Louisiana swamp waters

What We Do

About us

Our Mission

Chefs Brigade connects, organizes & educates across food sectors. Our work supports restaurants, chefs, caterers, NGOs and programs that strengthen the future foodscape of our Gulf Coast region.

3.747
Million Meals Provided
194
Coastal Culinary Ambassadors on-the-water
575.2
Tons of Oyster Shells Recycled
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What Is Chefs Brigade?

As a non-profit organization and coalition encompassing over 100 independent New Orleans and Gulf Coast restaurant partners (and growing), our programs and energies are dedicated to serving our beloved restaurant industry, and fighting food insecurity in our neighborhoods during times of need and disaster.

Further, by building relationships and partnerships with the Louisiana and Gulf Coast fishing industry, regional purveyors, farmers and environmental organizations, Chefs Brigade is dedicated to saving our waterways and preserving the seafood bounty of Coastal Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

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Moving to the Future

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Disaster Response

Chefs Brigade grew in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and we continue to collaborate with passionate chefs, restaurateurs, companies and organizations to tie our unique strengths and capabilities together to create flexible and scalable disaster response solutions.

We have learned that no two disasters are alike - if you are interested in working together to support a more systematic disaster response that decreases chaos and response times, while increasing food safety and the efficient use of local and regional resources post disaster, please connect with us by registering below.

Register Here

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Coastal & Fisheries Awareness

Through our Chefs on Boats program, we create opportunities for foodservice workers to learn through our immersive expeditions into the Mississippi River Delta region.

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Education

Together with interdisciplinary educators, we are developing curriculums, educational programming and a
Coastal Champions for Culinary Preservation Certification.

Our participants include: chefs & foodservice workers, students, educators, scientists, state & federal agents, fisheries professionals and organizational leaders. Our curriculums are guided by science and input from past participants and professional educators, with our goal of expanding programming across the Northern Gulf Coast.

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about us

Our History

November
15
,
2005
The Idea

The idea behind Chefs Brigade was initially conceived in the dark months following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, but tapping the massive production capabilities of hundreds of professional kitchens and staff was impossible because of the catastrophic flooding, destruction, displaced populace and the lack of social media or crowdfunding in 2005.

The Idea
March
26
,
2020
The 1st Brigade is formed

Resurrected in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chefs Brigade partners with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, who then acts as Chefs Brigade’s fiscal agent and contributes the first seed funding. The 1st Brigade of seven restaurants produces and delivers their initial meals on March 26th to feed the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department’s Third District.

The 1st Brigade is formed
March
30
,
2020
The 2nd Brigade is formed

72-hours later, Chefs Brigade constitutes and launches the 2nd Brigade of restaurants. Consisting entirely of women chefs and restaurateurs, the 2nd Brigade is assigned the dangerous objective of feeding the brave paramedics of the New Orleans EMS - men and women who were constantly shuttling patients sick and contagious with COVID-19 to area hospitals.

The 2nd Brigade is formed
April
3
,
2020
Chefs Brigade Reaches 40 Restaurant Partners

In nine days, Chefs Brigade has partnered with 40 restaurants, who constitute 5 Brigades of restaurants feeding the EMS, NOPD, the Louisiana State Police, the 911 Call Center Operators and the residents and staff of the Lambeth House.

Chefs Brigade Reaches 40 Restaurant Partners
May
6
,
2020
Crowdsourced Funds Depleted

Having raised a little over $80,000 from individual donors and Foundations and producing thousands of meals via our 40 independent restaurant partners, these funds are depleted after 42-days of continuous operation. Having proven the concept behind the Brigade System, Chefs Brigade sketches out a super-brigade capable of feeding entire hospital systems.

Crowdsourced Funds Depleted
June
27
,
2020
Coalition Forms to Bid on FEMA & City of New Orleans Meal Assistance Program

FEMA and the City of New Orleans request proposals for a unique Meal Assistance Program calling for up to 60,000 daily meals home delivered to individuals uniquely at risk for COVID-19 and others quarantining at home. Chefs Brigade and our restaurant partners join with Revolution Foods, the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute and a local food delivery app, d'Livery NOLA, to solve this unique request and bid on the proposal.

Coalition Forms to Bid on FEMA & City of New Orleans Meal Assistance Program
July
7
,
2020
Coalition Wins Contract and Delivers First Meals for the FEMA Meal Assistance Program

Coalition Wins Contract and Delivers First Meals for the FEMA Meal Assistance Program
August
25
,
2020
Chefs Brigade Reaches 90 Restaurant Partners

With eligible Orleans Parish residents signing up for the program en masse, and FEMA extending the program which was originally set to operate for only one month, Chefs Brigade's ranks swell to 90 independent New Orleans restaurants ranging from old-line Grand Dame restaurants of the French Quarter to mom & pops, caterers and food trucks.

