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THURSDAY, JUNE 6TH
ALMA | NEW ORLEANS
Reserve your spot exclusively through OpenTable.
 
Come solo and sit at the Cherry Bombe Community Table, or bring a friend or two and we will seat you together.
 
A portion of the net proceeds will benefit Take Paws Rescue.
 

MEET THE CHEF: MELISSA ARAUJO
 
James Beard: Best Chef South 2024 semifinalist Melissa Araujo is Executive Chef/Owner of Alma Cafe, an award-winning Honduran restaurant in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood. There, she pays tribute to her grandmother’s hearty cooking style and Honduran heritage, taking visitors on a culinary journey through food and culture.
 
Born in La Ceiba, Honduras, Melissa and her family moved to Providence, Rhode Island, when she was a toddler. At the age of 14, they made another move to New Orleans, a city with a deep familial connection, as generations of their family had immigrated from Honduras to settle there. There the young teen began working in restaurants, rising from dishwasher to working under pastry chefs. While pursuing an education in architecture, Melissa worked a variety of positions in restaurant kitchens and realized her true passion was in the savory side of culinary arts.
 
In 1999, Melissa’s culinary journey led her to Milan, Italy, where a three month internship turned into a 10-year stint working at top restaurants in Northern Italy. In 2005, Melissa returned to New Orleans yet was soon displaced due to Hurricane Katrina and fled to Mexico where she opened a taqueria business and remained until 2009 before returning to New Orleans.
 
In 2011, Melissa joined the team at Mondo, James Beard Award-winning Chef Susan Spicer’s family-style eatery. The following year she joined the team of Restaurant R'evolution, helmed by culinary experts John Folse and Rick Tramonto until a job offer as Sous Chef of French Quarter steakhouse Doris Metropolitan lured her away. During this time, Melissa founded Saveur Catering, providing provisions for special events throughout New Orleans. In 2015, she joined the culinary team of Chef Alon Shaya who earned a James Beard: Best Chef South award that same year.
 
In 2017, Melissa’s entrepreneurial spirit continued with the creation of Alma Cafe. At her flagship restaurant, the Honduran native pays tribute to her grandmother’s cooking with dishes like Baleadas, Pollo Chuco, Pupusas and more. In 2023, Melissa was tapped by Keely Sheeran of Pirogue’s Whiskey Bar in Arabi, Louisiana to open Oscar—a celebration of classic bar food from around the world.  
 
In 2024, Melissa was named a semifinalist for James Beard: Best Chef South.
MEET THE CHEF: MELISSA ARAUJO
 
James Beard: Best Chef South 2024 semifinalist Melissa Araujo is Executive Chef/Owner of Alma Cafe, an award-winning Honduran restaurant in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood. There, she pays tribute to her grandmother’s hearty cooking style and Honduran heritage, taking visitors on a culinary journey through food and culture.
 
Born in La Ceiba, Honduras, Melissa and her family moved to Providence, Rhode Island, when she was a toddler. At the age of 14, they made another move to New Orleans, a city with a deep familial connection, as generations of their family had immigrated from Honduras to settle there. There the young teen began working in restaurants, rising from dishwasher to working under pastry chefs. While pursuing an education in architecture, Melissa worked a variety of positions in restaurant kitchens and realized her true passion was in the savory side of culinary arts.
 
In 1999, Melissa’s culinary journey led her to Milan, Italy, where a three month internship turned into a 10-year stint working at top restaurants in Northern Italy. In 2005, Melissa returned to New Orleans yet was soon displaced due to Hurricane Katrina and fled to Mexico where she opened a taqueria business and remained until 2009 before returning to New Orleans.
 
In 2011, Melissa joined the team at Mondo, James Beard Award-winning Chef Susan Spicer’s family-style eatery. The following year she joined the team of Restaurant R'evolution, helmed by culinary experts John Folse and Rick Tramonto until a job offer as Sous Chef of French Quarter steakhouse Doris Metropolitan lured her away. During this time, Melissa founded Saveur Catering, providing provisions for special events throughout New Orleans. In 2015, she joined the culinary team of Chef Alon Shaya who earned a James Beard: Best Chef South award that same year.
 
In 2017, Melissa’s entrepreneurial spirit continued with the creation of Alma Cafe. At her flagship restaurant, the Honduran native pays tribute to her grandmother’s cooking with dishes like Baleadas, Pollo Chuco, Pupusas and more. In 2023, Melissa was tapped by Keely Sheeran of Pirogue’s Whiskey Bar in Arabi, Louisiana to open Oscar—a celebration of classic bar food from around the world.  
 
In 2024, Melissa was named a semifinalist for James Beard: Best Chef South.

ABOUT THE RESTAURANT
 
Alma is an award winning Honduran restaurant located in New Orleans, located in the Bywater, just outside of the French Quarter. Alma is the flagship location of Araujo Restaurant Group and is a reflection of Owner and Executive Chef Melissa Araujo.
 
From Pollo Chuco, to Bloody Mary's and avocado toast Alma offers an extensive array of dishes focusing on Honduran Food. Alma means "soul" in Spanish. Created to showcase Chef Melissa Araujo's Honduran heritage and take each guest on a journey through food and culture. The Soul has many stories to tell; Alma tells shares them through it's dining experience.
 
Chef Araujo’s Father was Born in La Ceiba, Honduras and her memories of her childhood are centered around this particular view of the city. The mountains in the back, the ocean, the cool air in my face, my best memories were made in this city. Alma has given me the opportunity to recreate these memories and share them with our guests.
 
Alma pay’s tribute to Chef Araujo’s grandmother and her cooking with hearty dishes like the Alma Breakfast, Baleadas and Pollo Chuco. This New Orleans cafe also serves delicious dishes like Carne Asada, Platano Maduro, Pupusas, and Marmahon. Alma has its roots deeply entrenched into Honduran tradition and celebrating Honduran culture, food, and music.
ABOUT THE RESTAURANT
 
Alma is an award winning Honduran restaurant located in New Orleans, located in the Bywater, just outside of the French Quarter. Alma is the flagship location of Araujo Restaurant Group and is a reflection of Owner and Executive Chef Melissa Araujo.
 
From Pollo Chuco, to Bloody Mary's and avocado toast Alma offers an extensive array of dishes focusing on Honduran Food. Alma means "soul" in Spanish. Created to showcase Chef Melissa Araujo's Honduran heritage and take each guest on a journey through food and culture. The Soul has many stories to tell; Alma tells shares them through it's dining experience.
 
Chef Araujo’s Father was Born in La Ceiba, Honduras and her memories of her childhood are centered around this particular view of the city. The mountains in the back, the ocean, the cool air in my face, my best memories were made in this city. Alma has given me the opportunity to recreate these memories and share them with our guests.
 
Alma pay’s tribute to Chef Araujo’s grandmother and her cooking with hearty dishes like the Alma Breakfast, Baleadas and Pollo Chuco. This New Orleans cafe also serves delicious dishes like Carne Asada, Platano Maduro, Pupusas, and Marmahon. Alma has its roots deeply entrenched into Honduran tradition and celebrating Honduran culture, food, and music.

 


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