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With a little Creole flavor and a lot of love, New Orleans is committed to helping its communities revive and support each other. Join musician and traveler Noelle Scaggs as she discovers what New Orleans is really all about as part of Capital One's Purpose Project, The Series.

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- ♪ You make me feel like ♪ ♪ With the force don't stop ♪ ♪ Don't stop til you get enough ♪ ♪ Keep on ♪ ♪ With the force don't stop ♪ ♪ Don't stop til you get enough ♪ - [Narrator] The new Capital One saver card, earn 4% cash back on dining and 4% on entertainment. Now when you go out, you cash in. What's in your wallet? ♪ Whoo ♪ - Why do you travel? - Is it food? That's the best thing I've had in a long time. - Ah it's so fresh. - Oh my god. Is it adventure? - Ay! This is pretty fast! - Setting sail. Or is it about making a connection? Y'all are amazing. Each episode we will explore a different city. - And discover the power of purposeful travel to change us. - Look I did it! - I'm Jane Coxwell. - Alejandro Tordel. - I'm Noelle Scaggs, and this is Purpose Project. Presented by Capital One. I am Noelle Scaggs, and I am a traveler, a singer, and a food lover. So good. I would definitely say I've seen some things around the world, I've had the opportunity of traveling with my band pretty much through Europe, I've been to Africa. I've had so many amazing journeys. I'm here in New Orleans because I want to explore a lot more. Holy moly. I'm used to coming here on tour and I have barely cracked the surface of this city, so I'm really looking to unravel all of the mysteries, learn more about the culture and the history here. With Capital One's Purpose Project, they are inspiring people to create a better awareness of why they travel, to find a purpose when they're going to a place. I feel like a heartbeat every time I come to this city. That's why I love New Orleans so much. So most people think of Bourbon Street when they think New Orleans, but I'm starting my adventure away from the french quarter, and heading down the Louisiana Delta to meet up with restaurateur and New Orleans royalty, chef Dickie Brennan. Dickie is an avid fisherman, and he's taking me out with his buddy, Captain Bobby, to teach me all about something called the Catch and Cook program here in New Orleans. And of course, what fresh gulf seafood is all about. Setting sail. - You know, what's happened over the years in America, our population's on the east and the west coast. - Yep. - So we've really over-fished the atlantic and the pacific. - Yeah. - So if you really wanna have wild cod, sustainable, fresh fish. - Yeah. - This is the hunting hole, and it's because it's the Mississippi River, I mean, it's the most fertile fish grounds in the world. - Really? I've never seen New Orleans in this light at all. I've always been inland. - You can see the rocks here. We're having this coastal erosion, a football field an hour. - Wow. - Is what we lose, so we keep trying to do things like these rocks to prevent it to continue to erode. We have a lot of work to do. - I love your passion behind that, I love that. - Well. - Yeah. - I loved growing up in Louisiana. It's a beautiful place. - It's amazing, it's gorgeous. So I wanna talk about the Catch and Cook program that you have. - So for people who are fishing here in Louisiana. - Yeah. - And you catch fish, you can bring it to a restaurant. - Okay. - And the chef can cook it. - Oh wow. - If we get our work done here, we're gonna go have some fun cooking. - Amazing. - I'm gonna see how coordinated you are. - Oh boy. - It takes, I mean. All right, so it's windy, so imma get it behind me. - Okay. - And imma go out. Look at you! - Look I did it! - Fish on! - I don't know if I caught your line or not. I don't know where my line is. - He's right there. - I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm hoping that I'm doing it right. Oh god. Easy, Noelle. - All right, everybody get a helmet. - I may be a better cook than a fisher person. - So you like oysters? - I love oysters. - So you know, all of the oyster shells have been going to landfills. - Yeah. - For years. - Yeah. - So we started a recycling program recently. We're putting the oyster shells back here instead of a landfill. - Okay. - And it just naturally starts rebuilding the coastline. - Really? - But it also will create new oyster beds. In three years, we're talking 700,000 tons that we recycled. - No way. - Yes, I mean, so this is making a big difference. I mean the miles of coastline have been protected. - That's incredible. - Yeah, so that's exciting. We can leave it better than we found it. - You guys, how do you know if you caught something? - Fish on! - Set the hook. - I'm doing it, I'm doing it! Wait, oh god, oh boy. You guys! - This is huge. - Oh wow. - Oh my gosh. - That's a beautiful red fish. - Hi! Let's go cook it. - Let's