Mission Chefs Serve the Homeless for Thanksgiving

Mission Chef Nathan Richard and Trent Verges
Trent Verges and Mission Chef Chef Nathan Richard of King Creole serve 1,000 homeless at the New Orleans Mission

Mission Chefs visit the New Orleans Mission to serve 1,000 homeless and Veterans for Thanksgiving.


Each year volunteers from across the city of New Orleans visit the Mission to help those in need for Thanksgiving.  This marks the second year for the Creole Cuisine Restaurant Group.

Last year started something very special.

New Orleans Mission Thanksgiving lunch

New Orleans Mission residents enjoy Thanksgiving lunch

I asked the Executive Director of the New Orleans Mission, David Bottner if he would mind if I found a chef to be a spokesperson for the Mission.  I explained to him how powerful a chef’s voice could be to help drive PR and he said yes. So I made two calls.


The first call failed.  The Chef was jammed up.

5,000 Meals

So I thought before I keep calling Chefs, let me reach out to a good PR friend of mine Liz  Bodet who does PR strictly for Chefs. I was not even 30 seconds into the conversation explaining to her what I wanted to do and she cut me off.  She said, “You’re not going to believe this, but I have a restaurant group that wants to donate five thousand meals and they don’t know where to go with it.”  I said, I think I know a place.

The following week we were meeting with Trent Verges from Creole Cuisine and got the deal done for 5,000 meals.  God has had his hand in this ever since the first call to Liz.

The following week they call us up and want to serve the first thousand meals.  We said, perfect.  Candidly, we were expecting them to show up with a truck and drop off a thousand meals then drive off.  Not exactly.

Creole Cuisine serves the homeless at the New Orleans Mission

Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts  shows up with their team to serve at the New Orleans Mission

Creole Cuisine Blows Us Away!

Creole Cuisine showed up with 40 employees to serve 1,000 meals that day.  A train of employees just started rolling in one after the other through the front door all at once.  I looked at Liz and said, you remember what we did with chefs following the BP Oil Spill creating the Louisiana Seafood Chefs Council, before I could finish my thoughts Liz’s eyes got as big as silver dollars.  She knew where I was going with this. At that moment, we were both on the exact same page and  Mission Chefs was born.

Chef Nathan Richards of Kingfish, Chef Neal Swidler of Broussards , Ewell Smith of Mission Chefs

Mission Chefs: Chef Nathan Richards of Kingfish, Chef Neal Swidler of Broussards , Ewell Smith

Since that moment one year ago the vision has grown considerably creating a national organization of Mission Chefs to work with Missions across the US.  Today, Creole Cuisine showed up with over 40 employees once again and two of their Celebrity Chefs are now officially Mission Chefs.  Let me introduce you to Chef Nathan Richard of Kingfish and Chef Neal Swidler with Broussard’s . Both restaurants are staples in the world famous French Quarter.

A very special thank you to the owners of Creole Cuisine and their entire team.

Would You Like to Help?

If you are interested in volunteering at the New Orleans Mission, please reach out to me and I can share some of the opportunities available or contact them directly. Please visit their NewOrleansMission.org.  Also, if you have an interest in starting a Mission Chefs program in your city, we would love to talk to you.   Contact me here.


A Special Message of Hope from the Children of New Orleans to Those in Need

Thanksgiving at the New Orleans Mission 2015

Share With Your Network:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *