[Where Y'at Staff/Provided Photo]

Feeding One Industry to Save Another

16:56 April 20, 2020
By: Kim Ranjbar

All over the Greater New Orleans Area, healthcare workers and first responders are toiling long hours, even skipping mealtimes to keep us healthy and safe. At the same time, the city's once-thriving restaurant industry is taking an enormous hit due to state-wide, stay-at-home mandates issued in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Why not satisfy one need to fill another?

Organized by local writers Troy Gilbert and Robert Peyton, Chef's Brigade NOLA is offering a stop-gap solution. By bundling restaurants together in groups of ten or "brigades," the organization stations the brigades in New Orleans Police Department stations or hospital parking lots and provide safe, free meals to first responders on a daily basis. Restaurants and their staff are paid from funds raised through partnerships with other nonprofits, as well as donations received from the public through their GoFundMe account.

Restaurants such as Cafe Degas, Rosedale, Live Oak Cafe, Johnny Sanchez, Boucherie, Sala NOLA, Riccobono's and Central City BBQ are cooking hundreds of meals daily, supplementing their income from to-go and curbside orders. Meanwhile, these mouthwatering meals like pot roast, chicken and sausage jambalaya, beef bolognese and pulled pork sandwiches are being distributed to frontline employees at the 3rd District NOPD, New Orleans EMS, the Lambeth House Retirement Community and the NOPD's Special Operations District.

As of today, Chef's Brigade NOLA is now comprised of 75 restaurants, chefs and purveyor partners, a number that is growing daily. They are also working with the Red Beans Krewe, another nonprofit with the same goal. Together, they hope to save New Orleans' esteemed independent restaurant industry while feeding our frontline heroes. For more information or to donate, visit chefsbrigadenola.org or NOPJF.org. You can also follow the organization on their Facebook page or follow them @chefsbrigadenola on Instagram.

Sign Up!