Chef’s Brigade is a united coalition of independent restaurants, purveyors and chefs working together under a culinary brigade system to feed healthy and amazing food to the citizens, front line responders and healthcare workers of New Orleans on a daily basis

Working in full partnership with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, our 1st Brigade delivered the first hot meals to first responders on March 26th and have been growing non-stop since. We built out and filled the roster for our 2nd and 3rd Brigades over the next six days and demonstrated the capability of building a new brigade from conception to turning on the food in 36-hours.

Restauranteur Joe Riccobono explains early on how Chef’s Brigade began with feeding first responders – April 2020

By the end of the COVID quarantine in May, we had five full brigades paired and engaged with five separate distribution points: The NOPD Communications Center, the NOPD’s 5th District HQ, the New Orleans EMS, the Lambeth House Senior Living Center and the NOPD’s Special Operations HQ. Our Flying Brigade was feeding the Louisiana State Police at the New Orleans Convention Center one day a week as well as various other smaller “gigs.”

In conjunction with FEMA and the City of New Orleans, Chef’s Brigade is currently producing up to 60,000 meals a day utilizing independent restaurants throughout Orleans Parish to feed our food insecure and at-risk residents and neighbors throughout New Orleans.

The Brigade System is Sustainable

But only with your help.

This is a financial solution remedying two problems simultaneously: Feeding the people of our great city and helping provide a desperately needed new financial stream to our restaurant industry – up and down the food chain.

Brigade Board of Directors

Troy Gilbert
President & Executive Director

Founder and chief instigator of Chef’s Brigade, Troy once led a quiet life near the New Orleans Lakefront. A maritime journalist and author of four regional cookbooks as well as his now postponed maritime history of the Gulf Coast manuscript that is due in July, he’s now dedicated to Chef’s Brigade and building out the brigade system. He has served on the board of directors of two non-profits, including as the vice president of the Friends of West End.

Robert Peyton
Board of Directors

Robert is a life-long resident of New Orleans, having graduated from Rhodes College in 1991 and the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU in 1994. In addition to his legal practice, Robert has been a food writer since 2000, initially as a blogger, and more recently as the Restaurant Reporter for New Orleans Magazine. Not long thereafter he started writing Haute Plates, a weekly food column on myneworleans.com.

Joe Riccobono
Board of Directors

Joe Riccobono is a fourth-generation local restaurateur. Upon graduating from Tulane University he spent a decade in consulting before returning to New Orleans and the family business. He is the owner of Sala NOLA, newest of the Riccobono family of restaurants including Peppermill, Cafe Navarre, and Riccobono's Panola Street Cafe. Along with his role in Chef's Brigade New Orleans, Joe is also a board member of the Metairie Business Development District.

Gary Netter
Board of Directors
Chef Gary Netter is the culinary proprietor of Next To Eat Food Services and has been appointed Culinary Ambassador for the city of New Orleans by Mayor LaToya Cantrell to promote cultural diversity, equity, inclusion, health & wellness. His goal is to empower existing businesses, create new business opportunities for the disenfranchise, food manufacturing, food insecurities, and build innovative instructional spaces for teaching and learning.
Melanie Talia
Board of Directors

Melanie A. Talia is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. She directs the Foundation in its ongoing role as a principal fiduciary agent, negotiator and advisor to all members of the criminal justice system in Orleans Parish. Prior to joining the NOPJF, Melanie was an Assistant District Attorney in Orleans Parish for 17 years where she prosecuted capital cases and other violent crimes.

Cliff Kenwood
Board of Directors

Clifford Kenwood is a native New Orleanian who loves the city, its food, and its cultural heritage. He is the founder of AMCREF Community Capital, an impact-driven specialty finance firm supporting innovative businesses that create quality jobs, environmental benefits, and economic opportunities in their communities.

Jeff Barach
Board of Directors

Jeffrey A. Barach, Jr. is Senior Regional Sales Director for Becton Dickinson. He has an MBA from the University of Texas and undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California. He resides in Mandeville, LA and grew up in New Orleans. After Katrina, he founded  the Renew NOLA foundation to support local charities. He has a deep affection for New Orleans and all the things that make it one of the world's sacred cities.