Chef Donald Link Cooking for a Cause

On April 20, the VH1 Save the Music Foundation makes the next stop of its Musically Mastered Menu tour in New Orleans, a city renowned for both food and music. Musical duo and smash hit producers R. City will headline the intimate dinner fundraiser at Calcasieu hosted by James Beard award-winning chef Donald Link, who is famous for his work at Cochon, Herbsaint, and Pêche Seafood Grill.

“I think it’s a great cause, and I’ve always been into music, so anything combining music and food has always been of great interest to me,” says Donald. “When I found out who it was, I thought it was a really good match.”

Guests will enjoy a bold, spicy-themed menu combining flavors inspired by St. Thomas-born R. City’s musical origins and Chef Link’s Creole-inspired culinary background. “What I’m trying to look at is a way to incorporate the things we have here in Louisiana that reflect their origins in the Caribbean,” says Donald. “There’s a lot of things that are carried over between the two cultures. I’m kind of blending those two into the menu.”

The cause is particularly of interest to Chef Link, as he created the Link Stryjewski Foundation in 2015 with business partner Chef Stephen Stryjewski to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans. Link, who plays guitar, believes it is important to get kids involved in an activity, especially music. “I think [music] is a great thing to learn. I think it’s a good thing to have in somebody’s life,” he says.

The VH1 Save the Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. On a local level, since 1998, VH1 Save the Music has partnered with 24 Louisiana public elementary and middle schools to provide all-new instrumental music programs, impacting more than 4,000 students.

Tickets are available now for Musically Mastered Menu’s New Orleans event at on.vh1.com/mmmnola.

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