Lolis Eric Elie
|Born||April 10, 1963|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Education||Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (B.S., Finance and Economics, 1985), Columbia University School of Journalism (M.S, 1986), University of Virginia (MFA, Creative Writing, 1991)|
|Notable work||Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, Treme (TV Series), Hell on Wheels|
Lolis Eric Elie (born April 10, 1963) is an American writer, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and food historian best known for his work as story editor of the HBO drama Treme and story editor of AMC's Hell on Wheels.
Early life and education
Elie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the son of Lolis Edward Elie, a civil rights attorney and Dr. Gerri Elie, a school principal and university professor. He has an older sister, Migel Elizabeth Elie.
Elie is an alumnus of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and a 1981 graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School. He went on to attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1985 with a B.S. in Finance and Economics. In 1986 he received his M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, later becoming Alumnus of the Year in 2012. After graduating from Columbia University, Elie went on to receive an MFA in creative writing from University of Virginia.
Elie began his career as a business reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He then went on to become the road manager for jazz musician Wynton Marsalis. In 1995 he became a columnist and reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. During this time he wrote several books, including Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country, a book that gained a cult-like following among food enthusiasts. Elie also wrote and produced the award-winning documentary Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans (2008), which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was a winner at the 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival, and which made its TV debut on PBS in 2009.
After leaving the Times Picayune in 2009, Elie became the story editor for HBO's Treme. He wrote the episodes "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say", "Shame, Shame, Shame" and "Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get the Blues?" for which he won an NAACP Award. In 2013, Elie moved to Los Angeles where he became the executive story editor for AMC's Hell on Wheels. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and Smithsonian magazine and he has been featured on NPR, CBS News, and 60 Minutes. His work is included in Best African American Essays and Best Food Writing: 2008. He is also a contributing editor to the Oxford American.
Elie is one of the founders of the Southern Foodways Alliance. On July 23, 2013, his book Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans was released. Saveur named the book as one of the Best July Food Books.
Television and film
- 1997 "Postcards from New Orleans" segment on CBS News Sunday Morning, correspondent
- 2001 Smokestack Lightning: A Day in the Life of Barbecue (documentary), producer
- 2006 By Invitation Only, project advisor
- 2008 My 1st Time: Tribeca Film Festival (TV short), himself
- 2008 Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans (documentary), writer and co-producer
- 2008 After Hours with Daniel Boulud, himself
- 2010 "Shame, Shame, Shame" (HBO's Treme, season 1, episode 5), writer
- 2011 Treme, story editor, 10 episodes
- 2011 "Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get the Blues?" (Treme, season 2, episode 4), writer
- 2011 "That's What Lovers Do" (Treme, season 2, episode 10), actor
- 2011 "Cajun Country" (Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, season 7, episode 16), himself
- 2012 "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say" (Treme, season 3, episode 5), writer
- 2012 NOLAbound (documentary), narrator
- 2013 AMC's Hell on Wheels, executive story editor, 10 episodes
- 2013 "One Less Mule" (Hell on Wheels, season 3, episode 6), co-writer
- 2013 PBS's Soul Food Junkies (Independent Lens documentary), himself
- 2013 "The Paper" 60 Minutes, himself
- 2013 Super Bowl 2013 Pregame Special: New Orleans, Let the Good Times Roll, himself
- 2014 Old South, New South (short film), himself
- 2016 WGN America's Underground, co-producer, 4 episodes
- 2017 "Changing Season" (Oprah Winfrey Network's Greenleaf season 2, episode 11), writer
- 2018 "That Was Then" (Greenleaf season 3, episode 7), writer
- 2018 "Fried Chicken" (Netflix's Ugly Delicious season 1, episode 6), himself
- 2018 "Zakarian vs. Darin" (Food Network's Iron Chef America season 13, episode 3), himself
- 2018 Gumbo (documentary), himself
- 2019 Amazon Prime Video's The Man in the High Castle, supervising producer, 10 episodes
- 2019 "All Serious Daring" (The Man in the High Castle season 4, episode 6), writer
- 2020 Showtime's The Chi supervising producer, 10 episodes
- 2020 "Buss Down" (The Chi season 3, episode 3), writer
- 2020 Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America (documentary), himself and historical advisor
- 2020 A Crime on the Bayou (documentary), himself and consultant
- 2021 Amazon Prime Video's Bosch, co-executive producer, 8 episodes
- 2021 "Triple Play" (Bosch season 7, episode 4), writer
- Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country (1996); re-published in 2005
- Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue, editor (2004)
- Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans (2013)
- Rodney Scott's World of BBQ, co-author (2021)
Short fiction and essays
- "Silent Spaces", short fiction in That's What I Like (About the South) (1993)
- "Leah Chase", essay in Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing (2002)
- "A Letter from New Orleans", essay in Best Food Writing 2006
- Prospect. 1 New Orleans (2008)
- Then … Absence, prefatory note (2008)
- "Here They Come, There They Go", essay in Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (2013)
- After: the Silence of the Lower 9th Ward, preface (2014)
- Moorissey, Amalia (January 17, 2010). "Island Visitor Spent His Life in the Civil Rights Movement". St. Croix Source. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- Gabrielle Turner. "Life of Lolis Elie". Cat.xula.edu. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Laborde, Errol (2013). Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company. p. 195. ISBN 978-1-4556-1764-7.
