NEW ORLEANS (press release) –
To celebrate one year until Mardi Gras Day and what’s anticipated to be a return to pre-coronavirus festivities, Camellia Brand, TABASCO Brand Pepper Sauce, Cajun Country Rice and the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) will be distributing complimentary red beans and rice starter kits on Monday, March 1. All are welcome to pick up a kit outside of NOCHI (725 Howard Ave.) from 11 a.m. until supplies run out.
Each red beans and rice starter kit will include a one-pound bag of Camellia Brand red kidney beans, a one-pound bag of Cajun Country Long Grain Rice and a five-ounce bottle of TABASCO Sauce in a customized tote bag. The kits provide locals with the key ingredients needed to prepare red beans and rice from the comfort and safety of their homes in anticipation of Mardi Gras Day 2022.
“While this year’s Carnival celebrations looked different due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some traditions — like red beans and rice on a Monday — always remain the same,” said Camellia Brand Fourth-Generation Owner and CEO Vince Hayward. “Brands like Tabasco, Cajun Country Rice and NOCHI fully understand the resiliency that characterizes our city. Much like the anticipated revitalization of Mardi Gras after Hurricane Katrina, we’re counting down to what we think will be a Carnival comeback to remember.”
To celebrate this year’s nontraditional Carnival season, Camellia Brand and TABASCO Brand employed the New Orleans-owned and operated Stronghold Studios to design, create and install a “Red Beans Done Right” house float outside NOCHI. The larger-than-life Krewe of House Floats installation places the quintessential Mardi Gras dish and its ingredients front and center and features a large cauldron of red beans, piles of rice, splashes of hot sauce and the base of New Orleans cooking — the trinity. The immersive installation allows visitors to step into the pot of red beans for a memorable photo opportunity.
“It’s been an honor and great source of joy to lend our ‘house’ at 725 Howard to the Krewe of House Floats and to lead the countdown to Mardi Gras 2022. We’re optimistic that next year’s Carnival will be the best one yet,” said NOCHI Executive Director Leah Sarris. “Camellia Beans and TABASCO have been supporters of NOCHI since the beginning, so it’s wonderful and fitting that we now get to collaborate on a uniquely New Orleans approach of sharing joy and culinary tradition in a way that’s safe for our community.”
Camellia, NOCHI and TABASCO have been working diligently to address widespread food inequities caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and has supported those affected through various philanthropic efforts. Since last summer, NOCHI has partnered with Chef’s Brigade NOLA, Revolution Foods, the City of New Orleans and a coalition of over 80 restaurants as part of the COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program. This mass feeding initiative has fed over one million meals to New Orleans neighbors while enabling locally owned restaurants to bring in much needed revenue and rehire their staff.
“We’re so excited to be a part of the float at NOCHI Café alongside Camellia Red Beans,” says Simone Reggie, Brand Ambassador, TABASCO Brand. “Festivities were very different this year, but Louisianans always find ways to make life exciting just like TABASCO Sauce. We’re ready to celebrate the countdown for Mardi Gras 2022. Next year can’t come soon enough and rest assured we’ll be ready with our sauce to top off Monday’s red beans and rice!”
Per City of New Orleans guidelines, members of the public are required to wear face coverings and maintain a distance of six feet when picking up starter kits and viewing the house float. Curbside pickup is available for those who wish to remain in their cars. Those who are sick or have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive are asked to stay home. These regulations will be strictly enforced. For a complete list of guidelines, visit ready.nola.gov.