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Grants & Initiatives

As a non-profit organization and coalition encompassing 85 independent New Orleans restaurants (and growing) and indirectly connected to another 75, Chef’s Brigade is dedicated to serving and assisting our beloved restaurant industry as they persevere through the economic hardships arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and to fighting food insecurity found in every neighborhood within our city and region. Further, by building relationships and partnerships with purveyors, farmers, the Louisiana fishing industry, and environmental organizations specifically dedicated to saving our waterways and preserving the seafood bounty of coastal Louisiana, Chef’s Brigade is building out unique initiatives, programs, and emergency grants to help rebuild the entire food chain from farm to table.

Founded in March of 2020, Chef’s Brigade has accomplished a heck of a lot in less than a year… but, we’re only just getting started.

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DBE Assistance
DBE Certification Assistance Program

Chef’s Brigade’s DBE Certification Assistance Program helps our brigade partners apply for certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise with the City of New Orleans. DBE certification can be useful for restaurants that seek to participate in publicly funded contracts as well as contracts and partnerships offered by private companies. The process is time-consuming and highly detailed for restaurants seeking this official certification, and Chef’s Brigade is committed to helping our eligible restaurant partners achieve certification through the application process.

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The purpose of these grants is to provide immediate financial support of up to $1500 to local restaurants in need of emergency funds for capital expenses or improvements. Participating Chef’s Brigade restaurants may request funds for capital expenses. Capital expenses include the purchase of fixed assets, such as business equipment or upgrades to facilities. Generally, grants will be made as one-time awards, not for ongoing projects or activities that require ongoing grant commitment, such as equipment leasing.

Chef’s Brigade partner restaurants may apply HERE.

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Feeding our First Responders

Chef’s Brigade was founded in March of 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic by bundling restaurants together into a brigade system to feed first responders throughout the City of New Orleans. Our organization and coalition has never forgotten our roots of helping to take care of the people who keep us safe. In partnership with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, Chef’s Brigade has committed and will continue to commit financial resources to the feeding of the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department and Emergency Medical Services by utilizing non-brigade restaurants in this endeavor. To date, Chef’s Brigade has allocated nearly $100,000 to this worthwhile effort.

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Hurricane Disaster Relief

The Gulf Coast is one of the most unique, beautiful, and culturally diverse regions in North America, however we are plagued by the visitation of hurricanes, some of which can be catastrophic. Chef’s Brigade developed and implemented a first-of-its-kind disaster food response system at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which was then taken to scale by FEMA and the City of New Orleans through the Meal Assistance Program. Our system has since July 2020, produced 2.2 million meals in a short eight months and it is also uniquely suited to produce enormous quantities of independent restaurant produced meals for hurricane disaster response. Our restaurant brigades are capable of producing 50,000 to 100,000 delicious and culturally relevant meals within 72-hours and have them loaded onto refrigerated trucks for distribution to the east or west of New Orleans along the Gulf Coast after a catastrophic hurricane landfall.

Chef’s Brigade and our restaurant partners have completely rewritten disaster food response, and our coalition will apply the systems and best practices learned throughout the pandemic to serve our Gulf Coast neighbors in times of desperate need.

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Oyster Shell Recycling Program

In partnership with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), Chef’s Brigade is committed to the health of our coastal marshes, bayous and bays and the enormous bounty of seafood that comes from our coastal waterways. By committing financial resources to CRCL, Chef’s Brigade is assisting many of our restaurant partners in participating in this program which utilizes oyster shells from their raw bars and charbroiled dishes by returning the shells back into the waters from whence they came and thereby building new oyster reefs and slowing the effects of coastal erosion.