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About Chefs on Boats

Bringing the Local Restaurant Industry to the Louisiana Seafood Industry
seafood from Louisiana Marshlands Chefs on Boats Boating Tours
Chefs on Boats Boating Tours
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Chefs Brigade’s President and Executive Director Troy Gilbert, a veteran maritime journalist, noticed a pattern while talking with so many various chefs and restaurateurs – many in the New Orleans restaurant industry had never experienced Louisiana’s coast and waters first-hand, and that they seemed separated from the men and women on the frontlines of the Louisiana seafood industry.

It was a natural connection for him to make – the idea of bringing 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.

After conversations with the Executive Directors of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Pontchartrain Conservancy and working off this idea, Gilbert decided the best way to expose chefs and their staff to the fragile and magnificent coast was to put them onto boats and bring them to the seafood industry.

Gilbert held conversations with the executive directors of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Pontchartrain Conservancy and decided the best way to expose chefs and their staff to the fragile and magnificent coast was to put them onto boats… and bring them to the seafood industry.

Chefs Brigade is a sustainable and replicable resource for disaster response that can be used throughout the Gulf South.

Chefs Brigade Winner Louisiana Hospitality Awards

At the conclusion of the Meal Program on June 30,2021, Chefs Brigade was awarded the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation’s Outstanding Chef Award and the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience’s Ella Brennan Award, as well as recognition from New Orleans Magazine in their 50 People and Places That Defined 2020 issue and from New Orleans CityBusiness.

The brigade began in New Orleans during the height of the pandemic when restaurants were forced to shutter their doors to stop the spread of COVID, and while this was a necessary measure, it also meant employee layoffs and possible permanent closures.

Recognizing the untapped potential of restaurants to feed people during a crisis, Chefs Brigade, a united coalition of independent restaurants, purveyors and chefs working together under a culinary brigade system, teamed up with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation to feed first responders in March 2020. The first brigade consisted of 6 restaurants which then grew to 40, and together they were producing hundreds of meals daily, but it was nowhere near CB’s full potential.

CB flexed its muscles when it became part of the FEMA and City of New Orleans COVID-19 Meal Program. The brigade expanded to include more than 90 restaurants and purveyors, and was daily preparing restaurant-quality meals for thousands of residents who faced food insecurity because of the pandemic. By the time the program concluded, CB had produced 3.7 million meals for more than 24,000 people in need.

Chefs Brigade Winner Louisiana Hospitality Awards

At the conclusion of the Meal Program on June 30,2021, Chefs Brigade was awarded the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation’s Outstanding Chef Award and the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience’s Ella Brennan Award, as well as recognition from New Orleans Magazine in their 50 People and Places That Defined 2020 issue and from New Orleans CityBusiness.

As Chefs Brigade pivots from the conclusion of the COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program, the organization is currently developing the systems necessary to expand the reach of the brigade system throughout the entire Northern Gulf Coast as well as building out programs with the Louisiana seafood industry such as Chefs on Boats, and growing our partnerships on programs such as CRCL’s Restaurant Oyster Shell Recycling.

Chefs explore the Louisiana seafood industry
Chefs on Boats Boating Tours
Chefs explore the Louisiana seafood industry
Chefs on Boats Mississippi Delta Tours