Edible Education With Emeril

Students participating in NOCCA's Culinary Arts program.    ELIZABETH MCMILLAN

Students participating in NOCCA's Culinary Arts program.

ELIZABETH MCMILLAN

On this week's show, we go back to school for no ordinary education. We take an in-depth look at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and their flourishing Culinary Arts division — the only chef's training program offered at the high school level in the nation.

Host Poppy Tooker and Chef Emeril Lagasse at Press Street Station on NOCCA's campus.   CREDIT JOE SHRINER

Host Poppy Tooker and Chef Emeril Lagasse at Press Street Station on NOCCA's campus.

CREDIT JOE SHRINER

It wasn't until recently that the culinary arts discipline was added to the Institute's curriculum. The program's inception was due, in no small part, to Chef Emeril Lagasse. For the behind-the-scenes story of how the program got its start, we meet Emeril at Press Street Station on NOCCA's campus.

Then, we walk over to the campus office of the NOCCA Institute's Executive Director, Sally Perry, who shares her insight into the conservatory's culinary program and the relationship between its students, their mentors and the community.

After hearing so much about the program, we get to see it in action with Dana Tuohy, Culinary Department Chair, at the school's teaching kitchen.

Next, we step outside to Press Street Gardens, an urban farm and outdoor learning laboratory on the edge of NOCCA's campus. We find manager Marguerite Green at the garden's gate.

For the final stop on our tour of NOCCA's culinary program, we return to where we started — Press Street Station, a working restaurant open to the general public. We meet Chef James Cullen to learn how the restaurant furthers the students’s hands-on education, as well as what you can expect to find on their menu.

We're getting an edible education on this week's Louisiana Eats!