by Ian McNulty
Café Hope serves a lot more than meals. This nonprofit Marrero café, found inside the historic Hope Haven Center, serves the community with a job training and life skills program for young people who want to get a fresh start. The John Besh Restaurant Group has been a big booster for this mission and next Thursday, Dec. 20, six of its restaurants will convene for a special benefit for Café Hope that’s has the makings of a one-night food festival.
The event, called "Besh, Hope and Holidays," will be at the Royal Palm, a former steakhouse-turned-events hall in Harvey, and features signature dishes from Restaurant August, Borgne, Lüke, American Sector, La Provence and Domenica. Guests have the run of the tables (and open bar) from 8-11 p.m. Tickets cost $150. A patron party begins at 6:30 p.m. and tickets for this cost $250 each. For tickets, call Catholic Charities at 504-310-6865 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Café Hope is an affiliated ministry of Catholic Charities and its training model is similar to that used by Café Reconcile in Central City, where Café Hope founder Don Boyd previously served as chef.
“It’s a great model because it’s so personal,” says Boyd. “Food is personal and you get immediate feedback on it. You serve someone a great meal and they tell you if they liked it, they might compliment you on the service you provided, on the restaurant you’re representing, and that’s a great affirmation for young people trying to do something new and get themselves on a career track.”
1101 Barataria Blvd., Marrero, 504-756-4673