Second Harvest, New Orleans Chefs Prepare 100,000+ Meals Distributed to Flooded South Louisiana Communities

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Second Harvest, New Orleans Chefs Prepare 100,000+ Meals Distributed to Flooded South Louisiana Communities

"Our team facilitated more than 100,000 hot meals and more non-perishables than we can possibly count" says Sins.

Eleven years have passed since Hurricane Katrina poured more than 8 feet of water into Chef Amy Sins' home – and that's just one of the reasons Sins launched into action on August 13 to help Louisiana flood victims. "I saw the same images of devastation, heroic rescues, and flooding, and it just happened," says Sins, recalling the moment she started Louisiana Flood Outreach: New Orleans Chefs, a Facebook group.

"I figured we'd make 100 meals – a friend's aunt's neighborhood flooded, and I knew we could feed 100," recalls Sins. "But three things happened: the Facebook group was inundated with chefs volunteering and food donations; we had Langlois chef Tess cracking the whip to keep food prep safe and organized; and Addie Melsheimer Imseis, a nurse studying for her masters in public health, as my right-hand woman. "

Overnight, the page evolved into a powerhouse resource for mobilizing chefs, organizing the outpouring of food donations, and preparing more than 100,000 meals for victims of the 2016 Louisiana flood.

FROM August 12 to August 22, Sins, Connors, Imseis and a team of New Orleans chefs coordinated meals first at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, and later at Second Harvest Food Bank. Looking at the food relief efforts by the numbers:

  • 3,000 pounds of chicken, pork, and sausage barbecue cooked by Abe Smith of Uncle Bub’s BBQ in Chicago
  • 9600 PB&J sandwiches prepared by New Orleans restaurateur Robert Leblanc and a team of volunteers at Barrel Proof in New Orleans
  • 30,000 diapers from the Junior League of New Orleans
  • 1 18-wheeler filled with cleaning supplies from Economical Janitorial Supply
  • 1 26-foot box truck filled with non-perishable foods, fruit, snacks, and water
  • 24 gallons of shrimp and corn soup
  • More than 6,000 servings of red beans and rice from Compere Lapin, Latrobe's, Angeline, Willa Jean, Toups Meatery, and La Petite Grocery
  • 4,000 pistolettes from John Gendusa Bakery
  • 700 servings shrimp and pepper pasta from Emeril's
  • 500 servings Andouille pasta from Palace Café

"This is by no means a complete list – we're still tallying and the numbers are incredible. I couldn't be more proud of how organized and immediate the New Orleans chef and restaurant community's response was," says Sins. "Our team facilitated more than 100,000 hot meals and more non-perishables than we can possibly count.”

The team included Susan Spicer (Bayona), John Caluda (Cottage Catering), Aaron Burgau (Patois), Katy Casparian (Arnaud's) April Boudreaux (Killer PoBoys), Frank Brigtsen (Brigtsen's), Amanda Toups (Toups Meatery), Susan Goss (Second Harvest Food Bank Community Kitchen), Alex del Castillo (Taceaux Loceaux), Dickie Brennan (Palace Café, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Bourbon House, Tableau Restaurant), Robert Leblanc (Cavan, Sylvain, Barrel Proof, Meauxbar), Kristen Keen (Ralph’s on the Park) and more.

“We partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank to continue the food relief efforts and we encourage people to donate and volunteer for this incredible organization,” says Sins.

As of early September, Second Harvest Food Bank has distributed more than 716,000 pounds of food, water, and supplies to flood victims, helping more than 80,000 individuals in 19 parishes.

Next up: On September 22, 2016, five of New Orleans' best female chefs will offer a seated five-course dinner with wine pairings called 86 Hunger! - a benefit dinner for Second Harvest Food Bank. Chefs include Kristen Essig of Coquette, Second Harvest's Susan Goss, Maggie Scales of La Boulangerie/Link Restaurant Group, Amy Sins of Langlois, and Sue Zemanick of Gautreau’s. For more information and tickets, visit

To learn more about Second Harvest Food Bank’s disaster response in the flood-impacted areas, ways to volunteer or donate, visit Learn about Louisiana Flood Outreach – New Orleans Cooks on Facebook.

About Chef Amy & Langlois:

We take guests on a journey through the history and ingredients of Louisiana's unique food culture, and our demonstrations explore all of the influences in Creole and Cajun cooking. We provide culinary entertainment for groups of all sizes in your venue of choice – from private homes to the convention center. We are also partnered with a network of unique and historic private event spaces and homes around New Orleans.

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Chef Amy Sins
(504) 934-1472
since: 06/2012
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