Retreat: Cook-Around

The Big Easy Household Cook-Around

  • Monday, May 17
  • 6:30 p.m. EDT • 5:30 p.m. CDT • 4:30 p.m. MDT • 3:30 p.m. PDT
  • Length: Class will be approximately 60 minutes followed by 15-30 minutes available to chat amongst ourselves

We can’t get you to dine around New Orleans right now, but we can get New Orleans to come into your kitchen. We have arranged for the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute to provide a real-time cooking class during Online on the Bayou. And your household is invited.

NOCHI – as in “gnocchi” without the tilde sound—will walk us all through a typical NOLA meal of New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp with Smoked Lager and Pimiento Cheese Grits. You will receive the menus and shopping list in advance so you can set up your kitchen before we start – Mise en place. And for vegetarians, there will be a suggested substitutes for the shrimp.

Chopped champion and NOCHI Executive Events Chef, Scott Maki, will lead our Cook-Around session.

Throughout our 60 minutes with “Chopped” Champion and NOCHI Executive Events Chef Scott Maki, be ready to share your thoughts on your preparation and final plate. We will also provide some wine and beverage pairing suggestions in advance as recommended by our own certified wine expert, NAPAMA Board member Tommy Hensel. You may also wish to prepare a salad, and we will leave the dessert to you with a few sweet suggestions from

Something we can’t usually do for an in-person meeting—bring the others in your household along. The class can move quickly, so it will be helpful to have a pair or two of extra hands gathered around the screen to enjoy the fun and then, of course, feast on the meal you just prepared.

Not ready to dive into an online cooking class? West coast and too early to cook dinner? No problem. Just watch the rest of your colleagues rise to become foodie kings and queens. Then, view the recording later so you can prepare the meal on your own schedule in your own time zone.

Some Details

  • You will need to register for this separately and will provide that link at least two weeks in advance along with the recipes and shopping list.
  • We will need households to sign in on a single device, please.
  • We will have the chat on and unmute when you have questions and comments.
  • Using the full screen of  a computer will be your best option rather than a smaller device.
  • Space may be limited.
  • Further details will be posted at least two weeks in advance on the Retreat pages in the members-only area and emailed to non-members.

Retreat Director’s Notes

I (Hank) attended a NOCHI class online in February and this class in early March. I can attest that it's a fun time and the outcome is delicious. Here are some hints from me and based on a few questions I asked Chef Scott during the class.

  • A stand or hand mixer with a pastry beater will be helpful but not required.
  • Dark ale is suggested for the BBQ shrimp but is optional or can be substituted with a beer of your choice, including gluten-free beer. Other than beer, Chef Maki suggests that the best substitute is simply to nix that ingredient. Subsituting with wine is not recommended.
  • New Orleans style BBQ may not be what you think. It gets its name more from the look and not from the more common styles like Kansas City, Texas, or Memphis. Very different, and you will learn more about that during the class.
  • The recipes should be ample for four servings depending on your appetities.
  • Using U.S. caught Gulf shrimp is preferred if you can find it locally. Otherwise, frozen shrimp will work fine with the larger sizes recommended on the shopping list you will receive.
  • Do not use instant or quick-cook grits such as Quaker Oats brand. Get real stone ground grits either at your store or order online. Additionally, Quaker Oats contain gluten while stone ground grits generally do not.
  • From the Chef and several others, it is clear that cooking New Orleans style is difficult without butter and other ingredients that may not fit within your daily eating habits or preferences. Use your own judgement on substitutes and quantities so that you feel comfortable with the recipes. You will have an opportunity during the class to ask questions about possible substitutes.