stephen hightower, cgh group
Stephen Hightower serves as the seasoned and quality-driven leader of the City Group Hospitality restaurant group. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, and attending LSU, Stephen has loved Louisiana’s capital city for a lifetime. He began his career in fine cuisine with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. From there, he went on to have a hand in many of the best restaurants that have come to Baton Rouge’s food scene in the last decade. From owning and operating Frankie’s Dog House to managing Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse as well as the Bocage Racquet Club, Mr. Hightower knows how to please any patron in a restaurant. In 2018, he opened City Slice Pints + Pizza, a new venture that came after City Pork Brasserie & Bar, and the esteemed City Pork Catering business. With his latest launch of Rouj Creole, visitors will be pleased to enjoy another superb, and unique addition to the growing array of cuisine Baton Rouge has to offer. This accomplishment is one that has long been at the forefront of Stephen Hightower’s aspirations.
paul bucari, General manager
Paul Bucari serves as the professional guide at the helm of Rouj Creole. Paul has had a hand in truly every aspect of the restaurant business. Hailing from Little Rock, AR, Paul grew up close to his brother playing any and every kind of sport. That close friendship led him to follow his brother to Louisiana, where he ended up in Baton Rouge. His foray into restaurants began with a job as a dishwasher at Nino’s Italian Restaurant. In two short years there, Bucari was serving as the bar manager, and had discovered his passion for the food industry. Over the next decade, Bucari continued to build his culinary resume; he has experience from the Country Club of Louisiana, French Market Bistro for seven years, and the Bocage Racquet Club. Rouj Creole is poised to thrive under Bucari’s leadership.
meghann young, manager
Meghann Young was born and raised in southwest Louisiana into a family of Cajun cooks. Her grandfather, Gil Young, was pictured on a cover of National Geographic while making Boudin sausage. Other family members are also noted Cajun cooks.In fact, her mother and father as well as her grandfather have all been crowned Champions in theCrawfish Etouffee Cook-off, held annually in Eunice, Louisiana. Meghann grew up hunting and fishing with her father.These activities led to a love of eating wild game dishes, including some of her favorites: deer pot-roast, wild duck, and her absolute favorite, wild dove. As a child she participated in traditional Cajun cultural events such as boucheries and making boudin sausage. In 2011, Meghann and her siblings had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” television show filmed in their hometown. During the show, they prepared Acadian cuisine using third-generation family recipes. Starting in the hospitality industry at the age of 16, Meghann continued on in the BatonRouge area after graduating with a degree in art history from LSU. She brings over 10 years of fine dining and catering experience to Rouj Creole.
RORY WINGETT, EXECUTIVE CHEF
Rouj Creole’s Executive Chef Rory Wingett began cooking at just 21 years old. His first job in the food industry was at Sno’s Seafood and Steakhouse in Gonzales. It was this job that instilled in Wingett a desire to make this his career, and go to culinary school. Rory continued working at Sno’s for three years until he was hired as a line cook at City Pork Brasserie and Bar. The Brasserie, of course, is where his path would cross with Rouj Creole owner Stephen Hightower. During this time, Rory began competing in culinary school; after two occasions of placing second, his creative passion for food was sparked. He began expanding his knowledge on various cuisines, and was able to get a shot working at The American Pavilion during the Cannes Film Festival in France. He would return for the next two years as a kitchen lead and student mentor.
Wingett was a chef for The Masters on two occasions. During this experience, Wingett was accepted into an exclusive culinary internship program, and spent the following 8 months working for Augusta National Golf Club. Upon returning to Baton Rouge, he went back to City Pork; this time as a Sous Chef under Chef Ryan Andre’.
Most recently Chef Rory has worked as Chef de Cuisine at Hollywood Casino’s Celebrity Grill.
On his love for the industry, Wingett says “One of my favorite things about this career path is all the cool places you have the opportunity to travel to and all of the talented people you meet along the way; I even met my wife working in a kitchen. I’m very excited at this opportunity as Executive Chef here at Rouj and very thankful for my wife, friends and family for supporting me so much on this journey. ”
LONI TRABEAUX, EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF
MATTHEW ROGERS, BAR MANAGER