Earlier this summer, it appeared that not much progress was being made on the upcoming New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute heading to the Warehouse District. This week, however, Doug McCash reports that the project is now proceeding and only a few months behind schedule, with a 2017 opening planned.
The projected $18 million dollar conversion of the vacant money pit Louisiana ArtWorks building into a state of the art culinary and hospitality school—founded by restaurateurs Ti Martin and Dickie Brennan and supported by UNO, Tulane and Delgado— is being funded by various sources. Delgado has thrown in $9 million. Another $4 million has come from historic tax credits, and there's an $8 million pre-approved loan that's guaranteed by several philanthropists. The building was purchased by NOCHI for $6.2 million. Director Carol Markowitz shares the build out plans, which they're hoping will start in December 2015:
NOCHI has employed Eskew+Dumez+Ripple architects and Woodward Design-Build to plan the transformation... Cini-Little International kitchen design consultants will help plan the cooking facilities. The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers is seeking donations of kitchen equipment for the NOCHI project from its members.
The 93,000-square-foot space will hold up to 600 culinary students, and NOCHI plans to start recruiting those students next year. The Culinary Institute of America will be consulting on curriculum for the first two programs—Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts—and more programs will be announced soon. Previously announced plans for NOCHI call for a food incubator, along with the Delgado Culinary Center of Excellence, UNO's Master's in Hospitality Degree, and Tulane Hospitality and Entrepreneurship programs.