go cook. - [Noelle] I love Dickie's mantra of leaving it better than you found it. It's so refreshing to meet people like him. What Dickie is doing with his oyster recycling program to help preserve this place is really hopeful. It's amazing how something so ubiquitous as oysters are to New Orleans may actually help save the coastline. And my day with Dickie isn't even over yet. It's off to his restaurant Bourbon House to cook up my catch and learn some tricks of the trade when it comes to New Orleans cooking. - [Dickie] Well, welcome to the Bourbon House. - Do I get an apron? - Of course you get an apron. - We're doing this? - Course you get an apron. - This is the official. - All right, so thought we'd take the red fish and do an old classic, it's called red fish court-bouillon. - Court-bouillon. - Court-bouillon, like pork bouillon. - Okay, court-bouillon. - But in Louisiana we can't speak, so we call it court-bouillon. - Court-bouillon. - So we've taken the scales off. This is our creole seasoning. - Okay. - It just kinda gives it-- - Gives it a little more umph. I've heard rumors that you guys well respected in New Orleans. - We were Irish immigrants, and in the late '40s, we decided to open a french restaurant. So right next to it was Arno's, which is a 100-year-old french restaurant around the corner is Antoine's, the oldest french restaurant in America, and a half a block away is Galatoires, another 100-year old french restaurant, and we decided we're gonna open a french restaurant. - Okay. - It worked. - It worked. - I'm the second generation, my kid's the third generation. - Of course. - I mean, it makes no sense. - Yeah. All right, our fish is ready. So excited. Wow-ee. That is a beauty. - This is just a classic creole sauce. Smell that sauce, huh? - Ah, it's so fresh smelling. See this is all the things that I love about slow cooking and throwing everything into a pot and seeing the magic happen together. Can I go in now? - Oh come on, absolutely. - Get some of that sauce. - Very good, Davin, nice job, man. - You can come over for Thanksgiving. - All right. Oh man, thank you. Made my day. - Fun day. - I've learned how to cast. I've learned about recycling oyster shells. Met an amazing human being that cares about life and living and people. - Aw, you're sweet. - Thank you. - [Dickie] Thank you. ♪ Don't lie ♪ ♪ The world you're living in ♪ ♪ Take a look around ♪ ♪ At least you got friends ♪ ♪ Come on lady ♪ ♪ For friendly ♪ - [Narrator] The new Capital One savor card. Earn 4% cash back on dining and 4% on entertainment. Now when you go out, you cash in. What's your wallet? - [Noelle] When people think of New Orleans, they think food, they think music, and they definitely think magic and voodoo. And in honor of that rich history of mysticism, I'm back in the french quarter to check out Bottom of the Cup. Bottom of the Cup has been a staple of this community since 1929, and I'm meeting Otis who is going to give me my very first tea leaf reading. - You've had readings before? - Yes, I have. - But never a tea leaf reading? - Never a tea leaf reading, this is my first time. - So we pour the water in the tea. Now, I'm gonna ask you to take the cup and turn it over, all the way over and down. - The whole thing? - Uh huh. - Like this. - Thank you. - Yep. - Let's see what the cup reveals. Wow. This shows a very ambitious, very independent young lady. You're very gifted, very creative, very vivid imagination. - Wow. - Very good, you're a very open lady, but a little stubborn. Strong likes and dislikes. So do you have a young man in your life? - No. - Well looks like love will find you. - I hope so. One day, one day. - Well yes, okay. He loves music, loves to dance, loves to travel. How 'bout that? - All this from tea. - Yep. - It's amazing. - The tea leaves know. - Well thank you so much Otis. - Well hey, my pleasure. - This is such a pleasure, I've learned so much. So despite the sudden rainy conditions, I'm hitting up another New Orleans institution, Willie Mae's Scotch House. I'm gonna share some award-wining fried chicken with Willie Mae's great-granddaughter, Kerry Seaton Stewart, and learn more about how this place became such an important part of the community. So I'm very curious about this beautiful photograph, 'cause I'm looking at all of these really incredible, strong-looking women. - That's my great grandmother, Willie Mae over here on the corner, and then it's a Beard rep, and then my Aunt Lilly, so that's mother and daughter. - Oh, I love that. Okay, so tell me a little bit about how Willie Mae's really got started. - My grandmother always wanted her own business. That was her dream, you know? - Yeah. - So the restaurant opened in the early '70s. Regulars will come in here five times a week. They kinda really kept their little secret to themselves, so if you wanted to find it, you had to search for it. - So you had to ask a local. - Fast forward to 2005, when