New at Dakar Nola on Wednesdays only the restaurant will host “La Maison de Khady,” so named for Chef Serigne Mbaye’s mother who, from her Harlem home when Serigne was a child, served many comforting home-style West African meals craved by immigrants thousands of miles from their homelands. 

Seating will be offered on Wednesday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. with a three-course prix fixe menu for $55. Diners will have the opportunity to try or share additional dishes from an a la carte menu.  Meals will be served family style.

Like the more formal seven-course tasting menu at Dakar, La Maison de Khady will explore the flavors of Senegal and their foundational relationship to those of the American South. The menu will be chefs’ choice only and can change weekly. 

In 2017, New Orleans hospitality leaders Beth D’Addono, Stephanie Carter and Caroline Nabors joined to form the New Orleans chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier (LDEI), an international organization of women leaders who create a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the food, fine beverage, and hospitality professions. Worldwide, more than 2,400 members in 43 chapters provide leadership, educational opportunities, and host philanthropic events within their communities. 

On February 7, the New Orleans chapter will honor the three grant recipients for the inaugural Leading from the Heart Awards. Restaurateur Amanda Toups of Toups Meatery and Cristina Quackenbush Chef of pop-up Milkfish and founder/president of Good Trouble Network will each be awarded individual $2,500 grants. An additional $2,500 grant will go to WeHelp Nola, a woman-led nonprofit founded by Olivia McCoy.

“These leaders help make our community healthier, happier, and more equitable through their efforts,” said chapter co-founder Beth D’Addono in a press release about the awards. “These women are creative and inclusive thought leaders, mentors and collaborators who have a track record of credibility, trust and personal integrity.”

“We were impressed with all of the nominees’ efforts to uplift women, but these three women set themselves apart as trailblazers,” said Dee Lavigne, LDEI Vice President of Philanthropy and director of the Deelightful School of Cooking at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in the same press release.

The Leading from the Heart Awards breakfast will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Hotel Fontenot501 Tchoupitoulas St. The event is open to the public and tickets are $30 per person. They can be purchased here. 

The Best Women in New Orleans Hospitality
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I drifted away from drinking coffee shortly after college but have recently returned to the pastime with enthusiasm. When we went to Birmingham to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter her neighbors had discarded a perfectly serviceable Keurig coffee marker in a communal space in Cecilia’s apartment building. It is understood that this is where castoffs go to find new homes. Andrew stumbled upon the find and claimed it. Not being a coffee drinker, I was disinterested in the bulky clumsy thing, but Andrew was delighted by it. We agree it discard it if took up took up too much space so came home with us and found a place on the kitchen counter. Those tossing the coffee maker kindly did so with a selection of coffee pods, so we were able to trial run the thing with minimal fuss and zero cost.

Within days I was hooked on (please no comments) French Vanilla coffee and started looking forward to a couple of cups before hitting the gym each morning. But being a tree hugger I felt guilty about all of coffee grinds left over after a pods was used. I tried brewing a pod twice but the barely tinted water that came out convinced me the pod, was indeed, spent. Eying my freeze blasted plants I recalled coffee grinds being beneficial to plants. There is still the problem of the plastic from the pods, which are recyclable, just as long as the persistent rumors that NOLA’s recycling program is really just a farce are not true.