Three New Orleans chefs and a forthcoming Uptown craft brewery are working together to create a restaurant that will offer a different approach to the familiar brewpub format.
Stokehold is the new restaurant under development within Port Orleans Brewing Co., a brewery now taking shape at 4124 Tchoupitoulas St. Both the restaurant and the brewery are slated to open in late April or early May.
The chefs creating Stokehold are Jeremy Wolgamott, previously executive chef at High Hat Café; Phillip Mariano, who was chef de cuisine at Domenica and the first executive chef at Josephine Estelle; and Tim Bordes, a chef who has lately worked in the supply and distribution end of the farm-to-table equation.
The restaurant will be a separate venture within Port Orleans Brewing Co., but one closely synced with its beer.
“We’re going to be beer first on this,” said Wolgamott. “We’ll taste the beer and build a dish around it, so each beer has a dish you should have with it.”
He described the concept as closer to a restaurant for a winery than one with the sort of comfort food and beer garden fare that is more commonly affiliated with brewpubs.
“We’re trying to approach it differently from the way most brewery restaurants have done,” Wolgamott said.
Brian Allen, head brewer for Port Orleans, believes the collaboration will open different avenues for beer education and appreciation and simply add more fun ways for people to explore different styles of beer.
"The idea to get interesting food that would pair with interesting beer sounded great to us," Allen said. "I think it will add a lot to the experience, and we feel lucky to be working with Jeremy, Phil and Tim."
Stokehold is named for the furnace chamber on a ship, in keeping with the maritime motif of Port Orleans, which is adjacent to the city’s industrial riverfront. It will be an upscale-casual restaurant, with table service and room for about 200 seats.
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The cuisine will reflect a blend of modern American and Old World influences, with an emphasis on Southern and Italian flavors and a menu that will change frequently. The particular dishes that come through the Stokehold kitchen will be aligned with whatever Port Orleans is brewing.
“We intend to be hyper local and seasonal and we’ll be changing the menu constantly as they roll out new beers,” Wolgamott said.
“We will all be co-chefs, and we’ll all be in the kitchen working out these ideas together,” said Wolgamott.
Wolgamott was chef at High Hat Café since its debut in 2011 and developed its reputation as a neighborhood eatery with a market-fresh edge. Last week, he handed the reigns there to Allison Richard, previously sous chef.
Mariano was since 2014 the chef de cuisine at Domenica, running the kitchen at the highly-regarded Italian restaurant from Alon Shaya and John Besh. He initially led the kitchen at Josephine Estelle when this Italian restaurant from the Memphis chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudmann opened last spring in the Ace Hotel, though he left in the summer.
Bordes has worked at many New Orleans restaurants and was chef for City Greens as this New Orleans fast-casual concept got started. More recently, he's been a familiar contact for chefs across the dining scene, working in distribution for the local suppliers Covey Rise Farms, Chappapeela Farms and the Raines Farm Wagyu beef ranch.
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