Dine out Wednesday, June 21 at any of 16 participating restaurants around the city and a portion of the money you spend will go to support the NOLA Food Map, a project from the New Orleans Food and Farm Network (www.noffn.org). The nonprofit is creating neighborhood-by-neighborhood maps to show residents in flood-damaged areas where to find food from grocery stores to restaurants and emergency kitchens. In addition, the group hopes the maps can be used in government planning to promote improved access to healthy food as the city rebuilds. Restaurants that have agreed to share a portion of their June 21 proceeds include: Bayona, Brigtsen's Restaurant, Café Degas, Café Giovanni, Dante's Kitchen, GW Fins, Herbsaint, Iris, Karma Kitchen at the Bridge Lounge, Mat and Naddie's Restaurant, Muriel's Jackson Square, Parasol's Restaurant, Parkway Bakery & Tavern, Sara's, the Savvy Gourmet and Upperline Restaurant.
Are You Experienced?
New Orleans Cooking Experience (2275 Bayou Road, 430-5274; www.neworleanscookingexperience.com) the cooking school located in the House on Bayou Road (www.houseonbayouroad.com) bed & breakfast continues a program this season with the chance to learn culinary techniques from some of the city's best-known chefs. Called the Great Chefs Summer Series, upcoming classes will be led by Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen's Restaurant on June 22 and July 6, Leah Chase of Dookie Chase Restaurant on June 29, Ken Smith of Upperline Restaurant on July 13 and Ross Eirich formerly of Galatoire's Restaurant on July 20 (check the Web site for more class schedules). Classes are $150 per person and include a meal with wine at the bed & breakfast.
Brennan's Restaurant (417 Royal St., 525-9711; www.brennansneworleans.com) reopened June 8, and its return marks a milestone for New Orleans' most distinctive class of restaurant. The city's classic French Creole restaurants have all now reopened. Some of them, like Brennan's, suffered extensive storm-related damage, and all of them have had to contend with the persistent staffing shortage that remains the scourge of the local hospitality industry. Such restaurants also drew a disproportionate number of their customers from tourists and conventioneers, which are far harder to find post-Katrina. The French Creole restaurants have reported that locals make up much more of their business since the storm, and that will likely be the case with Brennan's at least until tourism and conventions pick up. Brennan's is open Thursday through Monday, serving breakfast and brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays and until 2 p.m. on weekends, and serving dinner 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.