On February 22, Krewe of The Culinary Queens of New Orleans (TCQNO) will be celebrating Mardi Gras, throwing glitter spatulas, chef hats, and plastic wine glasses – their signature throws – to parade attendees. TCQNO is the newest all-female krewe, the first and only krewe to honor women in the food and beverage industry. And they are making history with their inaugural parade as the first krewe to roll on the Westbank of unincorporated Jefferson Parish in 30 years. The parade will feature 15-30 floats following the theme, “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.”
Krewe of TCQNO Founder Akasia Lee Nicholas, courtesy TCQNO
Considered the city’s first social and professional networking organization for women who are making strides in the Greater New Orleans’ culinary industry, TCQNO’s motto is “Party for a Purpose.” Founded in 2019 by philanthropist and owner of Let Us Cater for You Akasia Lee Nicholas, the krewe’s focus is set on community outreach as well as helping women build businesses in the food and beverage industries, which took hard hits during the outset of the pandemic.
2022 Queen Imani Nia Ruffins and King Queban Lee, courtesy of FION Productions
Before the parade, on February 10, Tito’s Vodka will present TCQNO’S Coronation Ball 2022 hosted by radio personality and caterer Jo Jackson, honoring the 2022 inaugural Queen Imani Ruffins and King Queban Lee. Imani Ruffins is a 20-plus year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department and a pastry chef. Queban Lee is a physical fitness guru and healthy lifestyle consultant.
To show support, you can follow Krewe of The Culinary Queens of New Orleans on Instagram (@theculinaryqueensofnola) and “like” them on Facebook (@theculinaryqueensofnola). Women interested in joining TCQNO can visit Akasia Lee Nicholas’ site to apply for membership.
To purchase tickets to their ball, visit Eventbrite. And to attend the parade on February 22, 6 p.m., visit Mardi Gras New Orleans for the parade route, which begins at Berger Road & Lapalco Boulevard and ends at Johnny Jacobs Pool.