like, we were starting to get national exposure. - Yes, because you guys won an award. - A James Beard. - Yeah, now you're really starting to get people here. - Yeah, we're getting lines. - Just so I can have some background on when you got started. - I've been here all my life. Seriously, you know? Like three or four years old, wiping the tables, refilling the salt and pepper shakers, having fun. It was good items for me. - And I love that women have been the fabric of this business as well. - Oh yeah, oh yeah. - It's rare. - Right. - It's rare. - And of this city. Like a culture of strong women. When you grow up under strong women like that, you don't know failure, you don't know weakness. You don't know no, that's like. - I'm gonna try to get it. - Until you say yes, right? - Yeah, I'm gonna figure this out. - Thank you so much for having me. I'm gonna still sit here and eat with you. - So will I. I waited for you. - I love that. So good. Perhaps not your typical tourist spot, I'm checking out a local organization doing some pretty amazing things for the community called Green Project, they are salvaging building materials and finding a new purpose for them. - We started in 1994, originally as a volunteer paint recycling program. - Yeah. - There wasn't really a place for people to take their paints and dispose of it properly. - Okay. - So a lot of times people would find a solution in their drain, we leave around a lot of water, we have bayous, we have Pontchartrain, feeds right into the Gulf of Mexico. - Okay. - So what our Green Project members wanted to do was create a place for people to come, bring their paints, and then they recycled it, repackaged it, and sold it at an affordable price to the community, so that way people were able to access paint who wouldn't be able to go to the store and buy $20, $30 gallon. - Exactly, exactly. - Eventually, that expanded to not only paints but doors, windows, light fixtures, lumber, anything you need to build a house. We have it here at the Green Project. - Yeah, and so how do you guys find all of these materials? - So we're completely donation based. - Okay. - So all of our materials are salvaged. They're reclaimed from some other purpose, which makes it really fun, 'cause everything they see had a former life and we're able to give it new life here. - Amazing, amazing. So do you guys ever hold like workshops? - Yeah, excitingly we just opened something called the Maker Space. We invite community members to come in for these low-cost and free workshops to learn you know, how to replace their windows, how to patch drywall. - [Noelle] Oh wow, that's really cool. - And we like to foster community here. - Well that's my New Orleans experience so far is really the bridging the gap with the community and just like really honing into that aspect of the local culture here. - So we're gonna head over to our donation driveway where we accept all of our materials that then get sorted and stocked on our floor - Wow these doors are heavy. - Yes they are, they got some weight to them. This we can lean up right against here. - Okay. And how long have you been here? - I've been here for three years, and I started as an intern, and after my internship was over, they decided to keep me, and now I'm store manager. - Oh, I love that. - Next, we are going to de nail the lumber that came in. So a lot of times they have these little wall nails in. - Well it's so crazy just looking at this usable piece of lumber and thinking how crazy it is that we go and we buy brand new lumber. - One of the biggest things we like to try and do is be a resource for the people of this neighborhood, which is a low-income community. - Yeah. - Because not everybody has the money to spend that much on materials. - Yeah, that's incredible. - Would you like to try and get this nail out right here? - Yeah, absolutely. I think I'm good at this. - Oh wow, yes you are. - Look at that, I'm a pro. All I can say is wow when talking about Green Project. What a powerful organization doing right for the environment and the people of New Orleans. - I might have you come around and pull. - They are literally helping their community build itself up. ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ Whoo ♪ ♪ Oh I wanna dance with somebody ♪ ♪ I wanna feel the heat with somebody ♪ ♪ Yeah I wanna dance with somebody ♪ - [Narrator] The new Capital One savor card. Earn 4% cash back on dining and 4% on entertainment. Now when you go out, you cash in. What's in your wallet? ♪ Say you wanna dance don't you wanna dance ♪ - [Noelle] It's my last day in New Orleans and I'm finally heading to a spot that I've probably been the most excited about. Care Reconcile. I'm meeting up with my friend, chef Marcella Valladolid, who discovered this place. How are you? - It's so good to see you. - Thank you, I know! Helping the youth in our communities is a shared passion of ours, and that's exactly what Cafe