Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- With a spike in armed robberies Uptown last month comes an outpouring of support for one of the victims. Friends of a local chef who was shot in an attempted armed robbery held a benefit Friday night at NOLA Brewing on Tchoupitoulas Street.
Hundreds of people showed up at the sold out event, which has 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to Nathanial Zimet.
Just over a month after he was shot multiple times in an attempted armed robbery, Zimet was the man of the night. The up and coming chef and co-owner of Boucherie was all smiles as he embraced friends at a fundraiser in his honor.
“It means an enormous amount to him,” said James Denio, Boucherie co-owner.
Zimet declined to speak on camera. But the outpouring of support is clear. The event sold out days ago, with 300 tickets sold, totaling nearly $10,000. All of it is going toward Zimet’s recovery.
“Everyone really wants to help. We’ve had breweries as far as Pensacola donate beer. Every local brewery's involved,” said event organizer Derek Lintern of Crescent City Homebrewer.
Friends say Zimet has a ways to go with recovery, and with no health insurance, his bills continue to mount. That’s why friends in the beer community put together this fundraiser. Called "Beers not Bullets," it’s the first of several benefits aimed at helping Zimet recover, both physically and financially.
"You tend to feel helpless when something like this happens to someone you love, in a place you love, and so the only thing you can do is give of yourself in any way possible,” Denio said.
“It’s kind of terrible something like that would happen to him," Lintern said. "Everyone wishes they could do more."
The idea started with beer blogger Jeremy Ladie, who helps put together beer-tasting events like this twice a year. But this is the first time there’s been music, this much food, and the amount of beer from local breweries all donated.
“It’s very clear that people love this guy, but that the NOLA community, they come together when people are in need, and I just love that about it,” Labadie said.
As for Zimet’s recovery, his friend and restaurant partner, Denio, has high hopes, especially now that Zimet sees just how much the community is rallying behind him.
“I think he’s going to surprise everyone with how fast he can come back, because he’s an incredibly willful person,” Denio said.
If you want to make a donation to help offset the medical cost for Zimet, you can do so at any New Orleans branch of Capital One Bank.