The chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski started a charitable foundation to give a different focus to their company’s civic engagement and philanthropy. That work is also casting some of the chefs’ culinary interests and even their restaurant spaces in a new light.
So it goes that on Oct. 1, they’re hosting Tchouptoberfest, a Bavarian-themed block party that presses the indoor/outdoor potential of their eatery Butcher and the meaty products of its kitchen into fundraising tools.
Ticket proceeds and sales of food and drink at the event benefit the Link Stryjewski Foundation, which in turn funds community organizations serving youth in New Orleans and addressing issues of poverty and violence.
Tchouptoberfest will turn the 300 block of Andrew Higgins Drive outside of Butcher into an array of food stations for brats and currywurst, choucroute and soft pretzels, sausage on a stick and other Germanic flavors. A $20 ticket gets you in to pay as you go.
With its garage doors opening to the street, Butcher itself will serve as a VIP section, accessed with the (exquisitely named) Bratz Pass.
NOLA Brewing is supplying a seasonal specialty beer for the party, the Uptown brewery's Darkest Before Dawn lager.
Oktoberfest themes are common this time of year, though Butcher is well primed to carry the idea through to its new event. As Link pointed out, many of the sausages common to Louisiana butcher shops are based on German tradition. That goes for the andouille and the Zaunbrecher sausage regularly stocked in the Butcher meat case.
“The seasoning changed along the way, but the grind, the process, that’s German,” said Link, whose own Louisiana family heritage goes back to Germany.
When chefs throw a party, food naturally gets the spotlight, and Bal Masqué, the gala that D…
While Butcher and other Link Restaurant Group properties are preparing the food, some of the event's live music is coming from in house too. Butcher employees are part of the line up of bands, a roster of alt outfits that includes Polish Pete and the Polkas, Rik Slaves’ Country Persuasion, Conor Donohue, Midriff, Motel Radio and Sexy Dex and the French.
These are not your typical festival circuit bands, and that's part of the point here. Link and Stryjewski say they're out to create new events to draw more people into the circle of supporters for the community organizations they back. More such food-forward events are in the works.
The Link Stryjewski Foundation’s marquee event is the annual Bal Masque, a high-dollar gala held in January in New Orleans, while new Tchouptoberfest continues a series of smaller events begun this year. They started in August with a Champagne and fried chicken dinner at Cochon. On Nov. 7, the foundation will host a dim sum dinner at the restaurant group’s event space Calcasieu, which taps one of Link’s own culinary hobbies.
“This is about more than doing one event, we want throw parties like this, bring in money and put the money to good use,” said Link.
Even as Tchouptoberfest makes its debut this year, the chefs see potential to expand its scale from block party to charitable festival in future years.
“It’s something we can do to cultivate the future of the foundation,” Stryjewski said.
When: Oct. 1, 4-9 p.m.
Where: Tchoupitoulas Street at Andrew Higgins Drive
Admission is $20, with food and drink available for purchase; the VIP “Bratz Pass” is $100. Get advance tickets through Eventbrite.com.
After Hurricane Harvey, it was no surprise that restaurants here in New Orleans quickly got …
Ten years ago, Jeffery Vannor was a high school dropout with little hope for his future. But…
For one weekend, Hogs for the Cause transforms a green glade in City Park into something lik…