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Lolis Eric Elie Edit Profile

executive , journalist , writer

Lolis Eric Elie is an American writer, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and food historian.


Lolis Elie was born on April 10, 1963 in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, in the family of Lolis Edward and Geri (Moore) Elie. He has an older sister, Miguel Elizabeth Elie.


Elie is an alumnus of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts 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 Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics. In 1986 he received his Master of Science 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 Master of Fine Arts 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.

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. He is also a contributing editor to the Oxford American. Elie is one of the founders of the Southern Foodways Alliance.


  • Lolis is best known for his work as story editor of the HBO drama "Treme" and story editor of AMC's "Hell on Wheels." 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", 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.


Lolis Edward Elie

Geri (Moore) Elie

Miguel Elizabeth Elie