On this episode of the New Orleans Dine, Wine & Spirits Show – NOLADrinks Edition, we welcome some terrific guests. In our “What’s in Your Glass/What’s in Your Bottle” (#WIYGWIYB) segment, Clara Lyle of Grow Dat Youth Farm joins the show. This is a terrific organization that teaches young people leadership skills through growing food. Students, from various backgrounds in the New Orleans area, apply to be a part of the program that lasts several months. They learn to work an urban farm located in City Park. They are also taught business skills, learn about food justice, and food sovereignty. Many of the program’s participants return to serve as group leaders. We also discuss their upcoming outdoor dinner series, taking place at the farm, which is not only a fundraiser for the organization but also provides guests the chance to connect with the farm. The dinners are put on in partnership with some of the best restaurants in the city.
From there, Mark Schettler, president of the New Orleans chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild (USBG) and general manager of the French Quarter’s Bar Tonique, calls in to discuss an upcoming series of fundraising events taking place in New Orleans this weekend and also in Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Baton Rouge in the coming days. These events will benefit victims of the recent flooding in Louisiana. It is put on in concert with the venues and the Barman’s Fund – a great concept where, during certain shifts, bartenders around the NOLA area donate 100% of their tips to charitable causes. Mark tells us that 100% of the proceeds from these events, which include a nominal entry fee and silent auctions of rare spirits and other times, goes to the cause. Also, a group from the New Orleans bartending community will “road trip” to be present at each of these fundraisers.
Finally, Nathan Dalton and Tristan Ferchl of the Catahoula Hotel, located in the Central Business District (CBD) of New Orleans, close out the program. We discuss this boutique hotel, the bar, and restaurant – which emphasizes Peruvian cuisine. The bar is an interesting mix of a serious cocktail program along with an elevated coffee program. Bartenders and baristas (often, they are one in the same) work side-by-side. The bar, which boasts and impressive Pisco selection and cocktail list, also features coffee cocktails crafted by the team. We taste one in particular, the Carajillo, a riff on the Manhattan, but features iced coffee, vermouth, Tequila, and Mezcal. Later that evening, the hotel hosts a drink competition of bartenders and baristas where all beverages must feature coffee and may or may not feature alcohol. We discuss the event.