Chopped Chef Champion Christopher Thames has brought his notoriety and award-winning fare to the beautiful, historic village of Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Thames, who has enjoyed such positions as the Executive Chef at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., the traveling Chef for Cirque de Solei in Canada, and personal chef and caterer to a plethora of who's who across the country has opened his own Grand Coteau Bistro in the former famous Catahoula's Restaurant location at 234 Highway 93 East in the heart of this picturesque Acadiana community. Thames, a native of Texas, has strong Louisiana roots having spent every summer of his childhood in New Orleans with his grandparents, where his grandfather, J. Hardee Kennedy, served as Dean of the Baptist seminary for 42 years. Says Thames, "I am so happy to be back home in Louisiana. I have always regarded Louisiana as my home because of my many happy summers here. The culture, people, food, music, landscape...it is all so wonderfully rich and diverse, and Grand Coteau is just magical." Thames and partner Leon Steele took over the popular Catahoula's location because it is an anchor business in one of the best small towns in the state. Steele, formerly with the Office of the Lt. Governor's Main Street program, traveled constantly throughout the state providing technical assistance in community revitalization and community economic development. Says Steele, "While visiting friends in Grand Coteau and meeting the locals, we were frequently asked to reopen the landmark restaurant and bring our shared expertise to the community. So we did." Of the space, Thames comments, "It is perfect. It is spacious while being cozy. It's elegantly simple and comfortable and the views of the great oaks across the street at the Jesuit seminary are magnificent."