If you live in New Orleans, you’re hardly going to be surprised to hear that on this edition of Out to Lunch we’re talking about food and music.
Even if you don’t live in New Orleans, and you’ve never been here, you probably still know us for our reputation for food and music.
Interestingly, even though we often talk about food and music in the same breath, in New Orleans the food business and the music business are generally not related.Which is just one of the significant differences about Peter’s lunch guests today.
Misha Kachkachachishvili is a classically trained musician who came to New Orleans in 1994. A lot happened after that, but we’re going to cut straight to 2013. That’s when Misha opened the doors to the largest production and post production recording studio in Louisiana – Esplanade Studios.
In the ensuing years, in a city not lacking for musical accolades, Esplanade Studios have become one the country’s most highly regarded epicenters of recorded music.A long list of musicians have beaten a path to the studio, including Wille Nelson, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Solange Knowles, Common, Janaelle Monae, and many more.
Misha Kachkachachishvili is a rare combination of musician, business person, and visionary.
Esplanade studios takes its name from the street it’s on, Esplanade Avenue. Right next to the studio, around the corner on Broad Street, there’s a café, called Lamara Coffee and Kitchen.
A number of things set Lamara Coffee and Kitchen aside from a regular New Orleans cafe. Firstly, it’s menu is entirely plant based. They feature healthy vegetarian food, a superfood smoothie bar, and gluten-free house-made baked-goods. There’s no refined grains, oils, or sugar in anything.
Apart from its non-traditional fare, the other thing that sets Lamara apart from other New Orleans food businesses, is that it really is connected to the music business.It’s not a coincidence that it’s right next door to Esplanade studios. The café caters to musicians who frequent the studio. Plus, also not coincidentally, the owner of Lamara Coffee and Kitchen, Diane Heying, is married to Misha Kachkachachishvili, the owner of Esplanade Studios.
Food and Music
When the 21st Century’s entrepreneurial boom started in New Orleans, the business incubator Idea Village tried to encourage people to start a business with the slogan, “Trust your crazy ideas.” Having faith in a business that looks to other people like a crazy idea takes you down a path that is often walking a fine line between delusion and inspiration. It’s only years later, when the business is successful, that the doubters disappear and everyone agrees that you were a visionary all along.
It’s not hard to understand why Misha and Diane are married and why they’re great business partners too. They share the courage, determination, and vision required to take bold steps and carve out unique businesses.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch. Photos by Jill Lafleur. Check out more lunchtime talk about the New Orleans film and music business.