© Todd Coleman

Lolis Eric Elie is a New Orleans born, Los Angeles based writer and filmmaker. Most recently, he joined the writing staff of the AMC television show, Hell on Wheels. Before that, he wrote for the HBO series Treme. Working with the award-winning director Dawn Logsdon, he co- produced and wrote the PBS documentary, Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans. His essay, “America’s Greatest Hits,” is included in Best African American Essays: 2009.

A former columnist for The Times-Picayune, he is the author of Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country and co-producer and writer of Smokestack Lightning: A Day in the Life of Barbecue, the documentary based on that book. He is editor of Cornbread Nation 2: The Best of Southern Food Writing.

A contributing writer to The Oxford American, his work has appeared in Gourmet, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Downbeat and The San Francisco Chronicle.


Lolis is the son of prominent civil rights attorney, Lolis Edward Elie, who played an integral role in the integration of New Orleans.  Click here to learn more.