Chefs Brigade Reaches 90 Restaurant Partners
August
27
,
2020
Hurricane Laura

With our neighbors in Lake Charles, Louisiana walloped by the Cat 4 Hurricane Laura, Chefs Brigade tests our capabilities to provide meals outside of the City of New Orleans. Working with partners to provide logistics, Chefs Brigade provides 7,500 meals to first responders and residents 200 miles away. This successful real world exercise reinforces the vision and goals of the Brigade System to eventually be capable of responding to disasters throughout the Northern Gulf Coast, and beyond.

Hurricane Laura
October
23
,
2020
1 Million Meals Home Delivered

1 Million Meals Home Delivered
January
1
,
2021
FEMA Extends Meal Assistance Program for 6-Months

FEMA Extends Meal Assistance Program for 6-Months
February
4
,
2021
2 Million Meals Home Delivered

2 Million Meals Home Delivered
March
15
,
2021
Chefs Brigade Partners with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana on their Oyster Shell Recycling Program

Chefs Brigade Partners with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana on their Oyster Shell Recycling Program
April
27
,
2021
First Discussions of Building the Chefs on Boats Program

The original idea was to bring New Orleans’ extraordinary chefs and their kitchen staff into the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River, and our coastal bays and estuaries to learn more about where our bountiful seafood harvest comes from, the perils facing the seafood industry and how this is an existential danger for the New Orleans restaurant industry.

First Discussions of Building the Chefs on Boats Program
May
3
,
2021
3-Million Meals Home Delivered

3-Million Meals Home Delivered
June
8
,
2021
Chefs Brigade Honored with Ella Brennan Award

Chefs Brigade Honored with Ella Brennan Award
June
30
,
2021
The FEMA & City of New Orleans Meal Assistance Program Concludes

Originally slated to run for 30-days, the FEMA and City of New Orleans Meal Assistance Program concludes after exactly one year. 90 independent restaurants and the entire coalition produce a total of 3.7-Million home delivered meals in Orleans Parish.

The FEMA & City of New Orleans Meal Assistance Program Concludes
August
4
,
2021
Chefs Brigade Awarded the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation's Jamie Shannon Outstanding Chef Award

Chefs Brigade Awarded the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation's Jamie Shannon Outstanding Chef Award
August
29
,
2021
Hurricane Ida

In the aftermath of the direct hit on New Orleans by the Cat 4 Hurricane Ida, Chefs Brigade throws it's support behind local mutual aid groups, and then partners with Copeland's of New Orleans and Amazon.com to produce and distribute 25,000 meals.

Hurricane Ida
September
21
,
2021
First Chefs on Boats Expedition

Launching from Empire, Louisiana under the helm of Captain Richie Blink, Chefs Brigade takes four chefs and restaurateurs on the water to meet with local oystermen, shrimpers and explore the Mississippi River crevasse now known as Neptune Pass.

First Chefs on Boats Expedition
April
26
,
2022
Chefs on Boats Hits Milestone of 100 Culinary Ambassadors on-the-water

Chefs on Boats Hits Milestone of 100 Culinary Ambassadors on-the-water
May
27
,
2022
Chefs on Boats Curriculum

Chef April Bellow joins the Chefs Brigade team to manage the Chefs on Boats program and develop a curriculum on the intersection of the culinary and coastal in partnership with LASTEM.

Chefs on Boats Curriculum
October
31
,
2022
Chefs Brigade and Partner Restaurants Reach 100-Ton Milestone in Oyster Shell Recycling

Chefs Brigade and Partner Restaurants Reach 100-Ton Milestone in Oyster Shell Recycling
April
25
,
2023
Chefs Brigade Partners with LASTEM

By partnering with the State of Louisiana and LASTEM, Chefs Brigade continues to build a curriculum and workforce training program that unites the coastal and culinary fields.

Chefs Brigade Partners with LASTEM
June
1
,
2023
Chefs Brigade Honored with CRCL Award

Chefs Brigade Honored with CRCL Award
June
7
,
2023
N.O.A.A. Invites Chefs Brigade to Washington D.C.

As part of Ocean's Week, Chefs Brigade is invited by N.O.A.A. to participate in a sustainable seafood event at the Department of Commerce. CB partners with the Louisiana Seafood Board and Copeland's of New Orleans to provide Shrimp Creole to 900 coastal scientists and advocates.

N.O.A.A. Invites Chefs Brigade to Washington D.C.
March 2020

In partnership with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, acting as Chefs Brigade’s fiscal agent and contributing the first seed funding, the 1st Brigade of seven restaurants produced their initial meals on March 26, 2020 and were assigned to feed the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department’s Third District.