialists in the catering industry, Kellie and Russ were soon providing delicious and distinctive catering for weddings and special events throughout the New Orleans area. When asked what their “motto” was, Kellie and Russ both immediately stated “good food” as being top priority.
To those who stayed to rebuild and to those who visit, we welcome you. As one of the top Louisiana catering services around, we look forward to the opportunity of providing you with the memorable event and good food you deserve.
Toulouse Gourmet Catering offers fabulous, gourmet cuisine for any event.
Director of Sales and Event Manager
I am the Director of Sales and Event Manager at Toulouse Gourmet Catering. Getting to know my clients on a personal level and creating a relationship that is beyond that of just their event is the best part. I also love that feeling of accomplishment after completing a successful event.
I was born and raised into this crazy business. My father was in the catering industry and his love for seeing his clients happy motivated me to do the same. Sharing my knowledge of the business and motivating them to express their creativity is such a bonus for me.
I attended Mount Carmel Academy and Louisiana State University. I’ve been in the business for 17 years; I pride myself on reading people and knowing what questions to ask. Outside of The Cannery and Toulouse Gourmet Catering I really just love to spend time with my family and friends enjoying all that this unique city has to offer. My favorite things are the beach and tennis whenever I have spare time!
Manager of Delivery Services
I am Manager of Toulouse Gourmet Catering Delivery Services. A New Orleans native, I attended LSU and earned an undergraduate degree in History, a minor in English as well as a Master’s Degree in Education. After teaching High School for one year, I returned to the restaurant industry. While a relatively new addition to the team at Toulouse Gourmet, I am armed with 21 years of experience in the Restaurant/Hospitality Industry, the last 10 years specifically in the catering industry.
I was drawn to Toulouse Gourmet by the alluring prospect of having the freedom to develop a menu that relies on freshly prepared ingredients targeting daily corporate meetings and training sessions. Outside of work, my wife Kelly and I are fully dedicated to raising our family; Jackson, Mason and Abigail. Aside from keeping up with my children’s’ activities, I enjoy time at the gym, golf and planning trips to California’s wine country with my wife.
Owner of Pel Hughes Companies
I am the owner of Pel Hughes Companies, one of which includes Toulouse Gourmet Catering. My favorite part about being in the event planning industry is watching peoples dreams come to life. People walk in our venue and see a blank canvas and even if I can’t always envision their dream, our team sees it and makes it happen! We got into this industry in 2006 when we decided – with Kellie and Russ – to open Toulouse Gourmet Catering. The catering business proved to be very successful, so we opened The Cannery in 2013.
In my spare time I like to play tennis, attend plays and most importantly spend time with my husband Vic and our 6 grandchildren.
Laurie has been with Toulouse Gourmet since 2011 but has over 20 years of service industry experience.
Overseeing the staff, taking inventory, and working to ensure the client’s expectations are met are some of her favorite things about coming to work.
She loves her job because it’s like her second family. Laurie enjoys gardening and cleaning in her free time.
With over 14 years of culinary expertise, Chef Mike started his culinary endeavors in the fall of 2001. After graduating from Delgado Culinary School in 2005, he settled into a full time position as head chef of Toulouse Gourmet in May 2007.
However, his interest in the culinary industry began long before that, at the young age of 8 years old. Seeing the satisfaction behind his guest’s eyes while enjoying a meal he prepared is what has driven Mike to pursue such a fulfilling career. Mike’s favorite dish to create ranges from his infamous savory artichoke cheesecake to the broad spectrum of bread puddings!
Sales Manager and Event Coordinator
I am the Sales Manager and Event Coordinator at Toulouse Gourmet Catering. I love to throw a great party and being a part of a client’s event whether it be their wedding, a shower, birthday party or fundraiser is always rewarding to me.
I grew up in Metairie, Louisiana attended Mount Carmel Academy, Louisiana State University & graduated from UNO with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I worked in in the service industry for 10 years in both Baton Rouge & New Orleans.
My front of the house experience in casual & fine dining gave me the knowledge to multi-task, be detail-oriented and most importantly give every customer a “fine dining experience” from start to finish. After a few years to be a stay at home mom I joined Toulouse Gourmet Catering in 2012. Now I bring my love of party planning & the same knowledge from my time in the restaurant business to every client that walks through our doors.
Outside of Toulouse Gourmet, I love to play tennis, spend time with friends and enjoy volunteering with my kid’s school but most importantly I enjoy taking care of my husband and three children.
I am the Marketing Coordinator for Pel Hughes Companies, which includes Toulouse Gourmet Catering. My favorite part of my job is that it is never redundant. Every single day I get to deal with different people with different ideas or problems that I get to help solve.
I have my BSBA in Marketing from The University of Southern Mississippi.
I was first drawn to marketing by my mom who has worked in broadcast television for years (I won’t say how many because she’ll kill me).
I come to Toulouse Gourmet Catering with national media buying experience as well as years in the marketing and advertising world – both as a buyer and a vendor.
Outside of work I love to spend sunny days at the park with my Chihuahua, traveling, doing yoga, and seeing live music.
Terry has over 30 years of hotel and service industry experience. Her work began in 1983 at the Roosevelt Hotel at Bailey’s Restaurant and prospered into hotel management at Hotel Provincial.
After hurricane Katrina, Terry began her journey with Toulouse Gourmet in 2006; managing not only the kitchen but a similarly diverse group of people.
Terry’s favorite part about working with Toulouse Gourmet is the family-like atmosphere.
Chef Troy has been in the food industry for over 15 years and started with Toulouse Gourmet in the beginning of 2013.
His expertise comes from his time spent learning the art of gourmet food at The New Orleans Culinary Institute.
Chef Troy is a master in his element as he loves doing everything well for the guests around his table.