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NOCHI Announces Two-Week ‘Cooking for a Cause’

NEW ORLEANSNew Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) announces Cooking for a Cause, presented by Hancock Whitney – a two-week, online silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind curated experiences culminating with a soirée overlooking the city on Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at NOCHI, 725 Howard Ave. Tickets are available now at

Cooking for a Cause proceeds benefit NOCHI’s flagship culinary and baking and pastry certificate programs and scholarship fund for students seeking a formal culinary education and career in the hospitality industry.

“Cooking for a Cause highlights the exceptional culinary talents of some of New Orleans’ most revered chefs and our own NOCHI graduates who are the future of hospitality in our city and beyond,” said NOCHI Executive Director, Gerald Duhon. “The auction experiences are unmatched thanks to the creativity and generosity of colleagues in the hospitality industry who value NOCHI’s mission to train the next generation of culinary and hospitality professionals,” added Duhon.

Cooking for a Cause patrons will enjoy great drinks, live music with the Branden Lewis Trio, and delectable cuisine prepared by NOCHI alumni chefs along with local chefs Eric Cook of Saint John and Gris Gris,  Josh Williams of The Will & the Way, and Meg Bickford of Commander’s Palace.

The online auction will feature dozens of priceless, one-of-a-kind experiences including private cooking and mixology classes, dinner parties, overnight staycations, and much more, all hosted by your favorite names in hospitality including chefs Susan SpicerEmeril and E.J. LagasseEason BarksdaleBrett Broussard, Cure’s Neal Bodenheimer, Master Mixologist Danny Valdez, and more! Among the auction experiences:

Dinner at Commander’s Palace with Walter Isaacson

Enjoy scintillating conversation with one of New Orleans’ most insightful and influential thinkers, Walter Isaacson, while savoring exquisite New Haute Creole cuisine at Commander’s Palace. (Dinner for six.)

Tenney Flynn GW Fins Fishing Experience

Enjoy a fishing trip for four with Chef Tenney Flynn from GW Finn’s restaurant. The excursion begins with an overnight stay at a fishing camp on the water and dinner prepared by Dickie Brennan. Wake up to a fun-filled morning of fishing for Reds, Sheepshead, or even some Black Drum then enjoy your catch that evening with dinner prepared by Chef Tenney Flynn at GW Fins!

Stanton Moore Music Experience

Unleash your inner star with four exclusive VIP passes to an extraordinary music event of your choice – either Galactic’s mind-blowing Halloween extravaganza OR their sensational New Year’s Eve gala at Tipitina’s. Before the show, have a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the talented Stanton Moore! Plus, take an intimate 1-hour private drum lesson personally crafted by Stanton, and as a bonus, take home a one-of-a-kind drumhead signed by Stanton Moore and Keith Carlock.

“Skip the Line” at Turkey and the Wolf

Feel like a VIP and skip the line anytime at Turkey and the Wolf. With this one-time pass, Turkey and the Wolf will choose a sampling of the menu that guarantees you go home stuffed. On top of a great lunch and drinks for your party of four, you and your guests will take home cookbooks and Turkey and the Wolf merchandise!

Pitch Filmmaker Leslie Iwerks

This is your shot to pitch your idea for a documentary and seek advice from Academy Award® and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks.  Have a burning idea for a documentary? Don’t know how to write it, produce it, or sell it to make your idea become a reality? Gain expert input and advice with a two-hour pitch session, in person or by Zoom (depending on schedule). Leslie Iwerks is the CEO and Founder of Iwerks & Co.,

View all Cooking for a Cause auction items online at  Online auction bidding opens at 12:01 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Sept. 6, and closes at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

“Hospitality is at the heart of New Orleans’ culture. The students who train at NOCHI will influence the future of food and hospitality in New Orleans and beyond,” said Cooking for a Cause Chairwoman, Sarah Newell Usdin. “Cooking for a Cause ensures that NOCHI programs remain affordable and accessible for current and future students who aspire to have formal culinary education and a career in hospitality.”

Visit to view the auction and place bids, and purchase tickets to attend the Cooking for a Cause soirée, Wednesday, Sept. 20.


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