Inaugural New Orleans Catering Showcase helps connect local vendors with organizations

Lousiana’s

Nearly 20 caterers, featuring entrepreneurs who are women and/or people of color, connected with organizations so that both parties can gain new opportunities and insights for their respective work. This invitation-only event on historic Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard featured samples of the caterers’ culinary creations along with refreshments courtesy of three featured vendors: Drinks by Divas, Second Line Brewing and Seven Three Distilling Co.

More than 120 local nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, businesses, public institutions and events planners got an opportunity to diversify their event options at Foundation for Louisiana’s (FFL) inaugural New Orleans Catering Showcase on Thursday (Sept. 14) at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) in Central City.

Nearly 20 caterers, featuring entrepreneurs who are women and/or people of color, connected with organizations so that both parties can gain new opportunities and insights for their respective work. This invitation-only event on historic Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard featured samples of the caterers’ culinary creations along with refreshments courtesy of three featured vendors: Drinks by Divas, Second Line Brewing and Seven Three Distilling Co.

Other caterers included private chef Michael Marina, a contestant on the Food Network show “Guy’s Grocery Games,” and Diva Dawg’s Ericka Lassair, a 2016 fellow at the Tory Burch Foundation.

“The New Orleans Catering Showcase speaks directly to FFL’s mission to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide,” said Tanya Gulliver-Garcia, FFL’s Associate Director for Programs and Planning. “We look for creative ways to increase economic growth in our communities, especially among entrepreneurs who previously have had limited access to those opportunities. We hope this event will help create new connections and partnerships for everyone.”

The evening definitely had a matchmaking feel to it, as is often the case with networking events, with caterers explaining their approach to their respective cuisines, but also with representatives taking the opportunity to explain their respective missions and how a caterer’s work might even align with a group’s core values. Caterers expressed excitement about joining forces with one another on larger events where they might feel a bit over-matched or saw a niche caterer filling a void; some representatives remarked about adding multiple catering options for their upcoming events.

“I’ve planned at meetings and events, and everything that I needed to move forward for next year’s planning is here,” said Ebony Bristo-Allmond with the Louisiana Public Health Institute. “I’m looking forward to doing some business with four or five of the vendors that were represented here today. … I work with caterers, I work with vendors, I work with private chefs, and everybody here is somebody I hadn’t heard of before.”

Stay tuned for more news regarding the showcase, including more detailed responses and feedback from participants.

The New Orleans Catering Showcase was made possible with additional support from CAD Printing, the Claiborne Corridor Cultural Innovation District, Drinks by Divas, Second Line Brewing, Seven Three Distilling Co. and the Southern Food & Beverage Museum.

Here is the list of participating caterers:
Anitra Chef Page: 504.578.4787; thetayloredchefco@gmail.com
C & C Catering
Cayenne Custom Foods
Chef Mike Marina
Cupcake Fairies
Danielle Morris, Phyto NOLA
Deelightful Cupcakes
Diva Dawg Food Truck
Drinks by Divas
Everything Haute: 504.407.1099; youwantithaute@gmail.com
Five Star Creole Dishes
La Cocinita Food Truck
Let Us Cater for You
Mello D’s Catering
Open Hands
Petite Rouge Cafe Camionette
The Puddin’ Shop
Two Girls One Shuck