NEW ORLEANS, La. — A staple of any Monday during Carnival season is feasting on a bowl of homemade red beans and rice topped with hot sauce. In recognition of this beloved New Orleans tradition, Camellia Brand, TABASCO Brand Pepper Sauce and the New Orleans Culinary Institute (NOCHI) have partnered to celebrate Carnival season with a larger-than-life Krewe of House Floats installation that places the quintessential Mardi Gras dish and its ingredients front and center.
To design, create and install the red beans and rice-themed house float outside of NOCHI (725 Howard Ave.), Camellia Brand and TABASCO Brand employed the New Orleans-owned and operated Stronghold Studios. In keeping with the Central City theme “Mardi Gras in the City” for the Krewe of House Floats, the float carries the theme “Red Beans Done Right,” and features a large cauldron of red beans, piles of rice, splashes of hot sauce and the base of New Orleans cooking — the trinity.
“We’re very excited to be a part of the float at NOCHI Café to celebrate Lundi Gras,” says Simone Reggie, Brand Ambassador, TABASCO Brand. “With a whimsical design featuring Camellia’s iconic red beans and rice, adding TABASCO Sauce was a no brainer. A few splashes of our sauce on top of Monday’s red beans and rice makes for the perfect start to your Mardi Gras celebrations.”
Camellia, NOCHI and TABASCO Brand have been working diligently to address widespread food inequities caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and have supported those affected through various philanthropic efforts. Since last summer, NOCHI has partnered with Chef’s Brigade NOLA, Revolution Foods, the City of New Orleans and a coalition of over 80 restaurants as part of the COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program. This mass feeding initiative has fed over one million meals to New Orleans neighbors while enabling locally owned restaurants to bring in much needed revenue and rehire their staff.
“Camellia Beans and TABASCO have been supporters of NOCHI since the beginning, so it’s wonderful and fitting that we now get to collaborate on a uniquely New Orleans way of sharing joy and culinary tradition in a way that’s safe for our community,” said NOCHI Executive Director Leah Sarris. “In a Carnival season unlike any we’ve ever experienced, we’re just excited to lend our ‘house’ at 725 Howard to the Krewe of House Floats.”
In an effort to provide a taste of Carnival, Camellia, TABASCO Brand and Cajun Country Rice will also be distributing complimentary red beans and rice starter kits on Monday, February 15 outside NOCHI. The public is welcome to pick up a kit from 11 a.m. until supplies run out and take a photo with the Krewe of House Floats installation. Each red beans and rice starter kit will include a one-pound bag of Camellia Brand red kidney beans, a one-pound bag of Cajun Country Long Grain Rice and a five-ounce bottle of TABASCO Sauce in a customized tote bag. The kits will provide local families and individuals with the key ingredients needed to prepare their Mardi Gras red beans from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Per City of New Orleans guidelines, members of the public are required to wear face coverings and maintain a distance of six feet when viewing the house float and picking up starter kits. Curbside pickup is available for those who wish to remain in their cars. People who are sick or have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive are asked to stay home. These regulations will be strictly enforced. For a complete list of guidelines, visit ready.nola.gov.