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Discover the local Creole flavor, love of community and vibrant culture in New Orleans as part of the Capital One Purpose Project, The Series. Join Noelle Scaggs & Chef Marcela Valladolid as they find Meaningful Moments throughout the city. Sponsored by Capital One.

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Transcript

- Why do you travel? Is it food? That's the best thing I've had in long time. - Ah, so fresh. - Oh my God. - Is it adventure - This is really fun. - Setting sail. Or is it about making a connection? Ya'll 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 Koscal. - Alejandro Toro. - I'm Noelle Scaggs and this is The Purpose Project. Presented by Capitol 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 use to coming here on tour and I have barely cracked the surface of this city. So I'm really looking to unravel all the mysteries. Learn more about the culture and the history here. With Capitol One's purpose projects, 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 heart beat 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 restaurant tour 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 years in America, our population are on the East and the West coast - Yep. - So we really over fish the Atlantic and the Pacific - Yeah. - So if you really want to have wild cod, sustainable fresh fish this is the honey hole and it's because it's the Mississippi River. - Yeah - I mean it's the most fertile fish grounds in the world. - Really. I've never seen New Orleans in this light at all it's always been in land. - You can see the rocks here Were having this coastal erosion a football field in an hour - Wow - Is what we lose so we keep trying to do things like these rocks to prevent it to continue to erode - Yeah - We have a lotta work to do - I love your passion behind that. - I love 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 and the chef can cook it. - Oh wow. - If e get our work done here we gonna go have some fun cooking. - Amazing - Wanna see how coordinated you are - Oh boy. 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. - You right there - I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm hoping that I'm doing it right. Oh God, easy Noelle. - Alright everybody get a helmet. - I may be a better cook than a fisher person. - So do you like oysters? - I love oysters. - So you know all of our oyster shells have been going to land fills - Yeah. - for years so we started a recycling program recently. We're putting the oyster shells back here instead of the land fill - Okay - And it just naturally starts rebuilding the coast line - Really? - But it also will create new oyster beds. In three years we're talkin' 700 thousand tons that we recycle - No way. - Yeah I mean this is making a big difference there are miles of coast line that been protected. - That's incredible - Yeah - I had no idea - 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 doin' it, I'm doin' it, wait, oh god - Jeez a red fish - You guys. - That's a beautiful red fish. - Hi. Let's go cook it. - Let's go cook. - 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 helpful. It's amazing how something so ubiquitous as oysters are to New Orleans may actually help save the coast line. 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. - Welcome to the Bourbon House. - Do I get an apron? - Course you get an apron - for doing this. - Of course you get an apron. - This is the official. - Alright I thought we'd take the red fish and do an old classic, it's called, Red Fish Coubouillon - Coupion? - Coubouillon, like courtbouillon - Okay, coubouillon - But, we Louisiana we can't speak so we call it a coubouillon. So we've taken the scales off. This is our creole seasoning - Okay. - Just kinda gives it - Gives it a little more umph. I've heard rumors that you guys well respected in New Orleans. - We're Irish immigrant and in the late 40's we decided to open French restaurant. Right next to it was Arnaud'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 Galatoire's another 100 year old French restaurant. And we decide we gonna open a French restaurant. It worked. - It worked. - I'm the second generation, my kids are third generation - Of course. - I mean it makes no sense - Yeah. Alright our fish is ready. So excited. That is a beauty. - This is just a classic creole sauce. Smell that sauce. - Ah 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. - [Dickie] Very good Davin, nice job man. - You can come over for Thanksgiving. - Alright. - Man, thank you. Made my day. - Fun day. - I've learn how to cast, I've learned about recycling oyster shells, met an amazing human being that cares about life and living and people. - You're sweet. - Thank you. - Thank you. - 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 - The whole thing? Like this. - Thank you. 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 dislike. So, do you have a young man in your life? - No - Well it looks like love will find you. - I hope so. One day - He loves music, loves to dance and loves to travel how 'bout that. - All this from tea, it's amazing. - The tea leaves know. - Well thank you so much Otis. - Oh hey my pleasure - This is such a pleasure I've learned so much. So despite the sudden rainy condition I'm hitting up another Mew Orleans institution Willie Mae Scotch House. I'm going to share some award winning 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 there corner and then it's a beer rep and then my aunt Lily. So that's mother and duaghter - 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 70's. Regulars would 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'd have to ask a local. - Fast forward to 2005 when we're starting to get national exposure. - Yes 'cause you guys won an award. - A James Beard. - Now you really starting to get people here. - Yeah we're getting lines. - Just so I can have some background when you got started. - I've been here all my life. I was like three, four years old wiping the tables, refilling salt and pepper shakers having fun it was good times for me. - And I love that women have been the fabric of this business as well. - Oh yeah - It's rare. - And of this city - Yeah. - 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. - Yeah, yeah. - Imma try again - Until you say yes, right. - Imma figure this out. - Thank you so much - You're welcome. - For having me. Imma still sit here and eat with you. - So will I so that 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. There wasn't really a place for people to take their paint and dispose of it properly. - Okay - So a lot of times people would find a solution in their drain we live around a lot of water we have bayou's, we have Lake Pontchartrain. Feeds right into the Gulf of Mexico. - Okay. - So what our Green Project members wanted to do was to 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. - Okay - So that way people were able to access paint who wouldn't be able to go the store and buy 20, 30 dollars 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. - And so how do you guys find all of these materials? - So we're completely donation based. All of our materials are salvaged, they're reclaimed from some other purpose which makes it really fun. - That's amazing. - 'Cause everything you see had a former life and we're able to give it new life here. - Amazing, amazing so do you guys ever hold workshops? - Yeah, excitingly we just opened something called the Maker Space. - Okay. - We invite community members to come in for these low cost and free workshops to learn how to replace their window, how to patch drywall. - Oh wow that's really cool. - And we just like to foster a community here. - Well that's my New Orleans experience so far is really the bridging of the gap with the community and just honing into that aspect of the local culture here. - So we're gonna head over to our donation drive way where we except all of our materials that can 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. - And how long have you been here? - I've been here for three years and I started as an intern - Okay - And after my internship was over they decided to keep me and now I'm store manager. - Oh I love that. - Next we're going to de-nail the lumber that came in. 