Ludwig Hussong

Chef Lui Officially Hired

March 03, 2017

Napa Valley Cooking School has named Ludwig Hussong, also known as “Chef Lui,” assistant chef instructor at the Napa Valley Cooking School at the Napa Valley College Upper Valley campus.

Hussong, who graduated from the Napa Valley Cooking School in 2006, spent the next 10 years as an adjunct instructor in the Professional Culinary and Food and Wine Enthusiast Programs, specializing in ethnic foods. The San Diego native also worked in the kitchen at Domaine Chandon before returning to his home town of Ensenada, Mexico, to start his own catering business, Essencia.

The Hussong family owns and operates Hussong’s Cantina, a historic 120-year-old institution, where the Margarita was invented. The family also owns several agricultural businesses, a cattle farm and a well-known winery, Bodegas San Rafael, in the Ojos Negros Valley. “I kept collaborating with Napa Valley Cooking School, even after moving back to Mexico,” said Hussong. He helped the college cater events with Mexican cuisine. “Teaching and challenging students is a wonderful opportunity to learn,” said Hussong, who credits his mentor, Chef Barbara Alexander, for his success.

In his new position he will help first-semester students learn basic skills, while the second semester will focus on individual assessments and helping students learn new techniques. “In the second semester we will travel the world through food – to North Africa, Asia, France and, due to my heritage, Mexico and the Mediterranean.”

Husson currently teaches the Class of 2017 cohort who have roots throughout the globe, including Vietnam, Mexico, Korea, South Africa, Taiwan, Nicaragua, Italy, Chicago and California. “One of the great things about this small class is that the diversity really shows,” said Hussong. “I believe in creating this dynamic with a learning curve focused on diversity. One day we teach classical French, and the next day we teach about Morocco and Tunisia — about the culture and the geography and why they eat what they eat; not just being able to cook but also being able to understand food and their origins. That’s what makes a great, professional chef.”

Hussong lives in St. Helena with his schoolteacher wife and their 4-year-old daughter.