New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center-Funded New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute Welcomes Inaugural Class

Twenty-one students of the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) began their education on January 7 as the school kicked off its first set of classes. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Exhibition Hall Authority purchased the 90,000-square-foot building for $12 million and leased the property back to NOCHI.

The newly opened culinary school features two culinary teaching labs, two baking and pastry labs, a restaurant lab, a beverage lab, a large event center including a production kitchen, and traditional classrooms. Members of the National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers donated much of the kitchen equipment to be used by the students.

“NAFEM’s commitment to NOCHI from near inception was truly catalytic in propelling this project through our early years as proof positive of the need and desire for innovation in training and education for our industry,” said NOCHI Executive Director Carol Markowitz.  “We are extremely grateful for their steadfast support over the years and the equipment and products generously provided for by their members in nearly every portion of the NOCHI building.”

NAFEM will conduct their 2021 and 2025 annual conventions and trade shows at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

NOCHI is a private, not for profit school licensed and approved by the State of Louisiana’s Board of Regents to offer two 100-day certificate programs developed in partnership with CIA Consulting, a division of the preeminent The Culinary Institute of America, and an esteemed local advisory board. The Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts certificate programs each provide approximately 650 hours of instruction, with a heavy emphasis on hands-on technical skills training.

In addition to career training programs, NOCHI also offers engaging “enthusiast” programs designed to enrich the local community as well as drive culinary tourism for New Orleans. Locals and visitors alike can immerse themselves in a wide variety of seminars and classes ranging from Knife Skills 101 to New Orleans Cocktails.

NOCHI’s inaugural class at its Howard Avenue location


Some of the kitchen equipment donated to NOCHI


About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space, in an entirely contiguous hall, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center features an award winning staff and first class amenities, and is the sixth largest convention center in the nation.  A consistent Top 10 host of the largest conventions and tradeshows in the nation annually, the Convention Center is also one of the city’s “Top Workplaces.” A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, the Convention Center’s event activity has produced $81.7 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.1 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.


About New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI)

NOCHI’s mission is to provide a seat at the table for all people seeking to develop their culinary passion. At NOCHI, aspiring professionals, locals and visitors from around the world can study the techniques to great cooking and the elements that have defined New Orleans’ unique brand of hospitality—right in the heart of the city.  For 300 years, New Orleans has turned out some of the most beloved flavors, restaurants and chefs. NOCHI is committed to offering programs that give industry-developed and industry-recognized training for long-term career opportunities in a variety of fields from food and beverage to guest services and food science, as well as enthusiast courses for the at-home gourmand. NOCHI believes the city’s rich culinary heritage and culture make the perfect setting for an institute where the next generations of talent and leadership for the industry will be developed. For more information on its opening, facility, and classes, please visit



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