Twenty-one students are learning the art of preparing jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish etouffee and beignets during New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute’s (NOCHI) new series of cooking and baking classes in a freshly renovated building leased from New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NAFEM).
“NAFEM’s commitment to NOCHI from near inception was truly catalytic in propelling this project through our early years as proof positive of the need and desire for innovation in training and education for our industry,” said NOCHI Executive Director Carol Markowitz. “We are extremely grateful for their steadfast support over the years, and the equipment and products generously provided by their members in nearly every portion of the NOCHI building.”
Housed in the old Louisiana ArtWorks building in Central Business District, the school is on five floors, with 90,000 sq. ft. of space. It encompasses two big rooms dedicated to teaching kitchen safety, equipment operation and maintenance, culinary fundamentals, several labs (baking, pastry, restaurant and beverage), an airy and ample event center, and a rooftop terrace. A renovation of the building was done with the support of members of National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, who donated kitchens appliances worth almost $5 million.
NOCHI is well-known for its five-month to 100-day certificate programs, including culinary as well as baking and pastry arts. Intensive, experiential learning classes are developed in partnership with CIA Consulting, a division of The Culinary Institute of America.
One of the missions of NOCHI is to promote the NOLA hospitality tradition, so it also launched Enthusiast Courses, a variety of training programs focused on specific cooking topics for residents and tourists. From “Knife Skills 101” to “New Orleans Cocktails,” “Fundamentals of Quick Breads and Doughs” and “Louisiana Series: Into the Gumbo Pot,” there is ample opportunity for everybody to advance enhance their culinary talents or to have a hands-on experience while learning about the outstanding New Orleans F&B heritage.