Reconcile does. - Chef Eugene. - Welcome to Cafe Reconcile. - [Marcella] This is Noelle. - How you doing? - Nice to meet you. - Pleasure, pleasure. - Tell us a little bit about the program. - So the mission here at Cafe Reconcile is pretty much just to help opportunity. We used to say at-risk youth, but we changed it to opportunity. - Opportunity, yes. I love that. - So we're giving them life skills, pretty much. How to deal with anger issues on the job. How to talk to people. How to be on time. - Those are so, such important skills that regular businesses should. - That I need. - Yes. - [Noelle] Yeah, exactly. - Right. They have the opportunity to work at the back at the house and the front of the house. So after that, they have opportunity to go on internship or they find a job. We are a job placement. So our whole objective is to help them find a job. - Their entire life they've probably even always heard or feel that they're not gonna be able to accomplish much, and then for the first time, somebody tells them, you're not at risk, you're an opportunity. - An opportunity, that's right. - And that's the magic of a place like Cafe Reconcile. - [Noelle] I love that. - So we get kids with some trauma, and we just try to develop and love on one. Some of them are not used to being loved. And that's what keeps me coming every day. - What made you want to get involved? - Well, I had my own business, but I saw this as an opportunity for me to show my ministry. I felt an obligation to give back some. So maybe if we change them, they can change the community. - Yes. - It's a ripple effect. - Being here in New Orleans, I've discovered the experience of the community and how literally, it's like generations of people and they are really trying to give to the community and help each other out. I really love that, and I love what you're doing here. - Thank you. - Thank you. - Thank you so much. - Thank you. Marcella, are you gonna throw down? - So we are ready to learn about your cuisine. - Yes. - We have a demo set up just for you. - [Marcella] I'm ready. - [Chef Eugene] Let's go. - Morning guys. - Good morning. - My name is Marcella, properly pronounced Marcella. I grew up on the Mexican side of the border. I do Mexican food on the Food Network and all over in my books and stuff. But enough about me, let's talk about guac. You're my sous chef. - Okay, what am I doing? - So you're on chips. Making a tortilla chip is the easiest thing in the world. So can you bring one, I think you can pull those out. So you're on that, can I move on to guacamole? - [Noelle] You sure can. - Everybody's tasted guacamole, right? We're gonna take those avocados. We just do a little bit of lime, a hit of salt, and then we're gonna do the chopped, fresh cilantro, 'cause we don't want any bland guacamole. - Oh hell no, or heck no. My preference of peeling jicama is just use your knife skills, man. So I did match stick, which I'm sure you guys are familiar with the terms in terms of chopping, and then we're gonna mix this all up. Okay, so that's pretty much it, you guys. That's all I got. Try the guac. Try it, try it. - [Chef Eugene] Let's go y'all, let's get back to work. - Uh huh. Oo-wee. - Good meeting, how are you? - I'm fine. - How do you feel about the program? How has it changed your life? - It changed my life completely. - [Marcella] Really? - Completely. When I came here, I really didn't have anything. When I come in here, I'm gonna smile some way or somehow. - Yeah. - Like half of the trainees on the floor are my students. - Yes. I can see the pride in your eyes. - Yeah. - And I can see that this has been just a life-changing opportunity for you. - You're gonna change a lot, a lot of lives. Even yours. - How y'all doing? - So I'm a server trainer. I graduated from the program in 2011. - All right. - So now I train the students how to be servers. - Oh, so you're a student now. - Yeah, she's a student, and I'm training her on the cashier. - So what do you see in your future? - I want to do a food truck. - That's incredible that you're finding your passion and your direction at a young age, and you've got your entire life to create a career on something that you're so passionate about. I'm very inspired by you. - What about you two? - I'm a student, this is my trainer. - [Noelle] And you graduated? - In 2013. I'm the catering chef, but when I'm not working upstairs, I work down here training the youth. - Y'all are amazing women, and y'all are gonna rule the world. - Yes. - I am so inspired by you for the work that you do that's so deeply rooted in love and compassion and community. - I feel like the big sister, like I'm gonna be cheering for everybody that's here, including yourself. I'm a hugger, thank you so much. - Yes, thank you. Thank you for coming. - It's been an honor sir. - Sous chef and team chef. - Thank you, sir. - Thank you, bye. - Bye, bye. - Cafe Reconcile is truly something special. I've never