Pasta and Pork
Two new food fests compete for gastronomic attention
There are rumblings around town… do we have too many festivals? When even a backyard cookout gets a “festival” title on the invitation, the lines do seem blurry. It’s especially apparent we are near (or past) critical mass when we have two inaugural food festivals vying for participants on the same day. But as the old saying goes, you gotta eat.
The NOLA Mac N Cheese Fest will be held at Louis Armstrong Park from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. A portion of their proceeds will be donated to Roman Harper's Hope 41 Foundation and the Tres Doux Foundation. Fifteen local restaurants will have the cheesy pasta available to purchase, as well as other signature dishes. They will also compete for two awards – Overall Winner and the Kid’s Choice Award.
Participating restaurants include: The Big Cheesy; Restaurant & Bar at the House of Blues; Melt; Food Drunk; Frey Smoked Meat Co.; Voleo’s Seafood Restaurant; Gonzo’s Smokehouse & BBQ; Fat Harry’s; Little Gem Saloon; Atchafalaya; Oceana; Superior Seafood; and Samuel’s Blind Pelican. With all of those seafood restaurants represented, anticipate crawfish to be a featured ingredient.
The music lineup is impressive. The headliner is George Porter, Jr. and the Runnin’ Pardners, who will bring New Orleans funk to party. Other acts include: Fontainebleau High School Jazz Ensemble One; John Boutté; Susan Cowsill (with special guest Aaron Wilkinson); Grayson Capps; and John “Papa” Gros with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.
Across town, the NOLA Cochon de Lait Festival will be held at Palmer Park from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pork will be the star of the show at this festival that benefits Citizens Organization for Police Support 2 (COPS2).
Participating restaurants include: Chef Linda The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady; Couzans; Crêpes à La Cart; Food Drunk; Original Fiorella’s Café in Gentilly; Fat Harry’s; Frytastic!; Gulf Tacos; Jacques-Imo’s; La DelYo’s Creole Catering; Love at First Bite; LUCA Eats; Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que; Petit Rouge Coffee Truck; Plum Street Snowballs; Reginelli’s Pizza; and T Moise Farms.
The music lineup features four bands who each bring serious New Orleans credentials. Big Sam’s Funky Nation will headline, and the other acts include Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., a surprise performance and the Soul Rebels.
There you have it. Two new food festivals to plan lunch, dinner and dancing. Is that too much of a good thing?