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 real quick? - Yeah, absolutely. I think I'm good at this. - 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. They are literally helping their community build itself up. 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 Cafe Reconcile. I'm meeting up with my friend Chef Marcella Valladolib 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 - Hey how are you - This is Noelle - How you doing pleasure, Pleasure pleasure - Nice to meet you. - Tell us a little bit about the program. So the mission here at Cafe Reconcile is pretty much just to help opportunity youth. We used to say at risk youth but we changed it to opportunity. - Opportunity Youth - Yes - Yes I love that - We giving 'em life skills pretty much. How to deal with angry issues on the job, how to talk to people, how to be on time. - Those are such important skills - That's amazing - that regular business' should apply - That I need They have the opportunity to work in the back of the house and the front of the house. So after that they have the opportunity to go on an internship or to find a job. We are a job placement so our whole objective is to help them find a job. - Their entire life they probably 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 and that's the magic of a place like Cafe Reconcile. - I love that. - So we get kids with some trauma and we just try to develop and love on 'em. Some of 'em not used to being loved. And that what keeps me coming everyday. - What made you want to get involved? - Well, 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 their community. - Yes. - It's a ripple affect. - 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 are doing here. - Well thank you - Thank you. Marcela are you gonna throw down? - So we are ready to learn about your cuisine. - Yes - And we have a demo set up just for you. - I'm ready. - Let's go. - Morning guys, my name is Marcela properly pronounced Marcela Valladolid. 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. I think you can pull those out. So you're on that, can I move on to guacamole. - You sure can. - Everybody has tasted guacamole right? We're gonna take those avocados we just do a little bit of lime a hint of salt and then what we're gonna do chopped fresh cilantro - 'cause we don't want any bland guacamole - Oh, hell no or heck no. My preference of of peeling jicama is just use your knife skills man. So I did match sticks 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. - Let's go ya'll let's get back to work. - How are you - Okay fine. - How do you feel about the program How has it changed your life? - Oh it changed my life completely - Really - Completely. When I came here, really didn't have anything. When I come in here I'm gonna smile someway or somehow. Half of the trainees on this floor are my students - I can see the pride in your eyes. - Yeah - And I can see that this has been just a life changing opportunity for you. - It's gonna change a lot of lives - How ya'll doing? - So I'm a server trainer I graduated from the program in 2011 now I train the students how to be servers. - Oh so you're a student now? - She's a student and I'm training her on the cashier. - So what do you see in your future? - I wanna 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 your career around something you're so passionate about, I'm very inspired by you. - What about you two? - I'm a student and this is my trainer. - And you graduated? - In 2013, I'm the catering chef but when I'm not working upstairs I work down here training the youth. - Ya'll are amazing women and ya'll gonna rule the world. - I am so inspired by you for the work you do that's so deeply rooted in love and compassion and community. - I feel like the big sister, like I'm gonna be rooting for everybody that's here including yourself I'm a hugger thank you so much. - Thank you - It's been an honor sir - Keep cheffin', keep cheffin'. - Thank you sir. [Together] 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 hall set in historic building, I don't think you can get more New Orleans than that. I'm looking at your corn bread puchong here. - Hi Noelle, how are you I see you have quite the selection. - This is kinda 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. 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 roof top garden where it's said that a young Louis Armstrong played. - No way - So a center for jazz and a lot of culture now there's the market - Amazing - 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 culture that are here. - Exactly, New Orleans, we're known for like you said the melting pot. 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 an important gathering place back - Yeah exactly - in the early 1900's - It's catering to the community in that sense. Churro? - Yeah, of course. - Music is such an important part of the culture here in New Orleans. So it's only fitting that my last stop in this journey be a place that I think is going to speak to my heart and soul. Music box Village. I've only heard about this place but never had the opportunity of checking it out. It's become a gathering place for musicians and artist from around the world. I'm ready to be inspired, meet some fellow musicians and just play. Hi - [Together] Hi - This is so fun this is like all of the things I dreamed of as 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 who's imagination created this. - We started this organization after Katrina called New Orleans hair lift which was artist exchange between New Orleans and the outside world like a way to bridge the time post Karina recovery and so each one of these represent 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 neighborhood are naturally musical places. - Yes - New Orleans is full of gorgeous blight things that are falling down that's still are beautiful and so we just wanted to honor the memory of homes and houses that people would otherwise see as just a mess or a blight - Yeah - Give it a new life. - This is fabulous and I wanna play. What is this thing? - Sliding door - Okay - But there not just sliding doors they are a fretless bass - No way - What kind of artist come through here and do you guys do concerts? - We do, I guess 15 big ones for the year and we've brought in such a diverse cast of artist that speaks to our mission in terms of connecting communities. - Yeah - That's my favorite ♪ With a robbery ♪ ♪ and days gone by ♪ This lat 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 so much of a stranger in these part anymore and it is a community of people trying to help each other. The people are what makes 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 leaving it better than you found it and one of the things I can say is New Orleans is really doing that. What I'm hoping people find from my experience is to go with a 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.

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