Fall is just around the corner, and Saba has something in store.
Chefs Alon Shaya and Zach Engel will be hosting a family-style dinner at Saba on Monday, October 10, at 6 p.m. Serving Israeli cuisine with a Southern twist, Saba will showcase a selection of special dishes befitting the season. Grape leaf-wrapped lemonfish, wood-fired pita alongside blue crab hummus with fall squash, and Galit carrots with hazelnut duqqa are just to name a few. Engel will also share recipes from his Michelin star restaurant, Galit, including Chicago foie gras blintzes and Zach's brisket hummus. Cookies, wine, and cocktails will also be served.
Prior to the event, there will be a virtual auction from Monday, October 3, until the day of the event. Premium offerings, including gourmet experimental activations and VIP tickets to a Lumineers concert, will be sold to anyone interested. All proceeds will go towards the Shaya Barnett Foundation and the New Orleans Career Center (NOCC).
The Shaya Barnett Foundation traces back to Shaya's years as a high school student in pursuit of finding his purpose in life. Thanks to Donna Barnett, his home economics teacher, he started working as a dishwasher in a kitchen where he discovered his passion: cooking. Shaya explains, "As a student at the age of 15, I needed guidance, direction, and mentorship that wen beyond just learning the core high school curriculum. I needed somebody who could inspire me in ways a math teacher never could. I needed teachers who had the strength to know how to get me off the streets and into a safe place, which I found out was the kitchen."
Under Barnett's mentorship and guidance, he decided to put his skills to the test by working with Chef Seth Schram, his technical studies instructor at NOCC, who helped him get into the Culinary Institute of America. Eventually, Shaya gained the skills necessary to run his very own restaurants, Saba and Safta, and together with Donna and Seth, brought the Shaya Barnett Foundation to life in 2017. "I now had a path forward after graduating high school, which I didn't have prior to this experience," Shaya says.
Since then, the Shaya Barnett Foundation works closely with NOCC to give young trainees from 20 different charter schools a chance to discover their passions, challenge themselves, and get a headstart on their careers. The Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management gives students hands-on experience in food and beverage management, safety, and kitchen skills. Shaya believes," It's a game changer in New Orleans education and so many people in this city need to continue to support programs that can better our education systems."
"I hope that trainees who grow up in New Orleans can attend the culinary program at the NOCC and later decide to carry on the beautiful and important culinary traditions of Louisiana cuisine, or cook whatever cuisine makes them happy. This will help our young adults know the options they have within the hospitality industry in this city and beyond." Shaya says.