met more people committed to bettering themselves, each other, and their community. The more I discover about New Orleans, the more I see a place committed to helping and supporting each other. Well despite having just come from a restaurant, I didn't actually get to eat. So I'm making a quick stop over at Pythian Market, a diverse, new food haul set in a historic building. I don't think you can get more New Orleans than that. Mm. I'm looking at this here cornbread on here. - Hi Noelle! How are you? I see you have-- - [Noelle] I mean I, yeah, this is-- - Quite the collection. - This is kind of my life. - Yeah, thanks for coming to visit us. - Absolutely. - So this is a super historical building that was recently renovated. This was originally commissioned in 1908 by S. W. Green. - Okay. - He was born a slave and became a very successful business man, and this became a center for African American life. Businesses, there used to be a rooftop garden where it's said that a young Louis Armstrong played. - No way. - So center for jazz and a lot of culture. Now there's the market. - [Noelle] That's amazing. - So it's bringing back this place to life. - Such a great space. Very inclusive, I love that. I mean, arepas, I wasn't expecting getting arepas here. Kudos to the melting pot of cultures that are here. - Exactly. New Orleans, we're known for, like you said, the melting pot of this place has so many cultures. That's why our motto is a food hall for all, and it's just awesome to think that this place was such a important gathering place. - Yeah, exactly. - Back in early 1900s, and now-- - It's catering to the community in that sense. - Exactly. - Churro? - Yeah, of course. - Music is such an important part of the culture here in New Orleans, so its only fitting that my last stop on this journey be a place that I think is going to speak to my heart and soul. Music Box Village. I have only heard about this place, but never had the opportunity of checking it out. It's become a gathering place for musicians and artists around the world. I'm ready to be inspired, meet some fellow musicians, and just play. Hi! - Hi! - Hi! - This is so fun. - Thank you. - This is like all of the things that I dreamed of as a child. - Yes. - That I didn't get to do. I'm coming down. - Come down, come down. - You have to tell me how this came to be, like whose imagination created this? - We started this organization after Katrina called New Orleans Hairlift, which was a artist exchange between New Orleans and the outside world, like a way to kind of bridge the time post-Katrina of recovery, and so each one of these represents a collaboration between someone from New Orleans and someone who's not, and so we started building little structures that were musical instruments. All the structures that you see here are built around the idea that our homes and our neighborhoods are naturally musical places. - [Noelle] Yes. - New Orleans is full of gorgeous blight. Things that are falling down that still are beautiful, and so we just wanted to honor the sort of memory of homes and houses in New Orleans that people would otherwise see as just a mess or a blight, or, you know. - Yeah, I love that. - Give it a new life. - This is fabulous. - [Man] Thank you. - And I want to play. What is this thing? - Sliding doors. - Okay. - But they're not just sliding doors. They are a fret-less base. - No way! What kind of artists come through here and what, you know, like do you guys do like concerts? - We do I guess 15 big ones for the year, and we've brought in such a diverse cast of artists that speaks to our mission in terms of connecting communities. - Yeah! How's my frame been? ♪ With revelry ♪ ♪ And days gone by ♪ This last day of my trip has been incredible. I've learned so much about New Orleans life, the pride, the culture that's here, I feel at home, I don't feel like, you know, so much of a stranger in these parts anymore, and it is a community of people trying to help each other. The people are what make New Orleans, New Orleans. All these walks of life blend together from different diverse backgrounds submerged into one, beautiful place. A phrase that I've heard frequently here is making it better than you found it, and one of the things that I can say is New Orleans is really doing that. What I'm hoping people find from my experience is to go with the purpose of discovery, and then creating a meaningful moment from the experience of connecting with other individuals, I feel like we are stronger together, that's leaving it better than you found it. ♪ Me feel like ♪ ♪ With the force don't stop ♪ ♪ Don't stop 'til you get enough ♪ ♪ Keep on ♪ ♪ With the force don't stop ♪ ♪ Don't stop 'till you get enough ♪ - [Narrator] The new Capital One savor card. Earn 4% cash back on dining and 4% on entertainment. Now when you go out, you cash in. What's in your wallet? ♪ Whoo ♪

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