Nathanial Zimet brought his passion for cooking from North Carolina to NOLA, where he became known for setting up shop outside late-night concert venues in his signature purple food truck. In 2009, Zimet opened Boucherie right off Carrollton Avenue, where his contemporary Southern cuisine earned raves from local food critics. The Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding, in particular, is mind-bogglingly good. However, in the midst of a recent string of Uptown armed robberies, Zimet was shot three times outside his house on May 23 after staying up late to prepare food for the Bayou Boogaloo Festival.
The tight-knit New Orleans food community has since rallied around his cause, with support and proceeds coming from locales such as Pizza Delicious, Stein’s Market & Deli, Brigsten’s, La Petite Grocery (who have organized a fundraiser at The Howlin’ Wolf on July 10), and NOLA Brewing.
Tonight, the brewery is hosting “Beers Not Bullets,” a beer-tasting event to help raise money for Chef Zimet’s medical costs. The fundraiser, to be held at the brewery at 3001 Tchoupitoulas St., was originally supposed to be a smaller-scale event for self-proclaimed “beer geeks” organized by blogger Jeremy “The Beer Buddha” Labadie. Fortunately, the scale has since grown. It has become a full-blown event that will feature a handful of craft beers as well as donations from local microbreweries including Southern Eagle, Crescent Crown, Tin Roof, and Bayou Teche. Crawfish, jambalaya, and barbecue will be served alongside live music from Ashton Hines and the Big Easy Brawlers, Colin Lake, and DJ Tony Skratchere. NOLA Brewery itself, fresh off the exciting announcement of an upcoming canning line, will be opening a number of special casks (including a Blonde Ale with honey and lavender) in honor of Chef Zimet’s recovery.
“We all hang out at Boucherie a lot and have really gotten to know everybody there,” says Kirk Coco, President of NOLA Brewing. “They have a great selection of beers that they put incredible care into picking them out. Like the beers, the quality of everything they serve is unbelievable. In the food industry, you really appreciate when other people take pride in their job and do it well. Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity to host such an event when Jeremy needed a venue.”
In good news, Chef Zimet’s progress is going better than expected and he hopes to be back to work soon.
Although “Beers Not Bullets” has sold out of tickets, you can still support the cause by buying a ticket for the Beasts & Brass event at The Howlin’ Wolf or by making a donation to the Nathaniel Zimet Fund at any branch of Capitol One Bank in New Orleans.