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From Tiki Farm to Table: Suis Generis Is One of a Kind

September 27 2023 | What's New
Suis Generis on Burgundy in the Marigny.

At last count, there were more than 1,500 restaurants in New Orleans. We feel confident when we say that Suis Generis (pronounced: soo-ee jen-er-is) in the Bywater is like no other. But, more than that, it’s not even the same restaurant this week that it was last. 

Nighttime vibes at Suis Generis.
Photo: @suisgenerisnola

The menu at Suis Generis changes every week, inspired by whatever’s ready to pick at Tiki Farm in Pearlington, Mississippi, located just 40 minutes from New Orleans. Here the staff personally plants, tends and harvests their own exotic fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. They even keep bees to make their own honey and grow six kinds of sugar cane. What’s more, they’re one of only a handful of restaurants in the world who make their miso from scratch. They’ve taken farm to table to a whole new level.

What's for dinner at Suis Generis? What's ripe for the picking! 
Photo: @sgtikifarm

Most restauranteurs will tell you that it’s crazy to change the menu up every week but owner chef Ernie Foundas and his partner Adrienne Bell who runs the front of the house think doing the same thing over and over again is even crazier–not to mention boring. A constantly evolving menu also keeps their neighbors in the Bywater coming back week after week. 

Fresh from Tiki Farm to Suis Generis. 
Photo: Ernest Foundas

To keep things even more interesting, Suis Generis also has theme weeks. After Foundas acquired some “purple rain spinach,” the menu became Prince-themed with items such as “When Quail Fly.” During “Jurassic Week,” they served "Deviled Dinosaur Eggs." They’ve also had an “Invasive Species Week,” and, working with a staffer at the Audubon Insectarium, one Halloween they had bugs like mealworms, dragon flies and water bugs on the menu. According to Foundas, ants, a garnish, have a lemony flavor.

Adrienne Bell tries on a corbaci pepper earring, grown at Tiki Farm.
Photo: Ernest Foundas

Like their neighbors in the artsy Bywater neighborhood, for the team at Suis Generis, it’s always about creating something new and delicious from scratch. They even make their own dirt here through composting. Their goal is to create very little waste.

Louisiana shrimp sautéed with shallot
garlic white wine & cream, basil mint paprika & romano
grilled corn on the cob. Photo: @suisgenerisnola

The restaurant opened in 2012 and they opened the Food Lab at Tiki Farm earlier this year. The Food Lab is a playground for both Suis Generis chefs and for special guest chefs. It features cooking classes as well as multi-course tasting menus in an intimate setting. Guests can tour the farm with the chef who will then cook a meal for them on site. The whole idea is to see where your food comes from so that you feel connected to it and to each other. See the fall event lineup at the Food Lab below.

2023 Fall Food Lab Experiences

Saturday, October 7th: Introduction to Koji and Fermentation
Before a six-course dinner, attendees will learn the basics of fermentation and how to use Koji to create layers of flavor.

Saturday, October 14th: Zero Waste Cooking & Composting
Along with a six-course dinner, guests will learn methods that strive to minimize waste.

Saturday, November 4th: Miso Making Made Easy"
Attendees, can expect to learn how to make miso, then settle in for an eight-course tasting menu featuring house made misos.

Saturday, November 18th: Ode to the Chef
Guests will collaborate to write an eight-line poem, from which the chef will then create an eight-course tasting menu! This magical evening of culinary exploration is back by popular demand.

Saturday, December 2nd : Vegan Cheese Making
Enjoy a hands-on demonstration on vegan cheese making, followed by an eight-course vegan chef-curated tasting menu.

Saturday, December 9th: Chasing Umami - How & Why?
Discover the magic of umami, what it really means, and how to use ingredients with excellent umami producing potential.

Saturday, December 16th: The Sweet in Heat
Attendees will learn several ways to make hot sauces, followed by a six-course tasting menu featuring the juxtaposition of sweet & heat.

Book your  Tiki Farm Fall Food Lab Experience

Learn more about Suis Generis in our Best of Guide: Cocktails and Best of Guide: Brunches.

Check for availability at our favorite hotels directly from their websites
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