by Sarah Baird
While the Southern Food and Beverage Museum gears up for its grand reopening September 29, another new project is in the works: restoring a historic home in the Faubourg Marigny to house visiting culinary scholars and chefs.
Located at 1515 Pauger St. — the former home of 18th- and 19th-century butcher, grocer, and businesswoman Rosette Rochon — the house currently is undergoing renovations to serve as a space for visiting chefs and food scholars to live for over a month's time.
"The house was donated to us by Don Richmond, who has been preserving it since 1977," said Southern Food and Beverage Museum Executive Director Liz Williams. "Unlike so many of the houses in the area, it's never been modernized or updated in a major way, so it has retained most of the original features, from mantles to crown molding. It's really lovely. Our goal is to restore the house and let it tell its own story about Rosette Rochon and her impact on the culinary culture of New Orleans."
A free woman of color, Rochon ran a cattle operation on the Northshore, and operated one of the first grocery store chains in the city.
"If someone becomes a Southern Food and Beverage Museum fellow for the summer, we think it's the perfect place for them to stay during their time in the city," said Williams.