Paul C.P. McIlhenny Culinary Entrepreneurship Program

With all of the interest in food these days, many myths exist about what it's like to work in the industry. The Paul C.P. McIlhenny Culinary Entrepreneurship Program is designed to encourage food start-up businesses in the area and to offer educational business training for aspiring chefs and other culinary professionals.

The Mentorship Program’s main goals are to:

  • Hold master classes conducted by chefs for aspiring chefs in New Orleans, at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, and at other places around the country.
  • Hold “Mentor Conversations” between food professionals and culinary students. The professionals may be food journalists, photographers, executives in manufacturing and processing facilities, and other professionals working in the food and beverage industry, but not necessarily chefs.
  • Continue with our ongoing internship program in cooperation with colleges, universities, and trade schools around the world.
  • Hold quarterly informational programs for culinary entrepreneurs and start-up food business owners. See our blog for past event recaps and information. 
  • When feasible, sell the products that are made by entrepreneurs in the museum gift shop.
  • Assistance with marketing by featuring the businesses in the museum newsletter and speaking of the program and the entrepreneurs to journalists.
  • Lease out, on an hourly basis and at a below market rate, the certified commissary kitchen (the Rouses Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Air) located at SoFAB.

Upcoming Events

Scholarship Program

The Paul McIlhenny Culinary Entrepreneurism Scholarship is endowed by a grant from the family of Paul McIlhenny, the late President and CEO of Tabasco Brand; the iconic Louisiana-made line of cayenne pepper hot sauces and condiments.

Last year, our first ever Paul Mcllhenny Culinary Entrepreneurism Scholarship recipient was Dee Levigne of Deelightful Cupcakes. Read more about Dee, her business, and her time spent at SoFAB on our blog, On The Line.

Our newest scholarship recipient is Chef Serigne "Love" Mbaye. Among the advantages and opportunities afforded by the scholarship, Chef Mbaye has use of the museum's Rouses Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Air at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) free of charge for one year. Learn more about Chef Mbays here

Interested in applying for a scholarship? Applications will open in late 2018.

The Paul C.P. McIlhenny Culinary Entrepreneurship Program is supported in part by Domino Foods, Inc.