Seasonal recipes for home cooks and foodies alike

Cook LIVE with @neworleansmag and Jyl
580b57fcd9996e24bc43c521Benson the third Tuesday of each month at
5 p.m. on Instagram!

about jyl

Unknown 1Perhaps the only child in Louisiana history to be born to a mother with absolutely no culinary skills at all, Jyl Benson began cooking in self-defense at the age of six. She is 13 years younger than her closest sibling so her parents were tired and paid little attention as she use the household kitchen as per personal laboratory, sometimes with disastrous outcomes. Her skills have improved greatly over the years and kitchen fires are a thing of the past.

She began her editorial career in 1990 with The Times Picayune and served as a regional reporter covering the southeastern United States for both The New York Times and Time magazine. She wrote “Galatoire’s Cookbook: Recipes & Family History from the Time-Honored New Orleans Restaurant” (Random House 2005), as well as several cultural, historical and architectural guides to New Orleans. She served as editor-in-chief of Louisiana Cookin’ magazine from 2009 to 2011 and founded Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine in 2012. Sheis a dining columnist for St. Charles AvenueAcadiana Profile and Louisiana Life magazines, a frequent contributor to New Orleans Magazine, and the author of “Fun Funky, Fabulous: New Orleans Casual Restaurant Recipes” (2015, Pelican Publishing) and “Louisiana’s Tables” (2017, Savory House Press).

NOSH 2020 With Chef Toya

Heavenly Match

There’s so much to love about fried ravioli.

New Year’s Tradition

With your first bite, close your eyes and enjoy thinking of the symbolism and what it means to you to have another year.

Holiday Love

Bring this year to a grand finale with this full-flavored showstopper.

Bowled Over

New Orleans, when we make a super-rich and creamy, full of flavor, thick soup, we call it “bisque”.

Comfort Food

What says, “It’s fall y’all,” better than a creamy sauce over chicken with roasted potatoes?


Chef Toya specializes in putting a unique twist on New Orleans style dishes and cooks with a Southern flare. As a native New Orleanian, she started honing her culinary skills at a young age and used her talent to kick start a successful career. As a New Orleans personal chef and cooking instructor she enjoys bringing creativity to the kitchen and teaching people how to take a piece of New Orleans back home with them.

Chef Toya has the privilege of teaching visitors from around the world about Louisiana style cooking. She shares culinary tips on her YouTube Channel, Cooking with Chef Toya, where she invites you into her home to cook alongside her. On the national stage, Chef Toya has been featured on Guy’s Grocery Games, TLC, and Food Network showcasing her city, not just through her cuisine, but with her zest for life and personality. She was crowned Best Home Cook by Hallmark’s Home & Family channel and shared her love for the South through a variety New Orleans dishes. She has been a champion for the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana, promoting the seafood industry and has partnered with the several organizations to empower families on cost effective and healthily eating.  Chef Toya is also an ambassador for the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, where she works with the organization to elevate and strengthen diversity within the local hospitality and tourism industry.

Chef Toya launched her first cookbook in 2017 dubbed Cook Like A New Orleanian, a collection of twenty classic New Orleans dishes that has inspired her culinary career.  She also has the first interactive cookbook from a New Orleans chef that will feature videos, enhanced images, and other media to help the reader recreate New Orleans classics in the comfort of their home.  She was also named one of Louisiana’s Best Chef in 2018 and 2019 by the American Culinary Federation of New Orleans.

She has been dubbed a culinary authority on Cajun and Creole cuisine. Chef Toya studied under Chef Ruth Varisco at Nunez College culinary arts program and received her Associates of Applied Science in Food Service Production and Management. When not in the kitchen, you can find her giving back to the community, working with programs that teach new families meal preparations and cooking techniques. She continues to make waves on the culinary scene using her outgoing personality on television and in-person appearances to promote New Orleans cuisine.