Born in New Orleans to a military family, Chef Lopez’s youth included many relocations around the world. While in Europe, he became especially enamored with the beauty, cuisine, and history of Paris. These travels, combined with memorable home-cooked meals, piqued Chef Lopez’s culinary interests and led him to his first job in a kitchen, where the creativity and intensity of the craft encouraged him to become a chef.
After working as a cook for several years around Europe and the U.S., Chef Lopez returned home to New Orleans in 2004, where he joined Chef John Besh at his flagship restaurant, August. After Hurricane Katrina, Chef Lopez relocated to Washington, D.C. where he joined Chef Michel Richard at Citronelle, the celebrated contemporary American concept.

Though he initially left Citronelle to cook in New York City, Chef Besh encouraged Chef Lopez to return to New Orleans to help him relaunch August and manage a catering operation to feed relief workers. Chef Lopez spent the next five years with Chef Besh in various capacities, ultimately earning the role of project chef.

In 2011, Chef Lopez launched Root to push the boundaries of New Orleans cuisine. Combining local energy with European innovations, Root’s kitchen produces contemporary American fare with the chef’s signature attention to the art of the meal. Chef Lopez capitalized on Root’s avant-garde momentum to launch Square Root, an even more progressive, upscale, and intense experiential dining concept. In 2016, Chef Lopez opened Part & Parcel, a sandwich shop with an in-house charcuterie program in the Central Business District, as well as Petit Lion at The Troubadour hotel.