Joyce Bannister attended the University of New Hampshire in Durham, graduating in 1980, and jumped right over to the New England Culinary Institute where she graduated in 1982. Her first job was as line cook and pastry cook at the North Hero House Inn, a 25-room, family owned Vermont Inn. After two years, in 1986, she moved to New Hampshire to be head baker and pastry assistant at La Boulangerie Café & Bakery, where everything was made from scratch. In 1989, she was hired as assistant pastry chef at the Windsor Court in New Orleans.
In 1992, she moved into the French Quarter to be pastry chef at Bistro la Tour, and later that year, the Great Chefs television team showed up to tape Chef Bannister for the Discovery Channel’s the Louisiana New Garde series (episode # 20).