Welcome to p.m. Intel, your afternoon roundup of New Orleans food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- After announcing plans for a name change in June, century-old Dixie Beer is asking the public for help help in choosing its new brand identity. The New Orleans-born brewery is accepting suggestions through a form on its website through Friday, September 25, with the goal of announcing a new name next month. Owner Gale Benson (who also owns New Orleans’s Saints and Pelicans franchises) announced the renaming in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests, following similar moves by brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s Cream of Wheat. The company says its goal is to have the new brand hit markets by Mardi Gras 2021.
- Tales of the Cocktail, the multi-day spirits industry conference held annually in New Orleans, has kicked off this year’s digital version, September 21 — 24. Normally held in July, organizers canceled the in-person event for 2020 in April following similar announcements from Jazz Fest and Essence Festival. This year’s conference is free to participants who register at talesofthecocktail.org, allowing access to a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions on topics like bar choreography, equity in the industry, work-life balance, e-commerce, bar recovery, and of course, on spirits themselves.
- Chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace fame just put his Uptown home on the market for $1.5 million, a year after an inside look at the newly-renovated house sparked a flurry of online admiration for its eight-burner stove, two-sink kitchen, and 400-bottle wine storage unit. The 2,400 square foot, 3-bedroom home also features 14-foot kitchen islands, a sauna, and a pool with infinity edges.
- Jefferson Parish council members are holding a special meeting today to draft a resolution to reopen bars, reports FOX8. Last week, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards denied the council’s request to do so, saying the parish did not meet the criteria (a positivity rate of 5 percent or lower for two straight weeks). Apparently, the council expects the parish to meet the criteria “any day now,” “so the moment that we have a second consecutive week where we have 5 percent or below positivity rate, Jefferson parish wants to opt-in,” said Jennifer Van Vrancken, who asked bar owners in Jefferson to be ready to open. The council also plans to ask Edwards to allow individual government leaders to decide the hours bars can stay open, reports WDSU.
- New Orleans’s new culinary school (and nonprofit) NOCHI is hosting a virtual fundraising auction to support its hospitality programs, and the prizes include private cooking classes with chefs like Emeril Lagasse, Donald Link, and Nina Compton. Cooking for a Cause bidding will be held September 30 — October 14, with prizes announced during a livestreamed “grand finale” on October 14 in conjunction with Commander’s Palace’s popular wine and cheese Zoom class.
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