725 Howard Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) was established for the purpose of marrying world-class culinary & hospitality facilities, content and programming with New Orleans’ indisputable standing as a world-class culinary & hospitality city. Beyond providing traditional training, education and R&D in the fields of culinary arts and hospitality, NOCHI aspires to elevate New Orleans to a position of thought leadership across multiple disciplines that intersect with food/hospitality for the purpose of creating rewarding careers and improving quality of life for its local citizens and the larger global community.
In 2014, NOCHI purchased the former ArtWorks building with the intent to renovate it into a state-of-the-art workforce training facility. The concept of a culinary and hospitality training facility was developed in response to two alarming trends in New Orleans: a shortage of trained restaurant staff, and high rates of both non-employment and underemployment, particularly among African-Americans—e.g., a 2013 study conducted by the Lindy Boggs Center for Community Literacy at Loyola University reported that 52 percent of African American working age men in New Orleans are not working.
In December, 2017, CGC and NOCHI closed on a $19M financing to renovate the ArtWorks facility, utilizing NMTC allocation provided by United Fund Advisors and Enhanced Capital, and a NMTC equity investment provided by Iberia Bank. The 93,000 sf facility will house a wide variety of programming, including Culinary Training Program, Workforce Training Programs, Enthusiasts Courses and Community Programming as well as Tulane’s Freeman School of Business new Hospitality Entrepreneurship programming.
As part of a cooperative endeavor agreement with New Orleans Convention Center, NOCHI is mandated to provide subsidized workforce training to between 100-500 students annually. These programs will range from “standardized” programs for industry-wide needs to employer-based custom training programs that NOCHI would help develop and execute.
Beyond the subsidized training they receive, NOCHI students will be able to take advantage of the school’s Educational Advisory Board, comprised of a wide representation of the local hospitality industry, who will oversee the customization of the curriculum to meet the needs of different types of participants, as well as of prospective employers, by adding field trips, job shadowing, guest speakers, and/or internship opportunities that can be arranged within less than a mile of NOCHI’s location.
Furthermore, NOCHI students will also be able to leverage NOCHI’s ties to the local hospitality industry to find a new position after graduation. While NOCHI’s facilities will provide for hands-on food and beverage learning lab space, the school’s proximity to hundreds of hotels allows for convenient access to real-world learning “lab” spaces for other hospitality positions.