SEPTEMBER 19 - 22, 2024

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Ben Herrera


The James 710, 121 Artisan Bistro and Calla

Ben Herrera, a seasoned restaurateur with a deep-rooted passion for cooking, has been involved in the restaurant industry since his early years. Growing up in a family with a long history of restaurant ownership, Ben’s culinary journey began in his grandparents’ eatery. He started as a dishwasher but quickly rose to the position of a cook when a cook unexpectedly quit.

After gaining experience in various restaurants during high school, Ben attended the Emily Griffith School of Opportunity in Denver to further his culinary training. He then completed an apprenticeship at the Westin Hotel, earning his executive chef credentials. Over the years, Ben worked with different cuisines and establishments, from small eateries to corporate restaurants.

In 2001, Ben opened his first restaurant, DeAngelo’s Pizzeria, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. After a fire destroyed the building in 2008, he rebuilt and rebranded it as 121 Artisan Bistro. Despite facing challenges like the impact of COVID-19 and hurricanes, Ben’s dedication to his staff and community allowed him to overcome obstacles and keep his businesses thriving.

Ben’s latest venture is The James 710, a new restaurant located on Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive. The James offers a modern American menu with a fusion of Louisiana flavors and diverse culinary influences. Alongside The James, Ben also took over Calla, a renowned restaurant in SWLA, ensuring its legacy continues.

Beyond his restaurants, Ben remains committed to supporting local businesses and promoting the growth of the Southwest Louisiana community. His passion for cooking, entrepreneurial spirit, and love for his family drive him to invest in new ventures and give back to the community that has supported him.