- "Digital Yearbooks". www.bfhsla.org. Benjamin Franklin High School. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
- "Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Four prominent graduates to receive 2012 Alumni Award" (Press release). Columbia University. November 22, 2011. Archived from the original on August 5, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- New Orleans Magazine Interview with Lolis Eric Elie http://www.myneworleans.com/New-Orleans-Magazine/September-2013/Q-A-with-Lolis-Eric-Elie/
- "BBQ&A: Lolis Eric Elie, Writer and Filmmaker". BBQ Jew. March 17, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Tribeca Film Festival World Premiere http://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/archive/512cfcc61c7d76e046002143-faubourg-treme-the-untold
- The Untold Story of Black New Orleans https://www.pbs.org/programs/faubourg-treme/
- "Lolis Eric Elie on U Look Hungry Radio". Ulookhungry.tumblr.com. June 28, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Previous Winners - The 44th NAACP Image Awards Show". Naacpimageawards.net. Archived from the original on May 29, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Former Times-Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie wins award, and other Jazz and Razz". NOLA Media Group. February 28, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- NFL Network. "'Treme' writer Lolis Eric Elie lands job on AMC's 'Hell on Wheels'". NOLA.com. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Lolis Elie (April 3, 2013). "New Orleans". Saveur.com. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Lolis Elie. "Best. Gumbo. Ever". Smithsonianmag.com. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Tell Me More (May 3, 2010). "HBO Series Focuses On Post-Katrina New Orleans". NPR. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Couric, Katie (August 28, 2007). "10 Questions: Life After Katrina". CBS News. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- GDave Walker (January 6, 2013). "CBS' '60 Minutes' reports on changes at The Times-Picayune". The Times-Picayune. NOLA.com. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Early, Gerald; Kennedy, Randall (December 29, 2009). Best African American Essays 2010. ISBN 9780553806922.
- Elie, Lolis (June 11, 2009). "ISSUE 64: America's Greatest Hits : Oxford American - The Southern Magazine of Good Writing". Oxford American. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Anthony Bourdain, Lolis Elie. Treme with Lolis Elie (video). The Travel Channel. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Anthony Bourdain, Lolis Elie. Legendary fried chicken. Travelchannel.com (video). The Travel Channel. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Calling New Orleans Home". The Layover With Anthony Bourdain. Travel Channel. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Meet Lolis Eric Elie of Southern Foodways Alliance". Southern Living. January 13, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Books Worth Buying: July 2013". Saveur.com. July 24, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Elie, Lolis Eric (1996). Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country. photographs by Frank Stewart (1st ed.). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9780374266462. LCCN 94-40211. OCLC 31433928.
- Elie, Lolis Eric (2005). Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country. photographs by Frank Stewart. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 9781580086608. LCCN 2005-283088. OCLC 60384622.
- Elie, Lolis Eric, ed. (2004). Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807855560. LCCN 2004-13682. OCLC 55633637.
- Elie, Lolis Eric (2013). Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans. San Francisco, California: Chronicle Books. ISBN 9781452109695. LCCN 2012-44421. OCLC 817582232.
- Scott, Rodney; Elie, Lolis Eric (2021). Rodney Scott's World of BBQ: Every Day is a Good Day (First ed.). New York: Clarkson Potter. ISBN 9781984826930. LCCN 2020-946687. OCLC 1240709186.
- Garrett, George; Ruffin, Paul, eds. (1993). "Silent Spaces". That's What I Like (About the South), and Other New Southern Stories for the Nineties. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. pp. 136–140. ISBN 9780872498631. LCCN 92-43168. OCLC 27068387.
- Egerton, John, ed. (2002). "Leah Chase". Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. pp. 9–13. ISBN 9780807854198. LCCN 2002-6417. OCLC 49743375.
- Hughes, Holly, ed. (2006). "A Letter from New Orleans". Best Food Writing 2006. New York: Marlowe and Company. pp. 326–330. ISBN 9781569242872. OCLC 71783584.
- Bloemink, Barbara J.; Cameron, Dan; Elie, Lolis Eric; Tancons, Claire (2008). Prospect. 1 New Orleans: November 1, 2008 – January 18, 2009 (1st ed.). Brooklyn, New York: Picturebox. ISBN 9780981562292. OCLC 886394454.
- Rosenthal, John (2009). Then … Absence: Losing the Lower 9th Ward. New Orleans, Louisiana: New Orleans African-American Museum. OCLC 664732210.
- Solnit, Rebecca; Snedeker, Rebecca (2013). Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520274037. LCCN 2013-14799. OCLC 1264964081.
- Rosenthal, John (2014). After: the Silence of the Lower 9th Ward. Asheville, North Carolina: Safe Harbor Books. ISBN 9780979822674. LCCN 2014-944058. OCLC 953032362.